A Guide to Choosing the Best Months to Cruise to Alaska

Alaska is a breathtaking destination that offers stunning landscapes, incredible wildlife, and unique cultural experiences. One of the best ways to explore this magnificent state is by taking a cruise. However, choosing the right time to embark on an Alaskan cruise can greatly enhance your experience. In this article, we will guide you through the best months to cruise to Alaska, taking into account weather conditions, wildlife sightings, and popular attractions.

The Shoulder Seasons

May and September are considered the shoulder seasons for cruising in Alaska. These months offer several advantages for travelers looking for a more relaxed and budget-friendly experience.

During May, you can witness the arrival of spring in Alaska. The snow begins to melt, and wildlife starts emerging from hibernation. This is an excellent time for bird-watching as migratory birds return to their nesting grounds. Additionally, you may have a chance to see baby animals such as bear cubs or moose calves.

September marks the beginning of fall in Alaska. The foliage turns vibrant shades of red and gold, creating a stunning backdrop for your cruise. Moreover, September is an ideal month for whale-watching as humpback whales start their migration south.

Peak Summer Season

June through August is considered peak summer season in Alaska. These months offer longer daylight hours and milder temperatures compared to early spring or late fall.

June is particularly popular among travelers because it offers a balance between good weather conditions and fewer crowds compared to July and August. You can expect pleasant temperatures during this month with average highs ranging from 60°F to 70°F (15°C-21°C). June also provides ample opportunities for wildlife sightings including bears fishing along riverbanks or eagles soaring overhead.

July and August are typically warmer months in Alaska with average temperatures ranging from 65°F to 75°F (18°C-24°C). These months attract a larger number of tourists due to summer vacations. However, the increased crowds are offset by a greater variety of shore excursions and activities. You can take advantage of longer daylight hours to explore glaciers, go hiking, or enjoy kayaking in pristine waters.

Factors to Consider

When choosing the best months to cruise to Alaska, there are several factors to consider apart from weather and wildlife sightings.

Firstly, your budget may influence your decision. Shoulder seasons like May and September often offer discounted rates on cruises. If you’re looking for cost-saving options, these months may be ideal for you.

Secondly, consider the type of experience you want. If you prefer a quieter and more intimate cruise with fewer crowds, the shoulder seasons may be preferable. On the other hand, if you enjoy a bustling atmosphere with more onboard activities and shore excursions to choose from, peak summer season might suit you better.

Lastly, keep in mind that weather conditions in Alaska can vary greatly throughout the day. It’s advisable to pack layers of clothing that can be easily added or removed as temperatures change. Regardless of the month you choose for your cruise, always be prepared for rain and unpredictable weather patterns.


Choosing the best months to cruise to Alaska depends on your preferences and priorities as a traveler. Whether you opt for the shoulder seasons or decide on peak summer season, an Alaskan cruise promises awe-inspiring scenery and unforgettable experiences with nature’s wonders.

Consider factors such as budget, wildlife sightings, weather conditions, and desired level of activity when planning your Alaskan adventure. With careful consideration and proper preparation, you’ll have an incredible journey exploring one of nature’s most spectacular destinations – Alaska.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.