Rural Alaska

Hoonah prepares for new dock that will bring more cruise tourists

HOONAH - The predominantly Alaska Native village of Hoonah is preparing for a new dock that is expected to bring thousands more tourists each year.

The village hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the dock Wednesday at Icy Strait Point, the Juneau Empire reported.

Work on the structure could begin in June, with the hope of welcoming passengers in the 2020 season

Icy Strait Point is owned by Huna Totem, a for-profit Alaska Native corporation. The new dock is a collaboration with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. The city of Hoonah has supported the project.

Icy Strait Point will be able to handle the influx of visitors that will come with the new dock, said Huna Totem CEO Russell Dick and Norwegian Cruise Lines Executive Vice President Howard Sherman.

"We've got the infrastructure here to handle it," Dick said. "We were pretty strategic about the dock location we picked. It will keep people spread out."

Hoonah is a community of more than 750 residents about 40 miles southwest of Juneau.