The last cruise ships of Juneau’s tourist season sailed away Wednesday.
Cruise ships made more than 550 visits to Juneau this year.
Though final numbers aren’t in, Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Nancy Woizeschke says just under a million passengers visited the capital city this summer.
“At the beginning of the season we were hoping to break the million passenger mark for the large cruise ships and that was a little optimistic. And then with the cancelling of multiple Celebrity Millennium stops, I think we won’t be passing that particular mark this year,” Woizeschke says.
In August, multiple mechanical problems sidelined the Millennium in both Seward and Ketchikan, forcing cancellation of several voyages.
Several new ships called on Juneau this summer, including the 1,041-foot Celebrity Solstice, which Woizeschke says is the largest cruise ship to sail Alaska waters.
She says based on hotel occupancy rates, the number of independent travelers to Juneau this summer may be high.
“We think that’s a good indicator of lots of independent travelers coming and spending multiple nights here,” she says. “And then we’ve had a lot of smaller cruise ships, for instance the Un-Cruise Adventures came to port for the first time this year. Lot of those folks, because they depart and come back here, have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Juneau on either side of their trip.”
Holland America’s Oosterdam and Westerdam were the last two ships in port Wednesday. The Westerdam was not expected, but bad weather earlier this week forced it to revise its schedule.
The first cruise ship of 2014 will sail into Juneau on May 1st.
- The U.S. Northern Command and Coast Guard have launched a major field-training exercise off Alaska’s northwest coast. Arctic Chinook is intended to demonstrate how local, state and federal agencies would respond to a simulated cruise ship accident. Coincidentally, a big luxury cruise ship will sail through the area while the exercise is under way. And to further complicate things, bad weather has just set in.
- Tom Morphet, the owner, publisher, reporter, editor and designer for the Chilkat Valley News, was certified Monday to run for Haines Borough Assembly.
- Southcentral Alaska has seen an increase in wasp activity this year. Mild winters are good for overwintering queens, and more queens means more nests come springtime.
- A Canadian company conducting exploration for a potential mine about 35 miles north of Haines was recently granted permission to grow its project.