Plans Released for New Cruise Terminal in Alaska for Royal Caribbean

Seward Company to build an advanced, enhanced, and expanded cruise terminal and pier in Seward, Alaska, in partnership with Royal Caribbean.

Working closely with Royal Caribbean Group, the Seward Company has revealed its plans for a new cruise terminal in the Port of Seward in Alaska. Seward, deemed the gateway to Kenai Fjords, will welcome the new terminal by spring 2026.

Transformative Project Now Underway

The Seward Company has announced ambitious plans to transform the Port of Seward, Alaska, by constructing a new, state-of-the-art cruise terminal and pier by early 2026.

Breaking ground immediately, the Seward Company will replace the existing Alaska Railroad cruise port facility with a modern structure designed to accommodate the largest cruise ships in the region, including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Class ships.

“Maximizing the 13 acres of upland space, the integrated transportation hub, terminal building and double-berth pier are designed to streamline the boarding experience while simplifying the operational requirements of a full-service port,” said the Seward Company.

Modernizing Seward’s Port

The current Alaska Railroad cruise port, constructed in 1965, is deemed obsolete. The 2023 Freight Traffic Study highlighted the urgent need for replacement, citing the degradation of the port’s supporting structures.

Currently equipped with a 736-foot dock, the Port of Seward says the “passenger dock is only occasionally used for light freight and logistics.”

New Seward Cruise Terminal
New Seward Cruise Terminal

The Seward Company’s plans include the erection of a 41,500-square-foot cruise terminal and the addition of a floating double berth pier, measuring 748 feet in length and 100 feet in width. The pier will be able to support simultaneous docking of two vessels at the same time.

The floating berth is being designed to accommodate Alaska’s extreme tides and will include a 200-foot-long split-transfer to facilitate embarkation and debarkation. 

The world-class port will also feature a parking lot with 32 bus stalls and 48 car spaces. Turnagain Marine will oversee the engineering, design, and construction of the project, which will total $137 million.

Upgrade Suitable for Quantum-Class Ships

Royal Caribbean, the key cruise line behind the port renovation and expansion, will be able to accommodate its Quantum-class ships at the new port which can accommodate up to 4,100 passengers.

Currently, Royal Caribbean is operating a number of Alaska sailings for 2024 and 2025.

Quantum of the SeasOvation of the SeasRadiance of the Seas, Serenade of the Seasand Brilliance of the Seas are slated to sail in Alaska throughout the summer 2024 and 2025 season, with departures from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Anthem of the Seas will make her debut in the region in 2025.

Read Also: Royal Caribbean Announces Four-Ship Line-Up for Alaska 2025

New Seward Cruise Terminal
New Seward Cruise Terminal

Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line also offer Alaskan itineraries. 

The new cruise port opens the opportunity for more passengers to visit a newer destination in the “Last Frontier,” which is seeing a spike in travelers arriving via cruise ship. The state expects to bring in more than 1.65 million passengers in 2024 via the various cruise lines who have added the picturesque state to its voyages. 

CLIA, the Cruise Line International Association, reported that around 60% of summer visitors to the state arrive via cruise and direct visitor spending totals nearly $2.2 billion a year. CLIA reported the figure increases to $3.7 billion when factoring in labor, bringing the total economic impact to $4.5 billion.

The port is adjacent to the Alaska Railroad and Seward Highway, with shuttles to Ted Stevens International Airport in Anchorage, making it a call that can lead to more internal explorations of Alaska.

However, already well-established ports are concerned about the size of ships docking in its harbors. Residents of Sitka, Alaska, for example, have created petitions to limit the number of ships and passengers calling. Residents of Seward are watching the updates with anticipation.


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