Friday, May 17, 2024

When Can You Cruise To Alaska

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So Lets Pack In Layers

Alaska Cruise Watch Outs. 8 Things Brochures Don’t Tell You!

First of all, I think you should pack and bring layers of clothes to wear. Of course, you should bring a jacket. However, many people forget that it is best to dress in layers. Basically you will need a comfortable base layer. A base layer serves as a way to keep you warm when it is cold outside.

I always bring one top and one bottom ski layer to wear underneath my clothes. This keeps me warm and can be worn several times during my Alaskan cruise trip. I could also go in the bathroom if it gets too hot and remove the under layer. We layered our clothing and took off different things at different times dependent upon the weather.

Pro tip: From outfits to binoculars to toiletries, and everything in between, we detailed our Complete Alaska Cruise Packing Guide to help eliminate your pre-cruise stress.

My husband gets cold, so he wore a warm layer of North Face branded clothing to keep himself warm and a light jacket. Be sure and check out the Foggy Mountain Shop in Juneau, Alaska as they have plenty of North Face branded gear. Too bad I dont have any affiliate links for them!

Pros And Cons Of A One

Seasonal one-way cruises sail either southbound from Seward or Whittier in Alaska or northbound from Vancouver. The biggest benefit of starting or ending your cruise in Alaska is that you can plan a pre- or post-cruise trip or tour into the state’s interior, since cruising only shows you a small slice of America’s biggest state. One-way itineraries typically have two days of scenic cruising and tend to spend more time in Alaskan ports, often with no calls in Canada. Many lines also offer one-way repositioning cruises to Alaska, so if you don’t mind sailing early or late in the season, you can choose from longer itineraries or find one-ways from ships that normally only offer round trips.

Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise

If you are planning a cruise to Alaska, you should consider these factors when determining the Best Time of Year to Take an Alaskan cruise.

Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations. For many, visiting Alaska is on their bucket list. While Alaska might not be what you first picture when you think of a cruise, a cruise is actually the easiest way to visit this region. Unlike Caribbean cruises though, Alaska is a seasonal cruise port. So, WHEN you visit the area is important. There are actually several factors to consider when determining the Best Time of Year to Take an Alaskan cruise. The answer to this question is not as clear cut as you might think.

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When Is The Alaska Border In British Columbia Open

Skagway AK / Fraser British Columbia: This port of entry has seasonal times to be aware of, from April to October it is open 24 hours, from November to March the border crossing is open 8am to Midnight. Hyder AK / Stewart British Columbia: The only USA border crossing that does not conduct border inspection entering from Stewart BC to Hyder Alaska.

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Cruise lines have been rolling out their itineraries to try to squeeze in a few months of the traditional summer season of sailing Alaska, but the companies still await final approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one presidents signature.

The announcements include plans to sail with fully vaccinated passengers from Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and Princess Cruises.

Cruise lines needed two things for this to happen. First, the federal government had to bend the rules to allow foreign-registered vessels to sail from U.S. ports without having to also visit a foreign port. Most cruise lines are registered to other countries like Panama or the Bahamas.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced at a press conference Monday that President Joe Biden will sign the Alaska Tourism Recovery Act, which waives that requirement, and would allow ships to sail out of places like Seattle and up to Alaska without having to make a stop in Canada. Canada has a cruise ship ban in place until February 2022.

This law will allow large cruise ships to visit Alaska this year, a critical step to returning to normal in a state where one in 10 jobs is in the tourism industry, Psaki said.

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Both the House and Senate passed the bill and sent it the presidents way last Thursday.

The Alaska window, though, has cruise executives ready to take advantage of what they can.

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When To Visit Alaska On A Cruise

Cruise season in Alaska begins in May and ends in September. The schedule sometimes includes a few sailings in late April or early October as well.

There are only minor differences in;weather by month. Temperatures are warmest in July and August, but even in May you can expect temperatures in the mid-50 and mid-60s. Anchorage is also much drier than other parts of Alaska, the wettest month, August, only still only averages about 10 rainy days. You might also find a little extra elbow room and a few deals in May, early June and September.

Late summer sailings have one other tantalizing prospect: by late August, the skies of Alaska are once again dark during the night. That means;aurora viewing;is a possibility.

Featured July Cruises To Alaska

Choose a longer vacation that lets you soak up the warmer weather that July is known for in Alaska. The Grand Heartland Adventure Cruisetour combines a 7-night Alaska cruise with seven days of touring the inland area of Alaska through Denali National Park and up into Fairbanks. You can also choose tours tailored to your interests during your .

