Skip to Content

Juneau Cruise Port: 40+ Things to Do & Logistics

Welcome to Juneau, Alaska’s serene capital, where towering glaciers, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife create the backdrop for an unforgettable cruise destination.

This guide promises to be your comprehensive companion, unveiling over 40 thrilling activities and insider tips to ensure your journey is as breathtaking as the scenery.

Mt. Roberts Tramway

Getting to Know Juneau Cruise Port

Juneau, Alaska’s remote yet remarkably accessible capital, offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural richness.

The Juneau cruise port serves as the gateway to this extraordinary experience. Here’s everything you need to know to navigate the port and start your Alaskan cruise adventure on the right foot.

Overview of Juneau Cruise Port Facilities

  • Location: Nestled along the Gastineau Channel, the port is in close proximity to downtown Juneau.
  • Docking Areas: The port boasts several docks – AJ Dock, Franklin Dock, Marine Park, and South Franklin Dock – each within walking distance or a short shuttle ride from the heart of Juneau.

Docking Locations and Cruise Terminals

  • AJ Dock: The furthest from downtown but offers shuttle services.
  • Franklin Dock: Located directly in downtown, ideal for those eager to explore on foot.
  • Marine Park: A central hub for visitors, adjacent to key attractions and amenities.
  • South Franklin Dock: Offers quick access to shopping and dining options.

Facilities Available:

  • Restrooms
  • Visitor Information
  • Nearby restaurants and shops
  • Shuttle services (at AJ Dock)

Tips for First-Time Cruisers to Juneau

  • Plan Ahead: Research your dock location and nearby attractions to maximize your time in Juneau.
  • Dress in Layers: Weather can be unpredictable. Waterproof outerwear is a must.
  • Explore Locally: Juneau is rich in history and culture. Don’t miss the local museums and eateries.
  • Wildlife Respect: Keep a safe distance from wildlife and follow local guidelines.

Understanding the Juneau Cruise Port is the first step in ensuring a smooth and memorable visit.

With its prime location and variety of facilities, the port welcomes travelers to explore the stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture that Juneau has to offer.

cruise port Juneau Alaska

Things to Do in Juneau

Juneau, with its stunning landscapes and rich culture, offers an array of activities that cater to adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those looking to immerse themselves in local history and art.

1. Explore Mendenhall Glacier

  • Description: The Mendenhall Glacier, a majestic river of ice stretching 13.6 miles, is one of Juneau’s most breathtaking sights. Visitors can explore the glacier through various means: hiking, canoeing, or even a helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view.
  • Activities:
    • Nugget Falls Trail: A gentle hike leading to a stunning waterfall with the glacier in the backdrop.
    • Photo Point Trail: Offers the perfect vantage point for capturing the glacier’s beauty.
    • Visitor Center: Provides educational exhibits on the glacier’s history and ecology.
  • Tips:
    • Dress warmly and in layers, as temperatures near the glacier can be cool.
    • Be sure to carry water and snacks, especially if you plan to hike.

2. Whale Watching Tours

  • Description: Witness the majesty of humpback whales in their natural habitat. Juneau’s waters are teeming with marine life, offering one of the best whale-watching experiences in the world.
  • Activities:
    • Boat Tours: Several operators offer guided tours, providing insights into the behaviors and conservation of these magnificent creatures.
    • Kayak Adventures: For a more intimate experience, kayak tours allow you to quietly approach the whales at a safe distance.
  • Tips:
    • Bring binoculars and a camera with a good zoom lens to capture distant splashes and breaches.
    • Dress in waterproof layers; the weather can change quickly on the water.

3. Kayaking and Canoeing

  • Description: Paddle through Juneau’s tranquil waters, exploring remote inlets and coves. Kayaking and canoeing offer a peaceful way to connect with the area’s stunning natural beauty.
  • Activities:
    • Mendenhall Lake: Paddle near the face of the Mendenhall Glacier, enjoying close-up views of icebergs.
    • Tongass National Forest: Explore the lush, rainforest-lined banks of the Tongass National Forest by kayak.
  • Tips:
    • Beginners should opt for guided tours to ensure safety and gain local insights.
    • Wear waterproof gear and sunscreen, even on cloudy days.

