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Cruises to Juneau

4 Awards
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.

  • More about Juneau

  • Why go to Juneau?

  • Juneau Cruise Port Facilities?

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Norwegian Spirit
Norwegian Spirit

16 Night
Hawaii - OtherDetails

2,064 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 3, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Viking Orion
Viking Orion (Photo: Cruise Critic)

10 Night
Alaska & The Inside PassageDetails

480 Reviews
Leaving:Seward
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Celebrity Eclipse
Celebrity Eclipse

7 Night
Alaska Hubbard Glacier CruiseDetails

1,865 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Jewel
Norwegian Jewel

7 Night
Alaska - VancouverDetails

2,298 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 3, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

7 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

1,263 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

1,263 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Alaska - Northbound WhittierDetails

2,298 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Alaska Hubbard Glacier CruiseDetails

1,865 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Alaska & The Inside PassageDetails

480 Reviews
Leaving:Seward
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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9 Night
Alaska - OtherDetails

2,298 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 10, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Alaska Dawes Glacier CruiseDetails

2,149 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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13 Night
North Pacific CrossingDetails

1,067 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 1, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Alaskan ExplorerDetails

1,140 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Alaska - SeattleDetails

2,088 Reviews
Leaving:Seattle
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Jul 28, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Alaska & The Inside PassageDetails

480 Reviews
Leaving:Vancouver
Cruise Line:Viking Ocean Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Juneau

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.


Juneau Cruise Reviews
Took the Whale Watching small boat cruise in Juneau. Tour operators should learn the lesson that less is often more. After seeing 10 humpback whales in the first two hours of the cruise, I was not interested in spenRead More
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KenTinUT
Juneau was very crowded with multiple super ships docked. I think Juneau needs to update their facilities at the Mendenhall glacier and the tram to accommodate the increase in passengersRead More
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crepes4
So much to do in Juneau. We did Mendenhall glacier and a whale watching excursion. As well there were many places to eat in Juneau. Read More
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MillbrookMom
Juneau was my favorite port.Read More
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