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National Geographic’s Northwest Passage Cruise docks in Nome

The National Geographic Northwest Passage Cruise made a stop in Nome on Monday, August 14th, before continuing its journey to Anchorage later that evening. This marks the fourth cruise ship to visit Nome this summer, with a total of 13 scheduled. The ship navigates through the previously ice-covered Bellot Strait and continues through the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Cruise ships attract thousands of visitors to the city each summer, thereby boosting the local economy.

The Northwest Passage Voyage spans 22 days, taking travelers from Greenland to Alaska. With a capacity of 148 guests, the ship offers packages starting at $45,000. Nome’s tourism income heavily relies on cruise ships, and the forthcoming installation of the nation’s first deep-water port is expected to further increase port traffic. Tourism contributes to job creation, cultural sharing, and the local economy’s growth.

The cruise industry has steadily gained prominence within Alaska’s tourism sector. This year, 45 cruise ships are embarking on 700 voyages, bringing approximately 1.65 million visitors to the state. Excluding travel-related fees, Alaska generates around $2.2 billion annually from direct visitor spending. Glenn Steckman, Nome’s city manager, said that studies show cruise ship passengers spend an average of $100 a day in Nome.

Last summer, Nome welcomed its first cruise ships in three years since the coronavirus pandemic, the M.S. Roald Amundsen. The ship brought more than 300 passengers into Nome from Vancouver, B.C. The same ship will be arriving in Nome on Friday, August 18th, and will be docked over the weekend.

Photo at top: Port of Nome in the Fall, photo taken by Lucas Stots

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