Hoonah’s Icy Strait Point is currently positioning itself as one of the top Alaskan cruise ship travel destinations. Roughly 1 in 3 cruisers will visit the entertainment complex situated on the outskirts of the Southeast community in 2020.
NCL-Norwegian's executives recently visited Hoonah to participate in the groundbreaking of a 2nd cruise dock designed for the line’s two mega-ships deployed to Alaska. Town’s founding dates back 2 centuries when Hoonah Indians' village had been displaced by advancing glaciers in what is now Glacier Bay Park.
The 500-foot floating dock project is the result of a partnership between NCL and Huna Totem, the community’s village corporation. The arrangement is possible due to the city's approval of a 25-year lease for the project.
The name “Hoonah” doesn't appear on cruise port schedules as on maps it is marked as "Icy Strait Point". That is the result of marketing by Huna Totem Corporation, which transformed the defunct seafood cannery into an entertainment complex. Since 2004 it has expanded quickly and now has a rope course, zip line, brewery and restaurant.
A controversial purpose-built cruise ship dock at Icy Strait Point was added in 2015. This 2nd dock will be around a half-mile farther from the town, creating a tourist exclave situated away from downtown Hoonah.
This season is expected to bring a projected 267,000 cruise passengers onboard 137 ships. The second dock is due to add even more capacity, with 192 cruise ships scheduled to visit Hoonah. By 2020 some 408,000 cruise passengers are expected to make the community among the top Alaska destinations of Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway.