Thursday, August 11, 2022

When Is The Best Time To Do Alaska Cruise

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What To Do On An Alaskan Cruise

Best and Worst Time to Cruise Alaska

When it comes to planning shore excursions or time in port, youll find more things you must see or do on your Alaska cruise than you have time for.

Flightseeing is a popular activity, either by a floatplane that will soar you over beautiful natural areas or a helicopter that will fly up to the top of a glacier. Dogslide rides or visiting a dogsled training center and playing with the huskies are quintessential Alaska activities. To get more of a glimpse of Alaska culture and lifestyle, get tickets to a lumberjack show, attend a salmon bake, or go on a crab fishing tour.

History buffs will want to explore the states Gold Rush history, either with a local tour of Skagway or a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railroad. Culturally curious cruisers can visit a totem park or see a performance by native Alaskans.

Animal lovers can sign up for a whale watch, visit a bald eagle preserve, or take a tour to observe bears in their natural habitat or at a sanctuary. Active travelers can work up a sweat hiking, kayaking, biking, zip-lining, and even snorkeling in Alaskas wilderness. Gentle rafting and float trips are a less intense way to get outside and bond with nature in this cruise destination.

Dont want to book a tour? Alaskas cruise ports provide plenty of shopping opportunities for souvenirs and locally made crafts. Grab an Alaskan beer at a historic saloon, or try local seafood at any number of portside restaurants.

The Best Time Of Year To Take A Cruise From Seattle To Alaska

    The morning fog peels back from the water’s surface, exposing jagged peaks as the sun turns the steel-grey water of the Inside Passage sapphire blue. A cruise from Seattle to Alaska through the inside passage follows the same routes whales travel in spring and fall, taking you to the foot of towering glaciers and into what many call “The Last Frontier.” Within the short season — extending from May through September — the best time to go depends on your travel style.

    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.

    Read: Alaska Cruise Tips to Make the Most of Your Vacation

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    Alaska Cruise Weather In August

    Like July, nights and early mornings can be very cold, so late nighters and early risers should be prepared to bundle up for icy temperatures. Plenty of layers are also essential in August, and travelers should be sure to pack waterproof jackets, shoes, and bags as August and September are among the rainiest months of the year.

    Best Time To Cruise To Alaska

    Top 8 best cruise ships going to Alaska in 2020

    The Alaska cruise season is short, running mainly from May to September, with a few lines offering sailings in April and October. The best time to cruise varies based on what you prioritize most.

    The best Alaska cruise weather is typically found in June, when the summer rains havent ramped up, but the air temperatures are rising. This is the time when the sun barely sets and its light nearly all day long. July and August are the rainiest months in Alaska and see the most mosquitos September is starting to get chilly, with rougher waters and shorter days.

    May is the best month to see waterfalls and wildflowers. June is when the salmon start to run, and the different species will appear and disappear throughout the cruise season. Denali lodges and the park road open in June, so your best bet for visiting the national park is in July and August for full accessibility and wildlife activity. However, if you want to see baby animals, plan your Alaska visit for May or June.

    The best prices are found in the shoulder seasons: April-May and September-October. The biggest crowds and highest cruise fares come mid-June through mid-August.

    Travelers who want the best shot at viewing the Northern Lights should book a cruise at the very end of the season, and tack on a cruise tour up to Denali and Fairbanks for the greatest potential.

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    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.

    What Shore Excursions Are Available In Alaska Throughout The Cruise Season

    Many of Alaskas most popular activities can be done anytime from May through September, depending on the port of call.

    Glacier viewing is an all-cruise-season activity, with many ways to get to the glacier depending on your preference while in different ports. Biking alongside the glacier, or taking a helicopter to land on top of a glacier, is a memorable and spectacular way to begin a glacier hike.

    Other popular Alaska shore excursions include sea kayaking, rafting, craft beer tasting in town, attending a salmon bake, visiting museums to learn about Alaskan culture and history, and going on local hikes you can access from town.

    For all your Alaska shore excursions, youll want to dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly.

