If you happen to’re going to Juneau on a cruise, you’re in luck! Moreover being the capital metropolis of Alaska, Juneau is a bustling fishing city with magnificent mountain vistas and a shocking number of wildlife.
Juneau, Alaska additionally has the distinctive distinction of being fully landlocked. You’ll be able to solely get to Juneau one among two methods…boat or airplane. There aren’t any roads connecting it to another metropolis in North America.
In case you are fortunate sufficient to port in Juneau throughout your Alaska Cruise, there are a selection of excursions and actions that will provide you with a style of Alaska’s capital metropolis and its fascinating historical past.
On this submit, I’ll share the perfect issues to do in Juneau, together with shore excursions and cheap or free actions. I’ve additionally included the data you’ll have to learn about visiting the Juneau cruise port for the day and answered some frequent questions.
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Juneau Cruise Port
The cruise port in Juneau locations you immediately downtown on Egan Drive, making this an especially walkable port metropolis. Most massive cruise ships dock on the South Franklin Avenue Dock, and it’s not unusual to have 3 to 4 cruise ships in port on a given day.
Cruise passengers can disembark and discover town on foot, having fun with the outlets, eating places, and well-liked points of interest which are clustered within the downtown space.
What Cruise Passengers Have to Know About Juneau Cruise Port
Though it’s lower than 100 miles from the Canadian border, Juneau is situated in Alaska (USA). The official forex is the USD (United States Greenback).
Companies in Juneau settle for money, credit score, and debit playing cards.
The first language in Juneau is English. Nonetheless, Sourdoughs (longtime Alaskans) may use some uncommon native slang, together with “termination mud” (the primary snowfall of the 12 months within the mountains) and the “ALCAN” (Alaska/Canada Freeway).
Juneau, together with 90% of Alaska, retains time inside the Alaska Normal Time Zone (AKST). Alaska Normal Time Zone is one hour behind Pacific Time and 4 hours behind the Jap Time Zone.
In Juneau, temperatures vary from the higher 50s to the low 60s throughout cruising season. The climate right here is relatively delicate in comparison with different ports in Alaska due to the affect of the Pacific Ocean. Nonetheless, Juneau is situated in a temperate rainforest, so anticipate rain about half of the times of every month.
Getting Round Juneau
Juneau is the biggest U.S. Capital metropolis by land space, however don’t let that scare you. This Alaskan metropolis is 3,255 sq. miles complete, together with 704 sq. miles of water and 928 sq. miles of ice cap in North America’s fifth largest ice discipline.
On foot, you may go to many vacationer locations, together with the State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion, the Mount Roberts Goldbelt Tramway, the Cultural Arts Park, and the historic Pink Canine Saloon.
Capital Transit has a four-stop “ride-free zone” that may get you to the capital constructing and the downtown transit middle, the place you may switch to journey to different areas.
One-way basic fare for ages 19+ is $2 (actual change), 18 and beneath is $1 and youngsters 5 and beneath can journey Capital Transit totally free.
Whether or not you want a elevate ($15 for 2) or desire a guided tour ($200 for 2), Alaska Pedicab Juneau is a soothing strategy to get round city.
Video: Alaska Cruise Evaluation with Cruise Ports
12 Finest Juneau Shore Excursions
Juneau, Alaska, is a superb place for varied actions, together with wildlife viewing, studying the historical past of Alaska Natives, mountain climbing, glacier viewing, and whale watching.
Listed below are among the greatest methods to benefit from the capital of Alaska.
1. Tongass Nationwide Forest
A go to to Juneau means you’ll get the prospect to see the nation’s largest nationwide forest. The Tongass covers most of Southeast Alaska and provides a possibility to view glaciers, wildlife, and beautiful surroundings.
To get to Tongass, you could both e book a tour that features the nationwide park or take a shuttle service. Public transit doesn’t journey to Tongass Nationwide Forest.
2. Mendenhall Glacier Customer Middle
13 miles from downtown Juneau, tucked into Tongass Nationwide Forest, you’ll discover the beautiful Mendenhall Glacier and a very good customer middle.
The price to enter the customer middle is properly value it, with passes priced at $5 per particular person ages 15 and over. Ages 15 and beneath are free.
The customer middle has a free academic film, considerate and fascinating shows, and panorama home windows that showcase the Mendenhall Glacier.
3. Mendenhall Lake
You’ll be able to expertise the joy of kayaking on a glacial lake on the Mendenhall Glacier’s terminus. A number of tour firms present round-trip transfers from the cruise ports.
