The Alaska Native-owned, small-ship cruise line, Alaskan Dream Cruises, is heading into the most remote areas of the Inside Passage this year aboard its newest vessel, the Kruzof Explorer.
A former Bering Sea crab fishing boat, the Kruzof is built to sail some of the roughest waters on the planet, but it’s also undergone massive renovations to make it a premier expedition vessel. For example, the crab hold has been transformed into a theatre room where films and presentations can be shared with guests. Featuring only six state rooms that accommodate up to 12 guests, the vessel also has an expansive dining room and bar, a spacious outside deck and a lounge area with panoramic views.
It will be one of the first cruise ship vessels to take guests to the tiny communities of Klawock, Yakutat and Pelican Bay. Visits to these villages are exactly the kind of True Alaska cultural experiences the Allen family, the cruise line’s owners, dreamed of sharing with guests when the company first launched in 2011. Add on daily adventures using the Kruzof’s on-board toys – a high-speed Zodiac, sport fishing boat, kayaks and paddleboards (unloaded by the five-ton crane, which once hauled crab pots) – and guests get the full Southeast Alaska experience.
Huna Totem Corporation has partnered with Norwegian Cruise Line to build a second pier and port complex at Icy Strait Point, an Alaska Native-owned large cruise ship destination near the Tlingit village of Hoonah.
The pier’s grand opening is set for April 29 with the arrival of the Norwegian Joy.
The pier welcomes travellers to the new Wilderness Landing area, a vehicle-free zone connected to the Historic Cannery and the Adventure Landing by Alaska’s first, high-speed gondola system. A second gondola, opening in mid-summer, will take guests up the 1,600-foot Hoonah Mountain to a series of new attractions.
Girdwood’s Alyeska Resort has announced plans to build a Nordic spa.
The spa will have hot and cold elements in an outdoor setting surrounded by a wooded area between the tram and hotel.
Groundbreaking is anticipated for this spring. Additionally, the resort intends to renovate the lobby, common areas, restaurants and rooms in 2021.
Meier Lake Resort has completed a multi-million dollar renovation and is open for guests at the base of Hatcher Pass, 50 minutes north of Anchorage.
Situated on 122 wooded acres, the resort features a central lodge building with a commercial kitchen, 12 cabins/rooms with deluxe furnishings, a spa-like bathhouse, canoeing, kayaking, and a disc golf course.