4. Fishing Trips and Charters

  • Description: Anglers can delight in the rich waters of Juneau, which offer some of the best salmon and halibut fishing in the world. Guided charters provide everything you need for a successful day of fishing.
  • Activities:
    • Salmon Fishing: Target king, silver, and pink salmon during their respective runs.
    • Halibut Fishing: Venture into deeper waters for the chance to catch a hefty halibut.
  • Tips:
    • A valid Alaska fishing license is required; most charter companies can assist in obtaining one.
    • Dress warmly and in layers; it can be chilly on the water, especially in the morning.

5. Visit the Alaska State Museum

  • Description: The Alaska State Museum offers a deep dive into Alaska’s rich history, cultures, and art. From native heritage to Russian influences and the gold rush era, the museum provides a comprehensive overview.
  • Activities:
    • Exhibits: Explore permanent and rotating exhibits featuring artifacts, photographs, and art.
    • Educational Programs: Participate in lectures, workshops, and events designed to enrich your understanding of Alaskan history.
  • Tips:
    • Check the museum’s calendar for special events and exhibitions that may coincide with your visit.
    • Allow at least 2 hours to fully appreciate the museum’s offerings.
cruising to Alaska Juneau

6. Tour of the Governor’s Mansion

  • Description: The Governor’s Mansion, built in 1912, is a beautiful example of colonial revival architecture. While tours are limited, they offer a unique glimpse into the life of Alaska’s governor and the history of the state.
  • Activities:
    • Guided Tours: Available by reservation, these tours provide insights into the mansion’s history and its role in Alaska’s government.
  • Tips:
    • Tours must be booked well in advance through the Governor’s Office.
    • Photography may be restricted inside the mansion; check with your guide.

7. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum

  • Description: Focused on the local history of Juneau and Douglas, this museum offers insights into the area’s mining history, indigenous cultures, and the development of the city.
  • Activities:
    • Permanent Exhibits: Featuring historical photographs, mining artifacts, and indigenous art.
    • Walking Tours: Seasonal guided tours that explore Juneau’s rich history.
  • Tips:
    • The museum is small but rich in information, making it a perfect activity for a rainy day.
    • Don’t miss the video presentations for a deeper understanding of Juneau’s past.

8. Tlingit Cultural Experiences

  • Description: The Tlingit people have a rich cultural heritage in Southeast Alaska. Juneau offers several ways to engage with and learn about Tlingit culture, art, and history.
  • Activities:
    • Cultural Demonstrations: Watch traditional Tlingit carving, weaving, and dance performances.
    • Heritage Centers: Visit local heritage centers to see Tlingit artifacts and art.
  • Tips:
    • Be respectful and considerate when attending cultural demonstrations or visiting sacred sites.
    • Engage with local guides and artisans to gain a deeper appreciation of Tlingit culture.

9. Eaglecrest Ski Area

  • Description: For winter visitors, the Eaglecrest Ski Area offers outstanding skiing and snowboarding experiences. With trails for all skill levels, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy Juneau’s winter wonderland.
  • Activities:
    • Skiing and Snowboarding: From beginner to advanced trails, there’s something for everyone.
    • Snowshoeing: Explore the serene beauty of the surrounding national forest on snowshoes.
  • Tips:
    • Check the weather and avalanche forecasts before heading out.
    • Equipment rentals are available on-site for those traveling without gear.
Mt. Roberts Tramway

10. The Juneau Raptor Center

  • Description: The Juneau Raptor Center is a rehabilitation facility for injured birds of prey. Visitors can learn about the center’s conservation efforts and see eagles, hawks, and owls up close.
  • Activities:
    • Guided Tours: Learn about the rehabilitation process and the importance of raptor conservation.
    • Educational Programs: Participate in presentations about the birds and their role in the ecosystem.
  • Tips:
    • The center operates mainly on donations, so consider contributing to their cause.
    • Be quiet and calm around the birds to avoid stressing them.

11. Rainforest Garden Tours

  • Description: Explore the lush, verdant landscapes of Juneau’s rainforests. The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure offers guided tours through beautifully landscaped botanical gardens set in the heart of the Tongass National Forest.
  • Activities:
    • Guided Tours: Traverse the rainforest aboard a covered vehicle, learning about local flora and fauna.
    • Visitor Pavilion: Home to exotic plants and a chance to view the stunning aerial views of Juneau.
  • Tips:
    • Wear comfortable walking shoes; the paths can be uneven.
    • Don’t forget insect repellent and a rain jacket.