Additionally they present the whole lot you want for an journey kayaking in beautiful Mendenhall Lake. With the backdrop of Mendenhall Glacier, you’ll row previous icebergs and test off a serious bucket checklist merchandise.
4. Mount Roberts Tramway
This tour takes you from sea stage to superb views 1800 ft above Mount Roberts. The tram is costly ($55 for an all-day cross for adults and $40 for youths ages 3-12). Nonetheless, the panoramic views of Juneau and the Gastineau Channel are beautiful.
After a fast journey up in a tram automobile, you’ve a number of actions to select from. You’ll be able to watch an 18-minute award-winning movie on the Tlingit folks, eat on the Timberline Bar and Grill, go to a nature middle, or hike by way of subalpine forests.
5. Helicopter Tour
Don’t miss the distinctive alternative to fly over a million-year-old glacial icefields! Juneau boasts 928 sq. miles of ice cap within the type of Juneau Icefield, the fifth largest icefield in North America.
This cruise shore tour will provide you with a shocking birds-eye view of Juneau’s mountains and icefields. The pilot will then land atop a glacier, the place you’ll get a guided stroll and the prospect to drink the freshest, tastiest ice water you’ll ever have.
Many native firms supply round-trip transportation from the cruise docks. Whether or not you e book your helicopter tour by way of the cruise line or with an unbiased tour firm, make sure you e book early. This well-liked exercise tends to promote out.
6. Whale Watching
The Alaska waters of the Inside Passage have wonderful alternatives for whale watching. A number of native firms supply transportation from downtown Juneau to the Auke Bay harbor, the place you’ll board a ship for a 2.5-hour whale-watching cruise.
You’ll find a number of whale watching excursions provided by your cruise line as properly.
Chances are high good that you simply’ll see bald eagles, seals, and sea lions. Humpback whales are the actual star of the present, and when you’re fortunate, you’ll get to observe playful Orca whales as they leap and breach.
You may as well select a combo whale-watching cruise/Mendenhall glacier go to. After your whale-watching expedition, you’ll be bussed to Mendenhall, the place you may spend 1.5 hours exploring.
7. Sealaska Heritage
A go to to Alaska isn’t full with out studying concerning the Indigenous tribes which have referred to as Southeast Alaska dwelling for greater than ten thousand years.
For $7 per grownup and $5 per youngster over age 7, you may stroll by way of an adzed cedar clan home, view reveals about Native Alaskans, and see and buy your art work or souvenirs within the reward store.
Sealaska Heritage is in downtown Juneau, only a brief stroll from the cruise ship dock.
8. Canine Sledding Tour
There are a few completely different areas the place you may test canine sledding off of your bucket checklist in Juneau: glacier or forest.
Forest excursions embrace a scenic drive to the Tongass Nationwide Forest canine camps. You’ll see an expert canine sled camp, work together with husky puppies, and even journey a “summer time sled” (with wheels).
Some helicopter excursions embrace a canine sledding expertise on prime of Herbert Glacier. A staff of 12-14 huskies will probably be ready to tug you on a dogsled throughout the ice.
Dogsledding is a large a part of Juneau’s historical past, and though the excursions are expensive, it is a once-in-a-lifetime expertise.
9. Ladd Macauley Customer Middle/Macaulay Salmon Hatchery
In case you are focused on studying extra about salmon and different sea creatures, the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery situated within the Ladd Macauley Customer Middle provides a really cheap aquarium-like expertise.
For a $7 admission value for adults and $5 for youngsters, you’ll get a singular view of how an out of doors fish hatchery operates. The Hatchery additionally has saltwater aquariums with 150 completely different species of marine life and a tide pool contact tank stuffed with sea animals native to Juneau.
The customer middle is 3 miles from downtown Juneau. You may as well catch a taxi or schedule a tour that features the Hatchery
10. Final Probability Mining Museum
Cruisers focused on Juneau’s mining historical past will take pleasure in this museum. Positioned a couple of 2-mile stroll from the cruise ship docks, the museum has a group of fascinating images, artifacts, and gear.
For a $5 (money solely) entry payment, guests will see the world’s largest air compressor and reveals detailing Juneau’s historical past. The stroll to the museum can also be picturesque and comparatively straightforward.
11. Glacier Gardens Rainforest Journey
Beginning on the botanical backyard and nursery, Glacier Gardens, a rainforest tour begins by boarding a coated “journey car” for a one-hour tour in an old-growth rainforest on Thunder Mountain.
After the tour, you may stroll by way of their customer middle and seize a chunk to eat on the Rainforest Cafe.
