When is the Best Time to Cruise?

If you’ve never thought about taking a cruise before, one of the first questions that comes to mind is usually: when is the best time to cruise?

When it comes to going on vacation, it’s obvious that certain locations are only desirable during certain parts of the year. If you’re looking for a ski vacation to Colorado, you’re not going in July or August. If you’re looking for fun in the sun, you’re probably not going to head to Calgary in January.  

Finding the best time to cruise is similar in that you need to ask yourself what your ideal cruise vacation looks like. Locations like the Caribbean, Alaska, Europe, Asia and more may have a certain time of year where cruising offers the ideal conditions. However, peak season also means peak pricing, so that’s another thing to consider.

Here are some of the best times to take a cruise in different regions of the world.

Best Time to Cruise the Caribbean

Best Time to Cruise

A Caribbean Beach

There’s almost no wrong time to sail to the Caribbean. Thanks to its close proximity to the equator, it’s nice and warm all year round so those looking to get a tan are in luck. There’s more than 25 unique nations and thousands of individual islands which make up the Caribbean, so even if a late summer hurricane is bearing down on Barbados, there could be bright and sunny skies over the Cayman Islands and vice versa. When it’s cold up north, Caribbean cruises are more popular, meaning higher prices and fully booked ships. If you’re trying to get a great vacation at a lower price, the best time to cruise the Caribbean is the summer and late fall.

Best Time to Cruise Alaska

Best Time to Cruise

A View of Mount McKinley in Alaska

Perhaps the shortest of all cruising seasons, summertime is when cruises to Alaska are open for business. With lots of daylight and the mildest temperatures, summertime cruises to Alaska offer an incredible adventure.  Most major cruise lines sail to America’s most untamed state from May through the early fall, but if you wait until late August or September you’ll probably get a better deal than in July. Just make sure you pack a sweater!

Best Time to Cruise Europe

Cruising Europe is quite the experience because there’s so many options. Cruises to Norway, for example, are very different than cruises to the South of France, Spain or Italy via the Mediterranean. When cruising the Baltics or Scandinavia, June through August is going to offer the fairest weather. The further south you get, the longer the cruising season becomes. Cruising Italy or Greece through October is a wonderful adventure with more sunshine than a fall cruise elsewhere.

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Best Time to Cruise Southeast Asia

One of cruising’s hidden gems is Southeast Asia. From the stunning rock formations of Thailand and Vietnam to the international casino gaming Mecca of Macau, there’s truly something for everyone on a cruise in and around Southeast Asia. Summertime can be hot and humid on the mainland, but slightly less so when out to sea. If you’re not used to the heat, it can sometimes be uncomfortable. Cruising from November into the spring when the weather is slightly cooler, but without all the rain which comes with typhoon season, is a great time to cruise Southeast Asia.


-Evan Gove