cruise ships

The Norwegian Encore sails past Douglas Island on Sept. 8, 2021. The Encore was visiting Juneau as part of an abbreviated cruise season this summer after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 season. The City and Borough of Juneau recently conducted an online survey for residents to share their views on the tourism industry. Local cruise critics say they are eagerly awaiting survey results. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
The Norwegian Encore sails past Douglas Island on Sept. 8, 2021. The Encore was visiting Juneau as part of an abbreviated cruise season this summer after COVID-19 canceled the 2020 season. The City and Borough of Juneau recently conducted an online survey for residents to share their views on the tourism industry. Local cruise critics say they are eagerly awaiting survey results. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
The last cruise ship of the year, the Norwegian Encore, sails out of Juneau on Wednesday, Oct., 20, 2021, ending a cruise ship season that almost didn’t happen. Despite a smaller season this year, local officials expect a robust season in 2022.

An abbreviated cruise season by the numbers

Fewer ships than 2019, but more than 2020

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
The last cruise ship of the year, the Norwegian Encore, sails out of Juneau on Wednesday, Oct., 20, 2021, ending a cruise ship season that almost didn’t happen. Despite a smaller season this year, local officials expect a robust season in 2022.
Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire
Currently, the privately owned Franklin Street dock shown in this Nov. 1 photo is Juneau’s only electrified dock. Plans are underway to electrify two city-owned cruise ship docks. In addition to electrifying city-owned docks, more electric docks may be on the horizon for Juneau, as Norwegian Cruise Lines eyes electrification for the cruise ship dock the company seeks to build on their waterfront property on Egan Drive.
Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire
Currently, the privately owned Franklin Street dock shown in this Nov. 1 photo is Juneau’s only electrified dock. Plans are underway to electrify two city-owned cruise ship docks. In addition to electrifying city-owned docks, more electric docks may be on the horizon for Juneau, as Norwegian Cruise Lines eyes electrification for the cruise ship dock the company seeks to build on their waterfront property on Egan Drive.
Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire 
The Norwegian Encore slips past Douglas Island on Sept. 8, as part of 2021’s abbreviated cruise season. In 2020, COVID-19 halted all cruise traffic. Earlier this year, Norwegian Cruise Lines announced $10 million in donations to communities hard hit by 2020’s pandemic-induced suspension on cruising, including $2 million to organizations in Juneau. Recently, local organizations have started to receive the money.
Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire 
The Norwegian Encore slips past Douglas Island on Sept. 8, as part of 2021’s abbreviated cruise season. In 2020, COVID-19 halted all cruise traffic. Earlier this year, Norwegian Cruise Lines announced $10 million in donations to communities hard hit by 2020’s pandemic-induced suspension on cruising, including $2 million to organizations in Juneau. Recently, local organizations have started to receive the money.
The last cruise ship of the year, the Norwegian Encore, sails out of Juneau on Wednesday, Oct., 20, 2021, ending a cruise ship season that almost didn't happen. According to the Juneau's Docks and Harbor's department, the Encore brought more than 2,000 passengers Wednesday, far below an average year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The last cruise ship of the year, the Norwegian Encore, sails out of Juneau on Wednesday, Oct., 20, 2021, ending a cruise ship season that almost didn't happen. According to the Juneau's Docks and Harbor's department, the Encore brought more than 2,000 passengers Wednesday, far below an average year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A plane lands at Juneau International Airport on May 25, 2021, as the number of travelers in the state started to rise after the lockdowns of 2020. Travel numbers are not back up to their pre-pandemic levels, but they are increasing according to local travel authorities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

After steep decline, transportation numbers are slowly taking off again

Passengers are coming back by boat, plane and bus, but not yet at pre-pandemic numbers.

A plane lands at Juneau International Airport on May 25, 2021, as the number of travelers in the state started to rise after the lockdowns of 2020. Travel numbers are not back up to their pre-pandemic levels, but they are increasing according to local travel authorities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly gave the city manager's office the go-ahead to begin negotiations with Norwegian Cruise Line over land the company needs to build its proposed dock on Egan Drive, seen here on Jun. 6, 2021. The company will need access to state and city-owned tidelands in order to complete the dock, and City Manager Rorie Watt told Assembly members Monday the company could now submit its applications. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly gave the city manager's office the go-ahead to begin negotiations with Norwegian Cruise Line over land the company needs to build its proposed dock on Egan Drive, seen here on Jun. 6, 2021. The company will need access to state and city-owned tidelands in order to complete the dock, and City Manager Rorie Watt told Assembly members Monday the company could now submit its applications. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Serenade of the Seas arrives in Juneau early Friday morning. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship is the first large cruise ship to come to Juneau since the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 cruise ship season and delayed the 2021 season. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

They’re back: Large cruise ships return to Southeast Alaska

Juneau’s first large cruise ship since start of the pandemic arrived today.

