The Alaskan city of Juneau has to be one of the most versatile vacation destinations in the world, and with the city boundaries spanning an area greater than some entire states, it’s hardly surprising. In fact, it’s the city’s ability to adapt to meet the requirements of individual travelers that makes it one of the most popular choices for group travel in Alaska. Unlike destinations where the attractions are primarily based on historical aspects, or places where tourists flock for extreme sports, Juneau encompasses a little bit of everything, catering perfectly to groups where personal interests vary between people.
One of the best ways for groups to experience everything that Juneau has to offer is by taking a cruise vacation. Why? Because the ships that sail the Juneau, Sitka, and Glacier Bay region offer Alaska cruise excursions that are second to none. With an activities menu available to all passengers, it’s so quick to see what the city has to offer, and easy to book with the help of the onboard excursions team. Not only does this save time by removing the need to check out and choose activities on shore, it also offers the best value for money.
In terms of activities, Juneau is definitely a place of extremes – of polar opposites. On one side of the spectrum are the adrenaline-fuelled sports that take place above the forested mountains, through the snowy slopes, and on the icy glaciers, whereas the other end focuses on gaining a more relaxed insight into the city, and Alaska itself, by looking at how the state’s history has influenced the Alaska that is seen today. The how and the why of the state, essentially. Of course, there’s also a wide range of entertainments and activities in between the two, so there really is a very broad target traveler.
On the extreme end of the scale, one of the activities most unique to Juneau is glacier hiking. There are only a few opportunities worldwide to partake in this particular type of trek, and Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier provides such an occasion. Starting in an area so remote that helicopter transportation is required, hikers begin a strenuous walk over rocks, under trees, and through shallow creeks to reach the base of the glacier, before donning crampons and walking along the icy surface. It’s certainly not for the fainthearted, but those who do complete the trek are rewarded with an up-close-and-personal glacier experience. It acts as a terrific group bonding session!
For those that like something a little more relaxed, and yet still something they can enjoy with other members of their group, many cruise lines offer an opportunity to dine on local wild salmon, considered to be some of the best in the world – especially the Copper River salmon and Yukon River salmon. For this reason, roughly 80 percent of all salmon eaten across the United States is caught in Alaska, and the salmon industry has been a major player in the economy since the 1920s. The dining experience comes complete with a chance to visit the picturesque Salmon Creek Waterfalls, just outside the city limits.
Travelers wanting to enjoy the great outdoors with friends should certainly consider group travel to Juneau, especially via cruise ship as the ease with which groups, and individuals, can see the sights, take part in the activities, and learn the history is ideal. The cruise ships themselves have evolved greatly since the early 1900s, and now cater to varying tastes in much the same way as Alaska does. From fast food eateries to celebrity chef restaurants, bowling to rock climbing, and swimming to surfing, no one will be left out.