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An All-Inclusive Guide to the Best Time to Cruise Alaska

If you are planning for an Alaska cruise, then check out this post to learn about the best time to cruise in Alaska.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book a Cruise to Alaska

Nestled in the far northwest corner of North America, Alaska is known for its breathtaking beauty, fascinating wildlife, rich culture, and history. These factors make it one of the best destinations for people looking forward to a cruising vacation. Alaska has two distinct seasons, featuring long, cold winters and short, intense summers.

Different seasons offer varied cruising experiences to people. So, when planning a vacation, it is important to choose the right time to get the most out of your Alaska trip. In this guide, you will get to know the best time to cruise in Alaska so you can go for a memorable trip in this remarkable corner of the world.

Temperature Table for Alaska Cruise Month Wise

The following table displays the best time to cruise in Alaska based on the average low and high temperatures for each month:

Month Low Temperature (°F) High Temperature (°F)
May 40.1 55.7
June 46.1 61.6
July 49.2 64.3
August 48.3 63.1
September 43.8 56.1
October 37.7 46.9

When is the Best Time to Go to Alaska on a Cruise?

The Alaska cruise season typically goes from May to late September. Sailings at the start and end of the Alaska season are typically less expensive due to the colder temperatures.

When is the Best Time to Cruise Alaska for Warmer Weather?

Cruise Ship Alaska

Photo by KrissOdyssey at pixabay

If you are looking for warmer weather during your cruising expedition, mid-May to mid-September is the best time to cruise in Alaska. During this period, the daytime temperature ranges from 40 to 60 degrees, with overnight temperatures dropping to 40s. Also, you can enjoy between 16 to 24 hours of daylight during these months.

In case you are planning for a 10-day Alaska cruise in 2024, it is important to note that the best summer visiting times are usually between mid-June and mid-July. The weather during this time is warm and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities like wildlife watching, fishing, and hiking.

If you are looking forward to a cruising expedition in 2024, consider planning your trip a few weeks before. You can go for a trip after the winter solstice on June 20 to maximize daylight hours. This provides you with extra time to appreciate Alaska's breathtaking scenery and have close encounters with its distinctive wildlife.

When is the Best Time to Cruise Alaska to Explore Wildlife?

Playing brown bears on the Alaska peninsula or coastal brown bears

Photo by cedecea at Freepik

When it comes to the best time to cruise in Alaska to witness the incredible wildlife, July is the perfect option. There are various captivating creatures, such as eagles, bears, salmon, moose, and whales, that you can behold at different times of the year. The following highlights when you can spot these incredible creatures:

When is the Best Time to Cruise Alaska for the Northern Lights?

In the Lofoten Islands, the northern lights are shown above a snowy mountain with the aurora borealis

Photo by mumemories at Freepik

Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, are among the world's most incredible natural wonders. The best time to cruise Alaska for the Northern Lights is during the latter part of the shoulder season, which is around late September. During this period, the days begin to shorten, and the nights become longer, creating the ideal conditions to catch a glimpse of this spectacular phenomenon.

Also Read: What month is best to see the Northern Lights in Alaska?

Which is the Best Time to Cruise in Alaska to Avoid Crowds?

Having fun at the Grandvalira ski station in Andorra on a sunny day

Photo by wirestock at Freepik

The best time to cruise in Alaska if you prefer a quieter experience with fewer tourists and more space is during the spring, earlier in the Alaska season, or towards the end of the Alaska season. During this time, you can experience stunning sights like Dall sheep and other wildlife coming down from the mountains to graze in lush fields. Additionally, spring also means fewer mosquitoes compared to the summer months.

When is the Best Time to Witness Glacier Calving via Alaska Cruise?

The glacier at Krossfjord in the Arctic Ocean

Photo by The Stocks at Freepik

The optimal period for observing glacier calving, which is a dramatic sign of climate change and a remarkable natural event, is during the warmer months of June, July, and August. During this time, active glaciers showcase the view of Arctic-blue ice breaking off into the sea.

How to Choose the Best Month for Alaska Cruise?

A cruise ship sails through Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska

Photo by wu-hsiung at Freepik

When it comes to choosing the best month for an Alaska cruise, your decision should align with your preferences and budget. The costs during each month can vary due to factors like weather, wildlife sightings, and demand. So, selecting the most budget-friendly month is important. Here is a quick rundown to help you to choose the best month for cruising as per your need:

Also Read: Where do Alaska cruises leave from?

Which are the Best Alaska Cruises for First Timers?

A cruise ship in crystal blue water with a blue sky in the distance

The following highlights the list of best Alaska cruises for first-timers:

Also Check: How much is a cruise from Vancouver to Alaska?


Choosing the best time to cruise in Alaska is essential to experience this remarkable corner of the world in its best form. Whether you opt for the shoulder seasons to save on costs and enjoy a quieter experience or prefer the warmer and wildlife-rich months of mid-May to mid-September, Alaska offers unique experiences year-round.

Tailoring your cruise to your interests and budget ensures an unforgettable adventure. So, plan wisely, and embark on your Alaskan cruising expeditions at the right time to make the most of this destination.

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