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What Is The Cheapest Month To Cruise To Alaska


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Simonne Nabors



Alaska is a destination that offers breathtaking landscapes, abundant wildlife, and unique cultural experiences. Many people dream of embarking on an Alaska cruise to explore its stunning glaciers, rugged coastlines, and charming coastal towns. However, the cost of a cruise can often be a significant factor when planning a trip.


If you’re looking to sail to Alaska on a budget, it’s essential to understand the factors that influence cruise prices. From the time of year to the type of cabin you choose, there are several variables that can impact the cost of your cruise. By knowing the cheapest month to cruise to Alaska and taking advantage of money-saving tips, you can make your dream adventure a reality without breaking the bank.


In this article, we will explore the factors that affect Alaska cruise prices, reveal the cheapest month to embark on your journey, discuss the benefits and drawbacks of cruising during this time, and provide valuable tips for booking a cheap Alaska cruise.


Factors Affecting Alaska Cruise Prices

Several factors come into play when determining the cost of an Alaska cruise. Understanding these factors can help you plan your trip and find the best deals. Here are the key elements that influence Alaska cruise prices:

  1. Time of Year: The timing of your cruise can significantly impact the cost. The Alaskan cruise season typically runs from May through September, with peak season in June, July, and August. Cruises during the peak season tend to be more expensive due to higher demand.
  2. Cabin Type and Amenities: The type of cabin you choose can have a significant impact on the price. Suites and balcony cabins are often more expensive than interior or ocean-view cabins. Additionally, cabins with extra amenities such as private balconies or access to exclusive facilities may come at a higher price.
  3. Cruise Line: Different cruise lines offer varying levels of luxury and onboard amenities, which can influence the cost of the cruise. Some cruise lines are known for their all-inclusive packages, while others offer more budget-friendly options.
  4. Cruise Duration: The length of your cruise can affect the price. Generally, longer cruises tend to be more expensive than shorter ones, as they offer more time to explore the region.
  5. Port of Departure: The port of departure can impact the cost of your cruise. Departing from a smaller or less popular port may result in lower prices.
  6. Itinerary and Ports of Call: The specific itinerary and ports of call can also influence the cost of an Alaska cruise. Cruises that visit more remote or less frequented destinations may be priced differently from those that focus on the more popular ports.

Keep in mind that these factors are interrelated, and finding the right balance of price and desired experience is key. By considering these factors, you can make informed choices and find an Alaska cruise that fits your budget and expectations.


The Cheapest Month to Cruise to Alaska

When it comes to finding the cheapest month to cruise to Alaska, the shoulder seasons of May and September offer the most affordable options. These months are considered to be the “off-peak” season, with fewer tourists and lower demand for cruises.


In May, the Alaska cruise season begins, and you can take advantage of discounted fares as the sailing dates are closer to the start of the season. The weather during this time can be cooler, but you’ll have the opportunity to witness the stunning landscapes as they transition from winter to spring. Keep in mind that some attractions and tours may not be fully operational in May.


In September, as the cruise season comes to an end, there are usually great deals available. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the fall foliage and witness the wildlife preparing for winter. The weather may be cooler, but you can make the most of the amenities on board the ship and enjoy the tranquility of the Alaskan landscapes without the crowds.


It’s important to note that while May and September are generally the cheapest months to cruise to Alaska, prices can still vary depending on several factors, such as the cruise line, itinerary, and cabin type. It’s best to compare prices across different cruise lines and book early to secure the best deals.


Additionally, keep an eye out for last-minute deals and promotions that may be offered by cruise lines closer to the departure dates. By being flexible with your travel dates and doing thorough research, you can find affordable options and enjoy an unforgettable Alaska cruise experience.


Benefits of Cruising in the Cheapest Month

Embarking on an Alaska cruise in the cheapest month offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious travelers. Here are some benefits of cruising during the off-peak season:

  1. Lower Prices: The primary benefit of cruising in the cheapest month is the significant cost savings. You can often find discounted fares, special promotions, and reduced rates on cabins and packages. This allows you to experience the beauty of Alaska without breaking the bank.
  2. Less Crowded: Traveling during the off-peak season means fewer tourists and smaller crowds. You can enjoy a more peaceful and intimate cruise experience, with less competition for amenities and attractions on board the ship.
  3. More Availability: Since the demand for cruises is lower during the cheapest month, there is generally more availability for cabins, dining reservations, and activities. This gives you more flexibility in choosing the accommodations and experiences that suit your preferences.
  4. Unique Scenic Views: Cruising in May or September allows you to witness the stunning landscapes of Alaska during the transition between seasons. In May, you can see snow-capped mountains giving way to vibrant spring blooms, while in September, the fall foliage creates a colorful backdrop against the rugged coastline.
  5. Wildlife Sightings: The cheapest months can also offer unique wildlife viewing opportunities. In May, you may spot young animals learning essential survival skills, while in September, you can observe animals preparing for hibernation. The reduced number of cruise ships during these months can increase your chances of seeing elusive creatures.

