Cruise Town, Season 2, Ep. 1: They’re Not Coming

Juneau’s cruise ship docks are empty on April 23, 2020. The cruise ship season was supposed to begin, but sailings have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Jennifer Pemberton / KTOO)

This is season two of Cruise Town: The story of Juneau, Alaska, a town of 32,000 people, that — until the pandemic — was host to over a million cruise ship passengers every summer.

A lot about Juneau’s future is up in the air still, but one thing is certain now: more than a million cruise ship passengers will not be coming to town this summer. Local businesses are already struggling to get by without tourists. By next year, Juneau could look like a very different place. It all depends on how the industry, and the world, recovers from COVID-19 and its economic fallout.

On this episode Adelyn Baxter catches us up on the last 3 months. How did we get here — to the point where Alaska’s biggest tourism season ever just vanished?

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