2022 Alaska and the Inside Passage – Part 4 – Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier

August 26, 2022 – More overcast skies and rain greeted us as we docked in Juneau, Alaska’s capital city since 1906. We didn’t let the rain spoil our day.

There were several other cruise ships docked while we were there. The photo above was taken from our veranda early in the morning before most people ventured into town.

Our first order of business was lunch at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. We took our place in the line outside and quickly placed our order at the counter just inside the door. We grabbed two seats at a table and our food was brought to us after a few minutes. The menu is simple – crabs, crab cakes, and crab bisque. For $190 you could get a three pound bucket of Alaskan King Crab legs. We opted for a combination of Dungeness Crab, crab cakes and crab bisque.

Our meal was delicious and the crab bisque was to die for. By the time we finished lunch the streets and shops were filled with people. As we wandered around the waterfront we discovered some totems and watched several float planes take off and land.

It was pouring by the time we boarded our bus to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. Our bus driver told us interesting facts about the city and pointed out places of interest along the way. There were a few eagle sightings.

The Visitor’s Center is managed by the by the United States Forest Service in the Tongass National Forest. We walked along trails to get a closer look at Mendenhall Glacier, Nugget Falls, and the floating chunks of ice.

On our way back to the ship we stopped at the Brotherhood Bridge for another look at the Mendenhall Glacier.

After a full day in Juneau we were ready for some relaxation when we returned to the ship.

If you are interested in reading about our 2013 visit to Juneau please visit A Day Cruise to Juneau

Next up – Wildlife in one of our favorite places in Alaska

Day 37: A day cruise to Juneau

Day 37: Friday, June 21, 2013. Aboard the Fjordland from Haines, Alaska to Juneau, Alaska

There have been many WOW moments on this trip but our trip to Juneau has them all beat by far.

At 8:30 am we gathered at the dock with our friends Ted and Ruth Ann to board the Fjordland for an all day cruise to Juneau. The boat has comfortable seats inside the cabin and a nice viewing platform in the rear for wildlife viewing and photography. Our captain was very knowledgeable about the area and he and his daughter kept an eye out for wildlife. He would slow down or stop when there was something interesting to watch.

Our first wildlife came when we saw hundreds of steller sea lions at a rookery along the rocks.

There were so many whales we lost count. Some were too far off to see very much detail but we were fortunate to see some up close.

We passed by glaciers and waterfalls and even a lighthouse on the way to Juneau.

The boat docked a little outside of town so we boarded a bus to take us downtown. We enjoyed lunch at the Red Dog Saloon before doing a little shopping and sightseeing in the capital of Alaska. Next was a stop at the Mendenhall Glacier to see a glacier up close.

After touring the Mendenhall Glacier we boarded the bus for our ride back to the dock. We enjoyed a delicious bowl of seafood chowder with smoked salmon while we rested up from our hard day of sightseeing. Whale sightings continued and our captain took us close by the Eldred Rock Lighthouse we had passed on the way to Juneau. Want to buy it? It’s for sale!

Our trip on the Fjordland was the Fjord Express to Juneau cruise offered by the Alaska Fjordlines. I highly recommend it. It sails from either Haines or Skagway to Juneau.