When To Go And What To Take On An Alaskan Cruise…
You should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live.” – John Muir
“The Last Frontier,” “Land of the Midnight Sun,” or “The North Star State,” it doesn’t matter which one of its many nicknames you call it, Alaska is an amazing state.
Alaska was originally purchased by U.S. Secretary of State William Seward for about 2¢ an acre and boasts more than 3,000,000 lakes and 3,000 rivers….simply amazing! With all of its beauty and wildlife, it’s no wonder that it’s high on so many people’s bucket list of “must see” places.
Alaska’s cruise season runs from April to September. These 6 months give travelers the longest days and the warmest temperatures in which to enjoy a magnificent cruise.
Planning when to see Alaska…
- If temperatures are important to you, during the earlier months of Alaska’s cruise season, April and May, temperatures range from 40 – 50° Fahrenheit. While the temperatures during the months of June through August typically range from 60 – 40°, and September drops back down to between 50 – 40°.
- If you prefer smaller crowds of visitors, you’ll want to cruise during the earlier or later months.
- The Northern Lights are an amazing phenomenon which is visible during either the very early or very late part of the season.
- If you’re interested in the famous wildlife of Alaska, bears, bald eagles, dolphins and whales, you’ll be able to see them anytime. Ask your Travel Agent for information on when special wildlife excursions are available.
- Many people are very interested in seeing whales, which you can see throughout the season, but if you’re interested in gray whales, April and May are your best bet, and humpback whales are typically spotted during the peak of summer.
Packing for your Alaskan Cruise…
This is not a cruise you’re taking for tropical breezes and golden suntans, you’ll have to pack a bit differently. Consider that you’ll be travelling from oceans to mountains, from tundra to glaciers and temperatures can go from mild to quite chilly.
- The key to packing for Alaska is to think thin layers. Lightweight layers you can easily peel off if the temperatures get warmer.
- The first layer could be a lightweight, short sleeved shirt, followed by a lightweight sweater, flannel shirt or maybe a hoodie to keep the warmth in, then finish off with a jacket or a coat. This makes it easy to stay comfortable however the weather.
- The jacket you bring should be an all-weather jacket that is breathable yet waterproof. Keeping out the dampness is critical to your comfort. It should also have a hood, and if it attaches and detaches, all the better. (This way, you don’t need to pack an umbrella.
- Pants will be an important part of your wardrobe. Pack at least 2 comfortable pairs of pants that will keep you warm.
- *** 2 Requirements for comfort and warmth: no torn jeans, and bring jeans or pants that have enough room in them to wear some long underwear beneath them.
- Leave your flip flops at home, and pack 2 pairs of close-toed shoes. One of the pairs is preferably waterproof. Be sure they’re comfortable and have good grip for any land adventures you might choose to go on.
- You can bring a swimsuit and coverup…many of the ships have pools onboard, some of which have domed covers. But for many people, the temperatures are still a little bit on the cool side. But don’t forget, there are also spas and hot tubs you can enjoy.
- For formal nights…formal nights on an Alaskan cruise are a little less formal, you don’t have to wear something that is strictly formal.
- For the ladies you can wear a pair of black pants with a nice sweater, or if you’d prefer, you could wear a dress or skirt and sweater.
- For the men, nice slacks, with a sweater or a sport coat is appropriate. Talk to your Travel Agent about your formal clothing if you are unsure.
- Accessories are important! Don’t forget to pack:
- camera – you never know who you’ll see….
- knit hat
- neck scarf
- sunglasses – preferably polarized
- plenty of socks that will keep your feet warm and dry
- bug spray (if you go on excursions June – August)
- lightweight/waterproof bag or pack
- phone charger
- travel documents
Now that you know what to pack, give me a call and we’ll book your Alaskan Cruise…
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Let me help you choose the cruise or trip that will be perfect for you. I can give you information on what’s going on in the cruise world today, and help you “navigate” through situations where you might have to reschedule.