When Is The Best Time For Families To Visit Alaska
Summer break, which is peak cruising season, is an ideal time for families to go on an Alaska cruise. Depending on your familys interests, youll want to decide whether to book earlier or later in the season, since there can be a difference in weather and activities between the end of June and mid-August.
Some of the shore excursions you can experience when going on an Alaska cruise with kids include hiking the Tongass forest, whale-watching tours, kayaking, and learning about Tlingit culture.
Aim for the week right after school ends or the week before school begins if youd like to get there just ahead of the most crowded part of peak season. A cruise to Alaska is an unforgettable summer family vacation experience your kids will cherish forever.
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Holland America Line’s Zuiderdam returned to service today from Port of San Diego in California, the second Holland America ship to resume service in San Diego since the industrywide pause. Zuiderdam’s crew celebrated the return in holiday spirit with sleighbells ringing and Santa and his elves on hand to open embarkation and welcome guests back on board.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To Avoid Crowds
Shoulder season is also the best time to go on an Alaska cruise if you prefer fewer crowds while exploring the historical and cultural aspects of Alaskan cities and towns.
Shore excursions are easier to book, so take full advantage of roomier whale-watching cruises and less crowded restaurants.
Schools are still in session in May and September, so fewer families are traveling. Also, many cruise passengers prefer to travel to Alaska in the warmer weather, so crowds on both sea and land tend to thin out.
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Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In July
- Looking for warm weather? July is Alaskas hottest month, with daytime temperatures ranging between 50-70 degrees and 18-19 hours of daylight.
- If youre planning an arctic cruise, prepare for cooler weather, as the temperature up north dips down to 33-45 degrees. Also pack an eye mask for sleeping, as arctic cruises enjoy nearly 24 hours of daylight.
- Grizzlies, black bears, and mountain goats dot the landscape. In the sea, humpback whales and otters splash about, and overhead you can spot millions of migrating shorebirds.
- For the anglers, July is spawning season for salmon, making it perfect for fishing trips.
Alaska State Fair. Photo by Matt Hage/State of Alaska.
The Best Months For An Alaska Cruise For Good Weather
The weather in Alaska can, and will, change multiple times per day, but you will find the warmest months to be June, July and August.
The median months will see higher temperatures and longer days for touring, and it represents the limited summer that Alaska enjoys. However, July and August tend to also have higher levels of precipitation.
If you do book a cruise during summer, be sure to plan your shore excursions well in advance to avoid tours selling out.
If you are willing to trade warmth for less precipitation, then go for May. In fact, the end of May and the beginning of June offers some of the best weather in the region throughout the year.
If you want to see snow on the ground, May is the best month for that.
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Alaska Cruise Weather: May
Alaska cruise temperatures in May average lows around 40 and highs around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. May tends to be slightly rainier than June and July, with a slight chance of snow earlier in the month.
Ketchikan averages 16 hours of daylight in May youll get even longer days as you travel north to Anchorage, and still more if you take a cruise tour up to Fairbanks. However, daylight hours in May are a few hours shorter than what youll experience if you travel around the spring equinox in late June.
Expect to see plenty of snow-capped peaks in May. If you travel up into the hills or mountains on a shore excursion, its common to find snow still on the ground. Youll want to pack waterproof hiking boots and warm, waterproof layers to handle any wet or chilly spring weather.
Mosquitos are not the problem in May that they are in the summer, so you dont have to worry about pesky insects. On the other hand, if youre planning a cruise tour, Denali National Park bus service doesnt begin until late May, and the road through the park is only partially open until early June.
May is the beginning of the salmon-fishing, whale-watching, and wildlife-viewing seasons, though you can spot whales and go fishing any time during the Alaska cruise season. Late May and early June are considered the best for seeing mammals, as moms and babies are out searching for food.
If Youre Interested In Wildlife Viewing
In addition to having the warmest temperatures, June and July are the best months to see the humpback whales when they migrate to Alaskas Inside Passage. But as long as nature parks and trails are on your itinerary, you can pretty much count on spotting wildlife from late May through mid-September. Angling to get an up-close look at a grizzly bear? Take a guided tour into Denali National Park and keep your eyes peeled for these solitary giants along rivers and among blueberry bushes, where they like to feast. In Ketchikans Tongass National Forest the largest national forest in the country be on the lookout for deer, seals, black bears and bald eagles. And in Skagway, you can mingle with a playful team of huskies and take part in the traditional practice of dog sledding, still Alaskas state sport.
