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Alaska question for jenifermg0

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  • Alaska question for jenifermg0

    We are thinking about booking a cruise tour to Alaska next summer, possibly looking at June. Weather-wise what are good months to visit Alaska?

  • #2
    I'm not her, but we've been twice in September on the Alaskan cruise and had lovely weather both times.

    Enjoying some relaxation time on the Transatlantic cruise on the Disney Magic - I'm Cheryl and with my husband Mark, we love visiting Disney and exploring the world...


    • #3
      We went for 2 weeks in June, out of Vancouver. We only had a couple of days that the rain affected our excursions. But June is a rainy month. Lightweight rain jacket and 2nd pair of shoes worked great for us. The Salmon are running in September which means more bear activity. We went on NCL and had a fabulous time.


      • #4
        Weather in Alaska is kind of random, just like in Orlando.
        For instance, yesterday - the sun was shining when I headed to work.
        Then as I was working outside (sometimes I have to do that), we had huge angry looking black clouds that didn't do anything but cover the sun for a bit. The wind came and went.
        After work, the sun was back, until early evening when we got a small rain shower. And this morning the sun was out again but according the trooper who just stopped by, it's all clouded over again (and I have only been at work for two hours).

        Anyway, July and August are great times typically here. A little less rainy.
        HOWEVER...the cruises go into what we call Southeast or the Panhandle (look at a map of Alaska and you will get the reference)...And Southeast is basically a rainforest. So it rains - A LOT...did I mention it rains a lot?

        Another consideration - During June and July, the daylight will mess with some people. Right now we are averaging around 20 hours from sunrise to sunset. And in late June, even after the sun sets, it really doesn't get all that dark. We are getting some dark right now, but not for very long.

        September is a great time because the trees will be just starting to change color a little and the views are AMAZING! PatV mentioned the salmon running - well, right now the salmon are already running all across the state (DH is headed out dip netting or combat fishing soon and a friend of ours is working at a fish wheel this weekend) . The big thing about September, the bears are out and about trying to get ready for hibernation. In addition to the salmon running, berries are ripe and they are basically stuffing themselves,

        No matter what time of year, you decide on - Dress in layers, bring a extra pair (or two) of shoes, in case one pair gets wet, bring a rain coat or other water resistant coat and/or and umbrella. Be prepared to enjoy yourself even in the rain. We go camping, have bbqs, do whatever, even when it is raining (or snowing - yeah, I have winter camped once and I'm over it). Also, BRING BUG REPELLANT!!!!!!!! Our skeeters will carry you off if you are playing the woods at all. Unlike Disney, we do not have massive systems for keeping the darn things away.

        The past few years we have had a little less rain and a little more sunshine (at least in South Central, which is the Anchorage/Matanuska Valley/Kenai Peninsula area), but as I mentioned above, Southeast is a rainforest...plan accordingly.

        Hope you have a wonderful time! And if you ever have the opportunity, I suggest a land tour that will take you up into the Interior (Fairbanks/Denali). You miss soooooo much about Alaska by only seeing Southeast. I love my state and love when people come to visit it and love it as much as I do!


        • Mouseketeer
          Mouseketeer commented
          Editing a comment
          So much to think about! We are just starting to look at itineraries, but we are thinking of doing a 3-4 day land tour that includes Denali and then do a 7 day cruise that travels South.

      • #5
        YEAH!! I just assumed that you were looking at Disney cruise or just a cruise. So many people do just that, but there is so much to Alaska that miss by just doing the cruise.

        You might want to look into the itineraries for the Alaska Railroad. The views you get from the train are incredible. We took my DH's dad (from Phoenix) on the train from Anchorage to Seward (south not north from Anchorage) and went on a glacier cruise out of Seward. Over the course of the day, we saw it all! Eagles, moose, bears, Dall sheep, mountain goats, otters, orcas, sea lions! It was fantastic!!! Now, I can't guarantee this will happen for you, but the train heads out into some areas that are not right next to the highway so the wildlife is a little more relaxed and hanging out.

        The train goes north to Denali/Fairbanks and south to Whittier and further south to Seward. In the past cruises have gone into/out of both Whitter and Seward. I will say, Whittier is tiny, tiny, tiny!!! Most of the full time residents literally live in the same condo building!!! It is a beautiful area, but not a lot to do (unless you are planning on berry picking and then they have a great crop of salmonberries!). Seward has more to do and it a lot of fun as well as just being down right beautiful! They even have a zipline - which I have done that is awesome! You literally step off the side of a mountain on your first zip!

