Juneau is a town of 32,000 people, playing host to over a million cruise ship passengers every year.
Cruise Town is a podcast from KTOO that explores how Juneau became a cruise town, what it’s like to live in a cruise town and what the city’s future holds in light of the industry’s explosive growth.
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On this episode, we meet two people who were in Juneau when this old mining town embraced its history and transformed itself into Cruise Town.
Juneau was one of the first places in the world to charge a per person tax on cruise passengers. Also, it got sued.
Thousands of seasonal workers come to Juneau to work in tourism. Most of them young. They can make Cruise Town feel a lot like a summer camp.
Cruise Town’s cultural interpreters have the difficult task of explaining their history, their culture, their art — their existence — to someone who just got off a cruise ship.
No discussion of cruise ships would be complete without talking about maritime disasters. Especially maritime disasters involving international superstar musicians.
The natural attractions that people come to Alaska to see are exactly the same things that are being impacted by both an increase in visitors and climate change.
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.
Now that it’s clear that big cruise ships won’t be coming this year, cruise towns in southeast Alaska are thinking about next year.
The first and only cruise ship to sail in Southeast Alaska during the pandemic turned around with a COVID-19 case on board.