Alaska Native businesses Na-Dena` LLC and Klawock Heenya Corporation have announced the development of a new cruise destination to be built in Klawock, Alaska with the first call scheduled by Oceania Cruises for May 24, 2023.
Developed similarly to Icy Strait Point near the Tlingit village of Hoonah, this new port promises to embrace the Alaska Native culture in Klawock, giving guests opportunities to experience totem carving traditions, fishing and wildlife viewing, while also balancing the needs of the small village and its people. According to the announcement, the cruise port will give the local economy a boost with new jobs and business opportunities for Alaska Natives and locals.
To be built on 16 acres on Klawock Island, the port sits on the Pacific coast side of Prince of Wales Island. The Port of Klawock is said to be ideally positioned for both north and southbound Alaska itineraries. With two separate fjord entrances, sailing in and out of the port, passengers will have views of the wildlife-rich archipelagos, mountains and islands. The port island connects by bridge to Prince of Wales’ road system to other communities and tour options around the island.
“Tourism is the opportunity we need,” said Klawock Heenya President Teresa D. Fairbanks, in a prepared statement. “It’s exciting to now pursue the future for Klawock and our Native shareholders. We know building a tourism-based economy is a process, but we share a similar history of fish canning and timber harvesting with Hoonah. Thanks to the partnership with Na-Dena`, together, we know Klawock Heenya will be successful.”
Na-Dena` will assist Klawock Heenya to develop a series of guest attractions and tour products, embracing Klawock’s totem carving traditions, the abundance of local wildlife and the area’s renowned sport fishing industry.
“Our vision of tourism, balanced with Alaska’s cruise industry, creates meaning for travelers and our Native communities,” said Huna Totem President and CEO Russell Dick. “Huna Totem’s Icy Strait Point incorporates elements of who we are as Alaska Native people, leaving travelers with a better understanding of our culture and the importance of our lands and surrounding environment. While the experience enhances their Alaska vacation, in turn, it also builds economic stability for all Alaska Native people to practice and share our traditions and history with the world. Na-Dena` looks forward to celebrating Klawock Heenya’s values and traditions in Alaska’s newest port.”
The port partnership expects to announce additional cruise line visits for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, meeting the growing demands of the Alaska travel market.