12. Bear Watching Expeditions

  • Description: Juneau’s surroundings are home to a significant population of brown and black bears. Guided bear watching tours offer a safe and respectful way to observe these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.
  • Activities:
    • Admiralty Island Tours: Known as “Fortress of the Bears,” this island offers some of the best opportunities for bear sightings.
    • Pack Creek Bear Sanctuary: A protected area where visitors can watch bears from viewing platforms.
  • Tips:
    • Follow your guide’s instructions closely to ensure a safe experience.
    • Early morning or late evening tours offer the best chances for sightings.

13. Mount Roberts Tramway

  • Description: The Mount Roberts Tramway whisks visitors from the cruise ship dock in downtown Juneau up to the Mountain House, offering stunning panoramic views of Juneau and the Gastineau Channel.
  • Activities:
    • Hiking Trails: Several trails lead from the Mountain House, offering varying levels of difficulty and scenic views.
    • Alaska Native Heritage Center: Learn about the area’s indigenous culture and see local art.
  • Tips:
    • The tramway can be busy; plan to visit early or late in the day to avoid crowds.
    • The temperature can be cooler at the top; bring an extra layer.

14. Gold Panning Experiences

  • Description: Relive the excitement of the Alaska Gold Rush. Several sites around Juneau offer gold panning experiences where you can learn the techniques and maybe find a few flakes of your own.
  • Activities:
    • Gold Creek and Last Chance Basin: Join a guided tour that takes you through historic mining areas and teaches you to pan for gold.
  • Tips:
    • Wear waterproof boots; you’ll likely get wet.
    • Gold panning is for everyone; no prior experience is needed.
mendenhall glacier

15. The Alaska State Capitol Tour

  • Description: The Alaska State Capitol doesn’t resemble the capitol buildings you might see in other states, but it’s full of history and political intrigue.
  • Activities:
    • Guided Tours: Learn about Alaska’s unique political history and the structure of its state government.
  • Tips:
    • Tours are free, but it’s wise to check the schedule and book in advance during the busy season.
    • The building is more about substance than style, so listen closely to the stories your guide shares.

16. Family-Friendly Hikes and Walks

  • Description: Juneau’s landscape offers numerous trails that are suitable for families and provide stunning views without requiring expert hiking skills.
  • Activities:
    • Perseverance Trail: Offers easy to moderate trails with views of waterfalls and historical mining sites.
    • Treadwell Mine Historic Trail: Explore the ruins of the old Treadwell Mine along a flat and easy path, perfect for all ages.
  • Tips:
    • Bring bear spray and know how to use it.
    • Pack snacks and water for the family to enjoy along the trail.

17. Sampling Local Seafood

  • Description: Juneau’s culinary scene is rich with fresh, local seafood. From casual dockside eateries to upscale dining experiences, there’s something for every palate.
  • Activities:
    • Crab Feasts: Enjoy Alaskan king crab at one of the local seafood restaurants.
    • Salmon Bakes: Participate in a traditional Alaskan salmon bake, where fresh salmon is grilled over an alder wood fire.
  • Tips:
    • Reservations are recommended for popular seafood restaurants, especially during peak cruise season.
    • Don’t miss out on other local specialties like halibut and wild berries.

18. Craft Beer Tasting Tours

  • Description: Dive into Juneau’s burgeoning craft beer scene with a visit to local breweries. Many offer tours and tastings, showcasing a variety of unique Alaskan brews.
  • Activities:
    • Alaskan Brewing Co.: Offers a tasting room and brewery tours, sharing the history of brewing in Alaska.
    • Devil’s Club Brewing Company: A downtown favorite with a cozy taproom and innovative beers.
  • Tips:
    • Some breweries may require reservations for tours, so check ahead.
    • Don’t drink and drive; consider walking or using local transportation if sampling generously.

19. Unique Alaskan Souvenirs: Where to Find Them

  • Description: Bring home a piece of Alaska with unique souvenirs from Juneau’s local shops. From native crafts to gold nugget jewelry, there’s a treasure for every traveler.
  • Activities:
    • Alaska Native Arts and Crafts: Purchase authentic Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian artwork to support local artists.
    • Ulu Knives: These traditional Alaskan curved knives are a practical and unique gift.
  • Tips:
    • Look for the “Made in Alaska” logo to ensure you’re buying genuine Alaskan-made products.
    • Consider the legality and ethics of wildlife products. Opt for items that respect local wildlife and ecosystems.

