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Best time to do Alaska cruise between May-Sept?


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I'm looking at a cruise next Summer to Alaska - when is the best time to go?

Is there a dramatic change in weather and scenery / likelihood of seeing whales and other animals dependant on when you travel?

Lastly, what was your favourite moment of the trip to Alaska for past cruisers.

Thanks Linda
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We've had good luck with weather in late May/early June and many consider this the best time to go. But others post that late season has been good. Some of the last cruises in Sept. experience more fog and it's dark so much later that IMHO only the long, endless days of early June are the best. Cruise Critic will have a group cruise to Alaska next year..you can participate as much or as little as you like.. waiting for some rates to be finalized

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We have cruised Alaska 3 times, June, July and August. Are cruising again 6-5-04, Regal Princess. I did not choose this sailing date and if it were my choice, July is my favorite. Because the salmon are running. I thought this was the coolest thing I have ever seen. We all know that salmon return to where they were hatched to spawn, but to actually see how hard they work to get there was amazing! At Gold Creek in Juenau I actually wanted to help them up the waterfall. We had our best weather in July, actually wore shorts one afternoon in Skagway. We have never seen Bear but have booked more wildlife excurisions this time and maybe we will. Have seen whales, otter, eagles and seals everytime. Have a great time planning, whatever you choose will be wonderful. desert daisy
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I recommend late May/June as well for the great weather and daylight but my favorite time is mid to late August. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities with the full salmon runs. [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Shoulder season rates and sometimes slightly less crowds interior. A factor will be where you are going?? I don't recommend after the first week of Sept for a first timer- there are too wide of variables possible re weather. Last year- was exceptional and far from the norm. If you go at this time, expect and look for good discounts.
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Thanks to all for the replies.

I'm considering Celebrity Cruises which covers: Juneau / Skagway / Hubbard Glacier / Ketchikan / Sitka / Inside Passage. Some of their cruises also cover somewhere called the "Icy Strait".

They offer longer 16 nt cruises in May and September, or 9/10 day cruises between these months, and ideally I wanted to do the 16 night one but worry that it will be freezing in May?!
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OK - so I feel a bit of a fool...

Avg temp advertised for main Alaska ports (Ketchikan/Juneau/Anchorage):
May 53-59 deg F
June 59-63 deg F
July/Aug avg 64 deg F

Are these what I should expect?
Thanks for your patience!
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I live in Fairbanks/North Pole, Alaska, which is in the interior of Alaska and it's 67 deg F right now at 3:18 p.m. beautiful and that's average for this time of year. [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Juneau rains a lot any time of year but when it's sunny it's warmer in May threw August. [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
You can go to the Juneau web site [url="http://www.juneau.org"]www.juneau.org[/url] to check out the web cam or weather!

9/04 Pride Second Anniversary, First Honeymoon!
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