Andrew Collier, MD, a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, practices with Philadelphia Orthopaedic Associates in Pennsylvania. Away from his practice, Andrew Collier, MD, is a travel enthusiast who counts a two-week land and sea cruise to Alaska among his most memorable experiences.
Going on an Alaskan cruise gives travelers the opportunity to experience the state’s unique scenery and wildlife, but some times of the year are better for cruises than others. The official season for Alaskan cruises runs, roughly, from May to September. Traveling outside of those months limits visitors’ options to the Alaska Marine Highway system, a collection of ferries that offer basic rooms and meals on a reduced schedule.
During the cruise season, numerous large cruise lines market a variety of vacation packages. The peak cruise season in Alaska occurs during June and July because the daylight hours are longest and the weather typically is the mildest during these months. The Alaska cruise shoulder seasons are in May and September. Prices and crowds are normally lower during this time because they are during the school calendar year, when many families find it difficult to vacation.
Weather in Alaska is fairly unpredictable, as are wildlife sightings, so most cruises are left up to chance. However, July and August are typically the warmest, along with the wettest, months of the season, while May and September are drier. Additionally, from May to July, visitors have the greatest chance of spotting abundant wildlife, particularly mothers and their offspring who are often active during these times.