When is the Best Time to Take an Alaska Cruise?

Alaska, Tips and Guides, Wildlife,

When it comes to a holiday in Alaska, cruise packages are a fun and relaxing way to explore this beautiful North American state – and many offer shore excursions so you can immerse yourself in the unique flora and fauna found here. Whale watch at sea, venture onto dry land to see grizzly bears in the flesh and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

alaska cruise

To make the most of your time in Alaska, here is our guide to the best seasons for visiting.

When Should You Take an Alaska Cruise?

The short answer is any time between late April and September when most of our lines tend to run. However, while any month will allow for a fantastic trip, the absolute best time to go varies according to what you want to experience the most.

If you want… good weather

The warmest months are June to August, with temperatures that usually stay around a comfortable 18 degrees Celsius, so if you’re in search of a holiday that is neither too hot nor too cold this is the ideal time to go. During this part of the year the sun sets very late in the evening, usually between 8pm to 10pm, so your days will be long. However, it is important to remember that, no matter the season, the weather is often quite variable (i.e. a morning could be freezing cold, while it becomes warm and sunny in the afternoon) so make sure you pack accordingly.

Our Top Warm Weather Experience: Calgary Stampede, Canadian Rockies & Alaskan Cruise

If you want… to watch wildlife

If you want to see bears in their natural habitat, the best time to visit is in July and August during the salmon runs. These months are also when sea lions and seals tend to give birth to their young. Many of our Alaska cruises offer onshore excursions that will allow you to observe these animals up close.

cruises to alaska

Many of our Alaska cruises allow you to see different types of fascinating and rarely-seen fauna, many of which can be spotted all year round. Whale watching is a particularly popular option no matter the season. You will have the chance to see species such as grey, killer, beluga, humpback and blue whales, as well as other aquatic mammals such as otters and seals. Look up and perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the endangered bald-headed eagle.

Our Top Wildlife Experience: Alaska & Grizzly Bear Float Plan Adventure

If you want… to beat the crowds and save money

The quietest months to visit are late April, May and September – which means that savvy travellers who choose to book their holidays around this time will be rewarded with cheaper prices and fewer tourists. Another draw of a trip in September is the chance to see the Northern Lights in person (although a sighting is never 100% guaranteed, this is when you are most likely to catch a glimpse of the Aurora Borealis). These months are also when the weather is at is most unpredictable… so don’t forget your parka just in case!

Our Top Off-Peak Experience: Alaskan Bliss & the Emerald City

Whale watching, avoiding the summer rush, catching the best temperatures… whatever is most important to you, with this information in hand you can make sure you catch a ride on the Alaskan cruise of your dreams.