Juneau’s first large cruise ship arrives with uncertainty

A large cruise ship docked in Juneau
The Norwegian Bliss prepares to leave Juneau on June 5, 2018. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

The first large cruise ship of the 2022 season arrives in Juneau on Monday afternoon. The Norwegian Bliss, which can accommodate 4,000 passengers, docks at 1:30 p.m. However, it’s unknown how many people will actually be on board. Predictions range from as low as 30% to 75% occupancy. 

Some of Juneau’s elected officials will be on the docks to meet disembarking tourists. 

This year is forecast to be the busiest cruise season since before the pandemic, but the exact numbers of passengers are still unclear. The busiest days, according to the city, will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Locals can expect to find tour groups at the Mendenhall Glacier, on the water near Auke Bay and on popular hiking trails around town.

All large cruise ships in Alaska are bound to port agreements with the communities where they dock. The COVID measures agreed upon include a 95% vaccination rate for passengers and crew and plans for dealing with sick passengers on board.

A rally in support of more environmental regulation of the cruise industry planned is also planned for Monday at the Capitol. Local groups aim to draw attention to the lack of environmental oversight in the cruise industry.

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