Alaska in May - how are visibility and wildlife?
I'm considering an Inside Passage trip to Alaska next May. I understand that the weather is better in the summer, but I'm OK with cold and wind as long as the visibility is good. Dense fog or anything that keeps me from seeing the scenery is bad.
Is that time of year worse or better for wildlife? Are the whales around or off somewhere on migration still? How about for calving glaciers - any different from summer?
June - September is more constrained for me, so I am looking at May. Summer is a back up if conditions are better for visibility or wildlife.
May in Alaska
Wildlife can actually be more visible in rainy cold weather. Again it is extremely variable and wildlife sightings are problematical at any time. The best way to see wildlife is to book a specific tour.
In May the salmon are not yet running and the bears are barely awake, so bear sighting is unlikely. The whales are plentiful and actively feeding and a whale watch tour will very likely have great sightings. Seeing any from the ship just depends on your luck.
I know one lady who spends every Alaska cruise bundled up and sitting for hours at a time at the bow of the ship with her binoculars. She has a lot of sightings, mostly far off in the distance. We don't do that ;) so our sightings depend on luck.
Glacier calving is also problematical. In our eight trips from May through July and August through September we have seen only a very few big calvings. However it probably is better as the weather warms up.
Here is our report of a trip in May which included spectacular wildlife sightings and wonderful weather. We were lucky.
Have a GREAT cruise!
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