The Serenade of the Seas arrives in Juneau early Friday morning. The Royal Caribbean cruise ship is the first large cruise ship to come to Juneau since the pandemic caused the cancellation of the 2020 cruise ship season and delayed the 2021 season. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
City and Borough of Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt holds up a chart showing the increase in the size of cruise ships during a meeting of the Tourism Industry Task Force in the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. At Monday’s meeting, members of the City Assembly’s Committee of the Whole discussed three of the committee’s recommendations-a discussion that was sidelined by COVID-19. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
City and Borough of Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt holds up a chart showing the increase in the size of cruise ships during a meeting of the Tourism Industry Task Force in the Assembly chambers on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. At Monday’s meeting, members of the City Assembly’s Committee of the Whole discussed three of the committee’s recommendations-a discussion that was sidelined by COVID-19. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
Courtesy photo / Norwegian Cruise Line 
Large cruises ships like Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, seen here near Ketchikan in this undated photo, are returning to Alaska after being shut down due to COVID-19. Trade group Cruise Lines International Association says the industry is ready to get back to business safely.
Courtesy photo / Norwegian Cruise Line 
Large cruises ships like Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss, seen here near Ketchikan in this undated photo, are returning to Alaska after being shut down due to COVID-19. Trade group Cruise Lines International Association says the industry is ready to get back to business safely.
The American Constellation arrives at the cruise ship docks Monday evening. Crew members will quarantine on board he American Cruise Lines vessel following multiple reported cases of COVID-19 among the crew, according to City and Borough of Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The American Constellation arrives at the cruise ship docks Monday evening. Crew members will quarantine on board he American Cruise Lines vessel following multiple reported cases of COVID-19 among the crew, according to City and Borough of Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Library Museum and Archives was open on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 and according to staff, seeing a rise in the amount of visitors. Numbers aren't where they were before the pandemic, but local curators are optimistic about this summer. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Library Museum and Archives was open on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 and according to staff, seeing a rise in the amount of visitors. Numbers aren't where they were before the pandemic, but local curators are optimistic about this summer. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Celebrity Edge cruise ship is docked at Port Everglades, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Celebrity Edge is set to sail on Saturday from Fort Lauderdale. It will be the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port with ticketed passengers since the onset of the pandemic, which halted sailing. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

1st post-pandemic large cruise ship readies to sail in Florida

“Someday is here. Welcome back.”

The Celebrity Edge cruise ship is docked at Port Everglades, Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The Celebrity Edge is set to sail on Saturday from Fort Lauderdale. It will be the first cruise ship to leave a U.S. port with ticketed passengers since the onset of the pandemic, which halted sailing. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek / Ketchikan Daily News)
Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek / Ketchikan Daily News)
The Norwegian Bliss pulls out of Juneau’s downtown harbor on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Norwegian Cruise Lines recently offered to donate $2 million to the City and Borough of Juneau to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic-related pause on cruises. On Monday evening, city officials declined the donation and asked the company to redirect the money to the Juneau Community Foundation, a local charitable organization. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)

CBJ redirects cruise line’s donation offer

City asks NCL to give proposed $2M donation to Juneau Community Foundation.

The Norwegian Bliss pulls out of Juneau’s downtown harbor on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Norwegian Cruise Lines recently offered to donate $2 million to the City and Borough of Juneau to help alleviate the economic impact of the pandemic-related pause on cruises. On Monday evening, city officials declined the donation and asked the company to redirect the money to the Juneau Community Foundation, a local charitable organization. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

CDC: Florida lawsuit imperils summer cruises to Alaska

CDC lawyers say injunction win would “end cruising in Alaska for the season.”

The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)
Karla Hart, who led the efforts to add a trio of initiatives to limit cruise ships in Juneau, talks about the failed effort at a press conference on June 2, shortly after announcing that the group did not collect enough signatures to move the questions to the October ballot. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Cruise-curbing initiatives won’t be on the ballot

Supporters failed to reach the signature threshold but vow to fight on

Karla Hart, who led the efforts to add a trio of initiatives to limit cruise ships in Juneau, talks about the failed effort at a press conference on June 2, shortly after announcing that the group did not collect enough signatures to move the questions to the October ballot. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)
Pat White (left) and Sue Schrader (right), collect signatures to move a trio of initiatives aimed at curbing cruise ship visits to Juneau onto October's municipal ballot. The pair are members of a group called Juneau Cruise Control. With less than a week until the June 4 deadline to submit signatures for each question, organizers are not releasing the number of signatories to date. (Courtesy photo/Sue Schrader)

Cruising to the finish line: Initiative proponents, opponents continue work

Juneau Cruise Control holds numbers of signatures close to the vest ahead of next Friday’s deadline.

Pat White (left) and Sue Schrader (right), collect signatures to move a trio of initiatives aimed at curbing cruise ship visits to Juneau onto October's municipal ballot. The pair are members of a group called Juneau Cruise Control. With less than a week until the June 4 deadline to submit signatures for each question, organizers are not releasing the number of signatories to date. (Courtesy photo/Sue Schrader)
A fishing vessel is dwarfed by the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl in Juneau’s downtown harbor in September 2014. Before cruise ships can sail to Alaska this summer, they must enter into a port agreement, which outlines health and safety terms. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
A fishing vessel is dwarfed by the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Pearl in Juneau’s downtown harbor in September 2014. Before cruise ships can sail to Alaska this summer, they must enter into a port agreement, which outlines health and safety terms. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News)

Biden signs bill opening door for Alaska cruises to resume

The measure will allow large cruise ships to sail directly from Washington state to Alaska.

Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News)