Top Reasons to Plan Your Dream Spring Cruise to Alaska in 2023

Spring cruises are the perfect way to experience Alaska's stunning natural beauty and wildlife, while also enjoying milder temperatures, smaller crowds, and the chance to see the breathtaking Northern Lights. Springtime in Alaska is unique, and we especially love to share this time with our guests. However, there are great reasons to visit Alaska all season long – and UnCruise’s season is the longest of anyone! Here’s a few reasons as to why planning a trip to Alaska in the spring time can be so memorable.

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, specifically for spring cruises. 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. When you’re planning your trip to Alaska, make sure to 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 spring cruises 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. When planning a trip to Alaska, make sure to keep in mind that 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, spring cruises 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 planning a trip to Alaska in 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 tend to 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 from spring cruises in general.

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 passengers from our spring cruises often hear, even when bushwhacking becomes apparent 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 spring cruises are welcoming when you can explore them without the crush of the peak season crowds.

10. Alaska’s Inside Passage to ourselves

When planning a trip to Alaska, you must know that the Great Land among other reasons is known 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 more often for passengers taking spring cruises due to the fact that there are less tourists in town.

For instance, in Juneau:

12. Best value pricing of the season

Because planning a trip to Alaska in the springtime 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 cruises can be perfect for Alaska ventures. 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.