Next up on our cruise itinerary: Juneau, the capitol of Alaska. It sits at the base of Mt. Juneau, which rises 4,000 feet above the city. This is the stop to indulge in activities that might be considered typically Alaskan, like whale watching, glacier climbing and, of course, dog mushing.
Hop off the boat in Juneau and onto another for some of the world's best whale watching. Summer - aka cruise season - is a great time to see the humpback whales that come to Alaskan waters to feed. There are orcas, or killer whales, as well.
Going from sea level to summit level, adventurous parties can explore Mendenhall Glacier National Park. A helicopter ride to the top of the glacier takes visitors to prime hiking territory. From the top of the glacier down, hikers can see steep ice walls, deep crevasses and towering mountain peaks. For those with little ones in tow, parts of the park are stroller friendly, so everyone can get a chance to explore.
The real rush of an offshore jaunt in Juneau, though, has to be the chance to participate in the official state sport: dog mushing. The practice originated as a mode of transportation in snowy Alaska, used to move around one's freshly hunted meat or strike it rich gold. Now these sleds, clocking in at mach speeds of 35 to 45 mph, are an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors. And, there are cute puppies, what else could we ask for?