NCLH Partners With Native-Owned Company On New Icy Strait Pier
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has announced a partnership with Alaska Native-owned Huna Totem Corporation to develop a second cruise pier in Icy Strait Point, Huna Totem’s cruise ship destination in Hoonah, Alaska.
The pier is scheduled to be completed for the summer 2020 Alaska cruise season and will be built to accommodate Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway Plus-class ships. The partnership will provide Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands with preferential berthing rights in the popular port destination and allow its brands to make more calls at Icy Strait Point. Currently Oceania Cruises’ Regatta, Seven Seas Mariner, Norwegian Jeweland Norwegian Joyare scheduled to call on Icy Strait Point in the 2019 season.
In addition, the new pier will provide more cruise passengers with access to Icy Strait’s newly upgraded retail, restaurant and shore excursion amenities, including the world’s largest ZipRider zip line, the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in Southeast Alaska, whale watching and fishing excursions, local cultural dances accompanied by oral histories and more.
“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, EVP of onboard revenue and destination development at NCLH. “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 partnership will benefit the Hoonah community, home to approximately 750 people, including approximately 80% of 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 CEO.
“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.”
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.