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You want to hop on board a uniquely designed ship that can take you places no other cruise line can, with tulips in full bloom in Skagit Valley, and you want to know the best time to do it. Well, with our 8-Day Puget Sound & San Juan Islands cruise you can experience the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer. 

Best time to go to the Pacific Northwest

The best time to cruise this region is between April to October. Throughout these months you can expect a delightful transition from the mild temperatures of spring to the sun-filled afternoons of summer. As April progresses, the month long, famous tulip festival unveils in Skagit Valley. This festival is a rainbow of horticultural design and has become an absolute must see when visiting this region.

By June, the days grow longer, inviting outdoor enthusiasts to explore the region's abundant hiking trails, pristine beaches, and emerald forests. As summer peaks in July and August, the Pacific Northwest becomes a haven for outdoor festivals, farmer's markets brimming with fresh produce, and vibrant waterfront activities, all set against a backdrop of clear skies and majestic mountains. In September and October, the Puget Sound region bursts with vibrant foliage and marine activity, as autumnal hues paint the landscape and migrating salmon navigate its shimmering waters.

Peak Cruising Season

Peak cruising season happens in July and August due to their favorable weather conditions, including long days of sunshine and calm seas, making for ideal sailing conditions. During these months you can take a unique ride on a seated open-deck boat and enjoy a 360º unobstructed view of the National Historic Landmark, Deception Pass Bridge, the Old Prison Rock Quarry, Deception Island, and a bald eagle’s nest.

The average temperature on the Puget Sound in the summer typically ranges from the mid-60s to low 70s Fahrenheit providing a mild climate to enjoy outdoor activities and the region's beauty.

You can also visit Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge where a local park ranger takes you on a tour of the grounds. Furthermore, the abundant marine life and stunning natural scenery of the Pacific Northwest reach their peak during this time, offering unforgettable wildlife encounters and breathtaking landscapes.

Closing Out Prime Cruising Season

As the temperatures come back down and the sun sets over the sun deck a bit sooner, there’s still so much to see on the Puget sound. Cruising during these months allows for a more intimate exploration of the surrounding natural beauty. The autumn foliage transforms the landscapes into a breathtaking tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. Moreover, September and October mark the continuation of the whale migration season, offering excellent opportunities for spotting orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life as they journey through the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Best Time to go to Puget Sound: Tulip Festival

Since the Dutch settlement over a century ago, the fields near Mount Vernon, Washington have boasted a colorful display of tulips, a tradition that led to the creation of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in 1984 by the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. Initially established to honor the millions of tulips blooming throughout April, the festival evolved as visitor numbers surged, prompting the Chamber directors to expand it into a month-long celebration filled with events and festivities.

By 1994, the Tulip Festival had become an independent entity, stretching from its original three days to a full 30-day extravaganza, ensuring visitors can witness the vibrant fields of tulips in bloom every year. The tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival display a vibrant array of colors, including shades of red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, and white, creating a stunning mosaic of floral beauty. Among the festival's participants are family-owned Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde, both integral to the community, having cultivated tulips for generations.

Enjoy Prime Cruising Time on the Puget Sound

No matter when you cruise Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, there’s plenty to get excited about. Between the awe-inspiring rugged landscape to the diverse wildlife hiding on the banks, American Cruise Lines can help you find the perfect blend of adventure and history along the way. 

Call your Cruise Specialist today to start planning your perfect Puget Sound & San Juan Islands cruise