Hoonah will soon be getting more cruise ship passengers as it nears completion of a new dock at Icy Strait Point.
The town currently receives as many as 4,000 tourists a day on cruise lines like Celebrity. But arriving ships have to anchor offshore and tender passengers over with smaller boats.
Tyler Hickman, vice president of Icy Strait Point, says some vessels can’t accommodate that.
“For instance, I know that Disney doesn’t carry tenders on their ships so they don’t carry any tender ports. And so it certainly opens the door where it was completely closed to them in past. So I think it sparks interest on all the cruise lines,” he says.
For example, the Disney Wonder already has ports of call in Southeast and can carry up to 2,700 passengers.
Huna Totem Corp. owns Icy Strait Point, a historic cannery turned tourist attraction with a museum, gift shop and zip line.
Hickman says funding for the dock came from a public-private partnership.
“The city has brought $14 million that was a grant from the state and Huna Totem Corp. is putting another 8 million into it,” he says.
The dock is expected to be completed in October in time for next year’s tourist season.