Huna Totem Corporation broke ground on Monday on an $80 million infrastructure project that will bring a second docking facility to the gateway of Prince William Sound, Whittier, Alaska.
The privately funded project is being advanced through a partnership between Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and the Alaska Native corporation, a partnership that has proven success with its most recent collaboration at Icy Strait Point, Wilderness Landing, according to a press release.
The Indigenous Peoples’ Day groundbreaking was intentional, with Huna Totem Corporation CEO and President Russell Dick reflecting: “The Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act happened over 50 years ago, and when you consider its vision, it was about the opportunity for Alaska Native corporations to work collaboratively with the State of Alaska and municipalities to build economic opportunities for communities, for our shareholders, and for all Alaskans.”
The infrastructure project will include a cruise ship terminal and facilities for rail and bus service, with opportunities for retail, dining and even a cultural center. The dock will be built to be able to berth ships from all three of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings’ brands: Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania, and Regent Seven Sea Cruises.
“We couldn’t be more proud to be here today, having seen some of those dreams come to fruition,” added Dick. “This is one of the best arrival experiences you’ll have in Alaska.”
The Mayor of Whittier Dave Dickason introduced the project as “the new future of Whittier.” Adding, “Huna Totem is an Alaska company that understands the values that Alaskans hold, and they’ve done a good job working to understand the complicated issues that we here in the city of Whittier are trying to overcome. This project is good for the city of Whittier and good for the State of Alaska.”
“Norwegian Cruise Line’s commitment to Alaska goes back decades,” shared Norwegian Cruise Line Senior Vice President Juan Kuryla. “We were the first cruise line to sail to Alaska from Seattle. That commitment continues today here in Whittier and we could not be prouder to once again partner with Huna Totem. This project will expand sustainable tourism, providing guests with an authentic experience, which is very important to all of our passengers.”