Cruise ships are currently staying away from a key dock in one of the busiest Alaskan ports after another rockslide heightened concerns that a significant slide could be on the way.
Last month a mountain above Skagway's dock was at risk that could cause a “catastrophic” impact. Since then, there have been 2 additional rockslides - the first one last Wednesday and the most recent on Friday, August 5. Both caused damage to the dock used by a mountain railroad excursion.
Friday’s rockslide damaged a container acting as a tunnel to protect cruise tourists from falling rocks. No one was injured in either of the most recent rockslides, but there are concerns that a more significant landslide could be on the way.
Skagway's Mayor Andrew Cremata declared an emergency “due to the dire nature of the situation” as the municipality is working to get state and federal assistance to fix the issue, which is due to cost tens of millions of dollars that Skagway doesn't have.
Cremata called this an “all-hands-on-deck'” situation for state government, local officials, and cruise lines.
So far, Cremata estimated that 30+ ships had diverted to other Alaskan ports, including 100,000+ passengers since June 23.
Cruise vessels that are scheduled to visit Skagway are staying away from the at-risk dock.
The dock in jeopardy, used by White Pass & Yukon Railroad (train excursion company) is expected to remain closed for the rest of season 2022, which stretches into October.