Monday, May 27, 2024

When To Go On An Alaskan Cruise

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When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska To Avoid Crowds

9 Best Things To Do On An Alaska Cruise

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

Checking The Weather Before Your Trip

Many travelers incessantly check the daily weather in Alaska as their trip approaches. We advise you to resist this temptation, it will only drive you crazy. Local forecasts in Alaska are astoundingly inaccurate and weather changes by the hour. Checking daily forecasts does little to help you prepare.

Stick to the broad guidelines above and as previously stated, follow the advice of your packing lists. Checking the weather before your Alaska trip will only serve to frustrate your preparations and offers little insight into what conditions will be like when you arrive.

Bring A Deck Of Cards

Celebrity Cruises Stateroom

Encourage the kids with good old-fashioned pleasures. In between exploring the ports of call, there will be downtime at sea, and this is a great time to finally teach the kids to play hearts, euchre, or even bridge. Your ship will also have chess and other board games available.

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Some Cruise Lines Are Way Cheaper Than Others

No one would argue otherwise that some cruise lines offer higher luxury or nicer ships than others. But if youre most interested in seeing Alaska and not the ship then most cruise lines offer similar routes. In other words, you can see the same sites as someone paying double or triple what you paid by going with a cheaper line. In particular weve found Holland America has fares that are surprisingly inexpensive compared to rivals.

Featured May Cruises To Alaska

Alaska Cruise Updates: 2020 Must

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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Mosquito Repellent Is Your Friend

You might not realize it, but mosquitoes are as big a nuisance in Alaska during the summer as they are in the southern United States. The area receives a lot of rainfall, making it a playground for the insects. In other words, be sure you pack mosquito spray to keep your day from turning into an itchy nightmare.

Visit A Sled Dog Camp

Another popular shore excursion, Skagway and are home to some of the states most prestigious young learners: sled dog puppies. Come meet the dogs training to be future Iditarod champions and try out mushing yourself . And then of course meet and cuddle with the puppies, and try your hardest not to sneak them back on the ship with you.

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Dont Forget Cruise Insurance

Think of all the recent headlines ships getting tossed around the Norwegian coast, unfortunate incidents with planes in Alaska and thats not to mention the everyday occurrences like missing a flight or getting hurt or sick. If youre taking any vacation, but especially a trip to remote regions like Alaska, getting insurance for your trip is a no-brainer.

What To Pack For An Alaskan Cruise On Months

Alaska cruise mistakes to avoid!

What to pack for an Alaskan cruise in late May Alaska cruise starts from May. Its still cold, and thats why Alaska packing list can be heaviest. You can add extra thermal tops and leggings. And yet, its still fewer tourists around. The atmosphere gets less touristy.

What to pack for Alaska cruise in June the best time for an Alaskan cruise can be June. Its the driest month. June 21 is the summer solstice. Its the longest day of the year. The weather is stable and is getting much warmer. Its just before the summer holiday season and hence before the cruise prices get higher. Bring insect repellent if you plan hiking.

What to pack for Alaska cruise in July its the best time of a year to cruise Alaska. Its summer. July is the peak holiday season. Its typically the warmest month of the summer. You do not need to add extra tops and leggings. Insect repellent and a hat are mus-items to take.

What to wear in Alaska in August its summer, and the daylight is still long. Its a beautiful month and is the hottest month. Waterproof jacket and shoes are the must item to bring with you. August tends to be the start of the rainy season.

Weather in Alaska in September for a cruise its the end of summer and is getting colder as same as May. It is still a nice season because things are much less touristy. Add extra thermal tops and leggins.

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What Should I Wear On An Alaskan Cruise

I really recommend you pack everything and anything you think you might need. Bring your swimsuits and lighter clothes .

But also make sure you bring plenty of col weather outfits. The days out at sea are bitter cold. So even sitting on your balcony requires multiple layers. And if you decide to do an excursion like a helicopter ride to a glacier thatll be really cold too.

And finally, dont forget your formal wear. There are usually 2 formal nights that require almost like a wedding-guest look. But even on normal nights, you have to follow a dress code to eat in the dining rooms .

You can see more specific outfit ideas and seeing exactly what I packed for our Alaskan cruise.

