Adventure Cruises in Juneau
Juneau Cruises are the perfect way to experience the majesty of Alaska. Departing from the state capital, an adventure cruise in Alaska brings you up close to an exciting array of wildlife, including bears and birds, as well as dramatic and unusual scenery. There is plenty to see and do in the city itself, with museums, culture, nature, and more right on your doorstep. Located in the southeastern part of Alaska and with a mining heritage, Juneau has been the capital since 1906.
Things to do in Juneau
Whilst Juneau is mainly a start and end point for cruises of the Northern Passages Alaska Islands, including Glacier Bay, Baranof Island, and Chichagof Island, there is still plenty to enjoy within close proximity of the city. Some of the best things to do in and around Juneau include:
Seeing the Mendenhall Glacier - The incredible Mendenhall Glacier is one of the most accessible glaciers to Juneau. Juneau cruise packages typically include a visit to the glacier on their itinerary. Stretching across 1.5 miles (2.4 km) and sitting in its own sparkling lake, the mammoth glacier regularly calves, sending giant blocks of ice crashing into the otherwise calm waters below. A photogenic spot, you are sure to be awestruck.
Exploring Juneau Icefield - One of the biggest ice fields in the Western Hemisphere, the expansive Juneau Icefield boasts many glaciers, including the above-mentioned Mendenhall Glacier and the still-advancing Taku Glacier. Soaring peaks, yawning chasms, scenic valleys, and winding fjords add to the wild and rugged landscape. Small ship cruises typically visit parts of the ice field, and helicopter excursions are immensely popular, allowing visitors to marvel at the spectacular natural beauty from above.
Visiting Alaska State Museum - Alaska State Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the state’s history, culture, and nature. It is home to some of the most extensive and comprehensive displays and exhibits related to Alaska. Learn more about the creatures that inhabit the state, their habits, feeding patterns, mating rituals, habitats. Discover the peoples who have called Alaska home for many years, and uncover their native traditions and culture. Seeing how people have sustained their lives in Alaska is sure to be an eye-opener. Other collections include striking local artwork and exhibits related to various industries, such as fishing and whaling.
Seeing the Alaska State Capitol - Though rather plain when compared to other state capitols around the USA, a visit to Alaska’s State Capitol offers many insights into the remote capital city. Take a tour and discover more about local governance. Did you know that video links are commonly used as a way to work around the difficulty of moving easily around much of Alaska?
Sampling Local Beers at the Alaskan Brewing Company - A terrific way to round off a long day of hiking and / or exploring, a visit to the Alaskan Brewing Company is a great way to complement your cruise in Juneau. Take a tour of the brewery, see the processes involved in making beer, and savour a glass or two of locally produced beers.
Best time to cruise from Juneau
The summer months, between May and August, offer sunny days and warmer temperatures. The most popular time to visit, if you can plan ahead and arrange your trip for the start or end of the peak period, there is a greater chance of being able to dodge the crowds somewhat and secure cheaper deals.
Summer is the best time to visit Juneau for wildlife spotting too; whale migrations mean that you’ll easily be able to spot the large sea creatures in the waters. August and September in Juneau is a prime time to spot bears, often with cubs, fishing for salmon in the waters.
Do note that, even though September and October are generally the rainiest months, Juneau sees a substantial amount of rain all throughout the year; pack accordingly and don’t forget your wet weather gear.
What cruises depart from Juneau?
Several cruises depart from Juneau; indeed, it is home to one of the state’s major ports. Exciting Juneau cruises are available for varying duration periods and include diverse activities and experiences. Whether you book a round-trip Juneau tour, or opt for a luxury cruise in Alaska that covers more ground, you are sure to have a wondrous time. Some main cruise destinations to visit from Juneau include:
Northern Passages - The Northern Passages is the name given to the northern section of Alaska’s Inside Passage. It contains a number of islands and waterways, as well as spectacularly diverse landscapes and an abundance of wildlife.
Chichagof Island - Chichagof Island is known for its surrounding gorgeous fjords, carved away over the years by glacial activity. Go on shore and enjoy guided hikes, or take to the waters for a spot of adventurous kayaking. Explore quiet coves in a skiff, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
Baranof Island - Baranof Island is known for its resident Sitka deer and brown bears, both of which you may be lucky enough to see from your Juneau cruise. The island also has a deserted village, hot springs, and sparkling lakes.
Glacier Bay - One of the most incredible places in Alaska, Glacier Bay is the historic home of the Huna Tlingit people. Creatures that live freely in the rugged area include wolves, bears, deer, squirrels, moose, foxes, and marmots, whilst whales and sea lions swim through the waters. It’s a great place for bird watching too. As the name implies, it’s a top spot for seeing an impressive array of glaciers, including the famous Marjerie Glacier.
Tracy Arm - Located close to the equally fascinating Endicott Arm, Tracy Arm is an arresting sight. Explore the long fjord on a cruise from Juneau, enjoying activities like hiking and kayaking. It’s a great place for nature watching and photography too.
How do I get to Juneau?
As with most places in Alaska, Juneau cannot be accessed by road; visitors must arrive by air or by sea. Juneau International Airport (JNU) is a major gateway to the city, allowing people to connect with their Juneau cruise. Alaska Airlines is the regional carrier, offering direct daily flights to Seattle and Anchorage, as well as regular services to other parts of Alaska. Sitka, Angoon, Kake, and Haines are just a few Alaskan destinations with direct flights to and from Juneau. The airport is around 7 miles (11 km) from the heart of Juneau. Downtown is connected to the airport by express bus.
Our reservations team can help you book your next Alaska cruise from Juneau. Contact us today.
Juneau Diving Reviews
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The state museum was excellent but since there were 6 large cruise ships in port, the streets and restaurants were very crowded. We took the tram up the mountain and were rewarded with spectacular views, even dall sheep on a neighboring mountain.
Diving Juneau in June on the Island Spirit