Optimal Seasons for Cruising: Unveiling the Ideal Times to Discover Diverse Global Destinations

3 min

white cruise ship on sea during daytime

Going on a cruise is an exhilarating adventure. You get to explore some of the world’s most famous seaside cities and admire the azure waters surrounding their ports, all while enjoying your time aboard luxury cruise ships.

But it’s not always picture-perfect. If you board a cruise at the wrong time, you may end up dealing with harsh winds at sea or have to cancel your excursions on land due to inclement weather. You might not even enjoy the stunning views of your destination you were anticipating if the season doesn’t permit it.

That’s why choosing when you go on vacation is an integral part of planning out your dream cruise. Some places are best enjoyed at certain times of the year. Plus, going at the right time allows you to witness some of those seaside towns’ best seasonal attractions and festivities.

Today, we’re breaking down the best and worst times to board a cruise along the world’s most popular cruise routes. Keep reading to see when you should go on that cruise you’ve been eyeing!

The North Pacific Ocean

A cruise traversing the North Pacific is amazing for those who want to see beautiful waterways and majestic mountains along the coast. Some popular stops on these cruises include Vancouver in Canada, Seattle in the U.S., and the iconic Alaska Glacier Bay National Park. 

Best time: May to August

The seas in the North Pacific are generally calmer in the late spring going into early fall, which makes for a safer, more enjoyable ride in the sea. In the summer months, you could even experience the Midnight Sun (or 24-hour daylight) in Alaska.

Worst time: October to April

The seas can be extremely windy (and even dangerously stormy) during the fall and winter. The weather also gets very cold, making it less than enjoyable to explore your cruise’s seaside stops.

The South Pacific Islands

The South Pacific is a crowd-favourite among travellers who want to see lush tropical islands and the paradise that is French Polynesia. 

From large to small cruise ships, plenty of vacationers dock at one of the South Pacific islands’ beautiful shores to enjoy their rich culture and idyllic waters and beaches. Common stops here include Bora Bora, Fiji. 

If you want a more luxurious experience, you can go on a lavish 10-night cruise aboard the Star Breeze to explore breathtaking Tahiti.

Best time: May to October

In these autumn to winter months, the weather in the South Pacific is cool and dry, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and picturesque beaches of French Polynesia without dealing with the scorching summer heat. It’s also when you can experience many of the region’s colourful festivities, such as Tahiti’s Heiva Festival in July.

Worst time: November to April

Not only are these summer months incredibly hot, but the air around this time is unbearably humid. Plus, cyclones and heavy rainfall usually happen in these months, which can be very disruptive to tropical excursions.

The North Atlantic Ocean

If you’re interested in maritime history, rocky landscapes, charming fishing villages and iceberg views, a classic expedition along the North Atlantic should be right up your alley. Cruises along this part of the ocean might stop at iconic cities like New York City, Halifax, Reykjavik and Bergen. 

Best time: May to September

The Atlantic is known for its treacherous waters, but in the spring and summer, it’s quite well-behaved. The weather is mild and the waters are gentle. Plus, there are more daylight hours during these seasons, allowing you to maximize your time off the cruise ship.

Worst time: October to April

The waters of the Atlantic can get tumultuous and rough from autumn to early spring. From icebergs to storms, there are plenty of risks associated with cruising in the region in these months. 

The Mediterranean (And Other Nearby Seas)

A cruise along the Mediterranean Sea and other bodies of water near it allows you to visit some of the most beautiful and historically rich cities of the Old World. 

From an Idyllic Aegean Cruise of the Greek islands to an exquisite and serene cruise along Italy’s Venetian Lagoon and Canal near the Adriatic Sea, there’s always something captivating to experience in these waters.

Best time: April to October

The islands and cities along the Mediterranean are prettiest in the spring and summer months. This is also when the weather is generally friendly and the waters quite calm, creating the best cruise experience possible. It’s the most ideal scenario for outdoor activities on your cruise stops.

Worst time: November to March

The colder winter months are the worst for this area. Not only does the weather get too cold, but plenty of attractions close for the seasons as well. Avoid cruising here in the off-season to ensure you get to see all the sights and excursions on your bucket list.

Embark on Your Dream Cruise During the Best Seasons

Most cruise stops are stunning in their own right. However, the magic of these cities and seaside towns truly comes to life during specific times of the year.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy your favourite tropical island with clear skies or witness the culturally rich annual festivities a town has to offer, look to the seasons as your guide to when you should book that dreamy cruise.

Leave your vote


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.