But the summer season is short, lasting only from late May to September, and this is when it’s peak season, and the cities and glaciers … If you're traveling in early September and can make it up to Fairbanks, there's a chance you might be able to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. It's the warmest month in Alaska; expect highs of about 65 degrees with 51-degree lows. July is tough -- it can be hot or overcast and rainy. Fur seal pups are born and Steller sea lions give birth beginning in July. Mileage and travel times? A popular choice with cruisers, you can spend time there spotting a variety of whale species, porpoises, sea lions and birds. That’s a long shot during cruising season. Even if you're a seasoned fisherman, we recommend using a local guide to help find you the best fishing spot. Time and weather conditions play a major role, but it's one of the few perks to cruising toward the end of the summer. August is still a popular time to visit Alaska, with increased moisture improving the vibrancy of an already verdant landscape. Once the green vegetation takes hold, Dall sheep, mountain goats and black bears are lured into areas where they are easily observed, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. As all the locals know, the Alaskan weather is defined by its unpredictability, with sunny days turning suddenly stormy—and vice versa, so be prepared for all types of weather on your Alaskan cruise. The best time of year to … The drawback is that the prices will be higher for both the cost of the cruises and the activities that you look to experience. In Alaska, ​you can take a cruise during the warmest months, when the temperature is rising, and watch it in real time. May is the driest month of Alaska's cruise season with just a 25 percent chance of rain. AlaskaDue to wildlife visibility and comfortable weather conditions for sightings, mid-May to mid-September is the best time to visit Alaska. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. Uniworld Offers Christmas In July European River Cruises, Quantum of the Seas Passenger Is Negative for COVID-19, Singapore Ship Reported False Positive, Carnival Cruise Line Confirms Restart Dates for Ships Set for Drydock. article on what cruisers need to know about coronavirus, Alaska Cruisetours: 6 Things You Need to Know, Best Layers to Buy for Your Alaska Cruise. If you venture off the cruise ship and head north of the Arctic Circle, you may be able to see the midnight sun. (Remember, as thrilling as wildlife sightings can be, the best time to see bear cubs or moose calves with their mother is also typically the most dangerous. 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. For best impressions, visit Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier, Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm Fjord, Mendenh​all Glacier, or the glaciers of College Fjord. For the most Midnight Sun, come 3 weeks before or after the summer solstice and longest day of the year, June 21. South central Alaska has similar weather, with average temperature highs of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in both May and September; average temperatures range between 62 and 65 degrees F in June, July and August. The Dolly Varden trout in late August were practically jumping into our boat on the Upper Kenai. So booking a cruise in May or June will give you the least rainy days on average. 11. Pants that zip into shorts might seem lame but could be handy on all-day excursions. July is when the growing season really gets in gear -- strawberries, tomatoes, cabbage, gooseberries and tons more will begin to find their ways into recipes and onto your plate if you eat in town. The height of the Alaska cruise season (June, July, and August) is the best time to cruise Alaska on these itineraries to ensure you’ll be able to see and enjoy the glaciers on each of the routes. Hours of daylight range from 14 to 18, with June having the most daylight hours and September having the least. King salmon runs start in late May. On the water, we rarely passed any other ships or boats, aside from fisherman out for their catches. © 2020 USATODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. (Photo: cruise ship in Alaska image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com ). From the thrill of summer to the serenity of early autumn, discover the best time to take an Alaska cruise with Princess so that you make the most of your trip. However, you still might be able to book for less than $1,000 per person if you book in advance. When is the Best Time to Go to Alaska? Migratory songbirds and seabirds also start to gather at southcentral nesting colonies. King salmon and sockeye salmon can be found in the waters during June. Alaska is a national treasure. It is the rainiest month of the summer season, especially in Southeast Alaska, with … Wildlife remains in abundance and all cruises and land tours are operating on a regular basis. During June, you’ll enjoy the best of the summer weather on top of the benefits of summer travel I already mentioned (availability, access, options). Best value: May or September; Best time for whale watching: June or July; Best time for bears, moose and other animals: August; The bottom line is a cruise to Alaska is rarely disappointing. These first sailings are considered "offseason" and prices tend to be lower, particularly the first week of the season. Bring heavy layers that will keep you warm but also stay dry. (These are good to bring anytime. June is a sweet spot before the influx of families and crowds (especially earlier in the month) and yet is still considered peak season so you'll see that reflected in the price of your cruise. The Alaska State Fair, which takes place in the Mat-Su Valley, is late in the month and typically runs into the first few days of September. Mid-June through late August is the busiest time for tourism in Alaska; this is when cruise ships are often booked to full capacity. The high is 63 degrees and the low is about 48. It’s advised to book ahead, as peak-season rooms may be booked a year in advance. Fall comes early to Alaska; September is an excellent time to view foliage and the gathering of bald eagles. Rainbow trout begins its run in June and continues through the summer