Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit Southeast Alaska?
The most frequent question we’re asked is “When is the best time to visit Southeast Alaska”? Alaska is known for its natural beauty, wildlife viewing, and marine life experiences. It is rich in history and culture, totem poles, fresh seafood, long daylight hours and the list goes on; so advising you on when to travel to Southeast Alaska depends on your own passions and interests. Our knowledgeable, Sitka-based reservations team can help direct you, so you can experience your ultimate Alaska bucket-list.
What should I wear on my tour?
The weather in Southeast Alaska can transition from warm & sunny to cold & wet very quickly. It can be especially chilly near glaciers and icefields, and wherever there is an ocean breeze. This is true even on a cloudless, summer day. No matter what the weather looks like, when you are planning to spend any amount of time outdoors in Alaska, dress in layers that will allow you to either add or shed clothing to match the changing conditions. Keep a rain jacket, hat, and gloves close at hand at all times. It is also wise to carry extra socks if you know you are going to be walking in the rainforest, beachcombing, or going anywhere else where your feet might get wet. Synthetics (polypropylene, fleece, Capilene®, Gore-Tex®) and wool are excellent choices.
Is there anything else I should remember to bring?
If you own binoculars, we recommend packing them. If you are a birder, remember your field guides! On sunny and cloudy days, the glare is pronounced on the water, as well as on our glaciers and ice fields. We recommend sunglasses for comfort and protection. Sunscreen is also a good idea.
What kind of temperatures and daylight can I expect?
During the Alaska cruise season, May through September, expect daytime temperatures between 55° and 65° F, with nighttime five degrees cooler (although in summer there is daylight most of the time). It rarely exceeds 75° F, even in mid-summer. Southeast Alaska weather is influenced by its maritime climate, high mountains and extensive glacier coverage.
If a tour we want to do is listed on this website and on the website for the cruise line we will be traveling with this summer, which site should we use to book the excursion?
If you are traveling to Alaska by large cruise ship, and the tour (or tours) you wish to experience are offered through your cruise line’s shore excursion program, we highly recommend making your arrangements through their reservations system. The cruise lines offer excellent service and value to their guests. They carefully vet the tour offerings, have stringent requirements on operation and safety protocols, stand behind all the products they sell, handle all the necessary ground transportation arrangements, and do all the work necessary to adjust your tour plans if the ship’s port date or timing has to change for any reason. As one of Alaska’s oldest tour operators, we welcome the opportunity to work with the cruise lines in service to their guests.
What is the cancellation policy for True Alaskan Tours?
Cancellation policies vary depending on the tour you purchase. These policies are outlined on each tour’s page.
Any tips for photographing wildlife?
Southeast Alaska is a photographer’s paradise. Conditions vary wildly, but low light conditions predominate. Bring extra batteries and memory cards — these may be difficult or impossible to get locally. You may also want a tripod, UV haze filter, and polarizing filter. Wildlife photographers will want at least a 300mm lens. If you have a flash attachment on your camera, please turn it off or cover it. A bright flash of light can alarm animals.