        I haven't ever researched it, but I know there are a lot of good tour companies. Princess has ships, buses, lodges and, I think, they even contract with the Railroad.

        I don't know if the cruises have resumed to Seward/Whittier and it has been years since they docked in Anchorage, but you can look into that.
        Please let me know if you have any other questions and I'll do my best to answer them.


        • Mouseketeer
          Mouseketeer commented
          Editing a comment
          I appreciate your feedback - sounds like you took your visitors on some wonderful excursions.

          We are probably going to travel late May/beginning of June. (The other two couples we are traveling with live near the Gulf Coast and do not want to be away during hurricane season, which starts in July. The cruise rates are slightly better - Alaska is expensive next year due to demand!)

          I think we've narrowed it down to a Princess cruise/land tour that starts in Anchorage and overnights at both their Mt. McKinley and Denali lodges, then a 7 day Southbound cruise.

          I'll admit, I am a little nervous about planning a trip in these current times. I will definitely make sure we have trip insurance!

        • jenifermg0
          jenifermg0 commented
          Editing a comment
          Alaska is completely open right now. There are a few places that currently are requesting you wear masks, but nothing major. Our numbers have been pretty good - tho like the rest of the US, they are going up a little. Hoping we can get more people vaccinated and get the numbers back down. We were doing soooooo good for a while there. I don't blame your nervousness - I'm hoping to go to Hawaii in April and on a cruise in Oct 2022 and I'm nervous. We booked the cruise - and included trip insurance!!!!!!!!!! Nothing booked for Hawaii yet.

          I have never been on a Princess cruise or any other their land tours. However, they have been in Alaska for decades and the lodges are beautiful. Just remember - spring in Alaska is mid to late May. Delay into June if you can! The farther north you go, the later spring is. If you want to see everything green and need to go as late into June as you can.

          Wishing you the best! Hope our wildlife comes out to play for you! And that Denali doesn't try to hide!! Side note: When you get to Anchorage and you see the mountain (not Denali) off in the distance across the water, that's Sleeping Lady. There is a whole legend behind the mountain!

      • #6
        I'm not Jennifer either but I will let you know about my June 2018 trip. We were originally going to do the land/cruise through the cruiseline , but we ended up doing the land portion on our own. We flew out to Anchorage 6/5/18, cruise was 6/10/18 - 6/17/18 (Seward - Vancouver, Holland America), spent the night in Vancouver, drove to Seattle, stayed 2 nights, and flew home 6/20/18. Weather was great, very little rain (had a tiny bit in Juneau when we were at Mendenhall Glacier, only real cold was at Denali when we took the bus to Eilson (pack some layers for that bus!!!). June is not a good time to see bears or salmon, though.

        For the land portion, we got in really late 6/5, picked up the rental car early the next morning and drove to Denali w. stops along the way. Stayed at the Denali Lakeview Inn, did an ATV ride, rafting and the shuttle bus in the park up to Eilson (not the narrated tour, but the drivers tell you just as much, you just don't have the little TVs). Drove back to Anchorage, spent the night and took the train to Seward to get on the ship. That portion of the train is the best, so we didn't feel the need to take the train all the way from Denali. Splurge on the glass top portion of the train f you can! Since we were just doing the Anchorage - Seward leg, we were able to splurge. If you feel comfortable planning the land portion yourself, I'd do that. You'll see a whole lot more than just riding everywhere on a bus.

        After the cruise, we taxied to the hotel in Vancouver. Did sightseeing, spent the night, and picked up the rental car the next morning to drive to Seattle, making lots of stops along the way. Went through the town where they filmed Once Upon a Time on ABC - cute!!! Rested that evening, spent the next day sightseeing in Seattle, then flew home the next morning. We were flying home on points w/ Southwest, so we decided to stay longer and sightsee. Could have just taken the train from Vancouver and flew right home, but who knows when we will be back over there!

        Don't know where you are located, but we flew from NC to Anchorage via Seattle - oh my, what a long trip!!!


        • jenifermg0
          jenifermg0 commented
          Editing a comment
          Taking the train is a GREAT way to see Alaska. The glass top is the best - you can see all around you and get some wonderful panoramic views. You get away from the road and are a little more likely to see wildlife. I've done the Anchorage to Seward train ride a few times. I really want to do the one to Denali/Fairbanks! Problem is finding the time and someone (hubby or otherwise) to go with me.

          And you are correct - June is not the time for bears or salmon. Mid-late July/August is a much better time. That's when the salmon are running and the bears are after them! But May/June is a good time to see Mama moose and their new babies.