The second port-of-call on this itinerary was Juneau, Alaska. The ship arrived in Juneau at 2:00 PM after cruising Tracy Arm Fjord in the morning. Three cruise ships were already docked as we arrived, with a fifth ship following the Celebrity Infinity to Juneau which we had also cruised part of the fjord with earlier in the day.
Juneau is the state capital of Alaska. It is not the largest in population, with only 31,000 residents, Anchorage and Fairbanks are larger. There are no roads to Juneau. You can only get to Juneau by plane or by boat.
I had plans to do only one thing in Juneau. That was to take the tram to the top of Mt. Roberts for the spectacular views and the caged Bald Eagle. The tram transports you from the dock to the top of the mountain, 1800 feet above the city. You look to the left and see the Gasteneau channel, look to the right and the Gasteneau peninsual is before you. From the top of Mt. Roberts, the ships docked below resembled matchbox toys. Everywhere you look you see snow capped mountains. It feels as if you are on top of the world.
I was excited to see that the Juneau Raptor Center did have an injured Bald Eagle in a cage on Mt. Roberets. This beautiful bird, our national symbol, had been shot in the beak and when it fell to the ground its’ left eye was detached, making flying impossible. I took lots of pictures as the bird was uncooperative and would not pose for that perfect shot.
A day or two prior to Juneau, the onboard naturalist had given a presentation on Humpback whales and Juneau is definitley the area to view these giants feed. Orcas are also present in the waters around Juneau. His presentation really made me want to go on a whale watch excursion but the timeframe interfered with our dinner reservations at the specialty restaurant, the SS United States Restaurant onboard the Infinity.
Some people in our group had gone whale watching and said that they saw lots of whales feeding, exactly as the naturalist had described. Three or more Humpback whales swim up from the below the fish and force them to the surface and the whales come out of the water with their giant mouths open, swallowing the trapped fish. They all said it was an incredible experince. The whale watching excursion is definitely something I will do in the future. Perhaps when I return in September.
Once again, I was satisfied having done exactly what I had intended to do in Juneau on this cruise.
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