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Old August 6th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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Default 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.

Thanks!
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Old August 7th, 2012, 11:44 AM
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Thumbs up May in Alaska

Quote:
Originally Posted by longbeach1 View Post
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.
Conditions in Alaska are extremely variable. ON AVERAGE weather in July or August will be better than in May. But it can be rainy and foggy in August and beautiful and sunny in May. You just take a chance.

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.

http://www.bully4.us/alaska2010.html

Have a GREAT cruise!
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