Next Alaska cruise destination opens in Klawock
KLAWOCK — Offering sport fishing, culinary experiences, wildlife viewing and totem carving traditions, Alaska’s next cruise destination is being built near the Tlingit village of Klawock. Oceania Cruises visited May 24, with three additional calls during the 2023 season.
Na-Dena`, the joint venture between Alaska Native companies Doyon, Limited and Huna Totem Corporation, will build on Huna Totem’s success in sustainable tourism in the development of the port, and will work alongside Klawock Heenya Corporation , an Alaska Native village society representing the Klawock Tlingit. The award-winning Huna Totem port development model is globally recognized for its ability to create balance in small communities while accommodating larger groups of travelers, as it does in Hoonah and its cruise port, Icy Strait Point. Embracing Na-Dena’s core development principles, Klawock will share local culture and foster employment of Alaska Native and local labor and offer an Alaska-only retail program.
Built on 16 acres on Klawock Island, the harbor is on the Pacific coast of Prince of Wales Island. The Port of Klawock is ideally positioned for both northern and southern Alaska routes. With two separate fjord entrances, sailing in and out of port offers cruisers panoramic views of wildlife-rich archipelagos, dramatic mountains and lush islands. Port Island is connected by bridge to the extensive Prince of Wales road network to other communities and tour options around the island.
“Tourism is the opportunity we need,” said Klawock Heenya Corporation President Teresa D. Fairbanks. “It is exciting to now pursue the future of Klawock and our Aboriginal shareholders. We know that building a tourism-based economy is a process, but we share a similar story of canning fish and harvesting timber with Hoonah. Through the partnership with Na-Dena`, together we know Klawock Heenya will succeed.
Na-Dena` will help Klawock Heenya Corporation develop a series of tourist attractions and tourism products, embracing Klawock’s totem carving traditions, abundant local wildlife and the region’s renowned sport fishing industry. .
“Our vision for tourism, balanced with the Alaskan cruise industry, creates meaning for travelers and our Indigenous communities,” said Huna Totem Corporation President and CEO Russell Dick. “Icy Strait Point by Huna Totem incorporates elements of who we are as Alaska Native people, leaving travelers with a greater understanding of our culture and the significance of our lands and surrounding environment. Although the experience enhances their vacation in Alaska, it also builds economic stability for all Alaska Natives to practice and share our traditions and history with the world. Na-Dena looks forward to celebrating the values and traditions of Klawock Heenya in the new port of Alaska.
The Port of Klawock helps Na-Dena promote the evolution of Alaska’s tourism industry, providing travelers with a growing number of cultural tourism products and sustainable tourism opportunities. The port partnership plans to announce additional cruise ship visits for the 2024 and 2025 seasons, meeting growing demands from the Alaska travel market.
“A port is the natural next step for Na-Dena,” said Doyon President and CEO Aaron M. Schutt. “We look forward to expanding tourism in Southeast Alaska to keep pace with increased visitor numbers and introduce cruise passengers to Alaskan Native culture.”