into September (the Copper River is known for them). What is the Best Time to See Wildlife During an Alaska Vacation? Always use extreme caution when hiking or doing anything, especially alone, in Alaska. If you love the sun and want to be in Alaska for its longest days, June is the best time for an Alaska cruise. The Best Times to Go on a Cruise to Alaska Cruise season in Alaska runs from late April through September. It’s why it is a bucket list destination for many, many people,” said McDaniel. Also beginning in late May through early July, the fishing is good for Arctic char (not to be confused with the near-identical Dolly Varden trout). The end of the cruise season and the beginning of school mark September as a quiet and lower cost time to head to Alaska. You’ll even catch the midnight sun in some locations. June is the best time to see herds of caribou, but you'll still need to be lucky to spot them. Asparagus begins to show up on farm-to-table menus, but for the most part, the Alaska growing season begins in June and July. Alaskan cruise weather, temperatures, and … It's also the best month to visit seabird colonies from Southeast to Northwest Alaska, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Bald eagles can also be seen congregating near salmon-spawning streams. If you're lucky you might find a last-minute deal, but more and more cruisers are looking to book a vacation in the region regardless of timing, leading to early sellouts even for September sailings.Weather: September can begin to get cool, and on top of that it's as rainy as August with up t… Best time of year to visit . Panning for gold ? Long daylight hours add to the feeling of warmth. May, June and July have the most daylight hours (17 to 18), while August averages 16 hours of daylight. From one week to the next, summer in the Last Frontier can see noticeable differences in weather, cruise pricing and what's in season. Bring bug spray, long (but light, remember it warms up) shirts and pants, and polarized sunglasses for the many hours of sun reflecting off glaciers. When Are Cruise Lines Around the World Expected To Resume Service? Also, watch for the summer solstice on June 21, which brings nearly 24 hours of sun, depending on how far north you are (Denali is a neat place to be.). Pink salmon runs until mid-August and silver runs through the month. Two of our favorites are the Girdwood Forest Fair, with music, crafts and cultural events, which takes place annually in this small resort town outside of Anchorage and the Mount Marathon race in Seward. BEAR SAFETY in Alaska? The Alaska railroad connects Whittier to Anchorage – so travelers can also enjoy a scenic ride to Anchorage and hop on a connecting flight. If you're lucky you might find a last-minute deal, but more and more cruisers are looking to book a vacation in the region regardless of timing, leading to early sellouts even for September sailings. Best time to visit for long days. Cruiseliner in Alaska (Photo: cruise ship in Alaska image by MAXFX from Fotolia.com ). Peak travel time is between mid-June and mid-August. North Sawyer Glacier, Tracy Arm Fjord, AK From mid-June through late August, daylight hours are at their peak. Most crops remain in season through September. (Plus it's not at the height of crowding because most children are still in school. Plenty of rain gear including waterproof shoes and wool socks (wool dries much better than cotton). The best time to visit Alaska is between mid-June and mid-September. The best time to go to Alaska for a cruise is during the summer months between June and August. Moose give birth around June, so you might be able to glimpse a calf, if you're lucky. This post is for you. Silver or coho salmon also begin their run in July. The weather is best during these months and you have the greatest variety of activities to engage. Cruise season in Alaska runs from May through September, although some companies offer sailings in late April and early October. Taking an Alaskan cruise is a dream trip for many travelers, allowing them to explore the majestic and untamed coastline from the comfort of a modern ship. Spring (the earlier the better) is a great time to view wildlife because the trees aren't fully in bloom, meaning you can sneak a peek at critters between the branches. September averages 14 daylight hours. September can begin to get cool, and on top of that it's as rainy as August with up to 14 days of rain, meaning there's a good chance one of your excursions could get rained out. Temperatures drop to a high of 55 and a low of 41 degrees. Gray, bowhead and beluga whales migrate along the west coast. Bear viewing coincides with the salmon runs, so it makes sense that with so many salmon in Alaskan waters, chances of seeing bear could increase in July. Herbs and greens begin to come into season in June, along with delicious pie fillings like cherries, boysenberries and rhubarb. August Alaska Cruises August is the last peak month of the Alaska summer season. But the best time to visit Alaska depends on what you plan to do? Halibut fishing ramps up mid-June through August, but is still available for fishing trips in May or September (stick to Seward or Homer for halibut). Blueberries! Typically seven to 14 days in length, cruises tend to follow one of two major routes: southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage or glacier cruises to south central Alaska. Since most families in North America vacation during this time period, you can expect more children and teenagers on Alaska sailings. Most of Alaska’s visitors travel by cruise, or drive, making the warmer summer months ideal. The absolute middle of the Alaska cruise season, July is often the busiest month to travel here, and pricing will be close to full pop. Unless you're bringing them to put under one or two other layers, T-shirts with short sleeves can be left at home -- you won't want bare arms this time of year. The cheapest rates -- often hundreds of dollars less per person than high season -- are found during the shoulder seasons of May, early June and September. If you book an Alaska cruise during these shoulder seasons instead of high season, you’ll only be missing out on a few hours of sunlight per day and a couple extra degrees on the thermometer. The Girdwood