Around the clock

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Juneau will break the 600,000 mark for cruise ship passengers this year, for about a 4 percent increase over 1999, says John Mazor, president of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

And the North West CruiseShip Association says 379 dockings by member companies will inject $80 million into the local economy.

The cruise ship season starts April 29 with the docking of the small vessel Spirit of 98, an Alaska Sightseeing ship, Mazor said. The first large docking is Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam on May 6.

Last year, 39 vessels docked 565 times in Juneau, Mazor said. Radisson Seven Seas is a new player in the market this year. A hard figure on overall dockings isn't available yet, he said. Fifteen different lines, although some with overlapping ownership, will visit Juneau this year, he said.

In 1997, a study concluded that 515,000 cruise ship passengers spent $60.16 million in Juneau, or about $117 per person.

This year, the cruise ship association says its members will account for more than $200 million in spending in Southeast.

Outrage over Juneau's head tax hasn't slowed the traffic, Mazor acknowledged. ``They're still coming.''

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