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When is best time to cruise Alaska


barb65
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Looking at Bliss or the new Encore to cruise Alaska. What is the best month for an Alaskan cruise? We've only done warm weather cruises, so don't want to go when it's too cold/rainy. Thanks in advance for all your replies.

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The Alaska cruise season is all of about 4 months long - Mid May to Mid/late September.

There is no way to predict the weather component - early in Spring the weather turns from

Winter to Spring and then Summer. The cruise itinerary is coastal Alaska and not the

frigid Polar ice cap stuff - still yet early in Spring freezing temperatures can be had and of

course any where near glaciers with winds blowing chilled icy breezes - Layer Up !

It gets warmer in the summer and into early autumn reaching highs of 80 degrees "F" -

records were set in the Alaska interior this year (Global Warming?).

With that in mind consider August as the prime month with perhaps the best weather.

In September the season is starting to change back and therefore the cruise season will

be coming to end. For the most part the coastal cruising in Alaska is sheltered from Pacific

storms think Inside Passage and why it is name thusly. Still yet a rouge storm may touch

your travels. The open ocean Pacific side of Vancouver Island and the Gulf of Alaska

near Seward (Anchorage) will not be a pleasant zone - OPEN OCEAN - but the Inside

Passage a piece of cake - expect morning fog misty (it is not called Misty Fjords for any

other reason) - plan for some rain - but not horizontal monsoons - aviation shore excursions

maybe subject to weather delays and cancellations - again layer up with the last outer layer

being waterproof/resistant. Watch for rainbows during the day and at night the northern

lights. There is a quite a variety of shore excursions at each port call - Victoria - Ketchikan -

Juneau - Skagway - Icy Strait Point - Sitka (NCL SUN) - and the glacier viewing - Glacier

Bay - Hubbard - Endicott Arm (Dawes) - *** with the massive glacier calving at Tracy Arm

Sawyer glacier blocking this year visit - took a private excursion launch and got up real

close much closer than any cruise ship could as a bonus saw the North Sawyer glacier).

 

If this is to be a one life time event make the most of it wind weather rain or shine !

 

Least expensive fares are going to be early and late in the cruise season - high peak will

be June July and mainly August .

 

Look for combo deals with land tour packages (mostly with the NCL JEWEL).

 

Set your sights on going - don't hold back because of a wee bit of inclement weather !

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We went to Alaska in the beginning of August and almost didn't get to go dog sledding because it was so warm the dog sled camps on the glaciers were closed.

 

I would suggest going earlier in the season if you want "winter" type excursions.

 

There is also a Alaska section on this website. I got a lot of information about the weather, excursions, ports etc.

 

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it could be cold and rainy anytime during the Alaska cruise season.  All you can do is be prepared; take appropriate clothing ( think layers topped with a rainproof jacket). 

 

Another factor to consider for your timing is the activities/tours you want to do. ie bear viewing tours out of Ketchikan have peak periods, usually early July thru Sept depending on the specific location.  And heli dogsled tours in Juneau tend to close down in mid Aug as the snow pack melts. 

 

Look closely at the Bliss itinerary.  Very poor port times. (what can you accomplish with a port time of 7am - 1pm ? )  There are better itineraries out there IMHO.  And consider Vancouver departures. 

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30 minutes ago, K_e_short said:

We went to Alaska in the beginning of August and almost didn't get to go dog sledding because it was so warm the dog sled camps on the glaciers were closed.

 

I would suggest going earlier in the season if you want "winter" type excursions.

 

There is also a Alaska section on this website. I got a lot of information about the weather, excursions, ports etc.

 

 

There is also a Alaska section on this website

 

LINK:

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

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Another factor is school summer break.  The warmest times in Alaska also carry the highest likelihood of many kids on board.  For me, I'd prefer to take a few degrees cooler weather and go in the shoulder season of May or Sept.  With an Alaskan cruise, the munchkins don't expend as much energy with the deck/pool options that are common for warm weather cruises.  Having all that energy trapped inside gave my Alaskan cruise a much more hectic feel than my more relaxed Caribbean ones.

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6 hours ago, Megalyn said:

Another factor is school summer break.  The warmest times in Alaska also carry the highest likelihood of many kids on board.  For me, I'd prefer to take a few degrees cooler weather and go in the shoulder season of May or Sept.  With an Alaskan cruise, the munchkins don't expend as much energy with the deck/pool options that are common for warm weather cruises.  Having all that energy trapped inside gave my Alaskan cruise a much more hectic feel than my more relaxed Caribbean ones.

My 12 year old and I were on the Jewel and there were very few children. I think the average age was 60 🙂

I was told that the Jewel was more adult oriented so that is something to consider (no waterslide, no really fun kids activities).

 

 

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7 minutes ago, K_e_short said:

My 12 year old and I were on the Jewel and there were very few children. I think the average age was 60 🙂

I was told that the Jewel was more adult oriented so that is something to consider (no waterslide, no really fun kids activities).

 

 

The SUN and the JEWEL would be so bah hum bug for the kids - now the BLISS and ENCORE would be exciting.

But then different itineraries port stops - then again the port calls maybe more interesting for kids than the onboard

activities - shore excursions seeing WILD LIFE rather than adult wild life onboard. NCL does have entertainment

for teens and children but it is only as good as the number of kids participating.

 

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