So When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
Considering everything stated above, we advise travelers that June 15 through August 15 is the best time to go to Alaska. But not everyone can schedule their trip during this time and as weve noted, each season has its benefits. If you plan your trip during the peak season, then plan ahead and book early as these are the dates that sell out first.
For more information on when to visit Alaska, view our How to Choose Your Alaska Cruise guide. If you are still looking for advice on the best time of year to visit Alaska, just give us a call, our experts are ready to help.
This guide on the best time to visit Alaska is amongAdventureSmithExplorations extensive collection of travel guides; the content is regularly updated by our team for accuracy. Visit our Alaska Travel Guidesfor even more resources and inspiration in planning your Alaska trip.
Have a question about the best time to visit Alaska? Use the comments below and well answer ASAP.
When Is The Best Time To See Alaskas Glaciers
Alaskas glaciers are magnificent, and Celebritys Alaska cruise itineraries take in two of the most accessible glaciers in Southeast Alaska: Hubbard Glacier and Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
The height of the Alaska cruise season is the best time to cruise Alaska on these itineraries to ensure youll be able to see and enjoy the glaciers on each of the routes.
Cruising during peak season increases the probability that warmer temperatures have allowed more of the winter ice to melt, allowing for smooth sailing through the Inner Passage and the fjords, and the captains ability to get as close as possible to the glacier to give you the most spectacular experience possible.
When sailing the Hubbard Glacier itinerary, your ships captain will slowly turn the ship so that passengers on all sides will be able to enjoy the view and witness any calving that might occur while the ship is in the glaciers vicinity.
Sailing the Endicott Arm fjord toward Dawes Glacier is just as spectacular an itinerary, and this Alaskan glacier is just as magnificent.
For these peak season Alaska cruise routes, its advisable to book early so you get the best stateroom. Booking a veranda stateroom ensures that youll have your own private space to see glaciers during your cruise.
Taking An Alaska Cruise In June
June is a bit of a sweet spot for an Alaska cruise. The weather is fairly dry and warming up, crowds and prices still have not reached peak levels, and wildlife aplenty will be out and about.
The days will be longer still, including the summer solstice on June 21, on which you will experience nearly 24-hours of daylight, depending on how far north you happen to be. Denali, in particular, is an incredible place to experience the summer solstice.
With average temperatures in the low 60s, youll still have chilly nights, but as far as Alaska goes, June offers what amount to ideal conditions.
Unfortunately, the mosquitos agree, so youll want to pack some bug spray. You will want to be outside, however, because everything will be in bloom and it can be remarkably beautiful.
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Weather During Alaska Cruise In June
Temperatures during your Alaska cruise in June will range from a high of 16.5 degrees Celsius to a low of 8.5 degree Celsius .
The rainfall has just started increasing and hence is much lesser than rest of the summer months.
If you want the weather during your Alaska cruise to be just perfect, plan your cruise in June.
Cruising To Alaska In September
The end of the season and beginning of the school year means a more-quiet and intimate Alaska cruise. Temperatures are cooling down , and generally fluctuate between 41 and 55 degrees . Cold â maybe â but September offers two rare bucket list experiences: the chance to see the northern lights and sightings of grey and beluga whales as they migrate along the coast.
So, whatâs the best month to cruise to Alaska? Well, in short, the answer is: The best time to cruise to Alaska is whichever month is most intriguing to you. Check out our Alaskan expedition cruises here, and plan an Alaska cruise for yourself!
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Taking An Alaska Cruise In September
Youve now reached the other shoulder!
The kids are back in school and the end of cruise season is near, meaning youve got your best chance to catch a sweet last-minute deal on an Alaska cruise in September. Things will be relatively quiet and cool, and September will often be just as rainy as August.
The nights are longer, days are shorter, and the weather getting colder, but its not all doom and gloom for September! Especially not if youre a moose or caribou, as September is the mating season! You might even catch them in the act right out in the open.
Early autumn is also a great time to spot bears near berry patches and salmon streams. At this time, gray, bowhead, and beluga whales will be migrating back south along the Alaskan coast.
But what brings most people out for an Alaska cruise in September is a chance to spot the Northern Lights. Youll likely need your waterproofs and some heavy layers, but if you are lucky enough to catch a clear night up near Fairbanks, youll give yourself the best chance to catch a glimpse of the aurora. This chance alone is often enough to bring people out for a September cruise.
This monthly break down should give you a better idea of what you can expect during the Alaska cruise season. However, if youd prefer to search in terms of certain attractions, continue reading below.
