On Monday, October 10, Alaska Native village company Huna Totem Corp. broke ground on a new US$80 million infrastructure development project for a second cruise dock in Whittier - the gateway to Princess William Sound.
The joint venture between NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line, the City of Whittier, and Huna Totem Development Corporation will add a new double-sided cruise ship dock (2 berths) at the head of the bay, as well as a new passenger terminal building for the disembarking tourists.
The project is privately-funded and advanced through a partnership between Huna Totem and NCLH-Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which is the partnership that also produced Wilderness Landing at Icy Strait Point.
The new project will include a cruise terminal and facilities for rail/bus service, with opportunities for dining, retail, and a cultural center. The dock will be able to accommodate ships from NCLH’s all three subsidiaries/travel brands: NCL-Norwegian, Oceania, and RSSC-Regent Seven Seas.
The Mayor of Whittier Dave Dickason said the project was “the new future of Whittier.”
“Huna Totem is an Alaska company that understands the values that Alaskans hold, and they’ve done a good job working to understand the complicated issues that we here in the city of Whittier are trying to overcome. This project is good for the city of Whittier and good for the State of Alaska.”
According to Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy, who also participated in the groundbreaking, the $80 million project would "create jobs, economic activity, and revenue for the City of Whittier."
"This makes Whittier more than just a destination for our outside guests but also a destination for Alaskans that live in the region year-round.”
Phase one of the new project is expected to be completed by 2024 spring.
Whittier is a community of ~300 year-round residents. It is located ~60 miles southeast of Anchorage and is used as a one-way homeport for Anchorage. Currently, Port Whittier hosts ships from the Carnival Corporation-owned companies HAL-Holland America Line and Princess.