In September 2019, NCL-Norwegian Cruise Lines outbid competitors and paid Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority USD 20 million for a 3-acre waterfront land parcel in downtown Juneau Alaska. Now, NCL is moving forward with the development plans for the lot.
NCL's representative Howard Sherman spent much time talking to people in Juneau about plans of the company to build a new cruise ship dock on the property, and during a public meeting, last week addressed local concerns that the new cruise ship berth would lead to more traffic.
Sherman said they were not looking to increase the NCL cruise shipping traffic there, and so any pier that they would build, they’d "only be looking for cruise ships to be accommodated on one side of the pier and then possibly NOAA and/or Coast Guard on the other side of the pier."
Paul Voelkers from local firm MRV Architects and Sherman both said the new dock would cut down on the need for big ships to turn around in Gastineau Channel and idle while waiting for another vessel to depart.
The current design concepts include a multi-story building with bus parking underneath and a dock perpendicular to the shore. There is green space extending down to the water. Alaska Ocean Center could also be incorporated. Electric hookups for vessels to use while in port are also planned.
The new concept incorporates city-owned tidelands to the west. The seawalk/esplanade will be extended from Gold Creek closer to the new connection to the existing docks.
Sherman said NCL wanted to make it an area that locals could use year-round. He added that after speaking to Sealaska Heritage Institute and learning about the history of Aak’w Kwaan people at the site, he wanted to incorporate cultural elements into the design.