Forgive us for saying this, but Alaska is pretty cool. When it comes to sub-zero sabbaticals, a cruise to Alaska is an experience like nothing else. Ready to get your inner explorer on? Grab your warmest jumper and your best winter boots and make like history’s most iconic adventurers – just in far better conditions.
By partnering with the biggest cruise lines, we’ll show off Mother Nature at her wildest, all for way less than anywhere else. With our price guarantees, finding a deal is easy. Whether it’s with Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival & Celebrity Cruises, Alaska’s epic, sweeping grandeur has some real treats in store for travellers of all kinds.
Incredible wildlife, enormous glaciers, and national parks unlike anywhere you’ve walked before. America’s biggest state is purpose-built for off-the-beaten-track escapes. Come see it for yourself, and let us get you there.
What’s the weather like in Alaska?
When it comes to Alaskan weather, we know what you’re thinking: cold, cold and more cold. And you’d be right for the most part. In this neck of the woods, the cruise season is only five or six months, and Alaska’s weather doesn’t stay the same for very long. So from May to September, here’s what you can expect weather-wise…
As cruise season kicks off in mid-May, temperatures start to warm up, although it’s hardly t-shirt weather. Snow is still around too, so pack warm winter layers and hiking boots, as it can be tricky to get about otherwise. In June, expect long days, sunny weather and more warmth. With 19 hours of daylight, sunglasses are going to be essential, as are layers you can take off at a moment’s notice.
Alaska’s warmest month, July brings the crowds out in full force. It’s also its most unpredictable; you’ll either face the heat or be met by rainfall and a fair share of clouds. Packable windbreakers and jackets will come in handy, as will pants you can zip into shorts. You never know when things might hot up. Moving into August, rain showers are more common, although temperatures and sunlight remain on the high side. Still, though, waterproofs and wool socks are essential, so make sure they’re part of your Alaskan attire.
Alaska Cruise Nation Smart Packages
Ready to experience Alaska for yourself? We thought so. And if you ask us, there’s no better way to do it than with one of our Smart Packages. By throwing flights, extra treats and longer stays in with the price, we make your time at sea even sweeter than it already is.
Plus, with our Cruise and Stay deals, you can extend your holiday either side of your stay onboard. Not ready to come home just yet, or fancy getting to know your port a little better before you set sail? Whatever you want to do, we’ll let you do it.
Highlights of Alaska
At 8 miles wide, the Hubbard Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier found in Alaska. What do we mean by tidewater glacier? Basically, they’re glaciers that are so big, they end in the ocean and create icebergs of their own. Impressive, right?
Constantly calving (think of that like ice mating), icebergs the size of 10-storey buildings dislodge into the water below – no small feat considering Hubbard is 40 stories high in its own right. A scenic port as part of your own itinerary, you won’t be able to get off the ship, but the mixture of incredible blue hues and imposing snowy peaks in the background make for an amazing view that you’ll have a front-row seat for. Just be sure to bring your waterproofs!
A unique little town that’s as colourful as the painted buildings that line its boardwalks, Skagway has held onto the old-town charm of its past with ease. And though that means it’s not quite as lively as its Gold Rush heyday, it does mean the place is less Wild West and more sleepy coastal hideaway.
Restored and ready to enchant, Skagway’s picture-perfect charisma has plenty of history and culture to offer. You’re more likely to find friendly café staff and national park rangers on hand with stories to tell over prospectors on the hunt for gold, but its wooden walkways and false-fronted buildings serve as reminders of its past.
What’s more, it’s perfectly positioned next to several rugged trails too. This means that, even with its popularity, Skagway has managed to retain an authenticity that’s as refreshing as a stroll in brisk winter weather.
Sprawled along the bottom of the mountainside and surrounded by water, Juneau can only be reached by air or sea. But that doesn’t stop more than a million tourists from stepping foot on it each year – that’s how much of a sight it is to see!
Another part of Alaska put on the map back by the Gold Rush, the town is just as lively, despite its remote location. And when we say remote, we mean it: Juneau’s roads don’t actually lead anywhere. The place is in its element come summertime though. Here, you’ll be able to take on hikes, do a spot of zip-lining, and watch out for bears, eagles, dolphins and whales.
Juneau was put on the map back in the 1880s during the Gold Rush, becoming one of the main mining camps of the region. At the Alaska State Museum, you can learn more about Juneau’s history as well as that of the rest of Alaska, discovering more about how humans and nature have developed here.
And of course, one of Juneau’s most popular outdoor attractions is Mendenhall Glacier. Easy to reach, this beast is 13.6 miles long, with its stretches of white ice and snow marbled with fantastic blues. Cameras at the ready – Juneau is truly something else!