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Royal Caribbean And Celebrity Cruises To Sail In July With Covid Vaccine Requirement

Royal Caribbean Group announced Friday that its cruise lines Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises will plan to sail from Seattle to Alaska on round-trip itineraries starting in July. Celebrity set a date of July 23, but other restart dates were not specified.;

All passengers over 16 will be required to have been vaccinated to board the sailings. Starting Aug. 1, every passenger over age 12 will be required to be fully vaccinated to board.

We are so pleased that Congress unanimously voted to pass legislation enabling cruise ships to sail to Alaska this season,” Richard D.;Fain, Royal Caribbean Group chairman and CEO, said in the announcement.

Alaskan Cruise Packing List

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For the caribbean cruises is seems ALL you need is a bathing suit, cover-up, a few pair of shorts and some flip flops with sunglasses and you would be set to have a good time. But with the alaskan weather in the summer season, I assumed we were going to have cold weather. I also thought we might have a few cold couple of days with rain. As, the temperatures could easily swing more than 25 degrees, so I wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. But I got lucky and we had good weather!

In fact, I ventured to bring a lot of things dependent upon the Alaska weather. Every day in Alaska can be like a completely different day. You might have sunny days, warm days, rainy days, cold wind, or even snowy days you just dont know what you will experience in Alaska until you get there.

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What Is An Alaska Inside Passage Cruise

Sawyer Glacier as seen from Seabourn Sojourn.

The Inside Passage, also sometimes called the Inner Passage by cruise novices, is the primary route for ships between Seattle, Vancouver, and all points north in Alaska.

Virtually all cruises that travel to or from Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia cruise this series of protected fjords and other waterways carved by glaciers thousands of years ago.

Typically, a cruise listed as an Inside Passage sailing travels roundtrip from either Vancouver or Seattle.

But even Gulf of Alaska cruises or one-way sailings between Anchorage and Vancouver also sail much of the Inside Passage when they arent in open water.

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Some people refer to these routes as an Outside Passage cruise, but thats not really an accurate description.

A rare sailing may take the true Outside Passage, or the open Pacific waters between Seattle or Vancouver and the first port in Alaska, but its extremely uncommon and not typically marketed with that term.

Chances are, if youre cruising in Alaska, rest assured youll be sailing the Inside Passage.

Featured September Cruises To Alaska

Increase your chances of seeing fall foliage on an Alaska Southbound Glacier Cruise itinerary that sails from Seward, Alaska down to British Columbia. The northern ports youll visit along the way may already be showing signs of autumn, and by beginning in Alaska, you can enjoy a couple of days before your embarks to explore on land when the first signs of the impending Alaskan winter are just starting to show.

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Canada Extends Ban On Cruise Ships

However, that optimism came to a crashing halt yesterday.

The Canadian Minister of Transport announced new interim orders extending the ban on cruise ships that was set to expire at the end of this month. Specifically, the new orders apply to cruise vessels in all Canadian waters now until February 28, 2022. This applies to cruise vessels carrying more than 100 people.

As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canadas transportation system remains safe. Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do.

In addition, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside Canada until further notice.

Many Alaskan cruise itineraries do depart from Vancouver, British Columbia. Though, many also complete round-trip cruises from Seattle and one-way itineraries to and from Alaska ports.

So, why is this Canadian travel ban such a big deal?

Can The 2021 Alaska Cruise Season Still Happen

Alaska Cruises You Can Take Summer 2021

With Canada’s ban on cruise ships, this has many of us questioning if the 2021 Alaska Cruise Season can still happen. What do you think?

UPDATE: The 2021 Alaska cruise season can and WILL happen with a new waiver!

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While many were already skeptical about the 2021 Alaska Cruise Season, the Canadian Government delivered another shocking blow to the cruise industry yesterday. Essentially, the Canadian Minister of Transport updated travel orders now banning cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This has many of us questioning if the 2021 Alaska Cruise Season can still happen.

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Royal Caribbeans Ovation Of The Seas

  • Sailing Fridays August 13 to September 10, 2021
  • 7 night cruises visiting Juneau, Skagway, Sitka, Icy Strait Point, and scenic cruising at Endicott Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier
  • Requirements: Passengers 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Underage passengers will be tested for COVID-19 prior to sailing.

The North Star observation capsule on Ovation of the Seas

Important Items We Packed For Our Alaska Packing List:

  • Fleece jacket or warm jacket
  • Waterproof jacket or ski jacket
  • Warm hat, scarf
  • Ski socks or wicking socks
  • Good pair of comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots
  • Binoculars Alaska is know for a wide range of animals, so binoculars are a great idea to bring with you. From the ships deck, you can get some great advantage points with binoculars.;

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Norwegian To Resume Cruises In With Covid Vaccine Required

Norwegian, which announced a vaccine requirement for all passengers and crew on all of its ships in April,;expressed its commitment to safety and to working with the CDC when ticket sales were announced.

