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Juneau Port to Vote on “Ship-Free Saturdays”

Earlier this year, the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with all major cruise lines docking there, including Carnival Corporation, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise LIne Holdings, and Royal Caribbean Group, to set a limit of five large ships daily. They more recently made an agreement taking effect in 2026 to cap cruise lines collectively at 16,000 lower berths per day and 12,000 on Saturday. The agreement also included a commitment to optimize the city’s cruise schedule, review visitor numbers and discuss community goals. 

Now, Juneau is looking to restrict cruise ship operations further by establishing “ship-free Saturdays.” On October 1, 2024, the city will vote on banning vessels with 250 passengers or more from docking on any Saturday and on July 4 each year.

Residents of Juneau fell short of the 2,359 signatures needed to certify the petition by the Clerk’s office, but the campaign gained the momentum needed by July 1 to be considered sufficient according to Elizabeth “Beth” McEwin, CBJ municipal clerk/election official. The local Assembly has until August 15 to reject the proposal, but that is unlikely. If passed, the initiative will give Juneau residents “a respite” from the influx of tourism.

Juneau, capital city of Alaska, is a picturesque city which is only accessible by air or water. It is home to the Mendenhall Glacier and the famous Red Dog Saloon. Guests can go whale watching, take a Juneau walking or Red Trolley tour, or set off on a dog sledding adventure. All of these things and more make it one of the most popular ports of call among cruise passengers. 

Currently, all of the major cruise lines operate in Alaska with Carnival Spirit, Carnival Luminosa, and Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess calling this past Saturday and Carnival Spirit, Carnival Luminosa, Seven Seas Explorer and Silver Nova calling this Saturday.