Alaskan Cruise: Juneau

Juneau from the boardwalk

I was really excited about our excursion in Juneau: a helicopter ride to a glacier and then getting out and walking on it. We got up early to meet the tour and there were three other people that were waiting with us. The morning was foggy, which made us nervous. Then they had us wait in the van instead of bringing us directly to the helicopter. That was a bad sign. Ten minutes later, they cancelled our tour. Three out of four excursions cancelled! We walked back over to the boardwalk near the port where they were selling other tours. There was one to take a float plane over the glaciers. We bought it. We had the option of taking a bus out to another glacier that people can drive right up near. I preferred to walk around the town instead.

NCL Sun (we had to take the tender to the dock)

There were a lot of shops to check out, but the tour guide for the helicopters recommended the beer company to find good t-shirts. Along the way, I managed to find a sale on a water bottle with a tribal symbol on it as well as a whale tale necklace with a nice chain. The Alaskan brewing company had a good variety of t-shirts and sweatshirts for reasonable prices and good quality. After shopping, we bought an early lunch at Tracy’s King Crab Shack. We got a pound of king crab (which they steam while you wait) and it was $75. It’s very difficult for them to get king crab and therefore prices are unreal. It was absolutely worth it though. Delicious!

Easy to find, right at the edge of the dock

After lunch, we walked the boardwalk over to Wings Airways. We could see all the planes waiting for us at the dock. I opted to leave my backpack in the building onshore. Each plane had about ten seats. The pilot gave us the option of someone sitting in the copilot’s seat and Jef was excited to do it. I sat in the first seat on the left (which is what the guy told us to do when we bought the tour). Jef was on the right, but at the front of the plane, so we got both sides to take pictures. The flight route is supposed to be around several glaciers, but they told us that we would have a chance to fly right over Juneau Icefield on our trip.

They changed this route a bit
Our plane was the blue striped one

I have never been on a float plane, so I was interested to see if the take off and landing felt different than in a regular plane. We all had headphones, but the pilot said we didn’t have to wear them if we didn’t want to. There was one seat on each side of the plane. We had a cloth to wipe the window once we got to a certain altitude and they fogged up. The headphones had some narration, but it did not last for the whole flight (45 minutes) and the pilot also talked to us a few times. The take off was quite smooth since there were not a lot of waves in the bay.

Waiting to take off

The entire 45 minutes was unreal. I stared out the window in awe. I only had to wipe off the fog a few times. The ice fields just look like fields of snow. As we travelled down toward the end of the glacier you could see more crevasses and fissures. It was amazing.

Did you know glaciers look like roadways?
The end
Ice field
Ice field
Dog Sled camp abadoned
Cool mountaintop
Those blues!
Random lake next to Taku
Up close with Taku Glacier
Ice road aka Taku glacier
Forest/Taku Glacier
End of Taku Glacier
Headed back to the bay

I hope that was not too many pictures for you! We took so many! As you can see, it was incredible. We landed back on the water, which was just slightly bumpy due to the waves, but nothing scary. I would have loved to walk on a glacier, but this flight was well worth it and a perfect alternative.

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