20. Downtown Juneau’s Historic Walking Tour

  • Description: Discover the rich history of Juneau by exploring its historic downtown. Self-guided walking tours allow you to visit historic buildings, statues, and landmarks at your own pace.
  • Activities:
    • Alaska State Capitol: Though modest, the capitol has a storied history.
    • Red Dog Saloon: Experience the lively atmosphere of this historic saloon, complete with sawdust floors and Alaskan memorabilia.
  • Tips:
    • Pick up a walking tour map at the local visitor center.
    • Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for Juneau’s unpredictable weather.
dogsledding in alaska cruise port

21. Glacier Flightseeing Tours

  • Description: For a bird’s-eye view of Juneau’s majestic landscapes, nothing beats a flightseeing tour. Hop on a small plane or helicopter to soar over glaciers, mountains, and the vast Alaskan wilderness.
  • Activities:
    • Helicopter Tours: Land on a glacier for a once-in-a-lifetime walk on the ice.
    • Seaplane Adventures: Fly over the Juneau Icefield, and witness the raw beauty of untouched nature.
  • Tips:
    • These tours can be weather-dependent; book early in your visit to accommodate potential rescheduling.
    • Dress warmly and in layers, as temperatures can be significantly cooler at higher elevations.

22. Zipline Adventures

  • Description: Thrill-seekers will love the opportunity to zip through the lush Tongass National Forest canopy, enjoying unparalleled views and an adrenaline rush.
  • Activities:
    • Rainforest Canopy Ziplines: Glide between platforms built high in the trees, including sky bridges and rappel descents.
  • Tips:
    • Suitable for most ages and abilities, but check with providers for any restrictions.
    • Wear closed-toe shoes and dress for the weather, as you’ll be outdoors for several hours.

23. Historic Walking Tours

  • Description: Juneau’s rich history is best explored on foot. Guided walking tours take you through the city’s historic districts, sharing stories of its gold rush past, native heritage, and evolution into the capital of Alaska.
  • Activities:
    • Downtown Historic Sites: Visit landmarks such as the Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum.
  • Tips:
    • Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll be covering a lot of ground.
    • Bring a camera to capture the historic buildings and beautiful scenery.

24. Alaskan Brewing Company

  • Description: A visit to the Alaskan Brewing Company is a must for beer enthusiasts. Learn about the brewing process and taste award-winning beers that capture the flavor of the region.
  • Activities:
    • Brewery Tours: Get an inside look at the brewing process, followed by a tasting session of their signature and seasonal beers.
  • Tips:
    • Check for tour times in advance and arrive early, as spots can fill up quickly.
    • Don’t forget to visit the gift shop for unique Alaskan Brewing merchandise.

25. Visit the Shrine of St. Therese

  • Description: This peaceful retreat offers a spiritual oasis amid the natural beauty of Juneau. The Shrine of St. Therese is located on a small island accessible by a causeway, providing a serene environment for reflection and meditation.
  • Activities:
    • Walk the Labyrinth: Follow the labyrinth path as a meditative practice amidst the tranquil surroundings.
    • Explore the Chapel: The chapel and grounds offer a quiet space for prayer and contemplation.
  • Tips:
    • Dress warmly, as the coastal location can be breezy and cool.
    • Respect the quiet and reflective nature of the shrine during your visit.
cruise port Juneau Alaska

26. Alaska Folk Festival

  • Description: If your visit aligns with the Alaska Folk Festival, don’t miss this vibrant celebration of folk music, dance, and storytelling. This week-long event in April features performances, workshops, and jam sessions.
  • Activities:
    • Live Performances: Enjoy a wide range of folk music from local and visiting artists.
    • Participate in Workshops: Learn folk music techniques, dances, and more from skilled practitioners.
  • Tips:
    • The festival is free, making it a great option for budget-conscious travelers.
    • Check the schedule in advance to plan which events you’d like to attend.

27. Dog Sledding on a Glacier

  • Description: For a truly unique Alaskan experience, take a helicopter ride to a glacier where you can meet a team of sled dogs and mush across the ice.
  • Activities:
    • Dog Sledding Tour: Learn about mushing and take the reins to guide your team across the glacier.
  • Tips:
    • This is a popular activity, so book in advance to secure your spot.
    • Dress in layers; glacier conditions can be cold, even in summer.

