Many people ask, “What is the best month to cruise to Alaska?” Well, the answer is not so simple. Each month of our cruise season presents its own special spin on the experience, and so it’s really about what you’re wanting to get out of your cruise. Planning your Alaska cruise is about knowing what you want to see and do.
Not sure what we mean? Take a look:
Cruising to Alaska in May
Cruising begins in mid-May. It’s warming up now (well… for Alaska: with average temperatures of 39-54 degrees during this month). Pack long sleeves, and make sure to bring layers. The trees aren’t in full bloom yet, so now is the time to spot the wide range of wildlife on land. And in late May, the salmon runs start and Arctic char sightings begin – great news for those who love to fish.
Cruising to Alaska in June
Looking for warmer weather, but less tourists? A June Alaska cruise is perfect for you! Even warmer than the month before (you know… a toasty Alaskan 47-62 degrees), June also provides more daylight hours to play with. Lighter long sleeve shirts will suffice. And everything is in full bloom – great for land nature photographers. BONUS: Moose are birthing calves during this time – and who doesn’t want to see a baby moose!?
Cruising to Alaska in July
July falls smack dab in the middle of our cruise season! The natural world is full bloom, and the temperatures generally fluctuate between 51 and 65 degrees. The weather itself can be unpredictable (overcast at times and overly sunny at others), so, bring both your sunglasses and a raincoat! And the salmon run is in full force, meaning bear sightings are a regular occurrence.
Cruising to Alaska in August
August is blueberry season in Alaska – complete with a blueberry festival! Salmon are abundant, and that means those animals who feast on them are too (for those who are looking to get the most out of nature watching)! With weather from 48 to 63 degrees, and rainy days to illuminate the foliage’s true colors, August in Alaska is a visual spectacle.
Cruising to Alaska in September
The end of the season and beginning of the school year means a more-quiet and intimate Alaska cruise. Temperatures are cooling down (for that true Alaska experience), and generally fluctuate between 41 and 55 degrees (certainly bring sweatshirts and a jacket). Cold – maybe – but September offers two rare bucket list experiences: (1) the chance to see the northern lights (weather and conditions permitting) and (2) sightings of grey and beluga whales as they migrate along the coast.
So, what’s the best month to cruise to Alaska? Well, in short, the answer is: The best time to cruise to Alaska is whichever month is most intriguing to you. Check out our Alaskan expedition cruises here, and plan an Alaska cruise for yourself!