Getting Around Juneau With Kids
Navigating downtown Juneau is very easy. Its only 8 to 12 blocks in any direction the best ways to get around is by tour bus, taxi or on foot. Just remember to pack rain gear and your best walking shoes if part of your day is spent walking around the city. There are tour guides and taxis waiting at the dock for cruisers who dont want to book a tour in advance.
Below are other ways to explore Juneau while fitting in some sightseeing.
For a scenic tour of downtown Juneau, hop aboard the 45 minute City Trolley Tour. Youll visit Juneaus historic and shopping areas on this narrated tour. You can hop off at the City Museum and the Macaulay Hatchery . The trolley runs every 30 minutes. Adults are $30 and kids are $25.
Blue Glacier Express For cruisers who want to do Mendenhall Glacier on their own instead of a packaged tour, hop on the Blue Bus from M& M Tours of Juneau in the parking lot next to the Mount Roberts Tramway. This bus offers direct transportation to Mendenhall Glacier. Bus service begins at 8:00 AM and runs every 30 minutes until 6:00 PM. Roundtrip fare is $30. You can buy your ticket at the port or beforehand online.
Capital Transit Using Juneaus bus system is an inexpensive way to get to the Mendenhall Valley and Douglas Island. The ride from downtown Juneau to Mendenhall Glacier takes over an hour though so keep that in mind when planning your day. Bus fare is $2 per adult and $1 for kids 18 years and under.
How To Get To Juneau From The Juneau Cruise Port
Cruise ships dock at three different areas, all within walking distance of downtown Juneau. Larger ships tend to dock near South Franklin Street, while smaller vessels dock next to the floatplanes. A third dock sits at the south end of town. From each dock, taxis are plentiful and most shore excursions and tours offer port pickup and drop-off.
Zipline Through The Tongass National Forest
If you are looking for something a bit more fast-paced and adventurous, then an Alaska Zipline Adventure through the Tongass National Forest should be on the top of your list of Things to Do in Juneau, Alaska on a cruise. Located on Douglas Island, across the Gastineau Channel from Juneau, you will be surrounded in rainforest and mountain views. The Alaskan landscape will be your backdrop as you scream your way through 7 zip lines of various lengths and altitudes under the supervision of an expert guide.
Along your one of a kind journey through the Alaskan wilderness, you will have amazing panoramic mountain views, be provided with facts about the local flora and fauna, and even get to view salmon spawning streams. At the end of your adventure, you will have some time to relax at the lodge, browse the gift shop, or sip a local Alaskan brew before heading back to Downtown. Or, you can even try your hand at axe-throwingwho wouldnt want to embrace their inner lumberjack while in Alaska?
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Local Currency & Tipping Customs
Tipping is not mandatory, but it is customary in Juneau, just as it is throughout Alaska and all of the United States. Tips are not only greatly appreciated, but they are quite often a crucial part of the wages in the tourism industry. Particularly for college students and employees in customer service positions, tips are a typical and necessary way to augment low wages.
A general guideline to tipping:
Restaurants: 10% for standard service and 20% or higher for excellent service. Bar Tenders: : An appropriate tip in a bar is 10% to 15% of the bar tab total.Taxi Drivers: It is customary to provide a tip of between 10% to 18% of your fareTour guides: If you are happy with your tour, a tip of 10% to 20% of the total cost of the tour is appropriate.
Fly In A Helicopter Over The Icefields
A helicopter ride over glaciers and snowy slopes of the Juneau Icefield on a spectacularly sunny day is one of the best tours I’ve ever taken. Like most helicopter and floatplane rides in Alaska, it’s very expensive, but truly a memorable adventure. You can zip over the glaciers and around the mountains, leaving the green mountains surrounding Juneau on a warm sunny August day and arriving just a few minutes later in a snowy wonderland.
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Take A Jeep Tour And Hike
TripSavvy / Linda Garrison
On one of the hike and jeep tour options, the knowledgeable guide can pick you up at your hotel and the tour begins with a ride around downtown Juneau where the guide points out some of the historical and governmental sites. Moving across the Gastineau Channel on the Juneau-Douglas Bridge, the route turns north and you’ll ride almost to the end of the island, stopping at the Rainforest Trail for a 1.5-mile hike along the well-maintained gravel trail. The guide’s knowledge of the mushrooms, fungi, and other plant life along the trail adds to the experience. The trip then takes you along the beach where you can see the Chilkat Mountains in the distance.
Juneau has many other hiking opportunities, including around the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area, Mount Roberts, and downtown Juneau. One popular trail is the 3-mile “Perseverance Trail“, which starts downtown on Gold Street. It follows one of the valleys that produced Juneau’s gold and also connects to the more strenuous trail to the top of Mount Juneau.
