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Old 02-19-2018, 06:54 PM
 
347 posts, read 132,637 times
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I've gone on the first cruise of the season (end April/beginning of May) and another in August. You never know how the weather is going to be but surprisingly we had great weather both times. Princess cruises get top marks for going to Glacier Bay and for their land and sea trip which included the train to Denali and a few other days of sightseeing. You can take just the cruise portion. I've been on Celebrity and Royal Caribbean and both were excellent. Of course, with Alaska it's less about the ship and more about the destination. I'm going back again in August this time on Norwegian. Check out Cruise Critic mentioned above. You will find a ton of information including reviews of specific ships and suggestions for port excursions. Happy Cruising!
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
You don't need to be in a port city to enjoy a SE Alaska sunset. It's probably better from the ship anyway.

June is among the driest months on the panhandle. In the years I've lived there, I've never noticed late June to be particularly rainy (the rains seem to start in July or August), but an Alaska cruise probably isn't a good idea for those who want a sure thing as far as weather.

Here you go, OP:

http://www.weather.gov/media/ajk/art...EAKTouring.pdf
Hence why end May/early June is better than late June as you mentioned the gloom season is generally in full motion going into July. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to lessen the chances of rainy weather during an Alaskan cruise, the idea that, well don't come at all then if you want to try to avoid the wet season is a bit ridiculous lol.
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Old 02-20-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
Hence why end May/early June is better than late June as you mentioned the gloom season is generally in full motion going into July. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to lessen the chances of rainy weather during an Alaskan cruise, the idea that, well don't come at all then if you want to try to avoid the wet season is a bit ridiculous lol.

There is absolutely no predicting the wet season in southeast. May, June, July, August all can be wet and rainy.
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Old 02-20-2018, 12:41 PM
 
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^Agreed, but you and I actually live there, so what do we know. The rains are most likely to start in July in my experience, though.
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:43 PM
 
Location: on the wind
4,173 posts, read 1,552,742 times
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Having lived in SE near Glacier Bay for about 20 years I would also suggest late May-June for a chance of clearer weather (more chances to see those glorious glaciers and mountains). More photogenic icebergs in the fjords in spring. But, rainy weather can be quite beautiful and mysterious.

However, there are other things that could sway your thinking. What other things in addition to coastal fjord views are you interested in?

If you plan on taking some side excursions on shore, the bugs won't be out in full force earlier in the year. If you want to take Juneau Icefield overflights, the chance of good weather is higher in May/June. July and early August can be buggy on shore and the chances of rain start to go up again. It tends to be peak season for other tourists though. August can be very wet in SE, but not so farther north in the Interior. If you plan ground excursions farther north off the road system you'll need to check their operating seasons. May might be early for them.

Late in summer the tundra and higher elevations will be starting to show more color and animals will have their glossy summer coats, fat and starting to show antlers again. Caribou group up more and moose with calves are not as secretive. Bears become more tolerant of each other so you are more likely to see more than one waiting for salmon on river systems. Tourists drop off by then. If you want to see more marine mammals such as humpback whales, later in summer is a bit better. More activity at sea lion haul outs and rookeries, plus young animals around.
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Canada
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We visited Alaska (not a cruise) in mid to late June. Some sunshine, some rain, warm to cool weather, but NO mosquitoes yet. That's a big plus in our books. It is simply beautiful and we want to go back and spend more time traveling around more. (we were under a time schedule unfortunately)

OP, please make SURE that you book a cruise that is ROUND TRIP from your starting point, unless you want to rent a car or ride a bus back down to Vancouver or Washington, or wherever your cruise started from. Some are just one way cruises just in case you weren't aware...
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Old 02-21-2018, 12:11 AM
 
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouligann View Post
We visited Alaska (not a cruise) in mid to late June. Some sunshine, some rain, warm to cool weather, but NO mosquitoes yet. That's a big plus in our books. It is simply beautiful and we want to go back and spend more time traveling around more. (we were under a time schedule unfortunately)

OP, please make SURE that you book a cruise that is ROUND TRIP from your starting point, unless you want to rent a car or ride a bus back down to Vancouver or Washington, or wherever your cruise started from. Some are just one way cruises just in case you weren't aware...
The one way cruises are nice though because you get to see more and the drive from seward to anchorage is probably the most beautiful highway in the US. You would just fly back home straight from anchorage instead of vancouver or seattle.
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Old 02-21-2018, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Alexander Archipelago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw335xi View Post
The one way cruises are nice though because you get to see more and the drive from seward to anchorage is probably the most beautiful highway in the US. You would just fly back home straight from anchorage instead of vancouver or seattle.
Yes indeed. Besides, ocean going both ways takes more time and could be a bit too much of a good thing for many.

Other itinerary options are a cruise to Skagway, bus to Anchorage, then fly home. Or, just cruise to Juneau and fly home.

I'd guess that cruising both ways is actually less common than one way.
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Netherlands
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I would also like to go on a cruise! What do you all recommend for time of the year? And time spending there?
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Alexander Archipelago
2,803 posts, read 1,501,076 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flowerwil View Post
I would also like to go on a cruise! What do you all recommend for time of the year? And time spending there?
Read through this thread, and search for others. Ships come through SE during May-September. I don't recommend September, but any other month would be fine.

Book early-these cruises are quite popular. Some of the new ships can hold 4,000 passengers.

Number of cruise visitors expected to leap in 2019 | Juneau Empire - Alaska's Capital City Online Newspaper
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