By cruising in the cheapest month, you can enjoy all the highlights of an Alaskan adventure while enjoying significant cost savings and a more relaxed and intimate experience. It’s a fantastic opportunity for nature lovers, photographers, and those looking for a quieter getaway.


Drawbacks of Cruising in the Cheapest Month

While there are many benefits to cruising in the cheapest month, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks that come with this choice. Here are some possible disadvantages of cruising during the off-peak season:

  1. Cooler Weather: Since the cheapest months to cruise fall in the shoulder season, the weather in Alaska during May and September can be cooler compared to the peak summer months. You may need to pack warmer clothing and be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions.
  2. Limited Attractions and Activities: Some attractions and tours in Alaska may have limited availability or be completely closed during the off-peak season. This can reduce the number of experiences you can participate in and limit your options for exploring certain areas.
  3. Smaller Wildlife Sightings: While wildlife sightings can still be impressive during the cheapest months, the probability of spotting larger animals like bears and whales may be slightly lower compared to the peak season. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitats.
  4. Reduced Onboard Entertainment: With fewer passengers on board during the off-peak season, cruise lines may offer a more limited selection of onboard entertainment options. This can mean fewer shows, activities, and guest performers compared to the peak months.
  5. Potential Service Limitations: During the cheapest months, cruise lines may reduce staffing levels and services in certain areas of the ship to accommodate the lower number of passengers. This can result in longer wait times for certain services or limited availability of staff members.

These drawbacks should be considered when deciding to cruise in the cheapest month. However, with proper planning and realistic expectations, you can still have a wonderful and memorable Alaska cruise experience during the off-peak season.


Tips for Booking a Cheap Alaska Cruise

If you’re looking to book a cheap Alaska cruise, there are several tips and strategies you can employ to save money without compromising on the quality of your experience. Consider the following tips when planning your trip:

  1. Be Flexible with Your Travel Dates: Being flexible with your travel dates can often result in significant cost savings. Consider traveling during the shoulder season of May or September when prices are typically lower. Additionally, keep an eye out for last-minute deals and promotions that cruise lines may offer closer to the departure date.
  2. Compare Prices Across Different Cruise Lines: Different cruise lines offer varying prices, amenities, and itineraries. Take the time to compare prices across multiple cruise lines to find the best deal for your budget. Look for inclusive packages that may offer additional perks and value for your money.
  3. Consider Interior or Ocean-View Cabins: While balcony cabins and suites offer stunning views, they can be more expensive. Save money by opting for an interior or ocean-view cabin instead. Remember, you can still enjoy the breathtaking views from public areas on the ship or during shore excursions.
  4. Book Early or Late: Booking your Alaska cruise well in advance or last minute can often result in lower prices. Many cruise lines offer early booking discounts, while last-minute deals may become available when they are looking to fill remaining cabins.
  5. Research Port Cities: Explore the various port cities in Alaska and consider embarking from a less popular port. Smaller ports may offer lower fares compared to larger, well-known ports.
  6. Package Deals: Look for vacation packages that combine flights, accommodations, and cruises. Sometimes bundling these elements together can result in significant savings.
  7. Consider Repositioning Cruises: Repositioning cruises occur when cruise lines move their ships from one region to another. These cruises can offer unique itineraries and lower prices compared to traditional Alaska cruises.
  8. Take Advantage of Onboard Discounts and Promotions: Once onboard, take advantage of any onboard discounts and promotions offered by the cruise line. These can include special deals at the spa, discounts on specialty restaurants, or discounted excursions.
  9. Book Excursions Independently: While cruise line excursions can offer convenience, they can also be more expensive. Consider researching and booking excursions independently through local vendors to save money.

By using these tips, you can maximize your savings and find a cheap Alaska cruise that suits your budget. Remember to plan ahead and thoroughly research your options to ensure you get the best deal possible.



Embarking on an Alaska cruise is a dream for many, and with careful planning, it can be an affordable reality. Understanding the factors that affect Alaska cruise prices, such as the time of year, cabin type, and cruise line, is crucial for finding the best deals. The cheapest months to cruise, typically May and September, offer the most budget-friendly options, providing cost savings and a more intimate experience.


While there are some drawbacks to cruising in the off-peak season, such as cooler weather and limited attractions, the benefits outweigh the challenges. Lower prices, fewer crowds, unique scenic views, and wildlife sightings are all advantages of cruising during the cheapest month. By following money-saving tips, such as being flexible with travel dates, comparing prices, and booking early or late, you can further reduce costs and find the best deals.


Remember, even though you may be cruising in the cheapest month, the experience is still captivating and awe-inspiring. Alaska’s majestic landscapes, magnificent wildlife, and rich cultural heritage will leave you with lasting memories. So, go ahead and start planning your affordable Alaska cruise adventure, and let the beauty of the region unfold before your eyes!