Visit The Salmon Hatchery
TripSavvy / Linda Garrison
When you visit Juneau, you’ll be amazed by the millions of salmon you’ll see in the streams surrounding the city. Children and adults who travel to Juneau will enjoy a visit to the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery which is located 2.5 miles from downtown on the road to the airport. The hatchery provides amazing views of salmon and allows those visiting the facility to learn first-hand about Alaska’s wild salmon. At the entrance, there’s a birds-eye-view of a fish ladder and outdoor hatchery operations accompanied by a 57-minute informative commentary from a local guide. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 12 and under.
Inside the hatchery are aquariums displaying a variety of local marine life including touch tanks. The gift shop sells the work of local artists and also will ship wild salmon anywhere in the U.S. They even offer tastings of a variety of salmon products such as king salmon dip, salmon caviar, salmon jerky, and canned salmon.
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Culture & History Of The Juneau Cruise Port
In many ways, Juneau is a melting pot of cultures that is largely a mixture of Native American heritage and the 19th century mining industry. Most people that currently live in Juneau reflect these cultures as well.
For a clear understanding and a better look at the fascinating melting pot cultures of Alaska in general, and Juneau specifically, carve out a little time in your trip to visit the Alaska State Museum. Featuring exhibits on the culture, art, and history of the states Native American heritage, the museum is the official repository for the natural and cultural history of the state. Additionally, the Juneau-Douglas City Museum features an extensive history of the mining industry with exhibits about how it helped found Juneau during the 19th century.
The Auke Tribe of Tlingit Indians was among the first to settle the area that eventually became known as Juneau. The surrounding lands were abundant with food and natural resources, providing ample reasons for these original settlers to live comfortably and be productive. Although these were the first to settle into a life in this area, Juneau showcases a myriad of different Native American tribes from the Northwest Coastal areas.
In 1880, during the peak of the Gold Rush, gold seekers Joe Juneau and Richard Harris stumbled upon the area that was first named Harrisburg, and later renamed Juneau. The Tlingit Chief Kowee pointed the newcomers in the direction of gold when they arrived.
Tour Agents & Operators
This Redmond, Washington-based company operates nine day tours in and around the Juneau area, including the Best of Juneau tour, the various gold panning tours, tours featuring the Gold Creek Salmon Bake, and the Custom Hummer excursion. Phone: 323-5757
Juneau-based Juneau Tours offers six day tours in and around the Juneau area, including helicopter tours, whale watching tours and dog sled tours. Phone: 523-6095
Juneau-based Mighty Great Trips offers ten day tours in and around the Juneau area, including Mendenhall Glacier tours, Mendenhall River Float tours, helicopter tours, whale watching tours, dog sled tours and more.Phone: 789-5460
Alaska Shore Tours is a local tour operator that offers a variety of active, adventure, sightseeing, cultural and historical, flightseeing and glacier tours. These tours run the gamut from kayaking, ziplining, sled dogs, flightseeing, whale watching and glacier exploration to city tours. Their prices are typically lower than those offered by the cruise lines, and when you book a tour through Alaska Shore Tours, you’re ensuring that the money you spend in Juneau stays to benefit the Juneau community. Plus they give 5% of the tour prices to charities, including the Alaska Conservation Foundation and the Alaska Native Heritage Center.Phone: 626-9600
Cycle Alaska is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.1107 West 8th Street
Note: F = Fair Chance G = Good Chance E = Excellent Chance
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Where Do Cruise Ships Dock In Skagway Wa
Skagway has three main cruise ship docks: White Pass Railroad Dock Broadway Dock, and Ore Dock. All are located within the same general area and all easily walkable to downtown Skagway. As many as four cruise ships can fit into this terminal area at any given time. The Railroad Pier is large enough to accommodate two large cruise ships.
The Best Alaska Cruise Ports And Choosing The Right Itinerary For You
Thinking about setting sail for Alaska? Not sure which itinerary to choose? This article is all about the highlights and best Alaska cruise ports to help you !
This article doesnt include a review of different cruise ship companies, rather it is information about the ports you may visit and how to decide based on whats most important to you. Great news to get started you really cant go wrong here as all the Alaska ports of call are interesting and different in their own ways and all are surrounded by life affirming natural beauty!
Ill also talk about how to decide between a cross gulf cruise or inside passage only , a big ship or small ship and options for scenic cruising around glaciers. I spent seven seasons working in the Alaska cruise industry and have visited all of these ports multiple times and even lived in two of them, so Im excited to share my insider knowledge with you!
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Historical Downtown Walking Tour
Offered by the , this 1-hour walking tour is offered mid-May thru mid-September. On this tour, you’ll learn how Juneau’s mining past changed the landscape of downtown Juneau and hear stories about the personalities of early Juneau, including tales of prominent Alaskan figures and Juneau families. The tour concludes with a visit to a historic house for afternoon tea.
