The cap was a recommendation of Mayor Beth Weldon’s 2019 Visitor Industry Task Force that consisted of citizens from various industries and backgrounds. The VITF issued a report in 2020 with 45 recommendations including the five-ship limit. It was accepted by the Assembly but not formally adopted, partly due to the pandemic, until this week's meeting.
MOA aimed at managing visitor impacts
Last August the City and Borough of Juneau and Cruise Lines International Association members signed a memorandum of agreement aimed at managing visitor impacts. This was based on the VITP's recommendations and included pledges to work together on goals like the strategic docking of ships to minimize congestion, changes to the way ships are scheduled and cruise industry support for projects such as shore power at city-owned docks.
At the signing, CLIA's Renée Limoge Reeve, VP government and community relations, said: 'CLIA member lines remain committed to being good partners with the communities we visit in Alaska and across the globe. This MOA is a demonstration of that and will continue to strengthen the relationship between the community and the cruise industry.'
A CLIA spokesperson said details of how the five-ship limit will be implemented are still in discussion.
Current capacity doesn't really allow for more vessels anyway.
Four berths and one anchorage currently
'Today there are only four cruise ship berths in Juneau and one anchorage, so this effectively has no change to present or near term deployments,' a Carnival Corp. spokesperson told Seatrade Cruise News.
She added: 'However, we feel we have a collaborative relationship with our partners in Southeast Alaska and continue to be engaged to ensure cruising remains a win-win enterprise for their communities.'
No change seen for new pier development
Last August, around the time of the MOA signing, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings donated waterfront land it purchased in Juneau to the Native Huna Totem Corp. to develop a new pier in exchange for preferential berthing rights.
'We do not expect any changes to the Juneau pier development project led by the Huna Totem Corporation,' an NCLH spokesperson said Thursday. 'As always, we will continue to work closely with our partners including Huna Totem and the City of Juneau to ensure that we are in compliance with local regulations.
'The project,' she continued, 'is expected to bring positive, sustainable economic impact to the region while also ensuring that the development of the land is done responsibly and is representative of the rich history and culture of the local community.'
Alaska cruise growth
Alaska had 1.3m cruise visitors in 2019. According to CLIA, ships scheduled to visit in 2023 have capacity for 1.65m passengers.