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AK in May


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For those of you that have cruised to AK, are the May sailing a  little to early in the season, or should I wait for summer even though the prices are higher.

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I had gone to AK in late May, 2017 I believe and it was absolutely beautiful.  The sun was out most of the trip, shorts were worn on excursions and a light jacket was the only extra's I wore.  Gloves, hats and scarf's stayed in the suitcase.  I was pleasantly suprised.

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1 hour ago, JamesEM said:

For those of you that have cruised to AK, are the May sailing a  little to early in the season, or should I wait for summer even though the prices are higher.

I agree, we did a cruise as well as a land tour in late May of 2017. The weather was gorgeous most of the time. During the pre-cruise land tour, it snowed a few inches overnight and in the morning up near Denali, which is pretty to see if you're from Florida like us. If you're doing a land tour you may not see as many bears or salmon, as they tend to be later in the season. The lower prices plus fewer people were definitely a plus. 

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We went in May, and everyone was looking at the spring explosion at the same time.  Tour operators were just as excited to see things for the first time as we were.  The captain of our ship was like a little kid watching for whales and pointing out all the wonders around us.  

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The closer to Memorial Day - the better chances of good weather as I understand it.

 

Early May CAN be rainy “by Alaskan standards” or can be very clear and wonderful.

 

Overall I’d do May over Early October I think. 

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Posted (edited)

We did Ovation on it's first ever glacier cruise May 13-24, 2019. The seas were calm. The weather was warm and fabulous. Only wore jackets one day on excursion. *(Also needed it onboard when we were near glaciers or cruising.)  I would go again during mid-May....

Edited by CruiszBug
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Did AK just once the end of May.  Was too cold and rainy for us.  Plus when visiting the Glaciers, they are not "calving" (big chunks falling into the ocean) since it is still not warm enough yet.  

 

From then on all of our AK cruises have been in August for DH's birthday.  Yes, higher price...but oh so much more worth it.  🙂 

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We have done the mid to late May a few times...great prices for the shoulder season and many times there's still snow on the mountains. Weather has always been good it's our favorite month to sail northbound to Alaska.

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Another fan of Alaska in May! In fact, I've only done the first few weeks and the last few weeks of the season--I don't mind cooler weather in the least, and I can get a nice suite for the same price as the cheapest balcony mid-season.  For me, it's a no-brainer.

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We did the first week of May in 2008 and it rained every day and was freezing.  The only day it didn't rain was the 2nd to last day when we were at Glacier Bay (we were on Diamond Princess) and the next day which was disembarkation day.  Temps were in the 40s/50s for the entire trip.

 

My mother and I returned to Alaska the last week of July / first week of August this year.  This time we flew into Anchorage and rented a car.  We drove to Talkeetna, Denali and Fairbanks.  It drizzled the first day in Anchorage and was in mid 60s.  Talkeetna and Denali were upper 60s / lower 70s and was partly cloudy to sunny.  Fairbanks was a sizzling 86.  Drive back to Anchorage got us back to upper 60s / lower 70s with sunny skies.  So we were all over the place weather wise as well as geographically.

 

If I were to do May again I would go as late as possible.  That first week in May was just too freaking cold.

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We did AK in June, and the weather was great (highs in the low 70's and sunny for the whole trip). One nice thing about going a bit later in the season is that the closer you get to mid June the later the sun stays up. Also, as it gets warmer the chances of seeing a glacier calving an iceberg increase. It was really cool to see the captain dispatch a lifeboat to retrieve a large piece and hoist it up into the main pool so we could all see one up close. We were in Sitka mid cruise, and the sun barely set at all. Sunset and sunrise were about 20 minutes apart - a once in a lifetime experience for a Floridian.😃

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Posted (edited)

May has been our favorite time so far. I agree with the others about the last half of May. We are sailing the week leading up to Memorial Day next year. 🙂

Edited by barbeyg
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We went to Alaska in late May and had wonderful weather.  We had very little rain and temperatures were 50s to mid 70s as we got farther south.  Spent last sea day in shorts it was so warm.  We saw calving at Hubbard Glacier and Mendenhall Glacier.  Saw lots of whales on our whale watch in Icy Strait Point as well as bears on the shoreline.  Too early to see salmon.  

 

We are scheduled to go again May 2022 as long as Quantum comes this way.

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2 hours ago, orville99 said:

We did AK in June, and the weather was great (highs in the low 70's and sunny for the whole trip). One nice thing about going a bit later in the season is that the closer you get to mid June the later the sun stays up. Also, as it gets warmer the chances of seeing a glacier calving an iceberg increase. It was really cool to see the captain dispatch a lifeboat to retrieve a large piece and hoist it up into the main pool so we could all see one up close. We were in Sitka mid cruise, and the sun barely set at all. Sunset and sunrise were about 20 minutes apart - a once in a lifetime experience for a Floridian.😃

We did a land and sea cruise tour in early June 2019. Weather was great the whole time. I wore shorts every day. We only had rain one day of the entire 10 day trip.

 

One nice thing about going early is that the locals/tour groups are happy to see new people. You don't  get the "great, here comes another bunch of cruise ship tourists" look at every stop.

 

Dave

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I went the week before Memorial Day, and it was too early for me.  Ended up having to buy a winter coat and gloves on the cruise. It snowed during one of our excursions. The worst thing for me was seeing no wildlife except for bald eagles. Apparently it was just too early for them (bears and whales) for them to be back. 

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