The southeastern Alaska community of Sitka welcomed its largest cruise ship to date on Wednesday, which also marked the completion of the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal dock expansion.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas docked at the newly expanded dock, which was phase one of a significant port development project for the city. The dock has been built to accommodate the largest ships traveling to Alaska. It can also accommodate two large cruise ships at once, as seen earlier this season when Serenade of the Seas and Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam both docked there at the same time.
Soon, the new terminal facility will also be complete, built with features designed to provide a seamless arrival experience for cruise passengers.
The dock is majority owned by Halibut Point Marine Services, a Sitka family-owned business, with financing support and minority ownership by Royal Caribbean Group and Ceres Terminals, Inc.
READ MORE: Sitka, Alaska Cruise Port Information
“The expanded dock and terminal positions Sitka as a premier destination in Alaska, opening up additional opportunity for our community,” said Halibut Point Marine Services owner Chris McGraw. “Tourism has always been a staple of our economy – from retail to guided excursions and dining on the freshest Alaska seafood; and now, we’ll be able to share what makes Sitka special with guests aboard the newest, largest ships visiting Alaska.”
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.
New kayak tours and the introduction of Alaska Coach Tours to manage land transportation are key examples of the work of community partnerships.