Taking An Alaska Cruise In July
Youve now reached peak Alaska cruise season. The prices for cruises, excursions, and even souvenirs will be at their highest, and each port will be full of tourists.
July is traditionally the warmest month in the Alaskan year, with highs in the mid-60s and lows in the low 50s. Some days will touch into the 70s, but dont expect it to go much higher.
However, , so youll need to pack a raincoat for any excursions.
July is also peak season for salmon, which means it may too be your best chance to spot a bear. Fur seal pups are also born during July as well as Steller sea lions. Walruses also haul out on Round, Little Diomede, and King islands during this time.
July also offers your best chance to catch a glimpse of the largest animal in the world the blue whale.
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.
Benefits Of Alaska Travel In June:
- Longest daylight hours make active wildlife & ample time for exploration
- Denali National Park & other interior parks open
- Popular towns such as Juneau, Sitka, Anchorage & Fairbanks are in full swing
- Opportunities for cruise & land tour combinations begin
- Wildlife is active with opportunities to view young animals
- Melted snow enables higher altitude hikes
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Plan Your Alaskan Cruise With Windstar
Now that you know the best time to take an Alaskan cruise, its time to make it happen! Why not turn your dreams into reality with us at Windstar Cruises? Connect with fellow travelers and the crew as you sail the Alaskan waters on our intimate cruises. Our smaller ships give us access to ports the other ships cant reach, meaning you get a unique experience and opportunities you couldnt anywhere else.
Take a look at the Alaskan cruises we offer to see what will take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Well take you on guided fishing trips, through scenic forests and close to legendary fjords and glaciers for the Alaskan trip of a lifetime. Plan your voyage today by calling us at 800-258-7245 or requesting a call. We cant wait to have you aboard a Windstar Cruise!
When Is The Best Time To Find Special Offers On An Alaska Cruise
If you have a flexible travel schedule and dont have a specific stateroom in mind, consider visiting Alaska during shoulder season.
Shoulder season for the Alaska cruise season includes the months of May and September. The weather is still cool or cooling down , and with school still in session or just beginning, special offers can be found during these months.
During May cruises to Alaska, its still on the cold side , so you may find the states wildlife just emerging. The weather may also play a role in your cruise ships route, as some areas may still be unpassable with ice. However, May is the states driest month, with little to no rainfall.
Look for reduced fares when booking a cruise to Alaska in late shoulder season with the same travel benefits of still fine but changing weather.
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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.
Types Of Cruise Ships That Sail Alaska
An UnCruise Adventures ship in Alaska
There are several different types of cruise experiences in Alaska: smaller, more adventure-focused ships and larger, traditional cruise-liners.
Large cruise ships, from Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line, are ubiquitous in Alaska.
The lines traditionally sail seven-night cruises from either Vancouver, Seattle, or Anchorage, stopping at the three primary ports Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway with a stop for glacier viewing typically included.
The experience onboard these ships is comparable to what youd expect in the Caribbean or Europe, and youre sailing with a few thousand other passengers.
Smaller expedition ships, like those from UnCruise Adventures, Lindblad Expeditions, and American Cruise Lines host, at most, a few hundred cruisers, and often much fewer than that, making for a more intimate, personal cruise experience.
But most importantly, these expeditions sail unique itineraries in Alaska, stopping at smaller ports, cruising closer to the shore for wildlife spotting, and offering more adventure-focused excursions and activities.
In the middle, youll find luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, Windstar and Silversea Cruises.
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Cruise Tips For Alaska Weather: Month By Month
If youre thinking about planning a summer cruise, Alaska may be the perfect destination for you. The Alaskan cruise season lasts from May to September, and the warmest months for travel are typically June, July, and August. Alaskan cruises may seem suited only for people who like extreme weather, but the truth is that the weather in Alaska varies widely based on the region.
