Caps Imposed on Cruise Ship Visitors in Juneau, AK

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Cruise lines and the city of Juneau, Alaska, have signed an agreement that will limit the number of cruise visitors who can disembark in the Alaskan capital city daily, with extra restrictions on Saturdays.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed June 3 by the City and Borough of Juneau and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) caps the total number of cruise ship lower berths allowed to dock in Juneau at 16,000 most days of the week and 12,000 on Saturdays.

The agreement also calls for the city and cruise officials to review the caps annually as well as work together to optimize port call schedules and discuss the community’s tourism goals.

Juneau Port Call Limits Were Already in Place

In 2023, the city and CLIA agreed to limit port calls in Juneau to five large ships daily. Still, according to tourism officials, there were days when more than 20,000 cruise passengers disembarked in Juneau.

The agreement’s basis was the recommendations of the city’s Visitor Industry Task Force, issued in 2021. CLIA’s vice president of government and community relations, Renée Limoge Reeve, said the agreement “reflects the industry’s ongoing commitment to work with [the city] and the residents of Juneau to deliver win-win partnerships.”

“The cruise industry is vital to our local economy, and we need to improve our infrastructure and grow our tour capacity to create a great guest experience and reduce impacts on residents,” said Juneau Visitor Industry Director Alexandra Pierce. “With this agreement, we are committing to a cap to manage our busiest days and to meet annually to ensure that our visitor numbers remain sustainable.”

According to Pierce, a record 1.64 million cruise ship passengers visited Juneau in 2023, up 40 percent from 2022 and 30 percent higher than the number who visited in 2019, when the previous record for visitation was set.

The large influx of tourists resulted in tours to the city’s most popular attraction, the Mendenhall Glacier, being sold out halfway through the peak tourist season.

In the 2023 Juneau Tourism Survey, a third of Juneau residents who responded said they would prefer to see cruise ship visitation remain at about the same level, while 31 percent said cruise visits should be slightly lower, and 19 percent said the volume of visits should be much lower.

This article first appeared at Prevue’s sister site, Recommend.com.

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