An Alaskan cruise is a wonderful way to experience this extraordinary state, with its magnificent natural wonders and interesting cities. Cruising season is between May and September. Understanding the variations in climate conditions can help cruisers decide the best way to pack for their always-memorable Alaskan experience.
Late spring is a wonderful time in Alaska with early-blooming flowers beginning to come to fields and warmer temperatures during mid-day. The average high temperature in Alaska is 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but lows can get to 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Coastal areas may see more precipitation than the Alaskan Interior.
Although summer in Alaska is rumored to be cool, many people are surprised at how quickly it can warm to 80 degrees or more. Though the average temperature is only in the low 70s, temperatures can vary depending on location and elevation. Keep in mind that temperatures on the water may be cooler than those further inland. July and early August can be rainy in some portions of the state. Keep rain gear on hand during shore excursions.
In the early fall months of August and September, cruisers can expect more variation in temperatures. Average temperatures range from 68 degrees down to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Northern areas of the state can get much cooler early in the season. Rain is less plentiful at this time of year, but can still occur during various times of the day.
The concept of layering clothing will serve visitors well in Alaska. Temperatures can vary as much as 20 degrees during the day, and open areas on the water tend to be cooler than interior portions of the state. Pack jeans; both long and short-sleeved tee-shirts; sweatshirts; slacks; sweaters; rain gear; socks; sturdy walking shoes and a hat. These items will carry you through most weather occasions throughout your trip.