Glacier Gardens is a 7-mile journey from cruise ship docks. You’ll be able to take a taxi, Lyft, or Uber or take a bus journey that can drop you off 500 ft from the doorway. Reservations are required for teams smaller than 10; the tour prices $30.40 for adults and $19.90 for youngsters ages 6-12. Children 5 and beneath can tour totally free.
12. Tracy’s Crab Shack
You’ll be able to’t miss the interesting purple exterior of this Juneau Port staple. Deliver your urge for food to this well-liked restaurant that guarantees “The very best [crab] legs on the town.”
Seize a Giant King Bucket, which feeds 2+ with Pink King Crab, coleslaw, rolls, and “butta.” There are two areas inside strolling distance of the cruise port, so that you’ll have ample alternatives to get a full stomach and buttery palms.
Not solely is Tracy’s Crab Shack well-liked with cruise travellers, however locals adore it as properly!
5 Free Issues to Do within the Juneau Cruise Port
1. Nugget Falls Path
You’ll have to get to Mendenhall Guests Middle to take this hike, however you don’t need to pay to park or hike the Nuggets Falls path.
The .8-mile path takes you previous rivers (typically stuffed with spawning salmon) and breathtaking views of Mendenhall Glacier and ends at a beautiful waterfall. Throughout the quarter-hour in every route hike, you could spot wildlife, together with moose, bald eagles, and presumably bears.
2. Take a Tour of the Alaska State Capitol Constructing
Positioned inside a brief stroll of the cruise ship dock, the Alaska State Capitol Constructing provides free 30-minute guided excursions Tuesday-Friday.
The constructing has a reproduction of the Liberty Bell, historic images, and artwork and murals honoring the forty ninth state’s historical past.
3. Window Store in downtown Juneau
You’ll be able to simply spend a number of hours wandering by way of the quaint outlets downtown. The outlets promote the whole lot from jewellery to furs, Native Alaskan artwork, t-shirts, and different enjoyable keepsakes.
Whereas downtown, maintain an eye fixed out for the historic Pink Canine Saloon. A staple of downtown Juneau since mining occasions, the saloon has been in a number of areas, together with a tent on the ocean’s shore. At present’s Pink Canine will provide you with a peek into the previous and what a saloon expertise was like for gold rush miners.
4. Go to the Governor’s Mansion
Though they don’t supply excursions, when you’re strolling round downtown Juneau, a brief, largely uphill stroll will provide you with a view of this lovely and historic constructing.
In-built 1913 for $40,000 (the equal of $1.2 million as we speak), it’s the dwelling of present Alaska governor Mike Dunleavy. A totem pole exterior provides the mansion an Alaskan contact, and also you’ll catch some beautiful bay views from the highest of the hill
5. Admire the Shrine of St. Therese
half-hour from downtown Juneau lies a shrine to the Patron Saint of Alaska, St. Therese of the kid Jesus and the Holy Face.
You’ll be able to ponder quietly whereas viewing the stunning chapel, which was constructed within the Nineteen Forties. To get to the Shrine, you could lease a automobile, take a taxi, or e book a tour with an organization.
Juneau Cruise Port Incessantly Requested Questions
What’s the greatest time of 12 months to go to Juneau?
Heat winds from the Pacific Ocean make Juneau’s summer time temperatures delicate and pleasurable. The typical temperature throughout Alaska cruise season is within the higher 50s to the low 60s. The very best time of 12 months to go to is in June or early July, as precipitation continues to extend all through the summer time months.
Is Juneau a walkable metropolis?
The Juneau cruise port city is extremely walkable, with cruise ships docking downtown. There are numerous museums, outlets, and points of interest that you could stroll to inside minutes of disembarking your cruise ship.
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Last Ideas On Issues to do in Juneau Cruise Port
Nestled between Gastineau Passage and Mount Juneau, the picturesque capital metropolis of Juneau will probably be a memorable cease in your Alaskan Cruise.
Whether or not you utilize your time to see wildlife or beautiful glaciers, delve into mining historical past, or admire Indigenous art work, you’ll treasure the time you spent in Juneau.
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Stephanie Yrungaray grew up in beautiful Eagle River, Alaska and now calls Utah her beUtahful dwelling. She enjoys touring and exploring together with her husband and 5 youngsters any means she will be able to, from cruising to RV tenting and the whole lot in-between! When she’s not out exploring, you’ll discover her writing about journey, funds and parenting in addition to reward concepts on her web site, www.TheGiftyGirl.com.