When planning your Alaska trip, youll find endless activities to choose from that will let you view the wildlife up close. A whale watching tour in Sewards Kenai Fjords National Park, where youll also encounter brightly colored puffins and spirited sea otters, is a favorite. A ride on a flightseeing plane will give you an eagles-eye view of these cold-weather critters in their natural habitats. And if youre up for a little exercise, hop in a kayak and paddle into the icy waters of Glacier Bay National Park to watch as mother seals drop their babies off at floating icebergs while they hunt for lunch.
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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.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To See The Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, Latin for morning light coming from the North, are one of the worlds most amazing sights.
If youre hoping to see the Northern Lights on your cruise, the best time to cruise Alaska is the last part of the shoulder season, late September. With days beginning to shorten and the nights getting longer, a September cruise itinerary offers the last possibility of the year.
You can also book an Alaska cruisetour with an optional Evening Aurora Pursuit excursion in Fairbanks that offers the best chance to see this spectacle of light.
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When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska For Maximum Daylight
Imagine being able to enjoy Alaskas incredible natural beauty during days of near-continuous sunlight. With so much daylight, you can enjoy all the best Alaska shore excursions, from biking alongside the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau to hiking in the Tongass National Forest.
If you want to experience the phenomenon of sunlit nights for yourself, the best time to go to Alaska on a cruise is right around the Summer Solstice in the second half of June. This is the time when days are longest in the entire Northern Hemisphere.
What Is The Best Month To Cruise Alaska 2020
Every summer, the hot beating rays of the Caribbean appeal to most cruise-goers. But after taking several Caribbean cruises and/or coping with the melting temperatures of your home state, youâre probably looking for a change of pace â your own icy getaway.
Or maybe youâve grown accustomed to your hometownâs snow capped mountains and zipping up your winter coat. But youâve always dreamed of getting close enough to see the Northern Lights and the fascinating wildlife that roams even farther north.
Regardless of where you live and where youâve cruised , youâll likely find your own pocket of serenity when you cruise Alaska in 2020.
From awe-inspiring glaciers to up-close views of wildlife to quaint neighborhoods and towns, Alaska wonât just become another destination to tick off your bucket list â itâll create memories for a lifetime.
But before you book that cruise, youâre probably wondering what the best month is to cruise Alaska in 2020. That answer depends on what intrigues you about Americaâs Last Frontier.
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Best Month To Cruise To Alaska
A message from Cruise Critic: During this unprecedented time throughout the world and across the cruise industry, it is important to note that article information might be impacted by cruise line hiatuses and port closures due to COVID-19. For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated article on what cruisers need to know about coronavirus.
The Alaska cruise season is five months long — from May to September — but not all Alaska cruises are created equal. From one week to the next, summer in the Last Frontier can see noticeable differences in weather, cruise pricing and what’s in season. Whether you’re looking to find some savings or spot bears, catch a king salmon or plenty of daylight, you’ll have to book accordingly.
To help you set the right expectations for your Alaska adventure and pick the best month to cruise, Cruise Critic breaks the Alaska cruise season down by month and compares nine elements to consider during a cruise there.
A few things to note:
Hours of daylight are rounded to the nearest hour and calculated by the average seen in the city of Anchorage daylight hours in the port city of Seward are always slightly less. Temperatures are measured in degrees Fahrenheit and are based on Southcentral Alaska ports, which include Anchorage, Seward and Whittier temperatures will vary in other areas of the vast state.
Best Large Cruise: Royal Caribbean
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
- Ship: Ovation of the Seas
- Duration: 7 nights
- Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
If youre looking for a cruise to Alaska with all the theme-park-like attractions, then the Ovation of the Seas will not disappoint. Built in 2016, Ovation is currently ranked as one of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world with onboard features like a skydiving simulator, a cocktail bar tended by robots, aerial performances in the theater, and the North Star, a moving observation pod with surreal views. The first two days of the voyage are spent at sea so theres plenty of time to explore the ship and try different activities. Or, dine at specialty restaurants like Chops Grille, Royal Caribbeans iconic steakhouse Wonderland, an eclectic array of dishes, or Giovannis table, a favorite Italian restaurant.
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The 8 Best Alaska Cruises Of 2021
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“Airport transfers, shore excursions, meals, wine and spirits, and park admission is bundled into the price.”
Best for Adventure: Alaskan Dream Cruises See Rates
“Excursions focus on local culture such as totem carvings, folk dances, and other Tlingit cultural presentations.”
