Juneau is a town of just 32,255 residents. But every day, a growing armada of cruise ships delivers 21,000 tourists to the Alaskan shores during the high season.

Previously, the city had agreed to the cap on cruise ships to five per day, of any size. However, this hasn’t appeared to slow down cruise traffic with 2024 set to be the busiest cruise season Juneau has ever seen, with 660 scheduled calls.

Now tourist officials, faced with constant resident complaints have decided on even stricter caps, including a stricter limit on Saturdays, when the town wants most relief.

This follows an initiative earlier this year to limit the amount of ships that could visit per day.

The small town of Juneau faces a big predicament. Through 2023, Alaska had more than 1.6 million cruise passengers visit the state and region’s popularity is showing no signs of abating.

However, it has now been decided that cruise lines will have to coordinate their schedules so that there are never more than 16,000 cruise passengers a day from Sunday through to Friday. And less than 12,000 on Saturdays.

Due to the cruise industry needing some time to adapt, the limit will begin in 2026.

Alaska cap on cruise bears in the wild

However, neither of these moves has settled the tension between the city officials and local residents. Many action groups and citizens have expressed they don’t feel the move is enough, there is even a proposal being tabled for no ships with more than 250 passengers to dock on a Saturday. Residents complaints are mostly centred around city congestion and disturbances.

Many cities around the world have already placed caps on cruise passengers or are in the process of doing so, including major ports such as Venice, Barcelona, Amsterdam and more. It creates an interesting landscape for cruises with demand and bookings seemingly soaring worldwide. But many ports feeling the effect of this tourist traffic.

For more information on Alaska’s cap on cruise, click here.