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Icy Strait Point Welcomes First Cruise Ship to New Pier

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Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship Norwegian Encore set sail from Seattle on Saturday, making it the first Norwegian cruise to resume sailings from the U.S. It is also the first vessel in the industry to berth at the new Wilderness Landing pier at Icy Strait Point, Alaska, built in partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Huna Totem Corporation.

The port is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation, which is a village corporation owned by around 1,400 Alaska Native shareholders.

norwegian encore icy strait point wilderness landing pier

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Aug. 10, 2021 in Icy Strait Point, Alaska to celebrate the opening of the new Wilderness Landing pier (Photo courtesy of NCL/Alive Coverage)

“Our return to Alaska is a monumental moment for not only NCL but for the state’s communities as well,” said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.

“The absence of cruising last year was detrimental to these communities, which lost approximately $1.5 billion. Our return represents our continued commitment to Alaska and to the well-being of the destinations we visit. Our investment in Icy Strait Point is providing our guests with more opportunities to experience and understand the natural and cultural beauty of the destination and its people.”

READ MORE: New Expedition Ship Sets Sail on Maiden Voyage

With the opening of the new high-speed Transporter Gondola, guests have easy access to Icy Strait Point’s first pier, Adventure Landing, where the Historic Salmon Cannery dating back to 1912 and other local attractions are located. Once completed later this summer, the Mountain Top Gondola will take passengers to the top of Hoonah Mountain where there is a number of new hiking trails and scenic views to enjoy.

icy strait point gondola norwegian encore

Norwegian Cruise Line President Harry Sommer and Huna Totem Corporation CEO Russell Dick ceremoniously cut the ribbon for the opening of the new Transporter Gondola system (Photo courtesy of NCL/Alive Coverage)

The new Wilderness Landing is a vehicle-free zone, and provides additional forest and beach areas for visitors to explore. In total, there are 23,040 acres of private beach and temperate rain forest to enjoy. The area also offers the most accessible coastal brown bear viewing platforms in southeast Alaska, whale watching, kayaking, and the world’s largest ZipRider zip line.

Located a mile from the community of Hoonah, travelers can also learn about local culture with exposure to native traditions and dances, oral histories, and cooking classes.

This week, Norwegian Encore will make her first calls to Juneau and Ketchikan before returning to Seattle and continuing her season of seven-night Alaska voyages through October 16, 2021.

READ NEXT: Cruise Line Hosts Celebration Buffet on First Sailing From U.S. [PHOTOS]

Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015. She’s been on eight cruises so far, and her favorite onboard activities include trying out the water slides, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, eating lots of food, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her over on her Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.

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