Best Time of Year to Go on an Alaskan Cruise

The best time of year to go on an Alaskan cruise

Alaska is an idyllic destination year-round, but the weather and wildlife are at their finest during peak summer months. Many travelers are discovering that shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) offer a more relaxed experience with fewer tourists and lower cruise prices.

No matter when you take your cruise, whether it be to spot humpback whales and orcas, watch salmon swim upriver, explore national parks or go kayaking, it will be an unforgettable experience. Cruises in any month offer you the perfect chance to do just that – join us for an unforgettable journey.


If you want to witness Alaska’s wildlife at its most vibrant, May is the ideal month. It’s one of the driest months and features spring migrations, newborn animals and an awakening landscape.

June and July are ideal months to observe whales, as humpbacks and orca cruise along the Inside Passage in search of salmon.

By visiting during wintertime, when nights are long and dark, you may increase your chances of seeing the northern lights. However, these sights are rare.


June is the most popular month to go on an Alaskan cruise, due to its long daylight hours and low chance of rain. It’s also one of the best months for wildlife sightings – eagles perched high in forest canopy or feasting on salmon runs are just some examples!

For those seeking to escape the crowds but still enjoy Alaska’s beauty, the shoulder season (May and September) offers lower pricing, travel incentives and added perks.

In June, Alaska’s wilderness comes alive with moose, caribou, bears and other wildlife out and about. You may spot pods of beluga whales swimming alongside seabirds, seals and other marine life on the beaches.


July is one of the best months to take an Alaskan cruise, as temperatures typically range from 50-70 degrees and you’ll get some of the warmest weather of the season with up to 18 hours of sunlight daily.

As with other months, you can expect some rain during your Alaska cruise in July; however, it should be relatively light.

Another popular activity in Alaska is glacier calving, which you can witness during the warmest months of June to August. Ice calving is both a dramatic reminder of climate change and an amazing sight to behold.


When planning an Alaskan cruise, the best time to go depends on your preferences and travel plans. The most popular months for sailing are July and August; however, the shoulder seasons of May and September offer great advantages as well.

These months are usually dry on the Alaskan coast, making for great deals on small-boat tours around town and along the water at this time of year.

On a warm and dry day, you can experience nature at its finest. You may spot brown bears, moose with their calves, seabirds and seals during your visit.


Alaska cruises offer breathtaking summer vistas, thrilling wildlife encounters and iconic land excursions. Traditionally, July and August have been considered the best times to go; however, shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October) are becoming increasingly popular due to lower-priced cruises and seasonal events like seeing the northern lights.

Early season cruises from smaller, boutique lines such as Alaskan Dream Cruises and UnCruise Adventures offer an opportunity to witness wildlife before it’s too late in the year. Additionally, as spring approaches, Alaska’s landscapes begin to come alive from their long winter.


For the optimal Alaskan cruise experience, October is an ideal month to book. This is when cruise lines often offer lower fares and more cabin choices.

At this time of year, you’ll have more daylight hours to take in all the sights and attractions Alaska has to offer.

If you’re hoping to see the Northern Lights, this is your best bet. However, since auroras aren’t as bright in October as they are during wintertime, you may need to spend more time outside your stateroom in order to maximize your chances.