Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Ariel35

Alaska in September

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

Has anyone been to Alaska at the end of September (basically right at the end of the season)? What was the temperature like, and weather?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last cruise of the season can be cool, especially in Glacier Bay.  It varies, of course, at any time of the year in Alaska.  We have not had rain or really warm temperatures then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have done the late September cruises and they are not too bad weather wise - 55*.

If you ever have the chance to be on the last cruise of the season out of Skagway, you will find that the locals come down to the pier and "moon" the ship as it is leaving. A Skagway tradition that we witnessed once. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Ariel35 said:

Hi,

 

Has anyone been to Alaska at the end of September (basically right at the end of the season)? What was the temperature like, and weather?

Our first Alaska cruise started Sep 18.  It was the last cruise of the season.  It was the last cruise of the season for any cruise line.

 

The weather was cool, not particularly cold, and generally grey and drizzly in Glacier Bay and Juneau. I believe the temperature was in the mid 50-low 60 range.

 

The shops in ports, if they weren't already closed for the season, were having great sales.  As were the shops onboard the ship.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done Alaska in September twice. Both times I'd guess temps were mid 50s. The first time we had sunshine in every port except the last one, Ketchikan. The second time we had clouds and drizzle nearly every day. So you never know. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Discussed frequently on the Alaska board, here:

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/33-alaska/

 

They are cheaper for a reason. Yes, the weather might be OK. We had sleet, at sea, in the Gulf of Alaska, on Labor Day weekend. There have been serious storms almost every September, with major winds, ports being skipped, and even some ships taking some damage. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We cruised Alaska round trip from Vancouver September 16-23 last year. Had a bit of clouds on our first day out of Vancouver. Then stunning sunshine and warm temps everyday of the cruise and in every port. It was spectacular. Even the captain marveled at the weather. The crew told us the the week before was rainy and cool. So yes, you never know. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One time we did the second week of September.  Weather was cold and rainy.

 

You can't predict what the weather will be like in Alaska.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not weather, but there will be few children and fewer family groups in September.

 

Roz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We did a last-of-season Sep 16>23. It started out fairly mild (50's) in Anchorage and Seward but got progressively worse as we headed south. Bitter cold winds in Glacier Bay, cold rain in Juneau and Ketchikan. Would not do it again.

Edited by catl331

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did a combo land/cruise that was in the middle of September. We had a light layer of snow on the ground in Denali, but decent temps high 50s & 60s.

 

We had mostly sun on the cruise - except Glacier Bay. We had early a.m. showers, but the entire day was overcast with an almost ethereal mist on the water. Lots of Belugas and even a few 🦅 .  But I still remember the sounds of the glaciers calving echoing through that mist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on the Westerdam last September and it was wonderful.  I had my heart in my mouth fearing nasty weather.  I was there the second last week of the season and the weather was great each day.  It is a "crap shoot"and last year I lucked out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did 14-day Alaska in September 2017. Two sunny days. Remainder were cloudy, foggy, rainy, with a few real drenchings. I would not do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am rolling the dice and going in september. My only comment is if you look at average rainfalls it rains in august just as much. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, christinand said:

I am rolling the dice and going in september. My only comment is if you look at average rainfalls it rains in august just as much. 

 

They don't call it "liquid sunshine" for nothing. I know we all want sunny days for vacations, but having seen Alaska in sun and in drizzle, I found it interesting to see it under different conditions, especially the glacier view days. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did a Vancouver to Seward right after Labor Day and then 3 days in Denali.   The pluses 1. No bugs  2. No crowds in port 3. We had Glacier Bay almost to ourselves (one other Princess ship) and did 3 360 spins to look at the glaciers 4. Stores liquidating merchandise and the best of all the wildlife watching in Denali was primo.   The animals were loading up on food prior to winter.   We saw Moose, Grizzlies, Caribou and sheep.  Our bus driver said she never saw so much game on one trip.   We thought we would be late for seeing whales but we saw Orcas and Humpbacks almost every day.  Perhaps we were lucky.  

big bear but 2.jpg

black nose moose.jpg

caribou 3.jpg

Dall sheep.jpg

glacier cave.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ottahand7 said:

We did a Vancouver to Seward right after Labor Day and then 3 days in Denali.   The pluses 1. No bugs  2. No crowds in port 3. We had Glacier Bay almost to ourselves (one other Princess ship) and did 3 360 spins to look at the glaciers 4. Stores liquidating merchandise and the best of all the wildlife watching in Denali was primo.   The animals were loading up on food prior to winter.   We saw Moose, Grizzlies, Caribou and sheep.  Our bus driver said she never saw so much game on one trip.   We thought we would be late for seeing whales but we saw Orcas and Humpbacks almost every day.  Perhaps we were lucky.  

