The Norwegian Bliss leave Juneau’s downtown harbor after its first visit on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Juneau Empire File)

The Norwegian Bliss leave Juneau’s downtown harbor after its first visit on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (Juneau Empire File)

Empire Live: Norwegian Cruise Lines reps discuss plans for Juneau at Chamber Luncheon

Representatives from the cruise ship company discuss plans for a future dock

Summary: Sherman says he understands there’s a lot of uncertainty around what might happen with the property and how many people are coming to Juneau and that makes people nervous. Norwegian is open to an agreement with the city where Juneau would have some control over berthing and cruise ship scheduling.

He didn’t take any questions from the audience but says he’s looking forward to having conversations with the community.

Read the Empire’s full coverage of the luncheon.

12:55 p.m.

He is just now getting to potential plan’s for NCL’s Juneau property. The company has begun working with architects to look at potential plans. The seawalk is one of their top priorities, as well as shore power.

Juneau can provide shore power, but drought conditions in recent years have made that difficult as Juneau’s electricity is generated from hydro-electric dams.

Sherman thinks there’s more room for green space, up to an acre with areas for pedestrians and bicycles.

12:45 p.m.

Seattle and Juneau see the same amount of passengers, he says, but Seattle takes in more money. He believes there are opportunities for Juneau to capture some of that revenue, mainly from increasing the numbers of hotels.

Many cruise passengers return to destinations after having first visited on a cruise. By increasing the number of hotels he believes Juneau could increase its revenue from tourism. He points to Cozumel, Mexico as an example of a city that has taken this approach.

12:40 p.m.

Juneau has some world-class and innovative tourism management he says, like the long-range waterfront plan and the tourism best practices guidelines.

Sherman’s personal favorite is the seawalk he says, but notes that Norwegian’s new property is right in the middle, what he calls a lynch-pin property. He hasn’t talked much about what Norwegian plans to do with the property.

12:35 p.m

Sherman is running through a number of NCL’s projects around the country. He notes however that these are all much larger than what Juneau has the capacity for.

His spent a few minutes talking about Icy Strait Point and the ongoing projects there. He spoke very highly of what the Hoonah Totem Corporation has done with Icy Strait.

His point when it comes to NCL is that they didn’t build a massive structure like the kind they built in Miami. The structure was made to fit the local aesthetic and not be invasive to the local environment.

12:25 p.m.

NCL loves public-private partnerships, he says, because the company isn’t interested in “cookie cutter,” construction. They want to build things that are unique to the specific location that serves the needs of both the company and the people who live there.

He is showing the chamber slides from Norwegian’s Pier 66 project in Seattle. There are spaces for conferences and its top deck has become a popular location for weddings he says.

“It’s used more by the people (of Seattle) than it is by us,” Sherman says.

12:15 p.m.

Today’s speaker is Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian.

NCL doesn’t have a firm design plan, he says about the plot of land. The purpose of this trip is to listen and learn. “What should the future of Juneau look like,” he asks rhetorically.

12:10 p.m.

It’s an absolutely packed house at the Moose Lodge today, some attendees are even standing around the edges of the room.

12:05 p.m.

Representatives from Norwegian Cruise Lines will be speaking at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Moose Lodge. In September NCL spent $20 million to purchase a plot of land on the downtown waterfront with the intent of building a new cruise ship dock. Company officials have said in the past they’re keen to invest in Juneau as a tourist destination.


Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or psegall@juneauempire.com.


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