Best Time to Cruise
This is one of the most common cruising questions: when is the best time to cruise Alaska, Australia, the Caribbean, Canada/New England, Hawaii, Europe or the South Pacific?
The answer depends on many variables. Fall foliage enthusiasts, for instance will find September and October the best time to take the Canada/New England cruise, whereas water sports lovers prefer to sell the region in the summer when school is out and temperatures are warm for swimming. The best time for cruise to Alaska depends on your preferences for viewing wildlife, fishing, bargain shopping, sunshine, warm weather and catching the northern lights.
In your first step you must consider the factors that influence your timing. Do you need to schedule around school breaks or desire to avoid the kids? Is a holiday week the best time for your cruise? Is your main goal to escape the cold temperatures at home? Or maybe you have lots of flexibility or you're on a tight budget and don't mind making a few trade-offs to steal a cabin for cheap. Your answers will influence which sailing season is your best bet.
For most cruise regions, there are periods of peak demand or high season and moderate demand shoulder season and low demand low season. High season tends to be when the weather was best in a particular area and when most Northerners flocked to the sun. But more and more families are taking a cruising in the summer months have become a peak demand. Families need to book high season sailings as early as possible as the cruise lines limit the total number of children per sailing on some cruise lines and each ship has a limited number of cabins that accommodates three or more people.
Slow and shoulder seasons yield the most bargain opportunities in a year-round destination. In Alaska and Bermuda you have a five or six month sailing season and the off-season is a few weeks after cruises began and before they end. For other reasons like the Panama Canal in northern Europe all sailings are priced in season.