Alaska Cruise Guide: Planning Tips And Best Cruise Itineraries
Most people equate cruising with tropical destinations. Why would anyone cruise to chilly, rainy Alaska, where you might be wearing fleece jackets and knit hats and gloves in July?
Look beyond the iffy weather, and youll find many reasons to cruise Alaska. Perhaps youre drawn to the gorgeous scenery, the areas cultural and historic riches, or its abundant wildlife. With a variety of itineraries, cruise ships, destinations, and activities to consider, no two cruises to Alaska will be the same. However, first-timers can easily become overwhelmed choosing the best Alaska cruise itinerary or picking the perfect cruise line or cruise tour.
In our definitive Alaska cruise, well take you through everything you need to know to choose and plan the Alaska cruise vacation of your dreams.
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The Best Alaska Cruise Ports And Choosing The Right Itinerary For You
Thinking about setting sail for Alaska? Not sure which itinerary to choose? This article is all about the highlights and best Alaska cruise ports to help you !
This article doesnt include a review of different cruise ship companies, rather it is information about the ports you may visit and how to decide based on whats most important to you. Great news to get started you really cant go wrong here as all the Alaska ports of call are interesting and different in their own ways and all are surrounded by life affirming natural beauty!
Ill also talk about how to decide between a cross gulf cruise or inside passage only , a big ship or small ship and options for scenic cruising around glaciers. I spent seven seasons working in the Alaska cruise industry and have visited all of these ports multiple times and even lived in two of them, so Im excited to share my insider knowledge with you!
- Other ports and Disembarkation ports
- What to pack for an Alaskan Cruise
When Is The Best Time To Cruise Alaska
A full guide on when is the best time to cruise Alaska. Providing travel tips and making sure cruisers get to see destinations like Ketchikan and Juneau.
Alaska is a fascinating place to cruise, packed with towering mountains, vast wilderness areas and unparalleled wildlife encounters. There are numerous icy fjords and lush forests to cruise, plus bright blue glaciers and an abundance of marine life passing you by. With thousands of islands, bustling cities and a rich history to boot, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Whilst many people cruise Alaska in summer, the best time really depends on where you want to go and what you want to see. Alaskas diverse cruise destinations have seasonal highlights for different cruising interests throughout the year. Read on to find out more.
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Ketchikan Overall Runner Up And Best For Shopping And Totem Poles
Ketchikan is a very close second for me for the top spot as the best Alaska cruise port! Juneau gets a slight edge from me as I mentioned above for the number of hiking trails that are easy to get to from the cruise ship dock. Like Juneau, Ketchikan is relatively easy to get around on your own and has a bus system that takes you to most places.
Ketchikan also has excellent shore excursions, particularly to Misty Fjords National Monument, and its a great place for fishing trips.
One of the best things about Ketchikan is its impressive number of totem poles. There are several you can see downtown, including at the entrance to Creek Street, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and the Totem Heritage Center. To see and learn even more, take an excursion offered by your ship to either Totem Bight National Historical Park or Saxman Totem Park.
This is the best Alaska cruise port for shopping, with delightful Creek Street and the streets surrounding it offering up more local art and gifts than many other ports . Make sure to visit Crazy Wolf Studio, which is Alaska Native owned and features Native art from across the northwest coast. In addition, I highly recommend the Captains Lady, with lots of locally made items as well as Ray Trolls studio.
Featured June Cruises To Alaska
Experience the wonders of Endicott Arm Fjord and Dawes Glacier on the gorgeous Celebrity Solstice on a to Alaska. This popular itinerary sails roundtrip from Seattle, Washington.
Along the way, youll stop in the Alaskan port towns of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. As you sail through Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier, relax on your private veranda and admire the stunning landscapes.
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Better Pricing And More Value
Not only do you get a much better selection of staterooms and itineraries, but most cruise lines offer early booking discounts that are usually coupled with value-adds such as drink packages, onboard credits and free upgrades.Plus, with many cruise lines offering reduced deposits you can lock in the low cruise price and get the cabin that is right for you and a cruise experience you will never forget!
How To Choose The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska
Alaska. The land of adventure. The land of rugged beauty. The combination of majestic glaciers, wilderness, mountains and wildlife make it a once-in-a-lifetime vacation of discovery for many.
Although visitors travel to Alaska year-round the Alaska cruise season begins in May and ends in September – creating limited availability. Learn more about when to book your Alaska cruise, and how to choose the best time to visit the 49th state of wonder.
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