A cruise to Alaska is never a bad thing. Leading cruise lines offer cruises throughout the year. The cruise season usually lasts from April to September, especially in the summer months. However, the “best” time to travel is really subjective.
Many people prefer to travel in the summer months because of the warm temperatures. Budget cruisers prefer to wait until May or September, when fares are cheaper and the crowd is smaller. The downside of the off-season is that the weather is more unpredictable and excursions are more likely to be canceled. If you want to check out the Northern Lights, the best opportunity is to see them in September. Again, there is a lack of travel around this time because of the preference for the Gulf of Alaska, which is not good for travelers who are prone to seasickness.
When planning a cruise to Alaska, you will find that there are three major routes that most major cruise lines follow: back and forth to Vancouver, back and forth from Seattle, and one way from Vancouver to Alaska. You can also consider a cruise excursion that combines a cruise around Alaska with a land tour, before or after the actual cruise. These types of travel packages can be anything from a trip to Anchorage / Fairbanks / Drenal for 3 – 5 days to a trip to the Canadian Rockies for 7 – 7 days.
If your time is limited and you do not get a chance to make the excursion before or after the cruise, then choose a route that includes a shore excursion or two so you can go on a mini-tour or just enjoy a day in Alaska’s port city.
Where to visit a cruise in Alaska
You also want to take a route that gets you as close as possible to some glaciers. The most beautiful glaciers in the world can only be seen around Alaska by ship. If you are heading to Juneau at any time of the trip, consider visiting the Tracy Arm Fjord via a float plane. This is a show you don’t want to miss. Many travelers prefer to plan and book their own excursions, since those offered as a package by cruise line tend to raise the price significantly.
Going on a cruise to Alaska requires more than just booking the cheapest package you have come across. You must consider the city of departure (Seattle or Vancouver), the time of year and the weather, route and port of call. An Alaska cruise can last from 5 to 21 days in both directions and one way. Although a one-way cruise sounds nice, you can ultimately pay more for a ticket to Seattle or Vancouver before returning home to your own city!
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