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Alaska in Late September


HogTide
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DW and I are considering a 10-day cruise rt from Vancouver along the Inside Passage to Hubbard starting 15 Sept 2021 (Sapphire Princess).  We would greatly appreciate any comments/recommendations/experiences about such a late seasonal trip.

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We've done two Alaska cruises in late September -- on the first one we had horrendous weather.  Several other ships sailing at the same time missed multiple ports.  One HAL ship missed all of it's ports.  We had rain and heavy seas almost every day.  On our way back the captain needed to list the ship 8 degrees pick up the Canadian pilots.  The pilot boat was bobbing like a cork,  with the propellers fully visible out of the water at times.  It was exciting to watch.  We had a great cruise, but we didn't get the full Alaska experience.  

 

The second time the weather was fantastic -- Sunny and cold.  The naturalist on board said that Glacier Bay would have been more speculator if there had been some clouds.  The beautiful warm sun washed out some of the colors.  It was pretty fantastic to us.  We didn't have a drop of rain until we stopped at Victoria on the way back to LA.  

 

I understand Alaska weather is always a crap shoot.  You have a higher chance of poor weather near the end of the season..  There is a reason they stop sailing at the beginning of fall.  You also have much shorter day.  

 

We would do another September Alaska cruise in a heartbeat.  We were supposed to do the other fringe season in about a week and half.  We prefer things less crowed and less kids.  

 

I hope we're cruising again soon!  

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We're doing that cruise.  We did Alaska last August and had terrible weather.  But, the beauty is drawing us back.  This cruise being 10 days will show up parts of the state that we couldn't see on a 7 day.  I just pack an extra carry-on bag to hold our winter and rain gear.  

 

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I have done many Princess Alaska cruises in September, including B2Bs.  As I stated on another thread, I have had nothing but good weather and great times on these September Princess Alaska cruises.🌝🙂🌈🐋🐳🐻🍺🍷🌅🙂

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We've done four September cruises to Alaska, the last being a B2B up and back.  Best time to go!  Shops are closing down for the season and have great prices.  No where near as many ships in port.  For us, weather was great most days.  Did have fog one day in Juneau that grounded our helicopter glacier flight.  Have also had floatplanes cancelled in Ketchikan (one try out of two).  Yes, it rains up there - Ketchikan rains most days.  We also had 72 degrees in Fairbanks and the locals were dying from the heat.  We just wore shorts.  Was a bit weird on one trip northbound (the 72 degree one) - they were closing down the Princess lodges right after our group.  Many buildings already closed and they were upgrading us to some really nice rooms in the buildings that were still open.  Shops across from Denali were running 80% off sales since we were literally their last customers for the season.  Lots of critters in Denali, including two packs of wolves and around 14 bear on the tour trying to get last of the berries before winter.  Superpod of over 50 orca on whale watch tour in Juneau (although most humpback are gone that time of year).

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Our Alaska cruise was the last one of the season....the next week they were going to Hawaii from Vancouver so everything on board the ship that was for Alaska they marked way cheap so they could make room for Hawaii gear.  We also were able to see the Northern lights off our balcony at our Northern most point at midnight.......it wasn't entense  but it was sure there.

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Some years ago I treated my sister to an Alaska cruise in Sept. as a retirement present.  My DH and I had sailed there a number of times but always in May or June.  I would never go there in Sept. again, especially if the itinerary includes Glacier Bay.  It was a gray day and most of the snow was gone so a real disappointment compared to my other visits.  Had rain at Juneau where we had signed up for a whale-watching excursion--another disappointment.  Weather was always good most of the time on our others cruises up there.

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Princess and Holland America cancel remaining 2020 Alaska cruises. JUNEAU — Two of the largest Alaska-bound cruise lines announced Wednesday that they have canceled their remaining 2020 voyages due to the coronavirus pandemic.22 hours ag
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I have done AK cruises on Princess ships 4 times in the past, 3 of which were in September. All 4 were everything I hoped they would be. AK for me is addicting because of it's beauty. The cruise we had booked for this September was cancelled, of course, so we have now booked a cruise-tour for 2021, in September.

 

Last September, one of my daughters and I did a 10 day round trip out of SFO. The weather was cooperative, the temps were coolish, and no rain. The only time we needed warm jackets were during scenic cruising at Glacier Bay, and that was mostly because we spent a couple of hours up on the uppermost open decks and the breezes coming off the glacier were quite chilly.

In the port stops, the temps were decent, While it was cool enough that I wore a windbreaker when we got off the ship, as soon as we walked into the town, the jacket had to come off.  I expect the chilly water temp made the air feel cooler in the port area.

 

The year before that, I went with 2 of my daughters and one son-in-law on a 7 day roundtrip out of Seattle. We had sunny pleasant weather every day of that one.

 

Several years ago, on a r/t out of Seattle, we had mostly overcast days, and frequent misty rain. I still enjoyed every minute!

 

A light weight, hooded waterproof windbreaker is a necessity when cruising in AK, IMO.

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On 5/5/2020 at 1:04 PM, Qcruise said:

Our Alaska cruise was the last one of the season....the next week they were going to Hawaii from Vancouver so everything on board the ship that was for Alaska they marked way cheap so they could make room for Hawaii gear.  We also were able to see the Northern lights off our balcony at our Northern most point at midnight.......it wasn't entense  but it was sure there.

Done that on one of our 6 Alaskan Cruises - last cruise of the season, and with good weather.  Down side, if you call it that, was that in many of the ports a lot of the shops had already closed to move to the Caribbean!  

As another said,  cruising Alaska is often a crap shoot based upon weather; be prepared and make the best of the 'Great Land.'

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