Alaska Cruise Weather In May
May brings warmer weather within the cities and towns of the Alaskan inside passage. While it can be freezing cold at times, the weather can also be pleasantly cool. The low temperatures typically range from the mid-thirties to the low forties Fahrenheit, but the highs can get up to the upper fifties.
This month also experiences near constant cloud cover with a good chance of rain on any given day. Travelers get at least fifteen hours of daylight and twilight in May, providing more time for whale watching and other outdoor activities. With low wind speeds, cold temperatures, and precipitation, travelers may want to pack plenty of knit sweaters, a jacket, warm pants, and waterproof boots or shoes.
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Cost Of Alaska Cruise In June
The early weeks of June is the period when the crowd is yet to come in hordes.
However, the peaceful Alaska cruise during this period will cost you as much as the peak season.
The cost of a 7-day cruise during this period ranges from $800 to $900 per person. That is, approximately $115 to $125 per person per day.
What Is The Best Month To Cruise Alaska
The best month to visit Alaska depends on what you hope to experience during your trip.
- Do you want as much sun and daylight as possible? Then book a June or July cruise.
- Would you like to see lots of wildlife? Then purchase a May, August, or September cruise as these months feature young animal families and migrations.
- Do you want to get into the interior and see Denali National Park or the Yukon? Then select July or August.
- Are you chasing bright tree foliage? Then book a cruise at the end of August or in September.
- Would you like to avoid mosquitoes? Then May and September are the best months for your cruise.
- Are northern lights on the itinerary? Then your trip will be in September or October. Would you like to fish for salmon? Then select any summer or shoulder month.
The good news is that no matter which month you choose, your Alaskan cruise will reward you with incredible experiences and memories that last a lifetime.
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If I Go On An Excursion What Should I Bring
Although its summer during these peak whale watching times in Alaska, one might assume you still must bundle up for an excursion like whale watching. You may be a little off the mark here.
Alaska does get into the 80s quite frequently during its summer months, so lighter clothing would be acceptable.
As those sea breezes may get a little chilly, we would suggest you bring lightweight jackets or sweaters with you. Sunscreen is always a must!
Make sure to check whether your tour company provides food, and if not, whether you are allowed to bring some snacks of your own.
YOUR CAMERA! Bring the best equipment you can so you may capture the breathtaking beauty that a great whale watching excursion may bring.
Make sure your equipment can be transported securely, and that you bring extra batteries and storage you will hopefully need them with all the gorgeous shots you are going to get!
Alaska Cruises In September
Treat yourself to a custom Alaska cruise this fall after the kids go back to school. September in Southeast Alaska is when autumn starts to sink in, and just like any other season in Alaska, there are countless reasons to plan a vacation around this time.
Peak tourist season is over by September, so Alaska will once again be quiet as everyone prepares for another long, white winter, including the wildlife.
Black and brown bears will be stuffing themselves in preparation for winter hibernation and migratory birds will be preparing for a long flight south, while other animals are ready to hang in there for the Alaskan winter.
Bald eagles;can be seen flying above or sitting in trees despite the season. Sea otters, sea lions, orcas and Dall porpoise aren’t picky about the weather either.
Alaska experiences some beautiful fall foliage in September, as well. The mountainsides turn beautiful shades of gold and yellow, and the mountains begin to collect snow on their peaks.
As the nights grow darker and longer, there is a very good chance to catch the awe inspiring Aurora Borealis, Alaska’s northern lights. Imagine cruising aboard the Sikumi and looking into the night sky to see dancing curtains and swirls of light.
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Weather During Alaska Cruise In August
One of the major reasons why many dont consider August to be the best time for an Alaskan cruise is because of the rain it brings.
There is a 50% chance of you encountering rain during this month.
A few of your planned visits may get rained out.
The temperature ranges from a high of 17 degrees Celsius to a low of 9 degrees Celsius .
Featured May Cruises To Alaska
Get to Alaska right when the cruise season begins on an Alaska Northbound Glacier Cruise that departs in May from Vancouver, British Columbia. Youll see something new every single day of your cruise in May, from sailing the Inside Passage to visiting Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, and Skagway before ending your cruise in Seward, Alaska, where you might even be able to see some snow on the ground.
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Whats The Best Time To Take An Alaska Cruise
I have taken Alaska cruises during all the major seasons and can promise you that no two are alike, from the weather to the wildlife to the cost of tickets.
Most Alaska cruises run between late April and early September, with peak season in June and July.
Here is what you can expect from each cruising season.
Wildlife Viewing During Alaska Cruise In September
This is the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise if you love wildlife. Bears still congregate around berries and Salmon and are quite a sight.
