Rockslides Affect Alaska Cruises Calling on Skagway

September 12, 2017
View of Noordam in Skagway, with mountainous Alaskan scenery in the background

(1:55 p.m. EDT) -- A rockslide tumbled into the cruise ship dock of Skagway, Alaska on September 5 -- the second rockslide in less than two weeks.

As a result of that second rockslide, two cruise ships were diverted to call on other ports: Star Princess to Haines and Celebrity Solstice to Icy Strait, according to local Alaska radio affiliate KHNS.  The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, which owns the railroad dock, made the decision to temporarily shut it down to assess damage.

Since the most recent slide, White Pass has been using the railroad dock in a limited capacity, according to an updated news story from KHNS. The port has been mooring ships at the far end of the facility and tendering in the passengers, which allows for one ship at the railroad dock, one at the ore dock, and one at the Broadway dock.

"We're trying to see if we can change itineraries so that we don't have any misses and we'll be able to get ships to come in on days when there is a berth available," Tyler Rose, the executive director of human resources & strategic planning for White Pass, said in the article.

While September marks the end of the Alaska cruise season, two more days remain that include four ships calling in Skagway at once: September 19 and 20.

"Our cruise ship schedule has been affected and will likely continue to be for the remainder of the season, especially on days where we have four ships calling on Skagway," Cody Jennings, the tourism director for Skagway, told Cruise Critic. "We are receiving regular updates as Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska (CLAA) works to reassign/reschedule itineraries."

Haines tourism director Carolann Wooten told the station that Haines is ready and willing to take any ships that can't dock in Skagway.

Coral Princess, Ruby Princess, Holland America's Nieuw Amsterdam and Celebrity Solstice were all scheduled to call on Skagway today. No word yet on any diversions.

--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor