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

While Juneau is mainly a start and endpoint 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 ice blocks 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 Mendenhall mentioned above 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, and habitats. Discover the people who have called Alaska home for many years, and uncover their native traditions and culture. Seeing how people have sustained their lives in Alaska will surely 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 compared to other state capitols around the USA, visiting 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 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 savor a glass or two of locally produced beers.

The best time to cruise Juneau

Between May and August, the summer months 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 fishing for salmon in the waters, often with cubs.

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; it is home to one of the state’s major ports. Exciting Juneau cruises are available for varying periods and include diverse activities and experiences. You will surely have a great time if you book a round-trip Juneau tour or a luxury cruise in Alaska that covers more ground. 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 several 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 ashore and enjoy guided hikes, or take to the waters for 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, which you may be lucky to see on 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, while 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?

Like most places in Alaska, Juneau cannot be accessed by road; visitors must arrive by air or 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 and 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.


Juneau Reviews

  • 9.4 Superb
  • 18 Verified Reviews
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Daniel H
  • United States United States

Enjoyed trip to glacier outside of Junea. Nice museum of Alaskan history, Great food

Cruising Juneau in August on the Admiralty Dream

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kim C
  • United States United States

We did take the tram and enjoyed the view. Due to work, we had to return the day we docked.

Cruising Juneau in May on the Wilderness Discoverer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Judy K
  • United States United States

Mendenhall Glacier a must. Museum was excellent-loved that they let clans use ceremonial objects. They are, after all, theirs

Cruising Juneau in May on the Alaskan Dream

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Susan M
  • United States United States

The museum was incredible!

Cruising Juneau in June on the Admiralty Dream

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Leni R
  • United States United States

The tow walk with the owner was very interesting

Cruising Juneau in May on the Wilderness Discoverer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gary M
  • United States United States

Our boat left and returned from Juneau but we did not have any excursions with the provider.

Cruising Juneau in June on the Catalyst

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Lawrence N
  • United States United States

Great. We especially enjoyed the Heritage Store and Museum.

Cruising Juneau in August on the Admiralty Dream

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Joseph T. S
  • United States United States

I don't think we did excursions in Juneau, but enjoyed the Alaska State Museum on our own.

Cruising Juneau in August on the Wilderness Discoverer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ellen W
  • United States United States

Juneau is a great place to spend time,especially when there were no cruise ships in. Everyone was so friendly

Cruising Juneau in April on the Wilderness Discoverer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Janet L
  • United States United States

We went on our own to the State Museum, which was excellent. It might have been nice to offer an excursion to the glacier for those getting off the boat, not just to those boarding.

Cruising Juneau in August on the Alaskan Dream

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Carol M
  • United States United States

Nice ride from the dock but Juneau itself was too crowded with big ship loads of people for me. I walked around a little but went back to the hospitality room until my shuttle took me to the motel.

Cruising Juneau in August on the Alaskan Dream

  • 9.2 Superb
  • William G
  • United States United States

There are great things to see in and around Juneau. Cope Park is beautiful. We loved the old buildings and the museums. We were fortunate to have the proliferation of suggestions from a former resident. Some great restaurants. However, the presence and effect of the "Big Ship" cruises overwhelms the waterfront. The Mendenhall Glacier and Nugget Falls are a great excursion. Take the local bus for $2 each way, walk 1.5 miles and enjoy a fabulous outing.

Cruising Juneau in August on the Alaskan Dream

  • 7.6 Good
  • Edward M
  • United States United States

No organized excursions per se. We did connect with a local guest to go to St Therese’s cathedral, Mendenhall Glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. All really nice.

Cruising Juneau in September on the Alaskan Dream