Most people considering a trip to Alaska travel between May and September, with mid-June through mid-August being peak season. These are the warmer months, the days are longer, the snow has melted, the whales have migrated north and are putting on great "shows". Alaska's interior becomes more accessible. It's a beautiful time.
It's also a time when the cruise ships start arriving with thousands of passengers. During the peak months some ports can have 3-4 ships in at the same time, disembarking 5-8000 passengers. The beauty offered during these months unfortunately also comes with crowds.
Why not give yourself plenty of elbowroom and see Alaska from a different perspective? Explore the Inside Passage on a spring-time small ship cruise.
Mid-April to mid-May is when Alaska is waking up from her Winter slumber, a time of year like no other. The forests are beginning to bloom, animals are coming out of hibernation, the locals are getting ready for the season ahead. Basically, you still have the place literally to yourself.
Plus, you have added reasons to consider a spring-time cruise:
Yes, it will be cooler than the summer months (in the 50's), however these months also have the least amount of average rainfall. Juneau has around 3" in April and May versus 5-8" July through September. Nothing like a cool, crisp sunny day in Alaska!
A LIGHT SHOW!
April and May have on average 14-16 hours of daylight, which provides enough darkness to witness the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. While one never knows when the lights will provide a show, Alaska is a prime viewing area.
SNOW AND WATER
The summers offer lush green mountains, but in the spring the peaks are still full of snow - a real treat. Breathtaking venues. And while the peaks are still white, the weather is warming. The melting snow from the lower elevations brings out waterfalls that often stay hidden in the summer.
Itineraries are fantastic, and you save with shoulder season rates - in some cases over $1500 over the peak summer rates. When budgets are somewhat constrained, shoulder season trips are excellent options. Some of the itineraries may also have special guests on board, including photographers and guides who offer an added element and insider perspective to the areas.
If you have "been there done that" and are seeking a new adventure or simply would like to see Alaska differently, a small cruise might just be that ticket!
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Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder