When Norwegian Pearl docked in Icy Strait Point yesterday, she was the first cruise ship to use the new 400-foot-long dock of the Alaskan port - an improvement eradicating the need for passengers to tender.
The dock, constructed in partnership with the native Alaskan city of Hoonah, is just one of the new improvements Icy Strait Point have made in anticipation of a busy Alaska cruise season and larger and larger ships; the small port anticipates 160,000 cruise passengers will call there this summer. Cruise lines making 78 port stops between May and September include Celebrity Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas and Royal Caribbean International.
Among the other new facilities at Icy Strait Point are a 7,000-square-foot welcome center called the Adventure Center, and the Duck Point Smokehouse restaurant. The Adventure Center, built in native Tlingit-style, serves as a lounge and booking center for shore tours like whale-watching, bear-viewing and braving the world's largest ZipRider at 5,330 feet long and about 300 feet off the ground.
Adjacent to the Adventure Center is Duck Point Smokehouse, a restaurant with views of Port Frederick serving fresh local seafood, specialty pizza and even smoked salmon made in house.
"Having eliminated the need to tender, more guests will have more time to experience our shore excursions, delicious dining options and the historic cannery site surrounded by unspoiled Alaska wilderness," said in a press release Tyler Hickman, vice president of operations for Icy Strait Point.