On Aug. 28, at 3 p.m., Celebrity Infinity set a new record on her 80th and final visit to Icy Strait Point, Alaska’s only privately owned cruise ship destination developed by Huna Totem Corporation. As her sister ship Celebrity Millennium departed, Celebrity Infinity pulled into Icy Strait Point, marking the 1,000th ship call and bringing in the 2,000,000th guest since Icy Strait Point opened in 2004.
“Celebrity Mercury was the first ship to ever call on Icy Strait Point in 2004,” Huna Totem Corporation President and CEO Russell Dick said. “Icy Strait Point’s success today wouldn’t be possible without the early commitments Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. made and continue to make to bring travelers to Icy Strait Point.”
Celebrity Infinity’s final Alaska sailing on Tuesday before her repositioning to the Caribbean concludes a long history of success in the 49th state. “Welcoming Celebrity Infinity represents the past, present and the future. Celebrity Infinity made her first four calls on Icy Strait Point in 2005, the cruise ship destination’s second season. Now she is our 1000th ship. When she leaves, she’ll usher in a new class of larger ships to Icy Strait Point,” Huna Totem Corporation Marketing Director Mickey Richardson said.
Celebrity Eclipse is taking over Celebrity Infinity’s Alaska itinerary in May 2019. Launched in 2010 with a guest capacity of 2,850, Celebrity Eclipse brings an additional 650 guests per port visit.
In addition, Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Joy will call on Icy Strait Point in 2019. At approximately 4,000 passengers each, the Joy, and her sister ship the Bliss, are the largest cruise ships scheduled to sail in Alaska in 2019.
“These new ships mean continued growth and economic opportunity for our shareholders, the community of Hoonah and the Southeast Alaska region,” Dick said.
Icy Strait Point’s Vice President of Operations Tyler Hickman is enthusiastic about the cruise ship destination’s growth. “In 2018, 107 ships called on Icy Strait Point. In 2019, we’ll see 131 ships. And, they’re bigger,” he adds. “We’ll see a 45 percent increase in passengers next season. By the number of ship visits year over year, Icy Strait Point is the fastest-growing port in Alaska.”
During its first season of operation in 2004, Icy Strait Point saw just 32 cruise ship visits.
“The 1000th ship is a great milestone,” Cruise Lines International Association Alaska President John Binkley said. “I admire the persistence and tenacity Icy Strait Point has shown in building an incredible destination. Hitting the millionth passenger in a single season is not that far away.”
Icy Strait Point is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Huna Totem Corporation, the village corporation owned by approximately 1,350 Alaska Natives with aboriginal ties to Hoonah and the Glacier Bay area. Located 35 miles west of Juneau and 22 miles from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Icy Strait Point is the only private large-ship destination in Alaska.