 

Gee, in June, we had 1), no bugs 2), some crowds, but not bad, 3) Glacier Bay is very limited on ship allowances...I believe it is either 2 or 3 ships for an entire day. Turning in front of glaciers is common practice year around. 

 

Prices in stores were shockingly cheap. Can't say if they were liquidating or not. We saw some animals. Can't compare there.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

 

Gee, in June, we had 1), no bugs 2), some crowds, but not bad, 3) Glacier Bay is very limited on ship allowances...I believe it is either 2 or 3 ships for an entire day. Turning in front of glaciers is common practice year around. 

 

Prices in stores were shockingly cheap. Can't say if they were liquidating or not. We saw some animals. Can't compare there.

 

 

I'm not sure why you posted here. The OP is specifically interested in cruising in september. Maybe start an alaska in june thread? Thanks to everyone else that has posted, as a september cruiser i've enjoyed hearing from you. I am going to plan some rainy day activities just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, christinand said:

I'm not sure why you posted here. The OP is specifically interested in cruising in september. Maybe start an alaska in june thread? Thanks to everyone else that has posted, as a september cruiser i've enjoyed hearing from you. I am going to plan some rainy day activities just in case.

My point was the things the poster I quoted saw these things in September, but they are not unique to September. They can be seen in other months as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I suppose for me september worked best for vacation scheduling. I think most people know its not a prize month but have their reasons for going at that time. I have heard of the sales due to inventory sell off before. I can't recall if i posted that the bennet train/bus excursion isn't going after a certain point in september.

Edited by christinand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have done 3 Sept AK cruises and 1 in May.  In Sept you can generally get closer to the glaciers and in Tracy Arm.  Also, shops are clearing out their merchandise for the season and some very good deals can be found.  Also, fewer kids on the cruise, as most are back in school.

 

On the negative side, the weather is less predictable - we have had some great days and some miserable ones, but never felet like we missed anything we wanted to see (need to be flexible and prepared).  Also, the days are shorter, so less sunlight than you get in May/June/July.

 

We like Sept so much that we are going again this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Others have pretty much covered it, but I thought I'd share my experience. We've only cruised to Alaska once and it was September 17, 2011. The weather was cool and rainy. The outside decks were hardly used due to the weather, which made the ship (Westerdam) feel much smaller because everyone was inside.

 

We ran into a storm that had 25 foot waves and the ship had to change course because we would have hit 40 foot waves if it had continued on. This was the only cruise I have ever felt any kind of sea sickness on. The ship was very quiet that day with most passengers staying in their cabins.

 

Our last stop was Victoria and we were so happy to see the sun and 65 degrees!! Prices are definitely cheaper in September, but you never know what you are going to get with the weather. We talked to people that were on the ship with us that we also on the previous week and they said the weather was sunny and beautiful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two benefits to cruising Alaska late in the season......one are the bargains both on the ship and on land as the season is ending and they need to move their merchandise.  On our ship the very next sailing was going to Hawaii so all "Alaska" things were replaced with "Hawaii" things so everything was half price.  We came home with much more than we packed there.  The other thing we enjoyed was that we did see the Northern lights at midnight one evening off our balcony.  As to weather that can be anything anytime in Alaska and we had everything from rain and cold to warm sunshine and pool days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, 510picker said:

We ran into a storm that had 25 foot waves and the ship had to change course because we would have hit 40 foot waves if it had continued on. This was the only cruise I have ever felt any kind of sea sickness on. The ship was very quiet that day with most passengers staying in their cabins.

 

OMG !! 

 

Where were you and where were you going when you hit those waves? 

 

Where (what path) did the ship divert? 

 

Did you get pictures? 

Edited by SempreMare

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SempreMare said:

 

OMG !! 

 

Where were you and where were you going when you hit those waves? 

 

Where (what path) did the ship divert? 

 

Did you get pictures? 

 

We were on our way to Sitka. We missed Sitka and diverted to Tracy Arm Fjord for scenic cruising. The storm hit during the night, so I don’t have any photos. The next morning after breakfast, we went up to the Crows Nest to read. We still had rough water and I just looked out the windows and watched the ship go up and down....up and down....up and down. It wasn’t looping until I felt a little nauseous and told my wife I was going back to the cabin. She laughed at me and said ok. I was in the cabin for about 10 minutes when she came in and said she wasn’t feeling very well 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...