Alaska Cruise Port Will Enforce Passenger Limits Starting in 2026

During Juneau’s last cruising season, a record-breaking 1.6 million cruise ship passengers visited the Alaskan capital.

But how will the introduction of cruise passenger limits affect its ability to welcome guests?

cruise ship in juneau, alaska
(Photo courtesy of the City and Borough of Juneau)

According to Juneau Tourism Manager Alix Pierce, there are no hard numbers yet. However, Pierce is optimistic since cruise lines have already committed to a conceptual agreement that places a cap on the number of daily passengers. 

“We do not have a preliminary agreement on an MOA with specific numbers yet, but we have agreed to the concept of a daily limit MOA, which is an important step in the right direction,” she announced at a recent assembly meeting.

She added that once the agreement is finalized and approved, it will be implemented in 2026. 

Aside from reducing the number of cruise ship passengers, Pierce shared that local officials are trying to make Saturday the least congested day of the week for Juneau.

Local authorities are also using the negotiations to discuss issues the city has been experiencing regarding congestion and hot berthing (when a cruise ship leaves and is replaced by another on the same day).

Alaska’s other attempts to regulate the cruise industry

juneau alaska street
Juneau, Alaska (Photo courtesy of Celebrity Cruises)

Last year, Juneau succeeded in introducing a 5-per-day limit on large cruise ships. In February 2024, the city announced that it was able to radically reduce cruise ship trash from 2019 to 2023 by 92%. 

However, not all of Alaska’s attempts to regulate the cruise industry have flourished. In 2023, a resident also tried to impose a limit on the number of cruise guests that Sitka could host. From 560,000 cruise ship visitors, it proposed to introduce a cap of only 240,000 passengers per cruising season. The proposal was rejected by the city last October.

Juneau made a similar move to significantly regulate cruise ship passengers in 2021, but it failed because it wasn’t able to gather enough signatures.

According to a 2023 Economic Impact report, Juneau received over $22 million in revenues associated with cruise ships in 2023.

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