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Discover Alaska by Cruise – Top 7 Cruises Out of Juneau


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When you think of cruises, you might think of making a stop in Juneau. But if you go out of Juneau, you’ll have ample time to see the city and explore for a few days before boarding. Plus, there are some incredible cruises out of Juneau that stop at interesting ports and offer unique exploration opportunities. 

If you’ve always dreamt of an Alaskan cruise and are finally ready to start booking it, here’s your lineup of the very best options that leave from Juneau. 

About Juneau Cruises

Before you get too far into booking your cruise, know that the tourist season throughout most of Alaska and certainly Juneau is mid-May through mid-September. So if you’re looking to take part in certain excursions or activities during your travels, you’ll want to be sure you book within these timeframes when tourist attractions are open.

Given the short tourist season in the area, many attractions fill quickly. The sooner you book your travel and accommodations, the better experience you’ll likely have.

While many cruises are all about spending time in the sun on the upper deck and swimming, Alaskan cruises are more about seeing natural wonders. Plan for chilly weather with layering apparel and water-repelling outer layers. This will help you stay comfortable both on the ship and when you dock to explore. 

Top 7 Cruises Out of Juneau

Explore parts of the country you’ve only seen in travel brochures with an Alaskan cruise starting from Juneau. You won’t regret these incredible experiences. See both Alaska and Canada on some cruises as you make your way north on your cruise. Here’s a look at the seven best cruises starting from the port of Juneau.

1. 7-night Glacier Bay and Canadian Inside Passage

Board the Seaborn Odyssey, a 650-foot boat with 229 suites. You’ll enjoy many outstanding amenities on the ship, including a card room, fitness center, salon, restaurants, cocktail and tea club, bars and more. 

Though you start in Juneau, you experience many interesting ports, including;

  • Glacier Bay
  • Cruise through Stephens Passage
  • Cruise through Transit Decision Passage
  • Wrangell, Alaska
  • Cruise through Stikine Strait
  • Cruise through Behm Canal
  • Rudyerd Bay (Misty Fjords)
  • Cruise through Misty Fjords
  • Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
  • Cruise through Grenville Channel
  • Cruise through Whale Channel
  • Cruise through the Princess Royal Channel
  • Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada
  • Cruise through Johnstone Strait
  • Cruise through Seymour Narrows
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Each port where you stop includes interesting landmarks and experiences you won’t want to miss. 

2. 8-day Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness Cruise

Top Cruises Juneau

Although the experience starts and ends on a cruise ship, much of your time is spent in the great outdoors through active and engaging Alaskan experiences. Don’t just see Alaska, experience it. 

Throughout the experience, you’ll get close to fjords, get up close to glaciers, kayak near incredible marine life, watch whales breach and learn more about Tlingit culture.

Here’s a look at the cruise schedule.

  • Day 1: board the ship in Juneau, Alaska, where you’ll enjoy dinner on board
  • Day 2: head to Tracy Arm Fjord where you’ll experience cascading waterfalls, harbor seals and porpoises as well as arctic terns. 
  • Day 3: take some time in the Alaskan fishing town of Petersburg. You’ll witness Norwegian culture thanks to the area’s heritage. Consider biking through town or booking a crab feast from the fresh sea life the locals haul in.
  • Day 4: spend the day floating in Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait where orcas and humpback whales tend to go. A naturalist on board the cruise ship will explain the sea life’s behavior. Then head to shore for hiking, kayaking or solo adventures.
  • Day 5: enjoy time in the Inian Islands watching sea lions and sea otters of the Icy Strait. Hike on Chichagof Island where you might spot a bald eagle. 
  • Day 6: take in one of the most incredible wonders Alaska has to offer: Glacier Bay National Park. You might see mountain goats scaling the glacier peaks or harbor seals playing in the water below. You can spend some time at Tidal Inlet where brown bears often gather. Learn the area’s history from a Tlingit interpreter.
  • Day 7: spend time at an isolated beach near southeast Alaska’s Islands to inspect tide pools or hike the forest trails nearby. You might spot a bald eagle or bear tracks as they lumber to their next destination. Kayaking in the area is stunning and gives an opportunity to get a little closer to marine life. 
  • Day 8: disembark in Sitka, Alaska, where you can learn about the area’s strong Russian heritage and take in the sea life.

Cruises run from mid-May until early September. But be aware that the cruise generally leaves from Juneau every other week and Sitka the other weeks so be sure you book your travel plans accordingly.