28. Visit the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery

  • Description: Learn about Alaska’s salmon industry and the life cycle of salmon at this working hatchery. The Macaulay Salmon Hatchery offers educational tours and the chance to see salmon up close.
  • Activities:
    • Hatchery Tours: Discover the process of salmon hatching and rearing, and view adult salmon returning to spawn.
    • Aquariums and Touch Tanks: Get a hands-on experience with marine life native to Alaskan waters.
  • Tips:
    • Check for feeding times or special demonstrations to enhance your visit.
    • The hatchery is a great educational experience for families with children.

29. Savor Juneau’s Food Scene

  • Description: Beyond seafood, Juneau boasts a diverse and delicious food scene. From food trucks serving fresh catches to fine dining restaurants with local ingredients, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
  • Activities:
    • Food Tours: Join a guided food tour to sample a variety of local dishes and learn about Juneau’s culinary culture.
  • Tips:
    • Ask locals for their favorite spots to eat; you might discover some hidden gems.
    • Be adventurous and try dishes you can’t find anywhere else, like reindeer sausage or seaweed.

30. Juneau Icefield Research Program

  • Description: For those interested in science and the environment, the Juneau Icefield Research Program offers presentations and sometimes tours that provide insight into glacial research and climate change studies being conducted in the area.
  • Activities:
    • Educational Presentations: Learn about the research being done on the Juneau Icefield and its implications for understanding climate change.
  • Tips:
    • Check the program’s schedule for public presentations or contact them in advance to inquire about visitor opportunities.
    • This is a chance to deepen your understanding of the natural world and the challenges it faces.
cruise port Juneau Alaska

31. Juneau Arts & Humanities Council

  • Description: The heart of Juneau’s vibrant arts scene, the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, hosts a variety of events, exhibitions, and performances year-round, showcasing local and visiting artists.
  • Activities:
    • Art Exhibits: Explore diverse art exhibitions featuring everything from traditional Native artworks to contemporary pieces by local artists.
    • Community Events: Participate in community arts events, workshops, and cultural presentations that enrich the understanding of Alaska’s heritage.
  • Tips:
    • Check the council’s calendar for special events during your visit.
    • Many events are free or have a minimal charge, making this a great budget-friendly option.

32. Dog Sledding on the Mendenhall Glacier

  • Description: Experience the thrill of dog sledding atop the Mendenhall Glacier. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure combines a helicopter flight over stunning landscapes with the unique experience of dog sledding on snow-covered ice, even in summer.
  • Activities:
    • Helicopter Ride: Enjoy breathtaking aerial views of Juneau and the Mendenhall Glacier en route to the dog sled camp.
    • Dog Sledding: Learn about mushing and take the reins as you glide across the glacier with a team of Alaskan huskies.
  • Tips:
    • Book early, as this popular activity fills up quickly.
    • Dress warmly in layers; the glacier can be cold, even in summer.

33. The Last Chance Mining Museum

  • Description: Located in the historic compressor building of the Alaska Juneau Gold Mining Company, the Last Chance Mining Museum offers a glimpse into Juneau’s gold mining heritage, featuring one of the world’s largest air compressors and other mining artifacts.
  • Activities:
    • Museum Tour: Explore exhibits on the history of gold mining in Juneau, including tools, photographs, and personal stories from the gold rush era.
  • Tips:
    • The museum is situated on the steep terrain of Gold Creek Canyon; wear comfortable shoes for walking.
    • Admission fees go towards the preservation of this historic site.

34. Savoring Alaskan Specialty Foods

  • Description: Beyond seafood, Juneau offers a plethora of unique Alaskan foods. From wild berries to reindeer sausage, there’s a rich culinary heritage to explore.
  • Activities:
    • Food Tours: Join a guided food tour to sample a variety of Alaskan specialties across several local eateries.
    • Local Markets: Visit Juneau’s markets to try fresh, local produce and artisanal goods.
  • Tips:
    • Don’t miss trying Alaskan birch syrup, a unique local delicacy.
    • Many eateries feature seasonal specials, offering the freshest tastes of Alaska.

