View Full Version : best alaskan cruise time?

July 20th, 2004, 04:37 PM
hey everyone,

i was wondering what the best time of year to cruise alaska is? give me the pros on cons, if you would, of each month. thanks a lot!

July 20th, 2004, 04:50 PM
If you go in the begining of the season (May-June) there is still a lot of ice in the Yakutat Bay (where Hubbard Glacier is) and you might not be able to get in to see it up close. We went in July and there was still icebergs floating around everywhere. As the summer goes it gets a little warmer. We had 80 degree weather in Juneau, everyone was wearing shorts!! If you go in August the salmon will be spawing and you'll have a better chance at seeing more wildlife (bears and eagles) especially at the Eagle Preserve in Haines. Other than that I would say it's when you can fit it into your schedule and the luck of the draw.


July 24th, 2004, 01:07 PM

natesfirewife is right about your schedule and what ship you want to be on. personally for me i choose the glacier bay on the carnival spirit last sept because the cabins were much cheaper ( may & sept are the shoulder months ), the kids were in school, the bugs were almost nothing and the sales in the ship gift store and in the shops in the ports ( junea, skagway and ketchikan were fantastic ). and the spirit is a wonderful ship with a fantastic crew, staff and the food was fabulous.

i am going again next may for the same reasons and go with a friend who wants to take the same cruise i did. may and sept are just the better months for me. and i like to do the glacier bay roundtrip out of vancouve the best for being inside the land areas more than being out in the open water as much as you do going from seattle. and i love vancouver so i get to spend time there. the weather in sept was wonderful. all i wore was a sweatshirt on the deck at night and only had to use my unlined nylon jacket once when it drizzled in ketchikan. other wise it was nice and sunny and around 65/70 degrees. whenever you decide to go you will love it and have a great time. i hope this has helped.

Budget Queen
July 25th, 2004, 09:04 AM
I would recommend any time- mid-May- first week of Sept. You take many more chances after the first week of Sept for poor weather. Last season was exceptional and atypical.

July 25th, 2004, 09:12 AM
We were on the Carnival Spirit on June 30 northbound from Vancouver. We had great weather 70's to low 80's and had no trouble with bugs. Had some rain the morning in Ketchikan and in Sitka but didn't last too long. Vancouver is a neat City and would like to go back to see more of it. We took a land tour to Denalli on the end of the cruise and would definitely do that at the beginning if I do it again. While the land trip was great, there is a lot of early morning rushing around to catch trains, bus tours ,etc. It would be nice to do that first and then relax on the cruise afterward.

July 25th, 2004, 12:39 PM
just an add on to dpfred's post. i know a couple who did the northbound trip. they absolutely loved it. but the land tours at the end of the cruise wore them out and they were very tired when they got home. they are going to go back but do a southbound or roundtrip the next time. as i say, they totally loved the ship and alaska was wonderful, but for them ( in their 60's ) a southbound would have been much more relaxing for them.

July 25th, 2004, 02:30 PM
We went once the first of July and could not see Hubbard Glacier due to all the ice.

I love mid to end of May and first of June. May and June are traditionally "dryer months" with less rain.

July 25th, 2004, 02:47 PM
I just got back from a cruise to Alaska and the weather was wonderful. It was sunny and warm almost the whole time. I packed way too many clothes. I had heard that on many cruises, people do not get to get close to the glacier due to the ice or they do not get to see it due to the fog, but we had a clear, sunny day and got to get up close. I never had to wear a jacket in port. So, I think July is a good time to go, however, I believe the weather probably had more to do with luck!