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3. 7-night Northern Passages and Glacier Bay Cruise

Experience Glacier Bay National Park in unique ways from a kayak, paddleboard or skiff. You’ll see the fjords, inlets and wildlife. Pause and take in Tongass National Forest as you experience Alaska like never before. 

  • Day 1: embark on your journey from Juneau as you take in the mountain views.
  • Day 2: the captain will take you to Lynn Canal or Chatham Strait. Guides will help you learn more about the area and prepare for adventures on kayaks or paddle boards. 
  • Day 3: explore Glacier Bay National Park where you’ll witness some incredible marine life with everything from sea lions to mountain goats. 
  • Day 4: the Icy Strait is remote and wild making it an ideal place to witness dolphins and other wildlife.
  • Day 5: spend the morning on the deck with group yoga or just watch from the top deck as you arrive in the Chichagof Coast. Get a chance to kayak in the waters and explore the sea. You might spot a bear lumbering on shore. Hike in Tongass or just relax on board the ship as your guide tells you more about the area.
  • Day 6: next you get to see Baranof Island and the Peril Strait. You can hike onshore or enjoy watching the marine life from the boat or a skiff. 
  • Day 7: for your final day exploring, you’ll head to Krestof and Nakwasina Sounds. The remote, uninhabited islands offer opportunities for adventure. Do beachcombing or stay in your kayak for adventures. Enjoy a farewell dinner back on board the ship.
  • Day 8: disembark in Sitka, Alaska with a chance to explore the city.

4. 14-night Alaska Fjords and Glacier Bay Ultimate Expedition

When it comes to exploring Alaska’s wonders, a week just isn’t enough. This 14-day experience helps ensure you don’t miss a thing. You’ll explore both by boat and shore on this cruise while seeing some incredible wonders.

The cruise starts from Juneau and ends in Ketchikan. Some stops worth noting include the following.

  • Saint James Bay Park
  • Haines
  • Icy Strait and George Island
  • Lisianski River and Pelican Town
  • 2 days in Glacier Bay National Park
  • Chichagof Island and Neka Bay
  • A day trip to Juneau
  • Tracy Arm Fjord
  • Frederick Sound
  • Thomas Bay
  • Blashkee Islands
  • Behm Canal
  • Misty Fjords
  • Disembarkation in Ketchikan

Cruises run from late April through mid-September.

5. 5-Night Wild Alaska Escape

When you don’t have the vacation time for a full week or you want to start your vacation with a few days exploring Juneau, this is a great cruise option that still takes you to the highlights along the Alaskan coastline. 

While the cruise is more compact than some of the other options, you’ll still get to experience these incredible places along the way.

  • Tracy Arm Fjord
  • Haines
  • Icy Strait and the Inian Islands
  • Baranof and Chichagof Island
  • Disembarkation in Sitka

Cruises set sail from mid-May until early September.

6. 7-night Last Frontier Adventure

Travelers who enjoy outdoor adventures will want to look into this cruise option. It is designed for the outdoorsy vacationer who wants to experience Alaska up close and personal. During this cruise, you’ll hike the rainforest, kayak the glacial fjords, explore Baranof Island and more. Your itinerary includes the following. 

  • Glacier Bay National Park
  • Wilderness Bay and Orca Point Lodge
  • Endicott Arm
  • Petersburg and Kupreanof Island
  • Frederick Sound
  • Baranof Island
  • Disembarkation in Sitka

7. 12-night Inside Passage with Glacier Bay and Olympic National Park

Take in the wildlife during this wilderness exploration. Spend 13 days on board the ship for an incredible exploration of Canada’s Inside Passage as well as Southeast Alaska. Take the tour from Seattle, Washington, or Juneau. Here’s a look at what you’ll see during this experience.

  • 2 days in Glacier Bay National Park
  • Icy Strait
  • Chichagof Island
  • Wrangell Narrows and Thomas Bay
  • Ketchikan and Traitor’s Cove
  • Misty Fjords National Monument
  • 3 days in Canada’s Inside Passage
  • Olympic National Park
  • Disembarkation in Seattle, Washington

Where to Stay Before Your Juneau Cruise Departure

Don’t sweat whether your flight will arrive in time to board your Juneau cruise. Arrive a day in advance and stay at Juneau Hotel in downtown Juneau for ease of getting to the cruise docks. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore Juneau, enjoy its unique cuisine and see some important landmarks. Book your stay now to start planning your cruise experience.

Further reading:


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