Cruise ship season ends

The Oosterdam was the last ship to visit Juneau for the 2012 cruise ship season. Photo by Rosemarie Alexander.

The Holland America Oosterdam pulled out of Juneau at 6 p.m. Wednesday, ending the cruise ship season for the year.

About 925,000 passengers visited Alaska’s capital city this summer, according to Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau President Lorene Palmer.

“We had close to 37 different vessels from 15 different cruise lines,” Palmer says.

The number of cruise passengers has steadily increased after the 2009 decline. The peak came in 2008, when more than one million tourists visited Juneau by cruise ship.

More small ships came to Juneau this season, a market Palmer hopes will expand.

“Those folks do tend to come in a day before or after their cruise experience, because many of them start and end in Juneau. So we were happy to see that bit of business grow as well,” she says. “It’s good for the hotels and we just hope we can continue to encourage those people to add more days to their pre- or their post-cruise experience.”

The 2013 cruise ship season begins about May l. Two more ships are expected — a Princess ship and another from Norwegian Cruise Lines.