On August 17, the Southeast Alaskan community of Sitka (Baranof Island) welcomed one of RCI-Royal Caribbean’s largest ships - Ovation of the Seas, marking the completion of Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal dock expansion project's Phase 1. The port development project is expected to position Sitka as a premier Alaskan cruise port.
The expanded dock will be joined by the completion of a new terminal facility with features designed to provide a seamless arrival experience for tourists. The dock is constructed to accommodate the biggest vessels sailing in Alaska's waters. It can also accommodate two large liners at a time, as seen earlier this season when HAL-Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam and Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas docked in Sitka simultaneously.
The dock is majority-owned by the Sitka family-owned business Halibut Point Marine Services, with minority ownership and financing support by RCG-Royal Caribbean Group and Ceres Terminals Inc.
The partnership investment extends beyond enhancements at the port to extensive and thoughtful community planning efforts in collaboration with local stakeholders and industry experts. Plans will focus on transportation capacity, visitor traffic flow and opportunities for more tours and destination experiences that will benefit both residents and visitors alike. New kayak tours and the introduction of Alaska Coach Tours to manage land transportation are key examples of the work of community partnerships.