I am interested in an Alaska cruise for the next season. What is the best time to go & what cruise is best?

Question by Spanishpika: I am interested in an Alaska cruise for the next season. What is the best time to go & what cruise is best?
There will be about 7 people going. I know there are a lot of options out there. I am interested in a sea/land tour too. I want opinions on what is the best Alaska cruise to go on and when. Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Christabelle
I plan on going next year too. I got a great book from the Alaskan Tourist board. It is so informative! It points out the best places to go, what weather to expect during the months, etc. Go to the state’s website and request the booklet. You will be so happy you have it when planning your vacation.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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9 Responses to I am interested in an Alaska cruise for the next season. What is the best time to go & what cruise is best?

  1. shoe s says:

    spring and early summer ,take the inside passage cruise only ,you see alot more, the tours will be offered for each port,any ship that is going will be fine

  2. Kimo says:

    July ..Holland America Line

  3. denathecruiseplanner says:

    Okay, best time to see the most wild-life is mid July !!

    That is the best time and if you would like more information or quotes on your vacation, please let me know at dena@thecruiseplanner.com I have the lowest prices and the best service for your vacation

    Cruise Ships will depend on the age and your preference type. Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland, and Princess all do the Alaska Area. I would need more information to get you on the best ship that works for you!

    Thank you again

  4. missanglgrl says:

    Go in late June, July, or Early August. July is the most expensive time also. Holland America Line is the longest running line in Alaska.

    Feel free to email me and I will get you more information. My personal email is missanglgrl@yahoo.com after that I will provide you with my professional email so that I can send you information if you would like.

  5. Lex says:

    I would definetely go in late May/early June. That is when the prices are lower and there aren’t bugs. If you want to go on a sea/land tour, go on Holland America Lines. They own a private railroad that takes you from Anchorage to Denali National Park. The railroad goes farther into the park than any other road or trail. That can be very pricy in which case I would recommend the standard Inside Passage Cruise on Norwegian Cruise Lines. There are several tours at each port you stop in from helecopter rides to dog sledding on a glacier. And by the way, I like NCL better than Holland America, so if you do book the Inside Passage cruise, get it with NCL. They aren’t as nice, but they also aren’t super fancy so you don’t feel like you’re going to break something the whole time.

  6. Slider728 says:

    To be honest, I lived in Alaska and never cruised there, so I can not speak intelligently on what cruise line is best to take there.

    As to the best time of year to go, it really depends on what your intentions and interests are.

    Every major cruise in Alaska travels through SE Alaska, so my answer will be based on that. Here are the factors I can think of:

    Weather: The weather in SE Alaska is unpredictable. Though the cruise ships sail through September, I would avoid September if you are looking for the best weather. I have seen it rain every day for months in SE Alaska, so be prepared. June through early August is probably your best bet for nice weather.

    Fishing: If you plan on fishing during your cruise on an excursion, timing is very important. Salmon come in “runs”, that is they head to freshwater streams in groups around certain days. King Salmon tend to head toward fresh water from late April through May (King Salmon are the least predictable. They can be caught in the ocean or the streams all summer long). Sockeye (red) Salmon head for the streams roughly from early May to early June, hitting the streams by June (the Sockeye run seems to happen quick. Some places do not allow them to be fished from beaches). Dog (Chum) and Pink (Humpy) Salmon run from roughly the end of June to late August, hitting the streams in late July and early August. Coho (silver) Salmon run from late July to mid September, with mid August usually being the peak of the run. The dates are from my experience in Juneau and will vary slightly from city to city. If you have a big interest in charter fishing, try and contact the charter company in advance to seek their advice.

    Bears: Bears tend to be seen with the salmon runs. The salmon runs in the streams tend to be heaviest in August and September. If you are interested in taking a excursion to see bears, that would be the best time (there used to be a charter to Pack Creek on Admiralty Island in the Juneau area that always see lots of bears).

    Other Wildlife: Other wildlife is unpredictable. Eagles tend to be everywhere and usually hang out along the coast line and where fisherman hang out (they eat the scraps). Whales are around all summer long, but usually require a special excursion. I have rarely seen one close to land, at least in the Juneau area. Sea lions tend to hang out around boats and around islands away from the mainland (you would probably see them if you go see the whales). If you are lucky (or unlucky), you may see deer and bears while hiking trails, but this is very rare. If you are hiking by yourselfs, bears tend to avoid humans, but talk loudly, clap your hands, sing, or wear bells on your clothes so bears know you are in the area. They may attack if surprised (I’ve hiked more miles of trails and more mountains than I can remember, and I have yet to have a bear bother me).

    Shopping: A large majority of the tourist shops in all the ports close down for the winter. Because of this, the month of September tends to boast many sales in these shops as they are trying to get rid of their inventory for the year. This is just something to keep in mind.

    I wish you happy sailing. There really is not bad time to visit Alaska, as long as you are prepared. Be prepared for cool weather (mid 60’s to low 70’s) and fine, misty rain. I’d recommend carrying a rain coat (or a waterproof wind breaker or waterproof coat of some kind) and dressing in layers. The weather can warm up quickly when the sun comes out and cool off quickly when it is cloudy. If you go fishing on the open water, it can get cold in a hurry. It seems that the smaller the boat, the colder the fishing trip (when I would go out on a 16 ft open Aluminum boat, I dress like it was winter. Once you get out in the wind, rain, and water spray, there is no way to warm back up). Large boats tend to be warmer (not sure if it is because they usually have an area out of the wind or there is enough room to walk around and move).

    There is a good website on cruising at http://www.cruisecritic.com that also has message boards and various articles about cruising. You might find some of your answers on there.

  7. rick d says:

    Ms; I went 3 times last year. If you have the time a 11 day cruisetour is beyond words. Princess offers the best package for the price. If only going for 7 days then NCL freestyle cruise. You do not have to dress up all the time. May & Sept. are the times when rates are lower & weather is fine. Sept. all stores have 50% off sales. Check the web sites for deals. Take lots of film as nature is all around you.
    Enjoy.

  8. riteon says:

    We went with Princess Cruise last year in August. Its was wonderful. We were worried it might be getting cold by August but we were lucky, it was 70 to75 degree’s everyday. Never had any rain what so ever. No one can control the weather so we were lucky. I would go again, it was the best vacation we have ever had. I would like to do the sea/land tour also, I have heard it is fantastic. We took a 7 day cruise out of Seattle but would like to take the 11 day cruise that takes you further north in Alaska. No matter what you take or do its a great time.

  9. T says:

    I currently have a group booked on the Celebrity Summit for June 22 from Vancouver, Canada to Seward, Alaska (The Inside Passage).

    You have the option of just the 7 day cruise or a cruisetour (7 day cruise and 4 days post-cruise in Denali). Your group would be a welcome addition. If we add your group to my current group it might be possible for us to receive some group benefits.

    Its a great itinerary and wonderful ship. Whatever you do, I’d highly recommend a balcony stateroom for a cruise like this as the primary purpose of cruising Alaska is the scenery and wildlife.

    If you’d be interested in discussing, please email me at gsa_stlmo@yahoo.com. I’d be glad to discuss with you.