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Alaska in August or September


chris153
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Looking for an Alaskan cruise 2023.   Any thoughts on when would be better? August or September?  And also any thoughts on ships and itineraries.

 

THanks

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We went last year in late August.  Weather was sketchy but it is Alaska so its what we expected.  Only one day of weather that affected our excursions and we still got to do it they just had to shorten it to get out of port ahead of the weather.  That was the only day of rain we got.  The only real disappointment was our Glacier morning the fog was so heavy we couldn't see anything.  You just have to take your chances with weather on an Alaska cruise no matter what month you go..

 

Last years trip was on Serenade, this year we are going on Ovation.  I had a good time on Serenade last year but I think I'll enjoy the bigger ship more.  It really depends on what you are looking for from a ship.

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We live north of Seattle and have sailed to Alaska many times. The weather in Alaska is generally not predictable, but August early is normally good, with possibility of scattered fog later in the month. We have sailed in September, and it has been beautiful, or not. Just go and enjoy whatever weather you encounter. Both months are great cruising months, and the temperatures are normally in the 70's. 

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We have cruised during September several times and it's been mixed.  Early in the month it's been cold and damp  and then the last week of September was beautiful.

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It is so hard to know which is better.  We cruised in Sept & Oct. on the Ovation and had great weather in October.  We love the Ovation, so that would be our choice.

We are going in Aug. this year, so we shall see.

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We sailed late August/early September last year and while it was raining most of the time, the seas and temperatures weren't bad at all.  Friends went 2 weeks later and said they wouldn't cruise that late in the season again.  Bad weather with high winds and rough seas was their experience.

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The only thing you can't change when cruising (or any other vacation) is Mother Nature.  We did the last Alaskan cruise on Serenade years ago.  Did a lot of research and packed accordingly.  Every port was the same - locals would tell us that we were so lucky to have this weather - sunny and 70s every day.  That was not what I had planned on.  Thankfully, the cruise went from Alaska to Seattle to San Francisco and ended in Los Angeles so I had "warm" weather clothes.  Being from the Northeast, any temperature over 50 means shorts and an appropriate top (long sleeves to tank top).  Enjoy!

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As others have pointed out, the weather is anybody's guess in either month. September cruise fares tend to be lower, however. And if you go the last week or two of the season, the gift shops in the ports will have a bunch of clearance sales. I discovered that quite by accident once, and everybody got 50% off Alaska Christmas gifts that year. 😄

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Alaska will be our next cruise, and I was talking to some neighbors who have done it several times.  They said don't go in September because many things are already shut down by then so a lot of shore activities and attractions won't be available.

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Our first four trips in September had great weather, with land tour having snow south of Denali and 72 degrees in Fairbanks.  Count on very cold and probably wet near glaciers.  Ships with inside pools in adult Solarium allow kids in them a couple of hours morning and afternoon. 

 

Best time to go is to take the last northbound cruise tour of the year.  They shut the hotels and shops down behind you and sales are fantastic.

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I am going the first week of September this year - best time to travel for us and hoping for decent weather but will roll with whatever we get. 

 

Most tours still seem to be operating...helicopter to a glacier with dog sledding seems to be the only one that shuts down in August but there was some availability for it in Juneau still. I can't afford that so it didn't bother me. There is a teeny tiny chance of seeing the northern lights in September as well. Not counting on it, but that would be the best cherry on top!

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