More On Cruising From Seattle

Getting to the Port of Seattle Transportation options from airports and the Seattle;area to the cruise port. Everything you need to know to get to the port and start your vacation.

Seattle;Cruise Parking Parking at the port? Weve got you covered with all your parking options, including costs and discounts.

Dropping Off at the Port Dropping off passengers? Not sure where to go once you get to the port? We have turn-by-turn directions to find your cruise terminal.

Seattle;Cruise Hotels Getting in late? Leaving early? Simply need a place to rest your head? Weve rounded up the options for places to stay near the port.

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Best And Worst Months To Cruise To Alaska

The best time to cruise to Alaska depends on both warm temperatures and a lower risk of rain.

Historically, July has ideal combination of the two, followed by June and then August. Rainfall is usually lowest in May and climbs steadily until reaching the highest point in September. May is ideal for rain but not for temperatures, which are often quite a bit cooler.

The best time to visit Alaska certainly isnt the winter, but winter is a great time to plan the trip.

The majority of Alaskan cruises run between May and September. July and August are the most active cruise months, according to scheduled cruises on major travel booking websites. July and August also have the warmest temperatures.

Average high temperatures can reach into the mid 60s Fahrenheit or high teens Celsius along the Alaskan coast during the summer months of June through August. On a good day, they will climb into the 70s as they did on >our first Alaskan cruise .

They reach the mid to upper 50s Fahrenheit or low teens Celsius during May and September, according to historical records from the U.S. National Weather Service. Because of these cooler temperatures, fewer cruises are available in either month.

Despite temperatures in that are similar to July and August, June usually has fewer cruises.

Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise: Price

Alaskan Cruises Group Cruising

Alaska cruise fares fluctuate considerably depending on a few factors. Pricing can range widely depending on the cruise line, ship, itinerary, and time of year.

The Alaskan cruise season generally runs from late April/early May through the end of September. As with most seasonal;cruise regions, the shoulder season is when prices tend to be the lowest.;For those looking to save money, the best time of year to take an Alaskan cruise would be either early in the season or late in the season. Besides having lower fares, you will have greater choices for cabins and can score the perfect mid-ship balcony at a reduced cost.

If you travel towards the end of the season, you may be able to score some great deals on souvenirs too as many of the local shops run sales to get rid of merchandise before closing for the season. Another perk of sailing in September is that;you will have a chance at seeing the Northern Lights. On our September cruise, we were told to be on the lookout for the Northern Lights on two separate nights, but we never did see them.

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No Marijuana Isnt Legal On The Ship

Sailing from Seattle to Alaska? One quirk is that recreational marijuana is legal in both states. However, its a bad idea to bring it on the ship and is against the rules. Cruise ships follow federal law, which says pot is illegal. Plus, the ship travels internationally, making it an even worse idea to bring marijuana or CBD oil. Instead, just enjoy in port if you want to partake and leave the rest on land.

Sail On A Ship With Lots Of Indoor Things To Do

So much of taking an Alaskan cruise is about the scenery, but you cant spend all your hours outside watching nature go by. Thats why its a good idea to book a ship that has a lot of indoor activities and things to do. Given that the weather in Alaska can be rainy and cool, indoor things to do give you a chance to have fun while also staying out of the weather. In general you can find a lot more to do on the bigger and newer ships say those built in the past 10 years.

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Temperature & Daylight Hours

For the warmest temperatures, cruise between mid-June and mid-August.

For the most Midnight Sun, come 3 weeks before or after the summer solstice and longest day of the year, June 21.

Want to see the northern lights? Thats a long shot during cruising season. It does get dark enough at night to see them by the second week of September, but it’s still not as brilliant as what youll see on a winter, land-based Alaska aurora viewing vacation.

Alaska Cruises In June

What to expect on an Alaskan Cruise

Of the few warm summer months in Alaska, June has the longest days all year, with summer solstice falling on the 20th. Southeast Alaska experiences daylight nearly around the clock in June, making it a good time to see everything there is to see on an Alaskan cruise.

Wildlife is visibly abundant, with whales making their journey back into Alaskan waters from Hawaii. There is a heavy concentration of humpback whales in Southeast Alaskan waters during the summer months, and it is not uncommon to see them feeding with their young.

