An old timber dock near the village of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island will soon be renovated to be able to receive cruise ship passengers as soon as next year after several Alaska Native corporations announced a joint-venture to develop the project. (Courtesy photo / Na-Dena` LLC)

An old timber dock near the village of Klawock on Prince of Wales Island will soon be renovated to be able to receive cruise ship passengers as soon as next year after several Alaska Native corporations announced a joint-venture to develop the project. (Courtesy photo / Na-Dena` LLC)

Cruise ships are coming to Klawock

Alaska Native corps announce joint venture to promote tourism

Officials in Klawock on Prince of Wales Island are partnering with Huna Totem Corp. to bring cruise ships to the small Southeast Alaska village.

The Alaska Native corporation partnered with the cruise line to open their own cruise ship destination —Icy Strait Point near Hoonah on Admiralty Island — and the partnership in Klawock will lean on that experience, according to Mickey Richardson, Huna Totem’s director of marketing. The venture will start with smaller cruise ships, Richardson told the Empire in an interview, but is planned to grow with demand.

“Our first call will be on May 24, 2023,” Richardson said. “We are constructing a float that will handle the smaller ships.”

Richardson said the project will start out small, focusing on a more boutique tour experience for premium cruise ship customers. Icy Strait Point has its own restaurants, shops and a zip line ride that’s billed as the “world’s largest ziprider” by Icy Strait Point.

But Icy Strait Point was many years in the making, Richardson said, for now, the plan is to have smaller tours that highlight Prince of Wales Island’s local culture and history as well as its extensive scenery and wildlife. Prince of Wales Island has its own road system, Richardson said, that can be used to visit a number of villages, “that all have unique stories to tell.”

The project will repurpose an old timber dock and the future site will incorporate historical and cultural features of the area into the destination, Richardson said.

[St. Nicholas Orthodox Church prepares for a heavy lift]

According to a joint news release from Huna Totem, Doyon and representatives from Kluwock, “the Port of Klawock is ideally positioned for both north and southbound Alaska itineraries. With two separate fjord entrances, sailing in and out of the port treats cruisers to scenic views of the wildlife-rich archipelagos, dramatic mountains and lush islands. The port island connects by bridge to Prince of Wales’ vast road system to other communities and tour options around the island.”

The venture is a joint project between Doyon, Limited and Huna Totem, both Alaska Native Corporations, and is being called Na-Dena`, (pronounced na-da-na) according to a news release from the organizers. Na-Dena` LLC is a 50-50 joint venture between Huna Totem and Doyon, the release said, and is focused on expanding sustainable tourism in Alaska. Na-Dena` will also work with the Klawock Heenya Corporation, the village corporation representing Tlingit people from Klawock.

“Tourism is the opportunity we need,” said Teresa Fairbanks, Klawock Heenya Corporation president. “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.”

Oceania Cruises, a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line, will make the first call in 2023, Richardson said, with the first passengers being tendered off the ship. As the project grows, Richardson said Na-Dena` will look to the local community about what expansion should look like.

Na-Dena` is exploring further opportunities for growth in transportation, lodging and tour development statewide over the next few years, the release said.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnuEmpire.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

Juneau high school seniors Edward Hu of Juneau-Douglas High School: Kalé (left), Elizabeth Djajalie of Thunder Mountain High School (center) and Kenyon Jordan of Yaaḵoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School. (Photos of Hu and Jordan by Juneau Empire staff, photo of Djajalie by Victor Djajalie)
Senior Spotlight 2024: Three top students take very different paths to graduation stage

Ceremonies for Juneau’s three high schools take place Sunday.

The entrance road to Bartlett Regional Hospital. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file photo)
Bartlett Regional Hospital looking at eliminating or trimming six ‘non-core’ programs to stabilize finances

Rainforest Recovery Center, autism therapy, crisis stabilization, hospice among programs targeted.

A king salmon. (Ryan Hagerty/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Biden administration advances bid to list Gulf of Alaska king salmon as endangered or threatened

Experts say request could restrict activity affecting river habitats such as road, home construction

Mayor Beth Weldon (left), Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale and Juneau Assembly member Paul Kelly discussion proposals for next year’s mill rate during an Assembly Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Assembly members support lower 10.04 mill rate ahead of final vote on next year’s CBJ budget

Initial proposal called for raising current rate of 10.16 mills to 10.32 mills.

Dave Scanlan, general manager of Eaglecrest Ski Area, speaks to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly Finance Committee on April 13, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Dave Scanlan forced out as Eaglecrest’s general manager, says decision ‘came as a complete shock to me’

Resort’s leader for past 7 years says board seeking a “more office-process, paper-oriented” manager.

The entrance to the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.’s Anchorage office is seen on Aug. 11, 2023. The state-owned AGDC is pushing for a massive project that would ship natural gas south from the North Slope, liquefy it and send it on tankers from Cook Inlet to Asian markets. The AGDC proposal is among many that have been raised since the 1970s to try commercialize the North Slope’s stranded natural gas. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Eight young Alaskans sue to block proposed trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline

Plaintiffs cite climate change that harms their access to fish, wildlife and natural resources.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, May 21, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read