“We remain optimistic that by working with the CDC and local port and government authorities in the destinations we visit that we will be able to resume safe cruising in the U.S. this summer,” a Norwegian Cruise Line spokesperson said to Alaska’s News Source;on Tuesday.

Tickets are on sale for Alaska itineraries on the company’s Norwegian Bliss ship;starting;Aug. 7 through the end of the season sailing from Seattle, according to a news;release shared Monday. The statement from the cruise line did not specify what the end of the season would be. In the past, ships have visited southeast Alaska into September.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Why Is Alaska Cruise Demand So High

Alaska cruise mistakes to avoid!

The North American cruise industry has been on hiatus for more than a year because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hope that it could see a return by this summer is starting to dwindle as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drags its feet on next steps.

Alaska has been hit especially hard, given that 10% of the states jobs are tied to tourism and the fact that it faces more barriers to reopening than other destinations.

Alaskas reputation for bucket-list scenery, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and get away from it all wilderness vibes make it a popular destination under normal circumstances. But pent-up travel demand and barriers preventing many cruise ships from returning have made it even more desirable and exclusive.

Below, weve outlined the hurdles Alaska faces, whats currently being done to overcome them and which cruise lines are still making the rounds in the Last Frontier this year.

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Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise: Weather

The first factor you will want to consider when planning your Alaskan cruise is the weather.;Dont let all those beautiful pictures of Southeastern Alaska fool you. Unfortunately, the summer months in Alaska are not always bright and sunny. In fact, the weather during the Alaskan cruise season tends to be rather wet.

A benefit of traveling earlier in the season is the reduced precipitation. Historically, May is the driest month of the cruise season. Less rain is good, but the weather also tends to be cooler earlier in the season.

If you are looking for the warmest weather, then you will want to sail mid-July to mid-August. Still, temperature swings in one day of 25 degrees will not be uncommon. You could wake up to freezing temperatures and be in the mid 60s by late afternoon.

There is also the longest daylight hours during the months of June and July. During this time of year, the sun doesnt set until around 10 pm. These extended periods of light make viewing the surrounding scenery sailing in and out of ports even more appealing.

Taking into consideration the average temperatures, rainfall amounts, and hours of daylight, the best time of year to go on an Alaskan Cruise is the month of July. However, with this optimal weather comes increased crowds and increased price. Not to mention, popular tours and shore excursions will fill up quickly.

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Where Do Alaska Cruises Depart From

Roundtrip Alaska sailings typically depart from Seattle or Vancouver, but also California cities like San Francisco. These sailings typically follow an Inside Passage itinerary.

Cruises also regularly depart from either Seward or Whittier, both Alaska ports accessible a short drive from Anchorage. These one-way sailings usually follow the Gulf of Alaska, also known as a cross-gulf cruise. These cruises might call on some Inside Passage stops, but also ports farther north.

Most cruisetours will begin or end in Anchorage, where the primary and central airport is.

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Cruise Ships That Are Sailing In Alaska This Summer

Thanks to the bipartisan support in the passing of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, cruise lines are now moving full speed ahead with planning Alaska cruises beginning in July 2021.

Norwegian Bliss in Seattle

To operate these cruises without first sailing test voyages required under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions Conditional Sailing Order, cruise lines are requiring all eligible passengers to present proof of vaccination to sail. Currently, vaccinations in the United States are only available to kids 12 and over.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity will allow younger passengers to cruise if they present a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding. Carnival, Holland America, Norwegian, and Princess, however, are requiring all passengers to be fully vaccinated, meaning children under 12 will not be able to sail at all.

Glacier Bay National Park

These cruises also might be the best time for passengers who are less fond of sailing with kids to embark on ships that will be devoid of the youngest passengers, and likely have fewer teenagers than a typical summer voyage. And, due to the much later than normal start to the Alaska season, ships will be sailing later into September and even October than is typically the case. For those wanting to experience a cooler, drier Alaska by cruise, this year also presents a unique opportunity.

Here are all the ships currently scheduled to sail to Alaska in Summer 2021.


The Best Time For An Alaska Cruise To Avoid Crowds

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The Alaska cruise season runs between May and September, but there are definite;ebbs and flows to demand and crowds in the ports you will visit.

If you are looking for the months with the lowest crowds in Alaska, try for May or September.; These are the “shoulder season” months, which is when the season begins and ends, and is when you will find less people vying for a cruise.;

Moreover, going during May or September is also when most kids are still in school, which means families are unable to cruise during this period.

The downside to these months is the weather tends to be the most unpredictable, and that can be an issue with possibly impacting your shore excursions.; Most notably helicopter and boat excursions are the most at risk.

Read more:;What is the best time to cruise to Alaska?

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