Other than the price being really worth it for the Alaska Cruise, it was also a nice route because there were only 2 days at sea and after that we were pretty much at port or circling the Glacier Bay National Park. That’s coming up…but next up was Juneau. If there’s anything you’ll notice, Alaska ports are pretty much all rainforest territories. Vegetation grows on so little earth and it rains a lot, although not so apparent for us because we got only that one time where we were leaving port and it rained. I just can’t remember if it was at Ketchikan or at Juneau.
Day 4: Juneau, Alaska
We’re here! Day 4! Juneau’s port isn’t right next to the city so we had a shuttle to go which we realized was actually a little silly because the walk back wasn’t too bad either. It’s like a mile. Still, we took advantage of the free service 😉
We also had a shore excursion booked for Juneau which included stopping at 3 locations. Let’s see them, shall we?
Shore Excursion: Mendenhall Glacier
This place to visit Mendenhall Glacier was stunningly beautiful. Its a pity that we couldn’t stay longer because it had a few trails and there was the waterfall which was a decent distance to get to. We did get there and have to run back to catch the bus on time. There was some really nice scenery with water, glacier, icebergs, etc. It was so peaceful and nice despite all the tourists around. There was also some really nice plants and flowers growing around the trail that we took.
Shore Excursion: Macauley Salmon Hatchery
I’m from Canada so salmon is kind of a thing we know about. Hatcheries and all that stuff, I’ve visited a few of them in the past. This place didn’t have so much value for me. The facilities were really nice though. Inside there was some animals displays and had a little aquarium going with some marine life like shellfish and coral and some fishes. It was a quick little stop for some coffee and to know a little more about the various types of salmons in the area and just how the hatching process works and the role of the hatchery.
Shore Excursion: Glacier Gardens
The last stop of the shore excursion was at the Glacier Gardens. Its a 50 acre rainforest botanical garden that features Flower Towers which are using dead tree trunks overturned to fill with plants as decor. It also includes a tour that elevates a good few hundred feet to a vantage point where we can get a beautiful view of the whole Juneau area. Its breathtaking and beautiful. The ride up was fascinating as the guide tells us about the history of how the Gardens came to be and how the owner came to have the Gardens set in the Tongass National Forest. Its a unique experience and a lot of fun.
Rest of the Day
The tour took up a good few hours, probably around 4 hours or so. We went back to the ship for lunch and came back out to explore the city a little. On the path there, I bought two t-shirts which were rather subtle tourist-y ones. But they were really nice and made from bamboo so really comfortable. We also walked by this really tourist sort of restaurant called Red Dog Saloon. We didn’t want to go in so we just took a picture outside.
As I mentioned before, this day was also Mother’s Day so the boat had some little decoration in the buffet area.
The Moms in our group got to choose the location of dinner that night and we went back to Chin Chin Restaurant. Unfortunately those pictures turned out a little fuzzy and I already showcased that restaurant before. I think we might actually have another night there so there might be more pictures. I just can’t remember until we get there. That night, it was also comedian and that didn’t work with my mom and her friends since they wouldn’t understand it so we skipped the show. I did end up spending some time with my mom to walk around the ship and look at the decorations and take some pictures with my mom. This trip overlapping Mother’s Day was one of the highlights so since I moved out, its these moments that matter a lot.
I ended the evening after my mom headed back to rest since we had an early start the next day going to the lounge again. There was some nice music and that’s when I met a few more very awesome people from southern part of the USA. Very nice people and it was nice to chat with some younger groups of people. We have no contact now but hey, it is a cool memory. We did hang out a few more nights during the trip at the lounge and had some fun times. No pictures of these events since I was off duty with my DSLR and my phone was slowly dying during the trip. I’ll tell you all about the debacle when it actually happens later on 😉
For now, this is the end of Day 4 of the Norwegian Alaska Cruise at our stop in Juneau! A really captivating shore excursion for the most part and a great evening making it a fantastic way to spend Mother’s Day with my mom! 🙂 Which reminds me, I should get that picture with my mom printed and framed.
Remember to check back for Day 5!
Easily one of the most memorable stops and the day we cross back and forth from Canada and USA over and over again 😉