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gjb2019

September Alaska - Westerdam vs Noordam? Weather?

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Never been on a cruise before - we are looking at booking a Vancouver roundtrip Inside Passage cruise this September - we can choose either the Noordam on Sept 15th or the Westerdam on the 22nd (this one is a bit better deal for pricing) ... any advice or recommendations (and feedback about weather!) is much appreciated.

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By that late in September expect the weather to be cold and wet. The shops will be closing down for the season, and the natives will be glad to see the tourists leaving.
There's a reason that cruises so late in the season cost less than in the summer.

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I wason the Westerdam last fall and we had nice weather in the third week in September.  

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Or the weather is sometimes dry and warmish. Or coolish and a little damp. The times we've gone late, it might be cloudy and a little drizzle but it's also been among the best trips. It kind of depends on what kind of weather you're used to.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Himself said:

I wason the Westerdam last fall and we had nice weather in the third week in September.  

 

Thanks - any chance you'd be willing to tell us anything more about your trip on the Westerdam? We are completely confused and a bit stressed out about all this ... deciding on a cruise is a lot more complicated than we expected, what with so many variables to consider! The September 22nd thru 29th round-trip out of Vancouver is the one we are looking at; any thoughts on that you could share??

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2 minutes ago, oceanmom said:

Or the weather is sometimes dry and warmish. Or coolish and a little damp. The times we've gone late, it might be cloudy and a little drizzle but it's also been among the best trips. It kind of depends on what kind of weather you're used to.

 

 

 

What dates did you go?  We live in Vancouver, so, variable weather is not new to us. Not afraid of a little damp and cool. I guess our main concern is whether or not here's a significant chance of it being so socked in with fog or heavy rain that we wouldn't see anything from the balcony except a wall of white or a wall of water. 

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The weather is unpredictable.  If you look at webcams you can see that the ports in Alaska are pretty cloudy and wet now, in July!  I've been on the Noordam and Westerdam both in the past 3 months and think the Westerdam was superior in service and food. Things change, crew changes......no guarantees. Either way, it will be a win!

 

First cruises are trial runs and you go with the flow, learn everything you can about the line and how it all works.

 

Been on a few September Alaskas and had good, but cool, weather on all.  The later you go the fewer ships will be in port, the fewer crowds.

 

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Weather in Alaska is more or less gambling; you can increase the odds a touch in your favour, but ultimately, you get what you get, and what you get is usually a lot of variety.

We have been there in May (2010) and had mostly sun and warmth.  Back in June (2014) and had more wet and cold days than another go around in late September (2014).  We had two nice days leaving Vancouver in July last year, including a scorcher in Juneau, followed by two wet and cold days leading to Glacier Bay, before ending our trip with sun and warmth all the way back from Glacier Bay to Vancouver.

As far as tours, stores, etc; yes, its fair to say that some operators and stores are winding things down, but again, I am not sure the difference between September 15th and 22nd would be all that noticeable.

We did the "final week of the season" in 2014, and while it was noticeable when compared to a June or July trip, but I can't say it affected our trip in any material way.  Shore excursion providers and stores had what we wanted at that time, but again, if they did not have what we wanted, the experience may have been different.

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Posted (edited)

One thing you might want to consider: the Noordam is going into dry dock on September 29th; it was last updated in 2015. It will be getting changes that the Westerdam already has (last dry dock 2017). As a new cruiser, I think you would like the Westerdam, with it's more modern updates, and it would be a better introduction to HAL. The Noordam is still in good shape, though, just a little "older" looking in it's furnishings.

 

 

Edited by PSR

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3 hours ago, gjb2019 said:

 

What dates did you go?  We live in Vancouver, so, variable weather is not new to us. Not afraid of a little damp and cool. I guess our main concern is whether or not here's a significant chance of it being so socked in with fog or heavy rain that we wouldn't see anything from the balcony except a wall of white or a wall of water. 

 

Never the last cruise of the season so usually mid-September like the 8th to the 22th timeframe. We were never in a wall of white or a wall of water, but it could be cool and damp. Liked that we could get closer to glaciers and even went places you couldn't go earlier in the season due to too much ice or wildlife nesting/babies.

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Alaska weather is a total gamble.  I just came back from a roundtrip out of Seattle, end of June.  The first day was a solid wall of white.  That was a first for me after 8 other Alaskan cruises.  Our day in Ketchikan was absolutely stunning-pure sunshine, perfect temps.  Last September I took one of the final cruises of the season (and the last land trip of the year; they all waved good-bye and locked up as we left).  The cruise days were lovely weather at all the ports, the land part was mixed, more drizzly than not. Several years ago we took our daughters with us in September and the weather was picture perfect except for Ketchikan where it rained buckets.  I say go when you can and bring some layers so you are prepared weather-wise.

 

As far as the ships, the Noordam and the Westerdam are favorites of mine.  I just went on the Noordam and thought she was in very good shape.

 

St. Louis Sal

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16 hours ago, gjb2019 said:

Never been on a cruise before - we are looking at booking a Vancouver roundtrip Inside Passage cruise this September - we can choose either the Noordam on Sept 15th or the Westerdam on the 22nd (this one is a bit better deal for pricing) ... any advice or recommendations (and feedback about weather!) is much appreciated.

We were on the Westerdam for 28 days in the Fall of 2018 and on the Noordam for 36 days  just this last April 2019.  Both ships are the same class, size, etc.  Both are in my opinion good shape.  As others have mentioned Westerdam had a drydock upgrade two years ago and Noordam is due late September 2019.  If the Alaska ports are the same I would choose Westerdam only because of the updates on the ship. Either ship hope you have a great first cruise.  With regard to weather can be a hit and miss anytime, even in summer.  Some September’s can be very lovely.  Our Fall 2018 trip we stopped in both Juneau and Kodak on our way over to Japan, we were in Juneau on October 2nd, nice and sunny and we had good weather in Kodak as well.  Few stores were still open in Juneau, good deals.

 

 

 

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