What Are The Best Months For Wildlife & Activities
Spotting wildlife is always unpredictable in Alaska, but your best bet of getting pics of wildlife ashore is probably late May and early June, when mothers and their calves or cubs tend to be out and about. One exception: If you want to do a bear-watching shore excursion, prime bear season is not until late June or early July.
Denali: If you want to do a land tour that includes the national park, dont come during the May shoulder season. Denali National Park doesnt open up until mid-May.
Want to fish ashore? Fishing is good during any monththere are just different species of salmon that peak as the weeks go by.
Summer berry-picking on shore is best late in August or early September.
If you want to see fall foliage ashore, wait until the first week of September. It remains good through the third week of September.
Hate mosquitoes? If youre doing a land tour, come during either shoulder season
See a full calendar of Alaskas natural events.
You Will Get To Experience The Feel Of The Massive Glaciers Personally
Imagine Cruising into Glaciers in Preserve and Glacier Bay National Park, the best experience you will have for a World Heritage Site. You will get to see vast and massive glaciers like the famous and significant Margarine, Grand Pacific, Lamplugh, and Johns Hopkins piles up with enormous ice packs.
This place is a showcasing factor of approximately 100,000 glaciers, which is different from that many are in inaccessible areas. If you are interested in visiting these glaciers, you will have to visit there, especially in some other travel way.
If you visit Alaska through any Cruise, you will surely get a stop at one or two famous worth sightseeing glaciers. Some of the cruises take you deep inside Glacier Bay. And honestly, this is my personal experience taking a cruise to Alaska, as I could see the Glaciers so closely, which highlighted part of my entire trip to Alaska.
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So When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
Considering everything stated above, we advise travelers that June 15 through August 15 is the best time to go to Alaska. But not everyone can schedule their trip during this time and as weve noted, each season has its benefits. If you plan your trip during the peak season, then plan ahead and book early as these are the dates that sell out first.
For more information on when to visit Alaska, view our How to Choose Your Alaska Cruise guide. If you are still looking for advice on the best time of year to visit Alaska, just give us a call, our experts are ready to help.
This guide on the best time to visit Alaska is amongAdventureSmithExplorations extensive collection of travel guides the content is regularly updated by our team for accuracy. Visit our Alaska Travel Guidesfor even more resources and inspiration in planning your Alaska trip.
Have a question about the best time to visit Alaska? Use the comments below and well answer ASAP.
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The Charming Humpback Whale
A true fan favorite of the west coast of North America, these ridged sweethearts of the deep love to frolic in the Alaskan waters. After their migration to the Inside Passage of Alaska, they are most seen in June and July, showing off their cool behaviors.
Humpbacks are known for traveling the world over but do really enjoy the summer waters of Alaska. Here they may be seen vaulting out of the water in a graceful breech or bubble-net feeding, an activity they only do during their summer months.
You may even be fortunate enough to hear the song of a male, looking for his dream girl.
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The Best Time For Whale Watching
It depends on the species. Gray whales can be seen in Alaska waters as early as April. Orcas tend to migrate to Southeast Alaska in May and June, while humpback whales are at their peak in June and July. Beluga whales come later in the summer, following the salmon runs in Southcentral Alaska the best place to see them is around Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska from mid-July through August.
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Various Seasons For Various Cruises
As you may have guessed, are the most popular months because they are the warmest, with highs ranging from the 60s to 70s, if youre lucky. However, July and August also typically bring quite a lot of rain. But this isnt necessarily the worst news, as they are also the best months for spotting wildlife and are the peak fishing months.
The shoulder season months of May and September will offer cheaper rates and fewer crowds but also come with more unpredictable weather. Shore excursions will have a better chance of getting canceled, and snow may even be on the ground.
September, however, is the best chance cruise-takers will get for a glimpse of the Northern Lights, in addition to end-of-season shopping deals. But since the weather can be rougher, you can expect choppy water. So, if you get seasick, forget it!
Which Way To Go
While there are an assortment of cruises to choose from, Alaska cruises sail on two main cruise routes along the Inside Passage and cross-gulf to Alaska. Voyages along the Inside Passage are typically round-trip, stay within the Passage and make stops at several port towns, such as Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway. Cross-gulf tours tend to be one-way only as they cover a greater distance, traveling as far as Whittier in the south central region. Although these one-way cruises require the purchase of airfare home, they frequently include an option for a land excursion into Alaskas interior where passengers can visit Denali National Park to view North Americas tallest mountain peak.
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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.
Best Time To Cruise Alaska
The Alaska cruising season begins in March and ends in October. The peak season with best weather and wildlife occurs during summer months. Its then that travelers will find the best combination of long days, good weather and abundant wildlife, including greater numbers of whales that congregate in predictable feeding pods putting on quite a show. But spring, when Alaska awakens from a long winter, is also another favorite time to cruise Alaska. Snow is present in the mountains, driving hungry bears down to the coast for a meal. Small ships, which can sail close to the shore, take advantage of these springtime encounters. April and May are the driest months along Alaskas coast and there are fewer crowds in both town and on the water. You will find the best prices of the year on small boat tours of Alaska as well at this time.