You will see lots of Moose, Caribou, Goats, and Muskoxen mate in early autumn. Some of them such as the Caribou and Moose also engage in sparring as part of the mating process.
This is also the best time to spot Gray, bowhead and beluga whales migrate along the west coast.
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I Want To See A Particular Whale Type When Do I Go Then
We all have a type of whale that is our favorite much like our favorite breed of dog or cat. The best time to capture a closer look at our favorite mammals of the sea varies from species to species.
For example, a gray whale is best seen in April and May, whereas the smaller Minke whale can be seen between June and September.;
Alaska Cruise Weather In May June And July: What To Expect In The Early Season
If youre wondering how cold Alaska cruises are and whether its better to cruise early or late in the season, youre not alone. Unpredictable Alaska cruise weather has many travelers hesitating over which month to book their sailing.;
Weather in Alaska in September, for cruises, is not much colder than in early June, but is much rainier. Combine this with shorter days, rougher seas, and a decrease in wildlife sightings than you get in the early season, and you see why many travelers opt for spring or summer trips.;
May, June, and July cruises are your best bets for warm, dry days, optimal fishing and wildlife-viewing opportunities, and lots of daylight hours. Check out our guide to Alaska cruise weather for May, June, and July. In addition to monthly stats, discover the other seasonal variations that can help you pick the perfect time to cruise.;
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How Far Off The Alaskan Coast Do Cruise Ships Sail
Most Alaskan cruises travel close to the land as sightseeing the spectacular landscape is a big part of the experience. However, check your itinerary in case of further travel out to sea. If concerned about seasickness, the Gulf of Alaska does get choppy at the end of the season, even being close to shore.
Winter In Alaskadecember Through March
Winters in Alaska can be harsh and beautiful. Weather is extremely cold and storms are severe. Winter activities such as dog sledding, snow shoeing and skiing are possible. A popular attraction during Alaskas winter is viewing the northern lights . Specialty lodges offer comfortable accommodations for hearty travelers willing to brave cold long nights to witness this spectacle of nature.
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Best Price On Alaska Cruises
Carnival Miracle in Tracy Arm, Alaska
As a summertime and family-focused cruise destination, demand is greatest when kids are out of school, so prices start to rise in mid-June, peak in early to mid-July , and begin dropping from late July into August.
The two shoulder seasons, late April and May and September, almost always offer the lowest prices and best promotions.
Pro Tip: For the best price on an Alaskan cruise, youll want to travel early or late in the season.
What Are The Best Months For Wildlife & Activities
Spotting wildlife is always unpredictable in Alaska, but your best bet of getting pics of wildlife ashore is probably late May and early June, when mothers and their calves or cubs tend to be out and about. One exception: If you want to do a bear-watching shore excursion, prime bear season is not until late June or early July.
Denali: If you want to do a land tour that includes the national park, dont come during the May shoulder season. Denali National Park doesnt open up until early June.
Want to fish ashore? Fishing is good during any monththere are just different species of salmon that peak as the weeks go by.
Summer berry-picking on shore is best late in August or early September.
If you want to see fall foliage ashore, wait until the first week of September. It remains good through the third week of September.
Hate mosquitoes? If youre doing a land tour, come during either shoulder season
See a full calendar of Alaskas natural events.
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Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise: Crowds
There are also certain times of the Alaska cruise season that are preferred if you would like to avoid crowds. The busiest time of year for cruises to Alaska usually coincides with warmer weather and summer break. To avoid the crowds, you should skip cruising in the middle of the season, especially July. If you cruise during this time, be prepared to share Alaska with thousands of other cruisers.
If you take an Alaskan cruise during the shoulder seasons, you will not only save money but you will avoid the crowds, especially families. In April/May kids are usually still in school, and they are usually back to school by September. The number of families and kids will of course vary based on the cruise line and cruise ship you choose. Popular mega-ships from brands like Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean will inevitably have more families onboard.
When To Cruise The Alaska Islands
Alaskas long and winding coastline has over 2,600 named islands with diverse landscapes and attractions for a variety of interests. An Alaska Islands cruise will take you to explore a number of these islands, where you can immerse in wildlife spotting, photography, shore excursions and more.
Chicagof Island is a nature lovers paradise. With its plunging fjords, porpoises, whales and the largest population of bears per square meter in the world, its ideal for nature photography.
The Brothers Islands also offer some of the best Alaska Islands wildlife spotting, with more whales, porpoises, sea lions and numerous birds. Be sure to also visit Baranof Island to experience remote communities, hiking and bathing in blissful hot springs.