The Ultimate 2018 Alaska Cruise Guide
Alaska is a cruising destination unlike any other. With thousands of miles of beautiful coastline, beautiful fjords, glaciers, fascinating history, and majestic mountains, there is an endless supply of things to see and do. An Alaska cruise is one of the best ways to visit this rugged state, because you’ll be going during the best weather of the year, there are tons of excursions to choose from, and you’ll have the most incredible views you can only find from on board a ship. Plus, you’ll get to see all the sights in one convenient trip. Interested in an Alaska cruise? Here’s everything you need to know…
Best Time for Alaska Cruises
The season for Alaska Cruises goes from April to September, with the peak season from June to August. Although these months are the warmest of the year weather-wise, you never know what you’re going to get in Alaska. Visiting in June, July, or August will be your best bet for having the warmest weather. Visiting in the slightly off-season months of April or September means slightly cooler temps and erratic weather, but less crowds and better cruise deals.
Choosing Your Ship
All different types of cruise lines have itineraries in Alaska, so you’ll be able to take your pick of which cruise line you want. All cruise lines offer different features, so research which one will be the best fit for you. Larger ships offer more features on board, but only stop at major ports of call. Smaller ships have less entertainment options, but are able to get into more ports. From luxury cruises on smaller ships such as Windstar and Silversea, to family oriented cruises such as Disney and Royal Caribbean, there’s an Alaska cruise line that will fit all your needs.
Learn more about 2018 Alaska cruises here!
There are many incredible ports of call on an Alaska cruise, but here are some of the standouts.
- Juneau: Alaska’s capital is only reachable by boat or seaplane, so visiting on a cruise is one of the only ways to see the city. Kayak around Mendenhall Glacier, take the tramway to the top of Mount Roberts, or explore the Tracy Arm fjord.
- Skagway: Located along the Inside Passage, Skagway is home to the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where you can learn all about the Gold Rush era. You can also take the White Pass & Yukon Route railroad, which runs vintage trains along a scenic trail in the mountains.
- Glacier Bay: Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 3 million acres of stunning wilderness, glaciers, mountains, and fjords. It offers some of the most amazing scenery in the U.S. and is a great place for spotting wildlife.
When to Book
If you want the best selection of ships and the best rates, it’s best to book as soon as possible. Since there are a limited number of months for cruising Alaska, space tends to fill up fast. We recommend booking out as far in advance as possible to ensure you get a spot on the ship you want. On the flip side, there are many last-minute cruise deals in the months leading up to Alaska cruising season that are often worth taking advantage of, if you don’t mind waiting until the last minute.
What to Pack
Alaska is one vacation where you might want to end up bringing more than less options. Since the weather can change quickly in Alaska, it’s a good idea to bring lots of layers. One day you might only be in a light sweater, and another day you might need a heavy jacket and a scarf. You just never know. One of the most important things to bring on an Alaska cruise is an all-weather jacket, preferably with a hood. It doesn’t need to be super heavy—as long as you bring plenty of layers, a mid-weight jacket should be plenty. Also be sure to bring closed toed walking or hiking shoes, especially if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor activities. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella!
An Alaska cruise is a truly unforgettable experience. Whether it’s your first cruise or your hundredth, Alaska is like nowhere you’ve been before. Hopefully these tips help you plan your Alaska cruise!
Start planning your Alaska cruise vacation now! Check out our 2018 Alaska cruise itineraries here.