Norwegian Plans New Cruise Dock at Port of Juneau

NCL has purchased a small lot adjacent to Juneau's Coast Guard station, center left, with plans of building a new cruise pier (AMHT)

Published Oct 3, 2019 8:08 PM by The Maritime Executive

Norwegian Cruise Line has purchased a three-acre waterfront lot in Juneau, Alaska for $20 million, and it plans to use the site for a new cruise ship dock.

The lot is one of the few remaining undeveloped waterfront parcels in Juneau, and it previously belonged to the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, which auctioned it off in a sealed-bid process early this month. NCL easily beat out the competing bidders - including Royal Caribbean, which bid $13 million - by putting in an offer six times the appraised value of the site. 

City manager Rorie Watt broke the news that NCL would like to build a cruise dock during a city meeting in late September, and Norwegian's leadership confirmed the plan this week. 

“This property in Juneau is an opportunity for us over the long term to engage with the community here and secure the future of our vessels, you know, for the next 30 years,” Norwegian EVP Howard Sherman told media at a roundtable in Juneau on Wednesday. Sherman added that having an owned pier would give Norwegian long-term certainty of access to a berth in Juneau, something that is not contractually guaranteed under its current arrangements. 

To start construction, Norwegian would have to secure the approval of Juneau's city assembly and get a conditional zoning permit, Watt told the Juneau Empire. In order to berth cruise ships, the developer would also need to dredge, which would mean approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers and a lease from the city for the tidelands adjacent to the dock.