There are also grey whales, orcas, Dall porpoise, seals, sea lions and sea otters inhabiting the area where the Sikumi cruises. And look ashore for black and brown bears who are in full swing for summer, hunting and fishing for food.

Summer solstice is an exciting time all over Alaska, so make plans to visit a town or festival before or after your custom Alaska cruise on the Sikumi.

“Our adventure was close to its end… I could feel the nostalgia growing inside me. I would miss this boat and her crew. Our once-in-a-lifetime experience was their routine, and I couldn’t help but envy them.”

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What Is The Weather Like On An Alaskan Cruise

The weather really can vary greatly. When we left Seattle, it was 88 degrees and sunny. We spent embarkation day in our swimsuits, drinking fruity cocktails by the pool and even got a great tan.

But by the time we woke up the next morning, we were FREEZING. When you are out at sea, its cold. And then that can change greatly again when you get to port . We walked around in short sleeved shirts all day in Ketchikan, but then froze our butts off sailing the same afternoon on the ship.

So when people say dress in layers DRESS IN LAYERS! And dont be afraid to pack a wide variety of warm and cold weather gear. Which brings me to

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.

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Is An Alaskan Cruise Mostly For Old People

They sure are. BUT they are for kids and young adults and everyone in between too. While the crowd is a bit older then a Caribbean cruise, there were also plenty of young couple and families aboard our cruise with Princess Cruise Lines.

We decided to make this an adults-only trip but every step of the way we kept saying The kids would LOVE this! There is so much to do on the ship and tons of excursions that work for any age group. And cmon, show me one kid who wouldnt be excited getting a sled dog ride and then holding puppies at the sled camp? Yeah I thought so!

Get Serious About Wildlife Spotting

Princess Cruises celebrates 50 years of Alaska sailings ...

If you play your cards right, an Alaskan cruise is the perfect time to spot the Alaskan Big 5: moose, bears, Dall sheep, caribou, and gray wolves . There are also plenty of options to see Orca whales, dolphins, seals, humpback whales, and bald eagles. Wildlife spotting is better in the summer, but you can still see some awesome animals in September and beyond. Whales and dolphins are often swimming alongside cruise ships, while otters and seals are usually hanging out on ice floes. Bald eagles are quite literally everywhere, so keep your eyes open. Moose and bears can be a little trickier, but your best option is a hike or tour through Denali. If you want to guarantee a sighting, be sure to book an excursion like a whale-watching adventure in Juneau or a tour through grizzly bear country in Ketchikan.

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Drink In A Historical Saloon Or Local Bar

Alaskans are notorious in their love for a good drink. Because of this, no Alaskan cruise is complete without trying a local watering hole! One of the best things to do on an Alaskan cruise is to try out each ports historic saloon. Most of them have been around since the town was founded, and they are usually still decorated and operating as though they are speakeasies and taverns.

The saloons are easy to find look around at the advertisements as soon as you get off the ship. There will also probably be someone holding a sign or dressed as a barmaid or a Tavernier. Some popular choices include Red Dog Saloon in Juneau and Red Onion Saloon in Skagway.

But dont spend all day in just one saloon. In each port, there will be different bars and restaurants that will have just as much color as the saloons. If you find yourself wanting another drink, explore the town! One of the best places we had a drink while in Alaska was at a locals pub down the street. The bartender was full of color, the beers were cheap and local, and we even tried Alaskas lottery.

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The Best Months For An Alaska Cruise For Low Prices

Alaska is not a cheap cruise, but if you want to save money on your cruise fare, then your best bet is May or September.

For the same reasons May and September feature lower crowds, these months see most often the lowest prices for a cruise because of the combination of colder temperatures and the school calendar.

Read more:;What is the cheapest month to go on a cruise?

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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 .

Research The Ports In Advance


Mount Roberts Tramway, Juneau

The more you know, the better you can plan. It pays to read up on the ports of call youll be visiting and share highlights with the kidsyou might include maps and online photos in the discussion.

Once on the ship, seminars by destination experts will highlight port opportunities for sightseeing, activities, dining, and shopping. Destination experts will answer your questions.

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