Weather worries held up the first shore day….and there were many disappointed tour ticket holders. However, there was less disappointment than for those on the three other cruise ships whose visits to Juneau were cancelled altogether. Greater disappointment was on the faces of the tourist ventures in Juneau though. This was one of the last runs of cruise ships for the season, so takings were decidely thin on the ground.
Once the 60 knt winds allowed the cautious captain to steer in to the dock, the gangplank was lowered and despite cancellations to some tours, the walk to the capital was a pleasant sunlit 25 minute stroll. It took longer to get off the ship!
With the lure of lip smacking King Crab and the glitter of diamonds and free gifts just for entering the various establishments, mate and I avoided the insistent cries from the sellers and strolled along the pier and took in the architecture of the place. City Hall certainly had a very different feel to it.
We found the impressive Alaskan State Library and Museum and spent time orienting ourselves to the area’s Indigenous past and the history of the fishing and canning industries. The mammoth and gold exhibits were especially memorable. Unlike most Australian state run art galleries and museums, there seems to be a trend for overseas institutions to charge quite high entrance fees – but if you are prepared in advance it’s not too bad. The ship’s crew all made a beeline for the free wifi at the library………..yes, wifi on board is definitely a slug in the pocket!
The pier boardwalk was littered with statues and plaques, murals and food stalls. The smell of fresh popcorn wafted from the main street and the jewellery selling continued! While it was a pleasant enough town, the sense that it may lose its status as the legislature hub seems very possible as it does not exude a buzzing growth.
LSM bought some great art pieces and had a spring in his step going back up the gangplank.