There is something truly magical about winter in Alaska. Not only does the landscape look even more impressive blanketed under glistening snow, but this is the time when you’ll have the best opportunity to witness the colorful northern lights. If you aren’t lucky enough to see them, watching the sun dip below the horizon is a rather dazzling spectacle as well, as you can see in this stunning photo of an Alaskan winter sunrise we’ve chosen as our photo of the week.
Of course, if you’ve always dreamed of an Alaskan cruise and hope to see the northern lights, cruises here generally aren’t available in the winter, which means cruising and watching the colorful lights is a rare treat, but if you can go as early or late in the cruise season as possible, you’ll have the best chance. Early May and late September bring a lot more hours of darkness than the peak of summer, which brings much better odds for watching the phenomenon on a clear night. Some smaller cruise lines like Uncruise Adventures, which we highlighted recently here, start their Alaska cruises as early as April, bringing an even greater opportunity as well as lower prices and smaller crowds.
K.C. Dermody is the author of hundreds of travel articles both online and in print as well as the author of the “Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland.” She has traveled throughout the world and has a passion for imparting what she has learned from her experiences to others, but always appreciates coming home to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.