Tours depart at 1:30 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tickets are available at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, which is also the starting point of the walking tour. Price is $25 for adults ages 13 years and up, and $20 for children under 13 years of age. Admission to the museum is included in the ticket price. Fourth and Main Streets
Alaska Boat and Kayak CenterAlaska Boat and Kayak Center offers several half-day and full-day kayaking trips in the waters surrounding Juneau. On their guided day trips, you’ll kayak the melt-water coastlines that humpback whales claim as their feeding grounds each summer, or kayak next to icebergs and get up close to Mendenhall Glacier on Mendenhall Lake. In addition to their guided tours, they also offer self-guided tours and custom-designed guided half-day or full-day trips. The trips are rated easy to moderate, and no prior experience is necessary. To get to their kayak shop in Auke Bay, you can travel by city bus, taxi, or via their shuttle van.Auke Bay
Genuine Made In Alaska Products
How can you tell if the products you’re buying were truly Made in Alaska? After all, several Chinese companies make very convincing “Alaskan” goods, and you’ll find them in many stores in tourist towns in Alaska. The following Polar bear and cub logo signifies that the product that you’re buying was made in Alaska:
And if you’re looking for products that were made by Native Alaskans, look for the following logo:
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Shopping Near The Juneau Cruise Port
Looking to get some souvenirs or local treasures while in Juneau’s cruise port? Here are some of the top places to shop:
Alaska Shirt Company 489 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801.
Trove – 497 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801.
Caribou Crossings – 387 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801
House of Russia – 389 S Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801
Foggy Mountain Shop – 134 N Franklin St, Juneau, AK 99801
Dog Sledding Tour Of Mendenhall Glacier
Looking for the adventure of a lifetime? Explore Mendenhall Glacier in one of the most creative ways possible: by dog sled. The excursion kicks off with a helicopter ride through the serene Alaskan cry. Look down to see the deep green foliage of the rainforest and the snow-capped mountaintops. Once you reach Mendenhall Glacier, youll find yourself among hundreds of energetic Alaskan Huskies, waiting to take you through the ins and outs of one of the worlds most incredible glaciers.
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Aj Mine Gastineau Mill Tour
Learn about the history of the Alaskan gold rush era with the AJ Mine Gastineau Mill Tour. Youll put on a hard hat and descend into a 360 foot-long tunnel in what was once the worlds largest gold-producing mill.
An experienced miner will demonstrate hard rock mining techniques and teach you about the old mining lifestyle. Back at the mill, youll have the chance to pan for gold and see the first steam engine brought to Alaska.
Ketchikan Overall Runner Up And Best For Shopping And Totem Poles
Ketchikan is a very close second for me for the top spot as the best Alaska cruise port! Juneau gets a slight edge from me as I mentioned above for the number of hiking trails that are easy to get to from the cruise ship dock. Like Juneau, Ketchikan is relatively easy to get around on your own and has a bus system that takes you to most places.
Ketchikan also has excellent shore excursions, particularly to Misty Fjords National Monument, and its a great place for fishing trips.
One of the best things about Ketchikan is its impressive number of totem poles. There are several you can see downtown, including at the entrance to Creek Street, the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center and the Totem Heritage Center. To see and learn even more, take an excursion offered by your ship to either Totem Bight National Historical Park or Saxman Totem Park.
This is the best Alaska cruise port for shopping, with delightful Creek Street and the streets surrounding it offering up more local art and gifts than many other ports . Make sure to visit Crazy Wolf Studio, which is Alaska Native owned and features Native art from across the northwest coast. In addition, I highly recommend the Captains Lady, with lots of locally made items as well as Ray Trolls studio.
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Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure
The Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventure is equal parts a gorgeous botanical center and an adventure into the rainforest of the Tongass National Forest.
Tours begin with a guided walk through the landscaped lower gardens. Take in the sights and smells of immaculately manicured flowers and gardens.
Then, hop aboard an open-sided shuttle to tour the rest of the 50-acre property. This untouched forest has been preserved in its natural state. The tour also stops at several viewpoints that overlook the Mendenhall Valley, Gastineau Channel, and Chilkat Mountains.
First Cruise Ships Tie Up At New Dock Outside Of Ketchikan
August 17, 2021 by Molly Lubbers, KRBD – Ketchikan
Ketchikan has a new dock in town well, outside of town. The first cruise ships to tie up at the two-berth Mill at Ward Cove arrived this month. That marks a milestone for the project to revitalize the former pulp mill site.
When the first cruise ship to visit Ward Cove docked on Aug. 4, passengers were greeted by rain and the Tongass National Forest. Those trees were the first thing that Emma Murray said she noticed as she stepped off the ship.
It was just really exciting to see for me because Im from a desert, she said. Nothings green at all, and it was just so green and wet. I was just like, Wow.
Murray and other passengers took refuge from the rain in an old Ketchikan pulp mill building. Before it shut down in 1997, the mill was the largest employer on the island and the center of Ketchikans timber industry. Now, developers hope itll serve as a hub for the communitys tourism economy. Ward Cove Dock Groups John Binkley said it feels like a full-circle moment.
Its fired back up again and think its something that I hope all the community can take pride in that the mill is back, he said.
Binkley said thats especially exciting after COVID-19 delayed the docks opening.
Bang, all of a sudden the season was on, he said. So we had to gear back up again, get our construction team back in place and go as fast as we could to try and get open in really about 70 days from when we hit the go button.
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