Juneau Yacht Charter Guide
Alaska’s rugged landscapes and glaciers dazzle yacht charter guests each year. And Juneau – the state’s capital – lies at the center of it all, offering yacht charter guests a base for glacier tours, rainforest adventures, and whale watching expeditions.
Juneau is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. From the Mendenhall Glacier, located just 10 miles from downtown, to nearby Auke Bay, a haven for humpback whales and orcas, the capital city offers yacht charter guests a number of one-of-a-kind experiences, by land and sea. Glacier tours and whale watching trips are must-dos, while the city itself offers plenty of land-based adventures from gourmet dining to ziplining. In other words, Juneau offers yacht charter guests the ultimate in adventure.
Thanks to its central location, Juneau is also an ideal jumping off point for Alaska yacht charters. Glacier Bay National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – lies just north, and downtown is a stone’s throw from the waters of the Inside Passage – Alaska’s famed 500-mile, fjord- and waterfall-dotted coastal route. Explore Juneau and its awe-inspiring mysteries during your next luxury yacht charter.
Juneau Yacht Charter: When to Go
Alaska’s luxury yacht charters operate during the summer months – when the weather is mild and the waters are calm.
- When to Go: The yachting season begins in early June and lasts into September.
- What to Expect: Throughout summer, temperatures hover around the low-60s.
- Water Conditions: Thanks to the natural barrier created by the Inside Passage’s island, the waters around Juneau – especially in summer – enables relaxing cruising.
Alaska charter season also concurs with the region’s whale migration. From April to September, yachters share the waters with hundreds of mating humpbacks and orcas. During the summer months, you’re all but guaranteed to see whales during your charter.
Juneau: Gateway to the Inside Passage
Juneau sits near the northern edge of the Inside Passage, a 500-mile stretch that offers some of the most stunning vistas in America. That makes the Alaskan capital a prime jumping-off point for Alaskan charters. A few recommended itineraries for your Juneau charter include:
- Sitka to Juneau: This one-way itinerary takes you from Sitka to Juneau – an 8-day charter through some of Alaska’s pristine natural landscapes. The itinerary includes stops in Sitka, Hoonan Bay, and Tracy Arm Fjord.
- Juneau to Juneau: Explore Glacier Bay, Hoonan Bay, and the Baranof Warm Springs during this 8-day roundtrip charter. This round-trip charter takes guests to some of the most majestic locations in Southeast Alaska, you’ll see whales, glaciers, and plenty of pristine nature.
What to See and Do on Your Juneau Yacht Charter
On a yacht charter in Juneau, one-of-a-kind sights and experiences await around every corner. This is a mecca for glacier tours, whale-watching trips and explorations into the state’s virgin rainforests and coastal trails. Experience true relaxation as you journey from port to port along the Inside Passage or island hop in the pristine waters around downtown.
There’s plenty to see and do. Just remember: Bring your camera and comfortable hiking shoes.
Juneau Whale Watching
You don’t have to venture far to catch a glimpse of whales in Juneau. During the summer months, the northern Inside Passage is home to roughly 600 humpbacks. And majestic whale breaches are a common sight. Journey up to Auke Bay for some of Juneau’s best whale watching. Located just a short cruise from Juneau’s main harbor, the humpbacks put on a show in Auke Bay from April to September.
Most of our Alaskan yacht charters include visits to at least one of the state’s amazing glaciers. Yet, the Mendenhall Glacier – located just 10 miles from downtown Juneau – is hands-down one of the most stunning. Mendenhall is known for its regular calving – when chunks of ice larger than dump trucks break free and crash into the waters below. And the glacier is shrouded by towering mountains. Mendenhall is one of 38 glaciers in the Juneau Icefield – each offering a dazzling show of ice.
Juneau Rainforest Tours
Encompassing 500 square miles across Southeast Alaska, the Tongass National Forest is not only the nation’s largest protected forest – it’s the largest temperate rainforest in the world. Home to stunning fjords, salmon streams, towering hardwoods, and a population of resident brown bears, Tongass provides the chance to experience one of America’s natural treasures. Spend the day hiking or wildlife watching in this sprawling rainforest, before retiring to the comfort of your luxury yacht.
Mt. Roberts Tramway
Experience Juneau from above during a tram excursion up Mt. Roberts. The tramway – in operation since 1996 – rises 1,800 feet above downtown Juneau, through the emerald green rainforest, before arriving at Mountain House. With stunning views of the city below and Gastineau Channel, the Mt. Roberts Tramway offers a view of Southeast Alaska not many people experience.
Explore the far reaches of Southeast Alaska on one of the region’s many helicopter tours. Go on a bear-watching tour above the surrounding forests or get unobstructed aerial views of the region’s nearby glaciers. Many helicopter tours land right on top of glaciers, offering guests a chance to experience the ice firsthand. Whatever you want to see, you’ll find a tour that can take you there.
Explore the rainforest while soaring through the air during a zipline tour. The perfect adventure during your Alaska charter, Juneau zipline tours offer a thrilling view of the local landscape. Most of the region’s ziplines are located in Tongass National Forest and offer a thrilling view of the flora and fauna. A zipline tour provides a rush of excitement, before a relaxing evening aboard your luxury yacht.
Glacier Bay National Park
Sprawling more than 3 million acres, Glacier Bay National Park is the crown jewel of the Inside Passage. The park offers numerous excursions and activities for charter guests – from whale watching and glacier hopping, to kayaking, canoeing and photography tours. One of the world’s largest World Heritage Sites, Glacier Bay is an inspiring charter destination. A few favorite Glacier Bay activities: Kayaking to glaciers and bay hikes.
The Inside Passage is home to numerous uninhabited and rugged islands, many of which are a short journey from downtown Juneau. Take a day trip and cruise to nearby Douglas Island, a beautiful coastal island offer hiking, wildlife viewing and kayaking. Another favorite, Chichagof Island, (the fifth largest in the U.S.) is known for its brown bear population, as well as the rustic seafood restaurants at Icy Point, which serve fresh-cab King crab.