July 27, 2001
Yet another environmentally friendly cruise ship-in-Alaska concession begins as Princess Cruises delivers on its promise to lessen diesel emissions by plugging in, in Juneau, to existing power supplies while four out of five fleet-members are in port. Juneau, located in a picturesque valley along the Inside Passage, has suffered from seasonal haze caused by (multiple) cruise ship emissions. Princess has come up with a plan whereby ships using the S. Franklin Street dock -- which already has the infrastructure for a sophisticated power system -- can connect to hydroelectric power via Alaska Electric Light & Power. Thus, diesel engines, which run whether a ship is sailing or, well, still, can be shut down. The transformation wasn’t exactly simple. Princess outfitted ships with special hull doors, not to mention a connection cabinet that was electronically compatible with shore transformers. Unique to this type of itinerary, where tides are quite extreme, the electronics must be able to withstand rises (and falls) of more than 20 feet within one port call. Princess shelled out a few bucks for the alterations -- the company says its financial commitment is in the $4.5 million range, but the city and borough of Juneau also contributed $300,000 -- out of passenger fees -- as its contribution.