The City and Borough of Sitka may accept a USD 1 million donation from an international cruise company, which says comes with “no strings attached.”
At the Sitka Assembly meeting on Tuesday, April 27, it voted to accept the donation but held off on deciding how to spend the funds.
According to City Administrator, John Leach, NCLH (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings) is offering the City of Sitka USD 1 million to ease the economic effects of Alaska’s cruise suspension. Leach added representatives from the company had made the offer during a recent phone meeting and his first question had been: “What are the conditions for the donation?”
“Before I even asked that question, they were very forthcoming and said that this is a ‘no strings attached, no quid pro quo. And they will have no involvement in the distribution decision that the city decides to make.”
According to Leach, the company planned to make similar donations to other Alaska communities but had not specified which ones.
NCLH and its subsidiaries (NCL-Norwegian Cruise Line, RSSC-Regent Seven Seas, Oceania) have been sending cruise ships to Sitka for more than 2 decades and investing heavily in Southeast Alaska, funding cruise ship dock expansions in Hoonah (Icy Strait Point) and Ketchikan, as well as recently purchasing 3 acres of Juneau waterfront property where NCLH plans to build a new dock.
Leach said that he would contact Norwegian and accept the offer. He added there was no set timeline for when the port city should receive the money.