Most itineraries cruise the Inside Passage, a section of the state that runs alongside Canada, and avoid the main territory. These cruises go nowhere near the Arctic zone, so you likely wont need your snow gear. Heres what you can expect each month on your upcoming Alaska cruise along with what you really need to pack. ;
The Best Time For A Cruise To Alaska If You Want To The Northern Lights
Unfortunately, if your goal is to see the Northern Lights, you will have to compromise in terms of ideal weather conditions. You will have slim-to-none chance of seeing the lights during the summer months, but if you come during September, you might just have a shot!
Whats interesting is that the conditions that create the aurora borealis are present all year long, but in order to be seen, youll need dark, clear skies and a bit of luck. Because Alaskas summer days are so long, it does not create dark enough conditions to view the lights.
The ideal time to view the Northern Lights is actually outside of the cruise season window, between late September and April. However, there is some opportunity in September for you to spot the aurora during a particularly fortunate night.
While going on an Alaska cruise this late in the season also gives you the opportunity to catch a last-minute deal, youll give yourself the best chance of spotting the Northern Lights. There is certainly no guarantee that youll see them, but the later you can go, the better, as there will be long nights late in the season.
You can also improve your chances by taking a land or sea tour that includes one or more nights in Fairbanks, which lies just under 200 miles below the Arctic Circle. This area is considered one of the best in the state, and the world, to see the aurora, especially if you are able to venture away from the city lights.
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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.
Wildlife Viewing During Alaska Cruise In July
In July, there are enough Salmon in the waters of Alaska to start attracting the bears.
Expect to see a lot of bears trying to get their share of Salmon.
You can also visit the seabird colonies from Southeast to Northwest Alaska.
In July, fur seal pups and Steller sea lions start giving birth to young ones, which is quite popular amongst the kids on Alaskan cruises.
In the North of Alaska, you can see a lot of walruses.
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When Is The Best Time To Explore Alaskas Cities And Towns
Theres no question that the best time for most cruisers to go to Alaska is during peak season, and alternately in shoulder season.
In addition to the spectacular scenery and rich native wildlife, youll also find the ports of call on your Alaska cruise to be welcoming and full of interesting things to see and do.
Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise: Price
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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When Is The Best Time To Go On A Cruise
One of the most frequently asked questions our experts get is “When’s the best time to cruise?” The answer, however, is not so simple and depends on many variables including your personal tastes, trip specifics, your budget and what destinations you want to visit.
With so many diverse regions to choose from and so many cruise options, this guide will help narrow down your options so you can make an educated decision when determining the best time to go on the cruise that’s right for you.
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 Alaskas history and culture, 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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Alaska Cruises In July
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.
Is There A Best Month/season To Book A Cruise
We mentioned earlier that you should book as early as possible. This gives you the most options as far as lowest prices, most cabins available, and price protection.
What about the actual date that you book your cruise? Is there a month or time of year when the cruise lines offer the best sales if you book?
In our experience, there isnt much difference in the time that you book apart from booking early. For example, the same cruise isnt automatically cheaper if you buy in January versus if you buy in July.
This makes sense. Say there was a month or two out of the year when cruises were drastically cheaper for you to book, no matter when you sailed. If that were the case, passengers would catch on and wait until then to book.
That would lead to fewer people booking throughout the year; instead they would wait until that one time a year when cruises were cheaper. Obviously the cruise lines wouldnt want this. Thats why theres not a best time of year to actually buy your cruise. You can find deals throughout the entire year.
Instead, what will have the biggest impact on what you pay for a cruise is when you sail, not when you book.
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When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
The best time to visit Alaska is between mid-June and mid-September. The warmer weather and long days make this a particularly pleasant time of year, with temperatures in the cool-but-comfortable range of 60-67°F.
Alaskas wildlife, including bears, sea otters, seals and whales, is visible throughout this period, with June and July the best months for sightings.
The weather in Alaska changes very quickly at any time of year. However, many excursions stop operating in early September, in anticipation of the winter weather. The winter months are best avoided, unless youre looking for winter sports or to see the northern lights in extreme conditions.
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.
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