Our 30th anniversary is next year, and after a LOT of thought, we have decided to cruise Alaska instead of Europe. Because my husband's job (and the acutaly cruiselines' schedules in Alaska), we are very limited as to when we can go. . .late August through September.
Can anyone tell me if we will be able to see wildlife (bears, whales, etc) at this time of year?
Do any of you know when the peak time for seeing wildlife up there is?
I went on an Alaska cruise in the month of Septermber. In Juneau I did a whale expedition excursion which they guaranteed we would see whales or refund part of our money. We saw sealions, eagles, and plenty of whales. We had an Orka come swim right next to the excursion boat. The early summer is better for seeing animals with their babies.
We just did an Alaska cruise 8-27 through 9-3. We saw a couple of bears from the ship, saw bears fishing in port at the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. We also did the whaling watching and had a humpback whale playing with sealions. We also saw eagles on the excursion. We saw a lot of seals in Glacier Bay as well. Its a hit and miss thing with the animals. I have family in Anchorage, one year we saw a lot of beluga whales, sheep, porcupines and moose. This year we didnt see any of that and we were there the same time of year. It just depends. This is the rainy season up there but fortunately the only time we had rain was in Skagway. It was cloudy a couple days but we didnt get rained on. Have a great trip, you will not be disappointed. What ship are you sailing or do you know yet? I can recommend some excursions as well.
I would recommend the cruise and land tour if you have the time. The train ride up to Denali is a lot of fun and beautiful. We did that separate from a cruise so did not get all the way up to Fairbanks. We have sailed Holland America both times, once on the Oosterdam and this time on the Ryndam. Both cruises were great. My mom is now in a wheelchair and there was someone at every turn on the ships crew to help her. Anyway, here are some excursions I would recommend, depending on what ports you go to:
Juneau - Definitely the whale watching and Mendenhall glacier trip. Also take the tram up Mt. Roberts and visit the Red Dog Saloon.
Ketchikan - Rainforest walk, trolley ride through town and crab feed excursion (if you like to eat crab). There is also a walking tour that I want to do next time.
Sitka - Rainforest walk again. We didnt do much in Sitka.
Skagway - Highly recommend the White Pass and Yukon Railroad trip. We did the trip one way up, bus back down and then spent some time with the buss in Liarsville with a show and gold panning. Visit the Red Onion Saloon.
Seward - If you decide to get off the ship and do your own thing, I have a cousin who owns a B&B in Seward (Ocean Front B&B). She is on the shore of Resurrection Bay with a gorgeous view. You can sometimes see Orca and humback whales jumping in the bay.