New Destination Opens for Cruise Ships in Alaska

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Alaska is a top sailing destination for many cruisers, and now there is a new port of call to enjoy with the opening of the Port of Klawock on the central western shore of Prince of Wales Island. The 16-acre site and deepwater port is capable of hosting large ships and is modeled after the successful destination of Icy Strait Point.

The Port of Klawock officially welcomed its first ship, Seabourn Odyssey, on Monday, May 6, 2024. Up next on the port’s schedule is a visit from Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Seven Seas Explorer planned for Friday, May 17. Oceania Cruises’ Oceania Regatta will also visit in June, while Oceania Riviera and Seabourn Quest each have multiple visits planned for 2025.

The port is located near the Tlingit village of Klawock, 60 miles (96 kilometers) as the crow flies west-northwest of Ketchikan, but on the opposite side of Prince of Wales Island. It was built on the site of the old pulp mill, and the space has been reused and updated to service a new industry.

This strategic location, which offers two separate scenic fjord entrances, could be an option for either northbound or southbound ships and presents a unique destination for travelers who may have visited Alaska many times.

With a population of fewer than 800 people in the village, Klawock offers unspoiled beauty and a deeply immersive experience for visitors.

A variety of activities are available, including sport fishing, totem carving, wildlife viewing, whale watching, hikes, and much more, including one of the largest Totem Parks in Alaska. Because the port is connected by a bridge to the island’s road system, a wider variety of tours exploring the island and visiting other communities are possible.

The community is also home to the oldest hatchery and first salmon cannery in Alaska, providing a unique insight into the region’s history and how traditional industries are still vital to the local way of life.

Seabourn Odyssey at Port of Klawock, Alaska
Seabourn Odyssey at Port of Klawock, Alaska (Photo Credit: Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce)

Read Also: The Best Time to Cruise Alaska – Months to Choose

It is hoped that the addition of the port facilities will enhance the economic revival of the area, bringing new opportunities to residents and introducing visitors to local culture. In addition to the dock, the port infrastructure includes a welcome center, historical displays, retail space for local artisans, a cafe, walking trails, and a bus stop for tour access.

The Port of Klawock has been developed as a 50-50 joint venture between Alaska Native corporations Doyon, Limited and Huna Totem Corporation, ensuring local voices and input into the facility, how it operates, and future development or expansion.

Cruising to Klawock

While only five luxury cruise ships are scheduled for Klawock so far in 2024 and 2025 – with multiple visits from all five in their various seasons – it is possible that other ships may divert to the new destination if conditions are not favorable at other Alaskan ports such as Ketchikan, Juneau, or Icy Strait Point.

Cruise lines typically plan itineraries two or more years in advance, and it is likely that more ships will begin to offer Klawock as a destination. A new port of call always generates interest from frequent cruisers looking for new and exciting places to visit.

Would you be interested in visiting this new port of call? Share your dream Alaska itineraries on the Cruise Hive boards!

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