NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE MAKES ITS GREAT CRUISE COMEBACK WITH FIRST U.S. SAILING
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), the innovator in global cruise travel with a 54‑year history of breaking boundaries, celebrated its highly anticipated return to cruise in the U.S. with Norwegian Encore’s inaugural call to Icy Strait Point, Alaska.
The Brand’s newest innovative ship Norwegian Encore set sail from Seattle on Aug. 7, 2021 for her first season of voyages to Alaska. Adding to the already momentous milestone, Norwegian Encore is the first in the industry to berth at the new Wilderness Landing pier at Icy Strait Point, which was built in partnership between NCL’s parent company Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) and Huna Totem Corporation, the village corporation owned by approximately 1,400 Alaska Native shareholders with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Icy Strait Point is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation.
On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021, a double ribbon cutting ceremony took place to officially open the new Wilderness Landing pier and the first of two gondola systems to be completed as part of the joint investment between NCLH and Huna Totem.
“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.”
A vehicle‑free zone, the new Wilderness Landing provides additional forest and beach areas for visitors to explore the natural wonders of the destination. 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 guests to the top of Hoonah Mountain at 1,600‑feet of elevation, where miles of new hiking trails and scenic vistas await.
Later this week, Norwegian Encore will make her first calls to Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska, before returning to Seattle and continuing her season of week‑long voyages to Alaska through Oct. 16, 2021.