Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
MIAMI — Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is building a second cruise pier in Alaska, scheduled for completion in summer 2020.
In partnership with Alaska native-owned Huna Totem Corporation, the pier will be located in Icy Strait Point, Huna Totem’s world-class cruise destination in Hoonah, Alaska. Upon completion, it will accommodate NCL’s Breakaway Plus-class ships, plus provide passengers with access to Icy Strait’s newly upgraded retail, restaurant and shore excursion amenities, including the world’s largest ZipRider zip line.
The partnership will also provide Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands with preferential berthing rights in the popular port destination, and allow it to increase its calls to Icy Strait Point. Currently, Oceania Cruises’ Regatta, Seven Seas Mariner, Norwegian Jewel and Norwegian Joy are scheduled to call on Icy Strait Point in the 2019 season.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Huna Totem Corporation to construct a new pier at Icy Strait Point, which will strengthen our presence in the wildly popular Alaska market and provide our guests with a best-in-class experience as they explore the natural beauty and exciting shore excursions of this unique destination,” said Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination development of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “This partnership marks the latest step in our ongoing efforts to promote economic development in the area and make a positive economic impact on the Alaska tourism industry.”
The Hoonah community is home to approximately 750 people, including approximately 80% of the Icy Strait Point’s employees. By leveraging the rapidly growing demand for top-tier destinations for Alaska cruises, Icy Strait Point creates more jobs and local opportunities for Alaskans.
“The economic impact that this expansion and Norwegian’s investment will have in Hoonah and the Southeast Alaska region is significant, and we’re looking forward to how our Alaska Native community can be a sustainable contributor to the future of Alaska’s cruise industry,” said Russell Dick, Huna Totem Corporation president and chief executive officer. “Icy Strait Point is one of the few Alaska cruise ship destinations where cruise passengers can step off the dock and into Alaska wilderness. We have the land, the capacity and the hospitality to welcome more travelers into our home in an authentic way while maintaining our heritage and the values of our Native Tlingit culture.”