Much like Skagway, Ketchikan has retained an old-town charm. Colourful storefronts, vintage signs and wooden boardwalks all make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Ketchikan is a fantastic mix of both cultural and outdoor pursuits. For those with an open mind, a visit to the museum at Dolly’s House shows a fascinating look at the more risqué ways of life as a frontier in years gone by. But there’s more to Ketchikan than a bawdy side. Here you’ll find one of the largest collections of totem poles at Totem Bight State Park, reminders of its indigenous heritage that are always set to impress, even generations later.
Don’t forget about the Misty Fjords National Monument. Surrounded by postcard-worthy sights, you’ll see midnight blue lakes lined with lush, green forest that give way to vast mountains dusted with snow, and maybe even a bit of wildlife if you’re lucky. Plus with three ways for you to explore the Fjords, you’ll have the chance to indulge that inner explorer whether you do it by seaplane, boat or kayak.
Oh yeah, you might want to make sure you pack your raincoat for this port – it’s reportedly the rainiest town in Southeast Alaska!
Blending Alaska’s rugged and rustic side with the hustle and bustle of city life, Anchorage can look completely different depending on which way you’re facing. In fact, it may look like just another city at first glance. Dig deeper though, and it’s possible to find wildlife keeping company with city folk, well-fished creeks close to hotels, and fine dining to impress even the most well-seasoned foodies.
Fancy dining on the best food the city has to offer while overlooking Cook Inlet? Help yourself. Prefer things a bit more down and dirty? Hike the Chugach Mountains and snap a selfie at the top. Afterwards, head to the Anchorage Museum. Here you can learn about Anchorage’s storied history, and add to the city’s burgeoning arts scene by making your stop-motion animations – or even a sculpture from Lego, if that’s your medium!
Spending some time here? Hop on the Alaska railroad and take the train to Denali National Park, a six-million-acre area of alpine tundra, wild animals and tranquil exploration that feels like a love letter to Alaska’s nature at its most beautiful.
A hidden gem in Alaska’s treasure chest, Endicott Arm won’t be staying unknown for long. A 30-mile-long expanse of imposing cliffs, picturesque mountain valleys and a long list of crashing waterfalls, Endicott Arm and Dawes glacier (to give it its full name) is truly a sight to see from the comfort of your cruise ship.
It’s also home to one of the world’s largest breeding grounds for harbour seals. Be on the watch for these charming little guys; they’re usually spotted splashing into the waters around you or lounging on ice that’s calved off the glacier itself. On its shores, meanwhile, keep an eye out for brown bears, bald eagles, deer, moose and wolves – a variety of wildlife that calls Endicott Arm home.
It all finishes up with an incredible view of the Dawn Glacier itself. From your deck’s front-row seat, you’ll be able to experience the 600-foot-tall, half-mile-wide sight in all its glory, as huge parts of the icecap fall off and float away in the waters below.
Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point may be small, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for the sheer amount of history it has to offer. Specifically: the Native Alaskan variety. Entirely owned by the Huna Totem Corporation – the only port in Alaska that is – it’s a one-of-a-kind experience brimming with Native culture, and plenty of warm welcomes too.
Take in a tribal dance show to see how the locals do it. See Alaska’s largest Tlinget tribe village up close. Take your wild side for a spin on a guided hike with an Icy Strait citizen, or hit the dirt track and hop on an ATV. And if you’re feeling really brave, give the ZipRider, the world’s longest zip line, a try high above the trees.
All that adventuring makes for hungry work. When you’re done, make sure to leave room for the food here too. Along with incredible seafood and the Dungeness crab, you’ll have a chance to try reindeer chilli, a true Alaskan speciality.
A real melting pot, Sitka throws in American, Tlingit and Russian spices into its bubbly cultural cauldron, creating a blend of histories that’s all its own. Here you’ll find hints at the town’s native heritage, Russian Orthodox churches that offer a peak into its Soviet fling from centuries ago, and a host of rare wildlife just waiting to wow you.
It’s a bit more off the beaten track than other Alaskan cities and towns, but that means the ambience is authentic, the people are warm, and the food is full of traditional specialities. Why not head to Baranof Island for a hike around Castle Hill, the historical site that offers tranquil, easy-going trails? At the Sitka National Historic Park, learn about the Russian defeat of the Tlingits before heading down the mile-long Totem Trail, where 18 totems from 1904 pay tribute to the native origins of the town.
When you’re done, prepare yourself to dine on fresh seafood of an incredible standard, accompanied by a sip on local pints brewed by none other than the Baranof Island Brewing Company!
It’s time to throw on your best flannel, whack on a cap and lace up the hiking boots. Here’s where you’ll be leaving footprints of your own in the not-too-distant future…