The new cruise terminal in Seward, AK is the first U.S.-owned and operated facility located on the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). The $30 million project saw its grand opening with two ships: Norwegian Breakaway and Holland America Line’s ms Veendam.
The tour of the magnificent 100-foot-tall building includes a look at what it will take to get from one end of this massive structure to another, as well as an overview of how cruises are organized within it.
The “alaska cruise ships” is a new terminal in Alaska that has welcomed its first two ships. The terminal was built to accommodate cruise ships from the Pacific, which are currently the largest ship type visiting Alaska.
Royal Caribbean International’s Ovation of the Seas and Princess Cruises’ Royal Princess, two of the biggest cruise ships visiting Alaska this season, have made their first stops in Sitka, taking use of the new Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal and its renovated amenities.
The new terminal is one of the most modern in the state, and it puts Sitka as a top cruise destination.
A New Terminal Opens
The Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal is a 40,000-square-foot timber-framed structure with local stores and restaurants, an outdoor covered patio, and a departure point for land- and water-based shore excursions.
The facility, which is connected to a 1,300-foot pier, is meant to handle two 1,000-foot neo-Panamax-class cruise ships at the same time, with a combined capacity of 8,000 daily passengers.
“With this state-of-the-art port and facilities, we’re excited to welcome summer 2022 cruise guests,” said Chris McGraw, owner of Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal.
The terminal contains six locally owned retail outlets and two eateries. A shuttle service between the cruise port and downtown Sitka can accommodate up to four 60-passenger motor coaches at once.
“Not only does this offer a more seamless departure for water- and land-based excursions, but it also keeps the ships mainly out of people’ day-to-day sight and eases downtown traffic,” McGraw said.
The McGraw family of Sitka owns the facility in its entirety, having bought the waterfront site in 2005. The port’s first phase was completed in 2011 and the Celebrity Century was the first ship to dock on September 18, 2012. Royal Caribbean Group and Ceres Terminals Holding LLC, a Royal Caribbean Group affiliate, have minority stakes in the facility today.
This Season, There Will Be Many Ships to Visit
In addition to Royal Caribbean International and Princess Cruises, the new terminal will welcome ships from Holland America Line, Viking, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, and Oceania Cruises.
“Cruise ships bring in more than half of all tourists to Alaska. “Cruise ship income affects every level of our local economy in Sitka, supporting retail and tour operators, restaurant owners, and local government, as well as fuel businesses, grocery shops, property rents, and even fish processors,” McGraw added.
“A flourishing tourism industry permits Sitka to remain a dynamic community with many of opportunities for families to live, work, and play.”
Windstar Cruises, Cunard Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Seabourn Cruises will all utilize the facility later in the Alaska season. Silversea’s Silver Wind and Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Regatta will make their last trips in early October, near the conclusion of the cruise season.
Alaska’s New Developments
The new Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal is the most recent in a series of new and renovated facilities built to assist cruise travel in Alaska.
Norwegian Cruise Line has been working with the Alaskan native community of Hoonah to create Icy Strait Point in recent years, creating a unique destination that celebrates and promotes local history and culture.
Glacier excursions, sled dog adventures, salmon fishing, lumberjack displays, historical train tours, and much more are popular alternatives for cruise passengers.
Many Alaskan towns are eager to welcome cruise passengers back, but in a fashion that is sustainable and protects the region’s distinctive natural beauty and culture, especially after the loss of the 2020 season and the shorter 2021 season.
Cruise companies are likewise aware of Alaska’s growing popularity as a bucket-list destination, and are dispatching more ships than ever to visit the Last Frontier and provide tourists with unforgettable experiences.
- miami cruise port
- us cruises
- cruise line news