As Alaska small ship cruise experts, we advise clients that the best time to cruise Alaska is May 15 through September 1. If we had to choose one, the best month for an Alaska cruise is July.
Typically, there are no scheduled cruises from mid-October through February, but special Alaska charter cruises can be arranged during this time with advanced notice. Families typically visit mid June through mid August. View the best Alaska cruises for families. See our monthly Alaska weather tips and travel advice above to find your best time to take an Alaskan cruise.
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Taking An Alaska Cruise In May
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.
Alaska Cruise In July
Alaska Weather in July: If you like mild temperatures, Alaska in July is for you. Expect highs in the mid 60s and sometimes into the 70s, with lows in the 50s. The tradeoff? The wet season kicks into high gear, with the state averaging around 12 inches in July.
Alaska Cruise Prices in July: July is one of the most expensive months to cruise to Alaska, with seven-day itineraries above $1,300. It’s the peak of Alaska’s peak cruise season and things will be busy. If you’re on a budget, stick to interior rooms and look for the big ships, which tend to have more inventory.
Hours of Daylight in July: Alaska’s Inside Passage gets about 17 hours of daylight in July, while more northern destinations will see close to 19.
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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.
Amazing Cruise Destinations Not To Miss In 2023 According To Cruise Experts
Cruising is a great way to experience several cities and countries without having to switch hotels. Your ship is always waiting for you at the end of the day.
My cruising experience has taken me to the beautiful Caribbean and Mexico, but we wanted to tap our experts to find out the top destinations for 2023. Ryan Baird, cruise director for Royal Caribbean Jill Whelan, spokesperson for Princess Cruises and Anthony Meloro, Royal Caribbean Internationals director of business development support, shared their top places to visit in 2023 just in time for wave season.
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Timing & Latitude In Alaska
While this Alaska by Month guide is a valuable resource for planning when to go, wildlife and weather can never be fully predicted, especially in a land as powerful as Alaska. Life in Alaska is greatly affected by latitude variances, as slight latitude shifts can result in big seasonal and light changes. The nature of small ship cruising is to be flexible and nimble, and this ethos should be applied to any trip in Alaska, by land or sea. After all, the surprise in what you experience while in Alaska is a big part of the fun.
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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Things To Do And See In Alaska In June
Alaska Events in June: If you’re an avid angler, consider a June Alaska itinerary that visits Seward, when the town hosts the Seward Halibut Tournament. For good times on dry land, check out the Sitka Music Festival, which spans almost the entire month in this popular cruise port.
Alaska Wildlife in June: Moose, caribou, and shorebirds are visible across Alaska in June. Moose also give birth to their young in June . If you want to spot herds of caribou, book an Alaska cruise that puts you in range of Denali National Park. And with salmon runs in full force, you can catch fishing bears in the southeast.
Alaska Fishing in June: King, silver and sockeye salmon can be found in Alaska during June. Northern pike also run from June through September, while halibut fishing kicks into full gear in mid-June.
What to Eat in June: Alaska’s herbs and greens begin coming into season in June, along with delicious pie fillings like cherries, boysenberries and rhubarb. Look for local specialties in cafes around your port.
Which Cruise Line Has The Best Alaskan Cruise
Most cruise lines follow a similar itinerary so the best cruise for you really depends on the style of ship you prefer small and luxurious, like Seabourns boutique ships, or something bigger, like the smart ships of Celebrity Cruises. Princess Cruises and Holland America Line have seamless cruise-and-stay itineraries including the Denali National Park, where both lines own their own wilderness lodges, and scenic rail journeys on the Rocky Mountaineer. Hurtigruten offers a more expedition-style voyage, with shore excursions by Zodiac, as well as guided hiking and kayaking. UnCruise Adventures takes you right off the beaten track in tiny ships, visiting locations where you wont see any other vessels.
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Taking An Alaska Cruise In September
Youve now reached the other shoulder!
The kids are back in school and the end of cruise season is near, meaning youve got your best chance to catch a sweet last-minute deal on an Alaska cruise in September. Things will be relatively quiet and cool, and September will often be just as rainy as August.
The nights are longer, days are shorter, and the weather getting colder, but its not all doom and gloom for September! Especially not if youre a moose or caribou, as September is the mating season! You might even catch them in the act right out in the open.
Early autumn is also a great time to spot bears near berry patches and salmon streams. At this time, gray, bowhead, and beluga whales will be migrating back south along the Alaskan coast.
But what brings most people out for an Alaska cruise in September is a chance to spot the Northern Lights. Youll likely need your waterproofs and some heavy layers, but if you are lucky enough to catch a clear night up near Fairbanks, youll give yourself the best chance to catch a glimpse of the aurora. This chance alone is often enough to bring people out for a September cruise.
This monthly break down should give you a better idea of what you can expect during the Alaska cruise season. However, if youd prefer to search in terms of certain attractions, continue reading below.
Winter Vacations And Prime Aurora Viewing
The northern lights are visible August 20 through April 20. The best time for a winter aurora vacation is February and March. Its still plenty dark at night, but the days are longer and snow conditions are best for dog sledding, snowmobiling, skiing and other winter activities. The best area to view is near Fairbanks. Here are our recommended northern lights viewing tours.
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