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Old May 21, 12, 1:00 pm   #1
 
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when is the best time for Alaska cruises?

never been to Alaska before. so wondering what is the best time if I want to take a cruise (maybe plus land) tour?

I'd thought winter is the peak season, but would Aug/Sep sounds fine as well?
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Old May 21, 12, 1:37 pm   #2
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Purely summer as far as big ships go. Season just started this month and runs until September.
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Old May 21, 12, 1:49 pm   #3
 
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For a cruise your choices are usually May through September. May and September are usually less crowded, but you also run the risk of things not being open. I've had better weather in May and June but it's always a crapshoot.
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Old May 21, 12, 2:43 pm   #4
 
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Cheapest is May and Sept/Oct

Warmest is July/Aug

Neatest is late June, when the sun shines nearly all day long.
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Old May 21, 12, 5:22 pm   #5
 
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Mid June to mid July. Longest, warmest days for sure.

Any other time, much greater chance of cold, rain, and what people often fail to forget about Alaska, fog!

People often go e.g. September or early June to save money. Penny wise, Pound Foolish!

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Old May 21, 12, 6:09 pm   #6
 
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That's great info. Thanks to all!
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Old May 22, 12, 11:26 am   #7
 
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One other thing to consider, if you want to do bear viewing out of some of the ports, apparently early in the season isn't as good a choice. For example, in Ketchikan, most of the bear viewing floatplane trips don't start operating until mid July or so, because they bears aren't in the right locations until then.
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Old May 22, 12, 2:26 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piper28 View Post
One other thing to consider, if you want to do bear viewing out of some of the ports, apparently early in the season isn't as good a choice. For example, in Ketchikan, most of the bear viewing floatplane trips don't start operating until mid July or so, because they bears aren't in the right locations until then.
good to know that, too. This is the reason I love FT!

Thanks, piper28!!
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Old May 24, 12, 8:09 pm   #9
 
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One other thing to consider, if you want to do bear viewing out of some of the ports, apparently early in the season isn't as good a choice. For example, in Ketchikan, most of the bear viewing floatplane trips don't start operating until mid July or so, because they bears aren't in the right locations until then.
I think that's because that's when the salmon run, which would be a sight in and of itself.
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Old May 25, 12, 9:51 am   #10
 
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I think that's because that's when the salmon run, which would be a sight in and of itself.
Yup, pretty sure that's the reason. I know when we were in Ketchikan in August a couple years ago, you could see the entire creek along Creek Street just full of salmon, and further upstream you could watch them jumping their way up the river. Was definitely interesting to see.
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Old May 25, 12, 9:57 am   #11
 
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Also, if the weather in port is misty do an otter watching excursion (close to shore) - if clear, go for whales (open water). Take zip lock baggies for the cell phone, camera and electronics. Layer your clothes. Generally cheaper to run Seattle to Seattle. Bring the binoculars and shoes that won't slip in the wet.

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good to know that, too. This is the reason I love FT!

Thanks, piper28!!
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Old May 25, 12, 11:02 am   #12
 
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Our Alaska cruise from Seward down to Vancouver was over Labor Day weekend 2003, so early September. The weather for seven days was absolutely beautiful, sunny, cool and a very slight breeze. In Ketchikan, we had a few hours one afternoon of light mist, but no fog.

The week before it was cold and it rained 24/7!

Be sure to have a port intensive cruise, there is so much to do ashore!
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Old May 25, 12, 11:07 am   #13
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FWIW, weather there is highly variable. Flew up in early April 2002 (huge huge mileage purposes - got me some 480,000k worth) to JNU and weather for 2 days was great in JNU, SIT and KTN (no cruise ship ). Flew up again (flight misposted) in late July and it was heavy rain.
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Old May 29, 12, 8:36 am   #14
 
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We took an Alaska cruise during the first week of June in 2009 and it was cold! We had packed capris and jeans, short and long sleeve shirts. We ended up buying coats while in port. It was snowing when we left Ketchikan!

We saw a few whales while on the ship but we were told that it was too early in the season for the salmon and wildlife. Alaska is beautiful - but we missed some great things!

We're going back to Alaska this year (2nd week in July) and are hoping for a tad warmer weather and to see wildlife this time!
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Old May 29, 12, 9:52 am   #15
 
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We took an Alaska cruise during the first week of June in 2009 and it was cold! We had packed capris and jeans, short and long sleeve shirts. We ended up buying coats while in port. It was snowing when we left Ketchikan!
The funny part is I was there the last week in May 2009 and we experienced record highs in every port. I came back home with a sunburn. But if I remember correctly, the last two weeks of May was the only good weather of the entire 2009 season. That's the thing with Alaska, one day may be perfect and the next day may be miserable. Prepare for anything.
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