SITKA, ALASKA (Aug. 17, 2021) – The Southeast Alaska community of Sitka today welcomed Ovation of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean International’s most innovative ships, marking completion of the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal dock expansion – phase one of a significant port development project set to position Sitka as a premier port of call for Alaska.
The expanded dock will soon be joined by completion of a new terminal facility built with features designed to provide an enhanced and seamless arrival experience for cruise visitors. The dock is built to accommodate the largest, state-of-the-art ships traveling to Alaska. It can also accommodate two large cruise ships at one time, as seen earlier this season when Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas and Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam both docked in Sitka simultaneously.
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.
“The expanded dock and terminal positions Sitka as a premier destination in Alaska, opening up additional opportunity for our community,” said dock 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.”
“As we look beyond this year’s partial Alaska season, we are more optimistic than ever that our guests will absolutely love the authentic experiences Sitka offers with its rich culture and awe-inspiring wilderness,” said Joshua Carroll, vice president, Destination Development, Royal Caribbean Group. “This partnership exemplifies our strategy to support sustainable development that is majority-owned by Alaskans to bring maximum economic impact to the local community.”
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.
About Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal
Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal is managed by Halibut Point Marine Services, a family-owned business based in Sitka, Alaska. The terminal facility is located six miles north of downtown Sitka and a mile from the Old Sitka State Historical Park. The 40,000-sq.-ft. terminal facility features local retail shops, a locally owned restaurant, an outdoor covered terrace and departure point for land and water-based shore excursions. The newly expanded dock accommodates two Neo-panamax ships simultaneously. Neo-panamax ships can accommodate 4,300 guests. Learn more at www.halibutpointmarine.com.