ROL Cruise recommends…
From April to November, the northern waters of the Inside Passage are inhabited by hundreds of humpback whales. Pick up a boat tour from Juneau to watch these magnificent creatures and keep your eyes peeled for a passing orca catching an unsuspecting seal or moose for lunch. Eagles are another common sighting in the skies above Juneau, soaring through the air as they search for spawning salmon and herring in the streams. If you’re feeling brave during July and August, seek out black bears at Admiralty Island National Monument and the Kootznoowoo Wilderness area.
Around 12 miles from downtown Juneau is the arresting splendour of Mendenhall Glacier. One of 38 glaciers spilling forth from the 1,500 mile square Juneau Icefield, this breathtakingly beautiful river of blue ice stops at Mendenhall Lake. Take an aerial flightseeing tour or visit the informative visitor centre to learn how an ever warming climate is causing it to retreat, but enabling the return of forest and wildlife. For fantastic photo opportunities, follow a scenic walking trail past salmon streams, beavers and birdlife before reaching the cascading waters of Nugget Falls.
An adrenaline rush
Alaskan outdoor pursuits are plentiful, so adventurous visitors are sure to be entertained. Dog-sled across the glistening glacier, hike or cycle over challenging terrain, or explore shipwrecks and marine life by diving into the deep. Take to the skies for sweeping aerial views on the Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway or with an exhilarating zipline experience. If water’s more your thing, hire a kayak or charter a fishing boat and reel in an impressive catch of Pacific halibut or Pacific salmon.
Solid gold sightseeing
Downtown Juneau offers a wealth of historic attractions, from colonial architecture and political points of interest to the city’s first saloon. Spend a couple of hours at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, discover its native heritage, or follow the handy blue signposts towards nearby sights. Take a stroll to the Governor’s Mansion, a grand residence which boasts a totem pole from 1939. Visit the Victorian House of Wickersham, admire the octagonal St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, spotting monuments and memorials along the way.