Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Calls at Sitka and Marks Dock Expansion

To mark a milestone in their expansion, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line has called at Sitka, Alaska, the first time a cruise line has visited the town since the 1980s. The cruise ship Princess Royal docked at Sitka, a city of about 10,000, where passengers disembarked to take part in community events and to tour the Sitka National Historical Park. The expansion, which will ultimately include 40 new cabins, is being completed as part of a $175 million investment to refurbish the facilities.

Another day another new ship on the route. Royal Caribbean’s QE2 has arrived in Sitka, Alaska, where it will dock at the Sitka Gateway Terminal on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Royal Caribbean Cruises has announced that they are adding a new stop on their Alaska cruise ship itinerary. The ship will visit Sitka, Alaska on August 18, 2014, marking the first time it’s been on the itinerary. The timing is perfect, since the cruise ship will be docking in Sitka right in the heart of the city’s bustling downtown.. Read more about us cruises and let us know what you think.

Royal Caribbean is presently traveling in Alaska with two ships. The cruise lines Serenade of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas have just restarted operations in the Northern state, making it a key market for them. This is also supported by the cruise line’s substantial expenditures in local infrastructure initiatives.

The extension of the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal pier is one such project. Previously a small port that could barely accommodate one cruise ship, the extension, which Royal Caribbean is helping to finance, now allows two Neo-Panamax ships with a combined capacity of 4300 people to land here at the same time. The arrival of Ovation of the Seas signified the end of the project’s first phase.

The Dock Expansion is Completed with the Ovation of the Seas.

On August 17, inhabitants of Sitka, Alaska welcomed the 168,666-gross-ton Ovation of the Seas. After departing from Seattle on August 13, the Quantum-class yacht, which can transport 4180 people, is on her maiden official voyage.

The first phase of the Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal dock expansion was completed with her arrival in Sitka. Because to the port extension, two big cruise ships may now berth at the dock at the same time, which was previously impossible.

The Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas and Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam arrived in Sitka at the same time earlier this season.

The port extension is just a small element of the overall renovation of the region. A new terminal facility will open soon, providing cruise ship passengers with a pleasant arrival experience.

Ovation of the Seas Docked in Sitka, AlaskaIn Sitka, Alaska, the Ovation of the Seas is docked (Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean)

Royal Caribbean Group and Ceres Terminals Inc. are helping to fund the development of the port and the new terminal facility (one of the largest terminal operators in the world). Halibut Point Marine Services, a Sitka family-owned company, owns the port and pier in its whole.

“The enlarged dock and terminal establishes Sitka as a top destination in Alaska, bringing up more possibilities for our community,” says Chris McGraw, owner of Halibut Point Marine Services. From shopping to guided tours and eating on the finest Alaska seafood, tourism has long been a cornerstone of our economy, and now we’ll be able to showcase what makes Sitka unique with visitors onboard the newest, biggest ships visiting Alaska.”

More Investing in Local Infrastructure by Cruise Lines

While there is no disputing that having modern and pleasant docks and terminals at ports of call has major advantages for cruise lines, the cruise companies are spending significantly in infrastructure improvements that help the local economy the most.

Last week, Cruise Hive reported on Norwegian Cruise Line’s investment in a new pier and cable car at Ice Point Strait. Royal Caribbean’s investment in the region demonstrates the cruise line’s long-term commitment to empowering the local population:

Royal Caribbean Group’s Vice President of Destination Development, Joshua Carroll:

“As we look beyond this year’s limited Alaska season, we’re more certain than ever that our visitors will adore the genuine experiences Sitka has to offer, with its rich culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty. This collaboration reflects our approach of supporting sustainable development that is majority-owned by Alaskans in order to have the greatest economic effect on the region.”

The cruise line’s investment in the region does not end with the new terminal and pier. Transportation capacity, tourist traffic flow, and other possibilities, such as additional tours and destination experiences, such as kayak excursions and the launch of Alaska Coach Tours, are all being prioritized.

Of course, Sitka is already well-known for a variety of activities available to visitors, like whale watching, sightseeing in the ancient town, seeing grizzly bears in their native habitat, and visiting the Alaska Raptor Center. Here you can find out all there is to do in Sitka.                                                                                                                 

Ovation of the Seas in Sitka, Alaska

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