When planning a cruise to the last frontier, there’s one rule you should always follow: Don’t skimp on shore excursions. Remember, no one cruises to Alaska to soak up sun on the cruise deck.
Sure, there’s plenty to do at the cruise pier like ride the Mount Roberts Tramway, visit the historic Red Dog Saloon or take a walking tour. But the beauty lies far beyond the cruise pier. Consider these Juneau shore excursions if you’re spending the day in Juneau, Alaska.
Popular Juneau Shore Excursions
Whale Watching. When a company has a 100 percent success rate that you’ll see a whale (and they do!), you should go see a whale! Aboard a 16-guest whale watching boat, you’ll head out to Auke Bay to see whales in action in their natural habitat. Money back guaranteed!
Helicopter Adventure Tour. This is one of the longest helicopter tour options, so you get more time in the air to see all the beauty that is Alaska. Your guide will pick you right up from the ship pier and take you to the helicopter. You’ll fly over the majestic landscape to a less-crowded glacier , such as the Herbert, Taku, Limon or Norris Glacier (the Mendenhall glacier is the most “popular” but can also be a mob scene if a crowded cruise line excursion is there at the same time). You’ll get a brief narration and get to walk around before boarding the copter and making your way back the airfield.
Gold Creek Salmon Bake. You’ve never had salmon like fresh Alaska-caught salmon. The all-you-can-eat buffet also includes Cheechako chicken, White Pass pasta, Chilkoot baked beans, Tongass wild-rice pilaf and blueberry cake for dessert! This excursion can also be paired with whale watching and a private tour to Mendenhall Glacier.
Here’s a video about the Salmon Bake. Everyone always loves it!
Helicopter Dog Sledding. Board a helicopter flying over the Juneau ice field and land at a dog camp with Alaskan Huskies. Then, head out for a once in a lifetime experience across the glacier. Dog sledding on a glacier — a definite bucket list item!
Mendenhall Glacial Trek. This one is geared for the hardcore adventure travelers. You will go up 350 feet — equipped with glacier trekking gear of course. You’ll want to dress in layers and bring a water bottle for this thrilling trek.
Juneau Shore Excursion Tips
- One thing Alaska is known for in the summer months is rain, so expect the wet stuff. Consider picking up a throw-over rain slicker that you can put in your bag.
- Dress in layers. Just because it’s the middle of the summer doesn’t mean that its going to be 80 degrees in Alaska during the day. The early mornings can start off in the 40-50s while the daytime highs reach only the lower 70s.
- Remember that Alaska is a once-in-a lifetime trip. You’ve invested a lot of money into your cruise vacation, so be open to new adventures. There is far more to Alaska once you step off the cruise pier.