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Double-decker Buses Arrive for Juneau Cruise Ship Visitors

May 29, 2024 | News, Tourism, Transportation

By stacking passengers on top of each other, Holland America and Princess Alaska can halve the footprint of shoreside shuttle operations.

Holland America Princess

To reduce its footprint—or wheelprint—in Juneau, Carnival Corporation retired its fleet of eight buses for shoreside excursions and replaced them with four that are twice as tall. Double-decker buses are being used to shuttle cruise ship visitors from Juneau Harbor to the scenic vistas at Mendenhall Glacier.

Half the Busses, Better Service

Carnival Corporation’s land and sea operations for Holland America and Princess Alaska (HAP) rely on a combination of cruise ships, buses, motor coaches, and railroad connections. Just as the summer tourist season is revving up, the HAP team swapped out the Juneau fleet of eight older buses with four newer Enviro500 tour buses.

The double-decker buses each have approximately the same capacity as two older ones. Therefore, the shoreside operation is able to shuttle as many passengers but with less air pollution, fuel consumption, and overall environmental footprint.

“We want to do our part and help with cleaner air and less traffic,” says Bill Hagevig, HAP’s division manager in Juneau. “We’ve long worked to do the right thing and be respectful neighbors, and these buses are another step along that path.”

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Alaska Business June 2024 Cover

June 2024

The Enviro500 buses will use a 10 percent blend of biodiesel to further reduce carbon emissions.

Stacking upward streamlines bus operations in other ways. HAP notes that two fewer trips per day will need to be dispatched. That further reduces the amount of traffic in downtown Juneau, where streets can become crowded when cruise ships are docked. Shrinking traffic and pedestrian flow downtown and at Mendenhall Glacier is also a part of the fleet change.

In addition to the upper deck, the lower decks of the Enviro500 buses are closer to the ground, enabling faster loading and unloading of seventy to eighty guests, compared to a traditional coach with fifty guests. This should reduce boarding wait times at each end of the shuttle route.

HAP wrapped the new buses with logos for the company’s “SAY” sustainability program, short for “Sustain Alaska and the Yukon,” intended to focus on reducing waste, utility usage, and the company’s carbon footprint.

Enviro500, built by a Scottish company, is the best-selling three-axle double-decker bus model in the world.

Alaska Business June 2024 cover
In This Issue
Delivering Anchorage's Promise
June 2024
Welcome to the June 2024 issue, which features our annual Transportation Special Section. We've paired it this year with a focus on the Pacific Northwest and Hawai'i, as Alaska has close ties to both that reach far beyond lines of transportation. Even further out past our Pacific Ocean compatriots and our Canadian neighbors to the east, Alaska's reach extends to India and Singapore. Enjoy this issue that explores many of Alaska's far-flung business dealings.
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