Fungus Fair early in the month celebrates all things mushroom. Many events around the state mark the Fourth of July. These rocky islands are two of the best for Alaska wildlife spotting. The warmer weather and long days make this a particularly pleasant time of year, with temperatures around the mid-to-late teens. The best time to cruise Alaska is between May and September when daytime temperatures are in the mid 60's and the rainfall is under 3.5" per month. King salmon can still be caught in early July; sockeye run through the month. Rain begins to blow in with about a dozen inches, on average. The months with the lowest average rainfall are May and June! Bring rollable windbreakers or jackets that will fit into a day bag if you start breaking a sweat. Whether you plan to go with a larger cruise line or you're looking for a more adventurous option, the cruising season generally runs … She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University. Prices for a weeklong sailing start at around $700 to $800 per person. Early June is an excellent time to see calving glaciers, Orcas, Minke whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins. Want to see the northern lights? Pricing: The end of the cruise season and the beginning of school mark September as a quiet and lower cost time to head to Alaska. While we recommend certain things to bring by month, you will want to bring plenty of items that are waterproof, wick moisture and can be layered (yes, this tip applies to socks and underwear as well). Due to the rapidness of weather changes in Alaska, it can be blazingly hot, damp and cold or severely windy -- all in a one-week cruise. Average highs in the Inside Passage region range from 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit during cruise season, with May and September being about 10 degrees colder during the day than the summer months. During spring, wildflowers bloom along the Inside Passage; you’re more likely to see larger animals migrating. Bears are still in full view with salmon and berries still plentiful. Some sailings can be found for prices from. One final note. With a high of 62 degrees, a low of 47 degrees and relatively little rainfall as compared with the rest of the summer months, the weather in June is optimal. U.S. News ranks 45 Best Cruises to Alaska based on an analysis of reviews and health ratings. However, the best time for Alaska cruises depends on your personal preferences. Get expert advice, insider tips and more. In some areas, it is dark enough to view the northern lights, and autumn also brings a fresh blanket of snow on high mountains. The Alyeska Resort hosts its annual blueberry festival in late August with everything blueberry you can imagine. Bird enthusiast? Alaska’s cruise season generally runs from April to September, providing a chance to see the best of Alaska during spring and summer. In 2019, the 49th state celebrated 60 years of statehood, and … If you want to avoid the crowds and take advantage of lower prices, May, early June and September are the best times for an Alaska cruise. “The best reason to cruise to Alaska is there are things that you can only truly see from the water. Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights. We created climate tables and charts for the locations of Juneau, Vancouver, Seattle und Skagway. Summer is beautiful, and arguably it’s the best time to visit Alaska because the days are long and the temperatures relatively high. Seward's Silver Salmon Derby is always the second week of the month, one of the oldest and largest fishing derbies in the state. Alaskan cruises are most popular in July and August, partly as a result of warmer temperatures both months. Best Time for Alaska Cruises The Alaska cruise season runs from late April to September, with high season typically June through August. When is the best time to cruise to Alaska? Web cameras for Alaska? ), The Alaska cruise season begins mid-May, when temperatures start to warm. Best Time for Alaska Cruises On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Alaska Cruises. The best time for an Alaska cruise depends on your schedule, budget, and preferences regarding weather. Expect ports of call along the Inside Passage to be crowded. Anchorage Anchorage is often the end point for cruises that travel north from Seattle or Vancouver. You'll likely need a warm winter jacket to brave the Alaskan evenings in May. CLOTHES for summer travel? The Alaska cruise season is five months long -- from May to September -- but not all Alaska cruises are created equal. So whether it's a cruise to Alaska, a Caribbean cruise, cruises to Hawaii, a cruise to the Bahamas or Bermuda or a cruise to Mexico you'll find it easily with the help of our destination wizard. If you're adventuring north near Nome, walruses "haul out" on Round, Little Diomede and King islands. But the higher amount of rain in August makes July the best time to cruise to Alaska. Although Alaska is a year-round vacation destination, the majority of cruise visitors arrive between mid-May and mid-September. If you're looking to hike the tundra -- treeless mountain tracts -- the snow doesn't really begin to melt until late June, which could prove tricky for maneuvering. Renting a RV in Alaska? Car camping in Alaska? 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. But the reality is a bit more nuanced than that. Viking Orion is the top-ranked ship overall. You want to go on a cruise to Alaska but you don't know when you should go? If you want to avoid the crowds and take advantage of lower prices, May, early June and September are the best times for an Alaska cruise. Book a float trip down one of the rivers in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Fairbanks, and the chances of seeing a herd will be pretty good. One of the best times to visit Alaska is in the shoulder seasons, May and September. In June, there are days when sun barely sets; on June 21, the summer … Summer 2020: Where Can You Cruise Right Now. The weather during this period is mostly pleasant but it can change quickly any time of the year, so pack a warm … For the latest information, please visit our regularly updated. 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. 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