The Inside Passage cruising season begins in May and lasts through September. The warmer summer months mark the region's peak season, a time when visitors to Alaska are on the rise and prices are highest. May and September are known as the shoulder season. The climate is generally colder, so fewer people cruise and prices are more affordable. Cruises usually last between seven and 14 nights.
Alaska experiences long hours of daylight during the summer, which can last for up to 23 hours in June. These extended days energize the population and further fuel the eventful months of summer. The weather is also warmer during these long summer days, but remains unpredictable.
The state covers a vast amount of land and conditions vary greatly depending on what part you are visiting. In general things are thawing during the month of May, though snows may last well into mid-June. June is the driest of the summer months, while July is the warmest. August is still warm, but often the higher temperatures are paired with a lot of rain. Since actual temperatures can vary wildly, it's best to be prepared with layered clothing, a reliable poncho and a sense of adventure.