35. Taku Glacier Lodge & Seaplane Experience

  • Description: Combine adventure and dining with a seaplane flight to the remote Taku Glacier Lodge. Overlooking the Taku Glacier, this experience includes a scenic flight, wildlife viewing, and a salmon feast in a historic lodge setting.
  • Activities:
    • Seaplane Flight: Take off from the water in Juneau and fly over breathtaking glaciers and untouched wilderness before landing at the lodge.
    • Salmon Bake: Enjoy wild Alaskan salmon grilled over an alder wood fire, a true taste of the Alaskan wilderness.
  • Tips:
    • Book in advance, as this popular excursion has limited availability.
    • Bring your camera for incredible photo opportunities both from the air and on the ground.
cruise port Juneau Alaska

36. Juneau Public Market

  • Description: Held annually over Thanksgiving weekend, the Juneau Public Market is a premier event for holiday shopping, featuring a wide range of vendors selling handmade crafts, art, and Alaskan-made goods.
  • Activities:
    • Shopping: Browse booths offering everything from handmade jewelry to artisan foods and unique Alaskan souvenirs.
    • Local Culture: Experience the community spirit of Juneau and meet local artisans and producers.
  • Tips:
    • Even if your visit doesn’t coincide with the market, many local artists and craftsmen sell their wares in shops and galleries year-round.

37. Baranof Castle State Historic Site

  • Description: Known locally as Castle Hill, this site is a significant historical landmark where the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States took place. It offers not only a lesson in history but also panoramic views of downtown Juneau and Gastineau Channel.
  • Activities:
    • Self-Guided Tour: Explore the interpretive signs that tell the story of Alaska’s transfer and the area’s earlier Tlingit heritage.
  • Tips:
    • The climb to the top is steep but short and well worth it for the views and the historical significance.

38. Tracy Arm Fjord

  • Description: A day trip to Tracy Arm Fjord offers stunning views of glaciers, icebergs, and wildlife. This narrow fjord is surrounded by towering cliffs and waterfalls, with the twin Sawyer Glaciers at its end.
  • Activities:
    • Boat Tours: Take a boat tour from Juneau for a full-day excursion that includes close-up views of the glaciers and possible wildlife sightings, including seals, eagles, and bears.
  • Tips:
    • Dress warmly and in layers, as it can be very cold on the water, especially near the glaciers.
    • Bring binoculars for wildlife viewing and a camera with a good zoom for capturing the scenery.

39. Juneau-Douglas Bridge Viewing Area

  • Description: For one of the best views of Juneau, head to the Juneau-Douglas Bridge viewing area. It offers spectacular views of the city, Gastineau Channel, and the surrounding mountains.
  • Activities:
    • Photography: An ideal spot for capturing panoramic shots of Juneau’s stunning landscape.
  • Tips:
    • Visit during sunset for especially dramatic views.
    • Be mindful of traffic when approaching the viewing area.

40. Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway

  • Description: Revisit the Mount Roberts Tramway for its cultural significance and the variety of experiences it offers at the top. Beyond the stunning views and hiking trails, delve into the native culture at the Mount Roberts Nature Center and the Raven Eagle Gifts & Gallery.
  • Activities:
    • Nature Center: Learn about the local flora, fauna, and Tlingit culture.
    • Raven Eagle Gifts & Gallery: Shop for authentic Tlingit art and crafts, perfect for unique souvenirs.
  • Tips:
    • Check for special events or cultural demonstrations taking place at the top, which can enhance your visit.

Whether you’re soaring above glaciers, sampling local delicacies, or stepping back in time at historic sites, Juneau promises a treasure trove of experiences to fulfill the curiosity and adventure of every visitor.

cruise port Juneau Alaska excursions

Before You Go

Embarking on a cruise to Juneau, Alaska, is an adventure of a lifetime.

Before you set sail towards this enchanting destination, there are a few important things to consider ensuring your trip is as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.

This section will guide you through essential pre-trip planning, packing tips, and other considerations.

Best Time of Year to Visit

  • Summer (May to September): The prime cruising season, offering mild temperatures, long daylight hours, and the best chance for wildlife sightings. This is also when most tours and attractions are fully operational.
  • Late Spring and Early Fall: Fewer tourists and potentially lower prices, but with cooler temperatures and a slight increase in rainfall. Some attractions might have limited availability outside the peak season.

Essential Items to Pack

  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: The weather in Juneau can be unpredictable. Pack layers, including waterproof outerwear, to adapt to changing conditions. Don’t forget gloves and a warm hat, even in summer.
  • Sturdy Footwear: Comfortable, waterproof hiking boots are a must for exploring trails and navigating wet terrain.
  • Daypack: A lightweight backpack is essential for day trips, allowing you to carry water, snacks, extra clothing, and other essentials.
  • Binoculars and Camera: For wildlife watching and capturing the stunning landscapes.
  • Sun Protection: Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat are important, even on overcast days.
  • Insect Repellent: Especially useful if you plan to spend time hiking or near water.

