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Icy Strait Point has been selected as a finalist for the Seatrade 2020 Cruise Awards in the Port of the Year category. This is the first time in Seatrade award history an Alaskan port is being recognized for an award. For all 2020 finalists, in all eight categories, Icy Strait Point is the only United States-based company nominated.

The Port of the Year nomination reflects the achievements of Icy Strait Point from July 2019 to July 2020. During this time, Icy Strait Point set visitor and tax contribution records for Hoonah, Alaska, doubled the capacity with the addition of a second large cruise ship dock and the Wilderness Landing port area, and built Alaska’s first high-speed gondola system, which will open Hoonah Mountain to alpine exploration in 2021. With the opening of the new port area, Icy Strait Point added nearly one hundred positions to support the increased number of cruise passengers visiting the expanded port.

“Seatrade has long provided a benchmark by which success and passion are measured in the cruise industry. At Icy Strait Point, we are incredibly honored to make the shortlist for the Port of the Year Award and to participate in this prestigious process,” says Russell Dick, CEO of Huna Totem Corporation, Icy Strait Point’s parent company in a press statement.

icy strait point
Icy Strait Point’s new gondola. (Photo courtesy of Icy Strait Point.)

For over 16 years, Huna Totem has been on a journey to develop Icy Strait Point into a world-class tourism destination. Since opening in 2004, Icy Strait Point has hosted over two million passengers, and today receives ship calls from every major cruise line traveling to Alaska. Icy Strait Point is at the heartbeat of its community’s economy as the single largest employer and contributor to local sales tax, having contributed over $60 million directly to the community of Hoonah over that 16-year period. Since opening, Huna Totem Corporation’s cultural and community driven port model continues to receive attention and support from national and international companies and travelers.

Unlike other cruise destinations around the world, Icy Strait Point is an all-inclusive port experience. Icy Strait Point owns and operates 32 tours, including a fleet of purpose-built whale watching boats, the world’s largest ZipRider, and two high-speed gondola systems. The site’s food menu is full of locally sourced fish, crab, and beer with a wide variety of iconic Alaskan favorites at each of the port’s three cafes and three waterfront restaurants. Twelve retail shops and merchandise outlets are collectively curated to reflect the wildlife, art, and culture of Southeast Alaska.

“The unique part of the Icy Strait Point experience is the local interaction. They have a great local and engaged workforce. A lot of times you go to cruise destinations around the world and the labor is brought in. You get the cultural interaction and the history at Icy Strait Point,” says Howard Sherman, executive v.p. Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings Ltd.

The 2020 Seatrade nomination reflects the perseverance of the people of Hoonah. All retail and souvenir shops are Alaskan-owned and operated. Year-after-year, Icy Strait Point receives the highest cruise industry ratings for guest engagement and the most authentic Alaskan experience.

Along with Icy Strait Point, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Dover, UK have made Seatrade’s shortlist for the top honor of Port of the Year for 2020. The final winners will be announced on Oct. 6, 2020 during Seatrade’s virtual cruise industry trade show.

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