What/when is the best time to cruise to Alaska - the time-money question, with a ship-fun-sun flavor. It totally depends on YOUR business schedule, YOUR family vacation ideas, YOUR "fun" predilections, YOUR age/energy. Another "best time" factors are YOUR money, of course, and often - your very own "best for Alaska" cruise line and ship preferences.
Best time to cruise Alaska - the months for money people
The largest, strangest, and the most unique of all the United states, Alaska is a territory of over 660,000 ml2 (over 1,700,000 km2), with population density of 1 person per sq-mi, and offering unique, and almost out-of-this-world experiences, mesmerising scenery, amazing wildlife and unpredictable weather that could be very extreme. Seasons change at different times in different regions, and the Alaskan temperatures range from 100F (38C) to -80F (-62C).
Alaska high/peak season is June-July-August. It's the best time to be there for FUN. The style is "Money's-Not-An-Issue", the season - the highest/worst prices.
- Alaskan family deals must be booked at least half year in advance (though an year is preferable) - limited number of family cabins on ships (3+ passengers), and additionally, some operators limit the total number of kids per sailing.
- An influx of people, visiting also for business (the seasonal fishing and construction industries).
- The summer school-break time, warm temperatures for swimming
- Months characteristics: warmest and the most expensive (July), rainiest (August). The best is June - the longest days of the year (June 21st has 20hrs of daylight), not all facilities/activities at Denali Park are open until late June. June is the worst if you don't like mosquitoes.
- Bargains with lower prices available before June 15, and after August 15.
Best time to cruise to Alaska in the months for budget travel people
Alaska "shoulder" season is May and September. The style is "Me-Myself-and-Alaska" - reduced crowds, lowest prices, special rates. And if you're asking how to get the best Alaskan deals, the short answer is repositioning cruise ships to and from Alaska.
- The lowest prices on Alaskan deals (most of the facilities stay open until Sept 15, excepting those in the Arctic).
- The best Alaskan passenger ships operate Inside Passage trips well into October.
- Short, but beautiful - the green of spring, and the red and gold of the September fall-foliage, more wildlife seeing (especially bears and moose), on Kenai Peninsula the Silver Salmon fishing is active until the end of the month.
- Before May 15 most tourist facilities/activities are still closed (some don't open until the last Monday of May - the Memorial Day).
- Risky, with unpredictable weather patterns (clouds, frequent rainstorms, cool weather). September is among the wettest months.
Cheapest-best months to go to Alaska - low & off season
Low season Alaska ship travel deals for October-November-April. Best time to take a cruise and enjoy the last cheapest ship relocation deals. Cheap Alaskan air and land packages are also offered, along with unending rains, snow and ice. Winter starts in November, April means ice melting and mud, no in-town activities, few visitors, many facilities are closed.
Alaska off-season travel (December through March) - best time to go if you don't like sea voyages at all, "Aurora-Borealis" style. It's the time of the Northern Lights nature phenomenon, the Alaskan best carnivals, best for sightseeing, less wildlife-viewing opportunities.
- the lowest most cheap Alaskan hotel rates, reaching 50% discounts, and deluxe accommodations at budget prices.
- late winter (Feb and Mar) is the peak of the Alaskan winter activities, like the "Fur Rendezvous" of Anchorage (late Feb), "Iditarod Sled Dog Race" (early Mar), Homer Salmon fishing, cross-country skiing, dog-sledging, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, and ice carving competitions.
- some of the most famous Alaska-only events - "Arctic Man Ski & Sno-Go Classic" (April, near Summit Lake), "Tesoro Iron Dog Snowmobile Race" (February, over 3,200 km race, starting from Wasilla, near Anchorage), the "Tour of Anchorage" (the first Sunday in March, 50km ski race - similar ski marathons are organized also in Homer, Talkeetna, and Fairbanks).
Best time to "cruise" the Alaskan discount deals prices
Best deals to Alaska usually signifies cheap 7-day Alaskan itineraries with either discounted prices or value added (bonuses). Often operated as Alaska Fly-Cruise deals, the Alaska all-inclusive sea and land tours, besides the deluxe lodging and gourmet meals, also include the flights, all the transfers, and guided Alaskan land tours. The miraculous Alaska is a feast to the eyes, gorgeously beautiful, and charmingly pure, so whatever the money tells you, reward yourselves with the touch of this uniqueness - no matter the price, or because of it.
The best and the least advisable option are the last minute Alaskan deals. They are the most risky, since the Alaska destination is the second most attractive after the Caribbean, but opened for business for slightly over 4 months a year, with almost 2 million tourists tightly packed in the span. Cheap to affordable Alaska land and sea packages are offered with the following options:
- Early Saver discounts of up to 40% with early booking (at least 6 months). For the family package deals, booking a year in advance is mostly recommended, due to the limited number of family cabins (3+ guests).
- Up to 45% cheaper deals to Alaska in the side-seasons - the "Shoulder" (May and Sep), and the Low (Oct, Nov, and Apr). The Cheapest cheap Alaskan hotel rates - up to 50% discounts, and budget priced luxury accommodations.
- The lines loyalty programs. The Past Guest recognition programs offer up to 25% discounts, special amenities and on-board events, and some even free cruise offers with a certain amount of points accumulated.
- The most cheap passenger ships to Alaska are big and mid-sized vessels. The passenger capacity of Alaskan ships can readily exceed 3,500 (guests only) - and that's for every 7-day sailing. Bigger crowd always means lower prices. These are mostly the Alaskan fleets of Celebrity (cheapest), Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean,.and to a certain extent Disney and Princess.
Luxury Alaskan all-inclusive cruise vacation deals are offered by Regent, Crystal, Silversea, Oceania, as well as numerous smaller Alaskan lines, such as The Boat Company, Lindblad, UN-Cruise Adventures (remember American Safari and Innersea?), ACL (American Cruise Lines) and Hapag-Lloyd - among the very best. The cheapest deals on luxury voyages are the exclusive one way Alaska repositioning trips. They are operated only in late Spring and early Fall, when the luxury ships change their operational region (Caribbean, Australia, or Asia). As a rule, Gov taxes and port fees on Alaskan cruises are much higher in comparison to other destinations (~US$400 on a 7-day sailing).
After finding the answer of the "Alaska BEST TIME to Go" question (when the money isn't an issue, time usually is), check the closely related to the unique Alaskan experiences main departure ports for the majority of the magical white expeditions:
- cruise to Alaska from SEATTLE
- cruise from VANCOUVER to Alaska
- cruise packing tips/lists
- planning a cruise.
You can share/like/rate our review on what is the best time to cruise Alaska via the social buttons. Visit us again soon for the updates about the best time for Inside Passage, to see Northern Lights, for wildlife watching (whales, eagles, bears), etc. So, when is it after all? The choice, the time and the money - it's all YOURS, guys. The fun has always have a price, and its price has always been right. But remember this - no matter the time of year, Alaska has its very big and warm heart - for those who need one.