12 Reasons to Visit Alaska's Inside Passage in the Spring 2022
There are great reasons to visit Alaska all season long – and UnCruise’s season is the longest of anyone! But springtime in Alaska is unique, and we especially love to share this time with our guests. Here’s a sneak peek into why spring in Alaska is so special.
1. It’s the driest time of year
Mother Nature does as she will, of course, and you are visiting a temperate rainforest. But it is definitely sunnier and drier in the spring – rainfall increases the farther into the season you get. In April and May you will see 55% less rain than in August. 55%! Don't neglect the short sleeve shirts when you are packing for your Alaska UnCruise.
2. Most sunshine of any time of year
Not only is it not raining on your hike or kayak, the sun is shining more often during the spring as well. April and May get 200 to 250 hours of sunshine on average. Bring the sunscreen and don't forget a cap like this hiker (ps we have lots of those available in the gift shop … )
3. Northern Lights
Again, Mother Nature does as she will. But the odds of seeing the Northern Lights during the cruise season are best in April. The combination of clear skies and longer night time hours (relative to June) make this your best chance if you have the Northern Lights on your bucket list!
4. Glacier Bay National Park
Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site managed by the National Park Service in cooperation with the native Hoonah and Yakutat Tlingit tribes. Pristine and carefully managed to stay that way, very limited special permits are required to sail in the park. Unlike the big ships, we do more than sail through and look at it – amazing as the glaciers are. April and May guests get the rare opportunity to hike and kayak within the park, spending two days in Glacier Bay and experiencing it up close and personal. For more information on Glacier Bay National Park, download and listen to the October 2020 episode of Uncruise's No Ordinary Adventure podcast, Preserving Glacier Bay National Park
5. Mild temperatures.
I know, you’re thinking wait, Alaska in April? It must be freezing cold there at that time of year! The truth is, it isn’t, and that is one of the secrets of the season. Because it is coastal, the Inside Passage and Southeast Alaska are much more temperate than you’d think. The average highs in the spring are in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit, or 10 – 15 degrees Celsius. August averages 63 degrees Fahrenheit, or 17 degrees Celsius. It’s a very temperate climate (thus the temperate rainforest!) and doesn’t get as wide a temperature fluctuation as people expect.
6. Whales are already in Alaska in the spring
Some guests think spring is too early to see the humpback and orca that are on their bucket lists – but another insider scoop – they are already in Alaska by April. Our guests see humpback whales on every April and May departure. In fact, in April you may also get the chance to see migrating gray whales near Sitka – they are gone by June.
7. Bear viewing is fantastic
Bears come out of hibernation in the spring, and they are hungry! Problem for them is that they are awake before peak berry or salmon seasons. The best source of food is foraging for clams, mussels, and even barnacles on the shoreline. This makes for easier sightings from kayaks, skiffs, and the home boat.
8. Best variety of bird populations
In the spring, bird populations are migrating in both directions, and we see more types of birds during this season. The leaves are just coming out, making them easier to spot, and because many birds are mating in the spring, we hear songs and calls in April and May that our summer travelers don’t hear, even when bushwhacking in the wilderness.
9. See Alaskan towns as the locals see them
Small ship expedition cruises don’t spend a lot of time in port. But when you come in and when you leave, you will get the chance to explore Juneau, Ketchikan, and/or Sitka. These ports are welcoming in the spring when you can explore them without the crush of the peak season crowds.
10. Alaska’s Inside Passage to ourselves
Alaska is known as the Great Land among other reasons for its sweeping landscapes. Imagine yourself in those settings – just your group. Hiking along a ridgeline in Glacier Bay National Park, and from that height, you still can’t see another boat. Kayaking in pristine waters with a profound silence broken only by migrating bird calls or the blow of a whale. It’s spectacular.
11. Local shows, events, & festivals
During the peak travel months, ports are 100% focused on the tourist trade. Local events and shows tend to appear in the spring and fall when there are not so many tourists in town.
For instance, in Juneau:
- April 5-11 Alaska Folk Festival
- April 8 Heart of Hospice 5k
- April 10, 12, 27 Sundays with the Juneau Symphony
- April 12 University of Alaska Maricultural Conference
- April 22-May 8 Tony Award Winning Musical Fun Home
- May 4-22 Alaska Theater Festival
- May 6 Magnificent Mendenhall Mud Puddle Meet
- May 9-14 Juneau Jazz & Classics Music Festival
- May 18 An Evening with David Sedaris
12. Best value pricing of the season
Because springtime in Alaska is such an insider secret, the pricing is very appealing! UnCruise adventures, hotels, airlines, cars, and other excursions offer the lowest pricing in April and May. Check out UnCruise's limited time special offers for spring like cruise 12 pay 7, $0 single supplement, $1500 per cabin savings, and more!
As you can see, spring is an amazing time in Alaska. Smart guests in the know take advantage of the best pricing, lowest crowds, temperate weather, wildlife sightings and more in the spring.
Safety of our crew and guests is priority number one, always has been, always will be. Check our COVID Travel Updates page for up to date information about policies and requirements.