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Cruises to Juneau

Juneau (Photo:Sorin Colac/Shutterstock)
Juneau (Photo:Sorin Colac/Shutterstock)

About Juneau

Juneau, often described as America's most unusual state capital, is the only center of U.S. government with no roads leading into or out of town. The city is surrounded by nature, namely towering mountains and the waters of Gastineau Channel. For most visitors, the only way in or out is by air or sea. Residents boast three routes: plane, boat or birth canal.

Gold put Juneau on the map in the 1880s, though the mining camp went by several names before prospector Joe Juneau finally wrangled enough votes to get his name to stick.

Juneau became a state capital when Alaska became the 49th U.S. state in 1959, and nearly 60 percent of the city's population works in government. The governor's mansion stands on a hillside overlooking the cruise docks, and anyone can take a walk up the hills via steep stairways.

Juneau offers a wide range of shoreside activities, from whale watching, dog sledding and ziplining to touring the Capitol building or the Alaskan Brewing Company. Then, there's the state's most accessible glacier -- Mendenhall, an immense, 12-mile-long river of ice. Along with glacier viewing, there's always the chance of seeing a bear or two up close.

The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council has a community calendar on its website that is jam-packed with events, so you can easily find out what's happening while you're in port.

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DAY 1: Vancouver

7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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10 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
San Francisco
Visiting:
Astoria, Oregon, Sitka ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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DAY 1: Seattle

9 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Seattle

16 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seward
Visiting:
Hubbard Glacier, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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12 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Endicott Arm ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Juneau, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Endicott Arm ...
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Cruise Line:
Celebrity Cruises
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9 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Icy Strait, Glacier Bay ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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11 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Ketchikan, Icy Strait ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Juneau, Skagway ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Inside Passage, Ketchikan ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Icy Strait, Hubbard Glacier ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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8 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Endicott Arm, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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9 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Sitka, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seward
Visiting:
Sitka, Juneau ...
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Cruise Line:
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Hubbard Glacier ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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7 Night
Cruise to Juneau

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Juneau, Endicott Arm ...
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Cruise Line:
Royal Caribbean International
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Why go to Juneau?

Pros:

Alaska's capital city is easy to navigate, serving as a great jumping-off point for tours.

Cons:

There are some busy roads, making this port a bit less walkable than others in Alaska.

Bottom Line:

Juneau has lots for visitors to discover: wildlife, shopping, history and excellent seafood.

Juneau Cruise Port Facilities?

Your ship will arrive to any of three areas, all within walking distance of downtown. Most large ships dock along South Franklin Street near the library and Mount Roberts Tramway. Small ships dock next to floatplanes at Seadrome Dock. AJ Dock is at the south end of town. Ships might anchor and tender passengers when more than four large vessels are in port. The Alaska Marine Highway ferry docks about 7 miles outside of downtown.

Everything -- information kiosks, cafes, shops, museums, tour operators, public library -- is a short walk from the cruise ships. Tour guides meet passengers right at the docks (motor coaches line up for cruise excursions in an organized fashion), and several tourism information kiosks are available to help with additional arrangements.

Souvenir shops are located along the dock, and some -- like the Caribou Crossings store -- have ATM machines.

Good to Know?

Your visit to Juneau will most likely have a backdrop of overcast skies. Located in a temperate rainforest, the port sees an average of 220 days of precipitation a year. Poor weather can spoil your day, especially if you have your heart set on riding in a helicopter and landing on top of a glacier.

Getting Around?

On Foot: Juneau is an easily walkable town. It's a good idea to carry an umbrella if it looks at all cloudy.

By Car: Taxis gather at Marine Park. For car rentals, the usual major companies -- Avis, Hertz, Budget - are available at the airport, and they might offer pickup service at the dock.

By Shuttle Bus: A shuttle bus runs from the AJ Dock to town. Whether there's a charge for the shuttle bus depends on the cruise link docked there; some charge, others don't. Otherwise, it's fairly easy to get to key attractions beyond downtown, such as Mendenhall Glacier, without renting a car. Numerous shuttle services offer round trip rides for around $45, which includes the cost of entry to the glacier. Inquire at the tourist kiosks lined up along the cruise piers.

By Public Bus: Juneau offers a publics bus system, but it doesn't go right to the main attractions outside of town, so a shuttle would be a better option. Public buses stop at the airport and shopping center.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

Currency is the U.S. dollar. ATMs and banks are readily available around town.

Language?

Residents speak English. If you want to learn a few Tlingit (Native American) phrases, take the Mount Roberts Tramway to the top and sit in on a free lesson in the auditorium.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations
  • 2015 Top-Rated Alaska Destinations

Juneau Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Millennium
VincesDeeDee
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We did Juneau on our own. We found a bus to Mendenhall Glacier near the dock.... Read More
Viking Orion
bteng
Sail Date: Jun 2019
The included excursion to Mendenhall glacier was very disappointing, so we explored Juneau on our own afterwards.... Read More
Royal Princess
crocus1
Sail Date: Aug 2019
We rented a car so had a lot of freedom. Time was still tight as the ship left at 4pm. We would have liked to have more time in Juneau. Going to the Glacier was the best part.... Read More
Ovation of the Seas
FeisMum
Sail Date: Sep 2019
Love Juneau! Talk to the locals!... Read More
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