Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Juneau, Alaska

Juneau, Alaska

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Alaskan Itineraries

Juneau is Alaska’s capital, and the only state capital that cannot be reached by road. Located between Skagway and Tracy Arm on the Gastineau Channel, and surrounded by the Tongass National Forest, the only ways in or out are by sea or air.

Tramway above Juneau

AMBIENCE

More like a county seat than the capital of the largest U.S. state, downtown Juneau occupies a small plot of land between the water and steep mountains. Suburban Douglas is just across the channel, and other neighborhoods are several miles to the north, along the road to the airport and Mendenhall Glacier. The low-rise clapboard and brick buildings and the cruise ships berthed along the shore quickly give way to the steep, forested slopes of Mounts Roberts (3,819 ft./1,164 m.) and Juneau (3,576 ft./1,090 m.), and while tourism-focused shops dominate the south end of town, a short walk takes you into more sedate districts near the statehouse. All this gives way to expansive natural vistas when you visit Mendenhall Glacier, ride the Mount Roberts Tramway, or helicopter over to the huge Juneau Icefield.

HISTORY

The Auke and Taku tribes of the Tlingit people have hunted and fished this area for millennia. The first Europeans arrived in 1794 with George Vancouver’s expedition, which bypassed the ice-choked channel. Settlement began in 1880, after the U.S. purchase of Alaska and the subsequent Juneau Gold Rush. Mining continued in downtown Juneau into the 1940s. The territorial capital was moved here from Sitka in 1906, and outside of the everyday business of government, gold, and fishing, some of the most noteworthy historical moments have been the attempts to move the capital elsewhere, which have yet to succeed.

FACTS

Size: 12 sq. mi. (31 sq. km.) (urban) / 3,255 sq. mi. (8,430 sq. km.) (total)
Climate: Temperate Oceanic Temperatures: 40°F (4°C) to 64°F (18°C)
Population: 17,311/30,988 Busy Season: Summer
Language: English, Tlingit Money: U.S. Dollar ($)
Time Zone: Alaska (Pacific -1) Transportation: Walking, buses, taxi
Phones: Area code 907, dial 911 for emergencies
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Top Photo Slice: (℗ 31626) Photo contributed by © chezp



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