Howard Sherman, left, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian Cruise Lines and Steve Moeller, right, senior vice president of commercial development at Norwegian, meet with reporters at Juneau City Hall on Oct. 2, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Howard Sherman, left, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian Cruise Lines and Steve Moeller, right, senior vice president of commercial development at Norwegian, meet with reporters at Juneau City Hall on Oct. 2, 2019. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Norwegian Cruise: We’re investing in ‘the next 30 years’ by buying Juneau property

They’re here to stay.

Representatives from Norwegian Cruise Lines discussed its plans for a cruise ship dock at the recently purchased lot in downtown Juneau with reporters Wednesday.

“We’re looking at this not for this year, but for the next 30 years,” said Howard Sherman, executive vice president of onboard revenue and destination services for Norwegian.

Sherman and his colleague Steve Moeller met with reporters at City Hall following a day of meetings with local officials and community members.

“They’re beginning to understand the community’s needs and interests,” City Manager Rorie Watt said.

[Cruise line buys downtown waterfront property for $20M]

Sherman said that Norwegian wanted to secure a place for the company’s ships. Berth rights are based on historical precedent, which means that ships that arrived in previous years are given preferential treatment depending on their past schedules.

In purchasing the lot, located off Egan Drive next to the Coast Guard station downtown, the company wants to make sure its ships will always have a place to dock. Sherman said that Juneau and Alaska were increasingly popular destinations, but that the number of berths haven’t grown with the demand.

Ensuring a space to dock its ships was why the company spent $20 million dollars to buy the lot, which had been vacant for years. It was sold by Trust Land Office, which manages land by Alaska Mental Health’s Trust Authority.

“We bid a bit more than we had planned to bid,” Sherman said. “We wanted to be sure we were going to get the property.”

NCL Bahamas Ltd., which does business as Norwegian Cruise Lines, offered $20 million for the land in a sealed bid process that was announced last month. That was $7 million more than the next highest bidder, another cruise line, Royal Caribbean Cruises, which offered $13 million.

Norwegian has no illusions about the difficulty involved in building a new cruise ship dock, but said that the company was committed to working with the community to find a mutually beneficial arrangement.

He pointed to public-private partnerships in the cities of Seattle and Miami, where Norwegian had committed large amounts of money to build infrastructure projects those cities wanted built.

“We like to engage with the local partners,” Sherman said saying the company wanted was looking to local entities to determine what kinds of priorities the community has. “We can come in with capital, and make those capital dreams come true. We’re more than investors,” he said.

Sherman told reporters that sustainable growth, both in terms of passenger numbers and environmental impacts, was important to Norwegian.

“Sustainability is important at Norwegian. We have very strict environmental guidelines,” Sherman said. He said that the ability to connect to shore power, something not available at the current cruise ship dock, was something the company wanted.

“We don’t have any firm plans for the site yet, but we want to have the site be shore power capable,” he said. “I can’t imagine we wouldn’t do it.”

Sherman said that the company would be posting a request for information on its website where members of the community could submit ideas for the future dock to the company. He did not say when that feature would be available.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or

More in News

(Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast for the week of Nov. 27

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Choir members rehearse Tuesday night for a Bach holiday concert at Ḵunéix̱ Hídi Northern Light United Church. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Quartet of Bach compositions joins lineup of local large-ensemble performances this season

Concerts this weekend part of resurging “wealth of riches” by choruses and orchestras, director says.

The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry LeConte at the Auke Bay Terminal on Monday, March 5, 2018. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Petition seeks name change for LeConte state ferry

Petersburg man calling attention to what he calls Joseph LeConte’s racist history.

The deadly landslide that struck Wrangell on the night of Nov. 20 is seen the next day. Southeast Alaska is, by nature, vulnerable to such landslides, but climate change is adding to the risk by bringing more precipitation and more extreme rainfall events. (Photo provided by Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Deadly Wrangell landslide is part of a pattern in vulnerable Alaska mountainous terrain

Scientists warn climate change, by increasing precipitation and extreme rainfall, adds to risks.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File
Even the Grinch got into the holiday spirit at last year’s Gallery Walk on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022.
An abundance of traditional and new ways to capitalize on this year’s Gallery Walk

More than 50 events scheduled Friday afternoon and evening from downtown to Douglas.

This view is from Wrangell on Sept. 11, 2022. (Photo by Joaqlin Estus/ICT)
Conservation group supports formation of new Alaska Native corporations

The conservation group the Wilderness Society has changed its position and now… Continue reading

From her hospital bed on Friday, Nov. 24, Christina Florschutz demonstrates how she pulled pajama bottoms that she found in the landslide debris over her legs, arms and head to keep warm. Her house was destroyed in the landslide, and after spending the night in the wreckage, she was rescued the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 21. (Caroleine James / Wrangell Sentinel)
Elementary school aide who survived Wrangell landslide calls circumstances a miracle

Christina Florschutz trapped overnight by landslide that killed at least 4 people, with 2 missing.

Lylah Habeger (left) and Jaila Ramirez lead the Konfeta Corps during a rehearsal of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at Juneau Dance Theatre. The ballet will be performed in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.At.Kalé auditorium Friday through Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Juneau Dance Theatre)
‘Nutcracker’ tradition, with a twirl of new choreography

This year’s performances feature a cast of 93, ages 5 to 78

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023

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

Most Read