The Majestic Princess in Haines. (File photo/Chilkat Valley News)
The Majestic Princess in Haines. (File photo/Chilkat Valley News)

Staff from the Cruise Line Agencies of Alaska reached out to Haines this week to find out if the Port Chilkoot Dock could handle a cruise ship this weekend. 

And it could happen a few times over the next few weeks as the new float for Skagway’s ore dock is still en route to the community, meaning the town is down one berth. 

“It’s just a small possibility,” said Cruise Line Agencies spokesperson Steward Stephens. He said the ship would be coming into the town’s Broadway dock. 

“They’ll come up here and if they miss, they’ll turn around and slowly go down to Haines. It’s up to them, maybe they’ll go to Icy Strait, but probably Haines,” he said. 

The Norwegian Spirit is currently scheduled to moor at Skagway’s Broadway Dock – that ship has the capacity to hold 2,032 passengers, according to Travel Weekly. 

Right now, Skagway has three available berths according to Port Director Cody Jennings. And, the community isn’t scheduled to get a fourth ship in until May 14. So, in theory, the ships should all fit. 

But, it could be a tight fit which could be an issue in a high-wind situation. Stephens said they are not anticipating high winds this weekend, but wanted to give Haines as much early notice as possible given that the community turned a few ships away at the end of the season due to lack of staff. 

Stephens said if a ship did need to be rerouted to Haines, his office would be calling the local longshoreman, agent, and harbormaster as soon as they know. 

“It would happen really quick,” he said. 

It takes about 1 1/2 hours to sail from Skagway to Haines, he said. 

The Haines Visitor Center has been posting on its social media channels about the possibility of some early-season ships. 

“I just hate to alarm people unnecessarily but also it is stressful knowing that they might come so early and we weren’t prepared,” said Tourism Director Rebecca Hylton.