Juneau, a port of call on a Disney Cruise Line Alaska & Pacific Coast Cruise vacation, is the state capital of Alaska located along the Gastineau Channel of southern Alaska’s panhandle. Nestled at the base of Mount Juneau amid a rainforest, Juneau is the largest capital in area in the United States and the only state capital accessible by air or ship only.
Local Culture and Flavor
With its rugged mountainsides, sweeping glaciers and rainforests, Juneau is a scenic wonderland everywhere you look. Witnessing wildlife, like a brown bear fishing for food during a nature hike or a bald eagle casually soaring overhead, is not out of the ordinary.
As the capital of Alaska, Juneau’s primary employer is the government—one out of every 2 Juneau workers is employed by the state, federal and municipal branches. Fishing, mining and tourism are also important parts of the Juneau economy. Recreational activities include hiking, kayaking, fishing, skiing, whale watching and wildlife viewing. Of the city’s 31,000 residents, a large percent are fisherman, legislators, teachers and business owners.
Juneau is home to Alaska’s only professional theater, Perseverance Theatre and the area hosts both the Alaska Folk Festival and the Juneau Jazz & Classics music festivals.
Past and Present
Originally a fishing outpost for local Tlingit Native Americans, the area now known as Juneau was founded in 1880 after 2 prospectors—Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau—discovered gold, thanks to help by Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit Tribe. Shortly thereafter, the town, originally called Harrisburg, was struck with “gold fever” and began to flourish, followed by hard-rock mining, sawmilling, canning and an expanding fishing industry. Juneau became the capital of Alaska in 1906.
Today, Juneau remains a treasured tourist destination that includes not only a Tlingit Native American influence, but also a tradition steeped in Russian culture. Boasting timeless natural wonders, museums and the historic sites, Juneau continues to stir the imaginations of all who visit.
Take a look at our video and explore Juneau, Alaska: A Port of Call of the Disney Wonder Alaskan Itinerary