Alaska Cruise Guide – When to Come

Alaska’s Inside Passage is a year round destination with each season dispelling on visitors their unique nuances of changes in wildlife viewing, natural phenomenon such as the Northern Lights and weather conditions. S.E. Alaska is not the frozen arctic as many may presume and there are many benefits to visiting this region in Alaska especially during the summer – from May to September. Encased by towering coastal mountains with a Japanese warm current from the Pacific Ocean, Alaska’s Panhandle misty maritime temperatures are subject to moderate temperatures that are quite comfortable. The average summer day temperatures range in the 60’s to the low 70’s, with evening temperatures in the mid to lower 50’s.

This month provides almost unending daylight, for those who like to constantly be on the go, with whatever activity they enjoy. With almost 22 hours of daylight, the summer solstice on or about June 21st is the longest day of the year. Summer is in full swing. Bald Eagles, Whales, Sea Lions, Birds, Sea Otters, Porpoises and more are all active in the summer months.

In July, Alaska’s salmon start their spawn up some streams, flocks of seagulls and egrets gather at stream mouths to pick and dine on the salmon, on sunny clear days. Mountain goats can be seen at the higher elevations, as the snow disappears. Wild berries start to ripen and you can pick and eat as you go.

The weather cools a bit in August but is still quite pleasurable. There will be a little more rain, and cooler out on the water. Warm and cool air mix this time of year and often produce very unique fog with its magical formations. The interesting and unpredictable brown and black bears are busy feasting in the salmon choked streams. Excellent coho, or silver, salmon runs occur now also for anglers and bear viewing and photography can be at their very best this month. Bald Eagles, Bears, and other wildlife are very active during this season because they depend on the salmon for food. It’s truly an amazing experience to visit Alaska in August and experience nature untouched.