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    Best Overall: Norwegian Cruise Line

    Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

    • Ship Name: Norwegian Bliss
    • Itinerary: Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Victoria

    Norwegian boasts that it has the youngest fleet cruising to Alaska,” and the Norwegian Bliss is NCLs newest ship . Bliss has buzzworthy features like laser tag, a race track on the top deck, and thrilling waterslides that overhang the sides of the ship. The ship has accommodations for every type of cruiser, including solo staterooms and elegant suites in the Haven, a luxurious enclave. Another perk of this cruise is that is sails round-trip from Seattle, so guests can drive or fly into the same port for departure and arrival . Bliss also has a beautiful observation lounge ideal when sailing the Inside Passage.

    Reserve Onboard Activities And Restaurants Early

    Alaska Cruise : 6 Things You Need To Get Right

    Sometimes you can reserve activities and the specialty restaurants on the ship online ahead of time. If you can, do this. If not, look to reserve the moment you get on the ship. Times for the best restaurants and the hottest attractions fill up quickly because they are so popular. Unless you like doing things really early in the day or late at night, reserve as soon as you can.

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    Cost Of Alaska Cruise In September

    This is a low-demand period because the schools have re-opened and families with kids cant go on cruises anymore.

    If you are lucky you may end up grabbing a last-minute Alaska cruise deal from one of the travel agents.

    If cost is a concern for you, this is the best time to go on an Alaskan cruise.

    However, dont leave the booking to last minute because nowadays everybody wants to cut costs by traveling in the shoulder season.

    Grab A Drink At A Saloon

    Whereas the Caribbean has tiki bars, Alaska has saloons. In many Alaskan ports you will find a historic or western-themed saloon. These establishments can be a great place to eat and drink after a shore excursion or relax in before heading back to the ship.

    A popular spot to visit in Juneau is the Red Dog Saloon. The saloon was established in the height of the citys mining era and has been recognized as Juneaus oldest man-made tourist destination. Walking into the saloon is like walking back in time to the early 1900s. The establishment is eclectic, with frontier-themed decor as well as some more funky decor such as a collection of dollar bills and business cards posted on the walls.

    The saloon offers very reasonably priced drinks as well as standard American and Alaskan fare. Make sure to try some of the saloons special drinks, such as the Alaskan Duck Fart shot and draft root beer. Or cozy up with a warm Irish coffee as you listen to live music from a local guitarist.

    Luckily, the Red Dog Saloon is located only a few blocks away from the ship, so if you happen to have a few too many drinks, it wont take very long to get back onboard.

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    Dont Forget To Pack Binoculars

    One thing thats very different from a Caribbean cruise is the scenery on an Alaskan trip. Thats why its always a good idea to pack a pair of binoculars to take in the sites from both the ship and the shore during ports of call. The good news is that a pair of binoculars doesnt have to be big or expensive. You can that wont take up a ton of space in your luggage.

    Alaska Cruises In July

    Best Glaciers On An Alaska Cruise

    The month of July is a great time to enjoy the many things that the Alaskan wilderness has to offer. The sunny days and amazing wildlife activity make July cruises very special indeed.

    What better way to celebrate July 4th than to be aboard the Sikumi experiencing all the beauty Southeast Alaska has to offer.

    Whales have already made their return trip to Alaska from Hawaii by this time, providing a spectacle for passengers.

    Frederick Sound is a favorite spot to visit this time of year, as thousands of whales can be observed bubble net feeding with their babies. Brown and black bears are out and about hunting and fishing for salmon in the streams and rivers of Alaska.

    Wildlife is not the only active part of Alaska in July. Alaska’s glaciers are actually active and alive year-round. But the warmer temperatures of July cause the glaciers to calve and tumble into the sea, which is a powerful and extraordinary force to witness.

    Watch this video from the deck of the M/V Sikumi.

    We will take you as close as humanly possible to these glaciers, so you can see firsthand just how massive the bergs are. Because of the high temperatures, the waters are generally free of debris, allowing some of the closest iceberg viewing of the year.

    All the things you envision Alaska Cruising to be about blooming, colorful wildflowers, lush, majestic mountains and active glaciers and wildlife, are yours to experience during the month of July aboard the Sikumi.

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    The Best Time To Book An Alaskan Cruise

    Book ahead for selection, wait for bargains.

    Conventional wisdom for Alaska cruises is to book a year in advanceparticularly for travelers who want the best selection of sailing dates and cabins during the June/July peak season. Bargain hunters who are more flexible can often snag deals during the Wave booking season in January and February, when cruise bookings for all destinations peak last-minute deals can also be found as late as June.

    Cruise lines tend to price higher for early bookings, with included add-ons like onboard credits or prepaid gratuities to entice buyers. Last-minute offers, on the other hand, are typically cruise-only. It also pays to monitor fares after the initial depositmany cruise lines will honor lower fares after the initial booking as long as the final payment hasnt been made. However, lower fares may not come with the same included amenities originally applied.

    Make Reservations From Your Tv

    We mentioned earlier how important it is to make reservation for the popular restaurants and attractions. You can go down to Guest Services or call from your cabin phone, but if you want many cruise lines offer the ability to make reservations via the television. Its a bit clunky to be honest, but its great for making a reservation late at night when you dont want to go down to Guest Services in your pajamas.

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    When To Cruise The Glacier Bay National Park

    The Glacier Bay National Park is within the Inside Passage and some cruises spend their itinerary focussed on this unique area. The scenery is staggering, as you would expect for the largest UNESCO protected biosphere in the world.

    Glacier Bay National Parkcruises combine wildlife watching with dramatic landscapes, adventurous activities such as paddling a skiff or kayaking, and visiting remote villages. It goes without saying youll be surrounded by glaciers in this national park, with the chance to see huge blocks of ice calving away.

    As with the rest of the Inside Passage, there is plenty of wildlife to see and summer is the best season to visit for warmer temperatures. April to June are usually the driest months, with Glacier Bay experiencing the most rainfall during September and October.

    If you have the chance to visit in winter, there is still plenty to enjoy amidst the cold and foggy landscapes.

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    Taking An Alaska Cruise In May

    9 Best Things To Do On An Alaska Cruise

    With 17 hours of daylight, youll have plenty of time to work with on deck or shore. But you can leave the t-shirts and shorts at home, as the beginning of the Alaska cruise season, temperatures here are just starting to warm with an average high in the mid-50s.

    Youll still need to pack layers, as the nights will be quite chilly, but you might luck out and not need your rain gear, as May is historically Alaskas driest month.

    Cruise prices and excursions will also be lower in May, especially during the first week of the season. You can even find cruises for as low as $100 per day.

    This early season is also a great time to view wildlife as the vegetation has not completely grown in yet, meaning it will be easier to spot animals between the trees.

    Migratory birds should also have begun to arrive, and the fishing season will be just kicking off .

    For those looking to hop on shore and take a hike, you still may encounter some snow on the ground, depending on where you are and at what elevation.

    There are also numerous opportunities to walk on a glacier should you so choose. Just check to see what excursions are available in each port.

    If youre pulling into port in Seward, keep an eye out for Alaskas resident orca whale pods, as May is the best time to spot these locals of Resurrection Bay. Its also your best chance to spot the elusive gray whale before they migrate north to colder waters.

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    Do The Math On Balconies Versus Interior

    If you can afford it, its preferable to sail on a balcony versus and interior cabin. But there is a lot of demand for these rooms and the prices can be significantly higher than an interior cabin. While a balcony is nice, its not like there arent places around the ship to take in the scenery. In other words, if the price difference it outrageous, book the interior cabin, save the cash, and still get to experience 95% of what passengers with a balcony get to see.

    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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    Why Cruise To Alaska

    The 49th U.S. state is home to a beautiful mountainous landscape and an abundance of wildlife, from bald eagles to bears and moose. It possesses a unique Gold Rush history and a vibrant mix of native Alaskan cultures. You wont find this blend of scenery, outdoor pursuits, history, and culture in any other cruise itinerary.

    Plus, many of the Inside Passage ports are tricky to visit by land. For example, Ketchikan is only accessible by air or sea. You cannot visit the breathtaking glaciers of Glacier Bay by car. If you want to explore this region of Alaska, youll need a ship to get there.

    Unlike other cruise destinations, Alaskan ports arent separated by vast swaths of ocean. When you cruise the Inside Passage, the ship is constantly within site of land. Most sea days offer something to see, even if not an official scenic cruising day. Its a different kind of cruise experience, and one many travelers are eager to pursue.

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