Preparing for the Weather

  • Research and Prepare: Check the typical weather conditions for the time of your visit and pack accordingly. Remember, even in summer, temperatures can be cool, especially in the evening or on the water.
  • Waterproof Gear: Ensure your outer layer is waterproof and breathable to stay comfortable during rainy days or misty conditions near glaciers.

Managing Expectations: Wildlife and Natural Phenomena

  • Wildlife Sightings: While Alaska is known for its abundant wildlife, sightings are never guaranteed. Be patient and keep your eyes peeled for opportunities, but enjoy the landscapes and other aspects of your journey as well.
  • Natural Phenomena: The northern lights (aurora borealis) are a rare sight in Juneau during the cruising season due to the long daylight hours. Plan accordingly if this is a must-see for you, considering a trip in late fall or early spring instead.

Final Checklist

  • Travel Documents: Ensure your passport is up to date, and check if you need any additional visas or travel documents.
  • Health and Safety: Pack a small first aid kit, any personal medications, and consider motion sickness remedies if you’re prone to seasickness.
  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on travel advisories and health guidelines related to your trip.

By taking these considerations into account and preparing accordingly, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying everything Juneau has to offer.

Remember, part of the adventure is embracing the unexpected, so while it’s important to plan, remain flexible and open to the experiences that come your way.

cruise port Juneau Alaska

Upon Your Arrival in Juneau

Arriving in Juneau is the start of an unforgettable adventure.

To ensure you make the most of your visit from the moment you step off the cruise ship, here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating your arrival in this vibrant city.

First Steps After Disembarking in Juneau

  • Orient Yourself: Take a moment to orient yourself with the surroundings. Juneau’s cruise ship docks are conveniently located near the downtown area, making it easy to begin your exploration.
  • Visitor Information: Look for the Visitor Information kiosk or booth near the dock. Here, you can pick up maps, brochures, and get recommendations from local experts on activities, dining, and transportation.
  • Currency Exchange: If you haven’t already done so, consider exchanging some money into US dollars for small expenses. Many places in Juneau accept credit cards, but having cash on hand can be useful for smaller vendors or tips.

Transportation Options from the Cruise Port

  • Walking: Downtown Juneau is pedestrian-friendly, and many attractions are within walking distance from the cruise ship docks.
  • Shuttle Services: Some cruise lines offer shuttle services from the docks to various points of interest around Juneau. Check with your cruise line for availability and schedules.
  • Public Transportation: Juneau’s public transportation system, Capital Transit, provides service throughout the city, including popular tourist destinations.
  • Taxis and Rideshares: Taxis and rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are available for more direct transportation to your desired destinations.
  • Car Rentals: For those looking to explore beyond the city or at their own pace, several car rental agencies operate near the cruise docks.

How to Navigate Juneau: Maps, Rental Options, and Walking

  • Maps: Grab a city map from the Visitor Information kiosk. Maps are invaluable for planning your day and ensuring you don’t miss any must-see spots.
  • Rental Options: Besides cars, you can rent bicycles for an enjoyable and eco-friendly way to explore Juneau. Some shops near the waterfront offer hourly or daily bike rentals.
  • Walking Tours: Consider signing up for a walking tour. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the city’s history, culture, and landmarks. These tours range from historical walks to food tours, providing insights you might miss exploring on your own.

Tips for a Smooth Arrival

  • Plan Your Day: Juneau is rich in activities and sights. Having a rough plan can help you maximize your time. Decide in advance if you want to focus on outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a mix of both.
  • Check Weather Conditions: Juneau’s weather can change rapidly. Before you disembark, check the day’s forecast to ensure you’re dressed appropriately and have gear for rain or cooler temperatures if necessary.
  • Stay Connected: Ensure your mobile phone has service in Juneau if you plan to use it for navigation or emergencies. Alternatively, consider renting a portable Wi-Fi device or purchasing a local SIM card for internet access.

Arriving in Juneau is just the beginning of your Alaskan adventure. With a little preparation and these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to dive into all that this charming and wild destination has to offer.

Juneau cruise port