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Best time to visit Alaska

Alaska Cruises

The 49th state is explored the best by water

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Rugged mountains, breathtaking fjords, turquoise glaciers, and abundant wildlife make Alaska's coastline truly unique. The state boasts more than 2,500 islands and many breathtaking sites that can be only accessed by water. No wonder, over a million people book cruises in Alaska every year.

When is the best time to go on a cruise in Alaska

The best time to explore Alaska by boat is summer. The cruise season usually runs from late April through October, and each month has its advantages. May offers somewhat chilly but also dryer weather. You can also count on lower prices compared to the summer months. June, July, and August boast mellow weather and comfortable temperatures, but it's also more expensive to travel during the peak season. July marks the beginning of the wetter season with more rainfall, but it's also the best month in Alaska for spotting wildlife. During September and October, temperatures drop, and there's plenty of rain. However, you can enjoy fall foliage views and thinner crowds.

The budget for an Alaska cruise varies from $500 to $8000, depending on the type of boat, amenities, and the length of your stay. A standard trip includes a 6-day or 14-day itinerary. However, you can find a longer cruise, taking three to four weeks, as well as a smaller boat and off-the-beaten-track itinerary. Juneau is the busiest cruise port in Alaska and a good place to locate cruises.

Cruise routes

The Inside Passage is the most popular cruise route in Alaska. It starts from either Seattle in the USA or Vancouver in Canada and goes along the islands of the southeast coast of Alaska. Ships usually stop in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Sitka, Haines, or Victoria. Most cruises also visit the famous Glacier Bay National Park.

Cross Gulf of Alaska is an alternative cruise route that allows passengers to see more of Alaska's natural beauty. This route starts in Vancouver or Seattle and ends in Anchorage. Cruise ships stop in some Inside Passage towns as well as Hubbard Glacier, College Fjord, Prince William Sound, and Valdez.

Some cruise companies offer less touristic routes and destinations, such as the Aleutian Islands in the southwestern part of Alaska, where passengers can stop at indigenous villages and uninhabited islands.

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