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Norwegian Cruise Line donates $10M to six southeast Alaska communities

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 8:44 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Norwegian Cruise Line is still unable to sail to Alaska, but that has not stopped it from helping the communities it visits within the state.

The cruise line donated $10 million to six port cities, including Juneau. It will receive $2 million of the donation.

“We’re a local government, private businesses don’t normally write us a check and say ‘here’s a check, do whatever you think is best for your community.’ That’s unusual,” said Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt.

Hoonah, Ketchikan, Seward, Sitka, and Skagway will divide the rest of the money. Those communities did not return our phone calls to say how much each will get from the donation.

Norwegian Cruise Line announced the donation in a May 4th letter.

“My heart breaks for Alaska and its wonderful people as we face a potential second year of zero cruise operations during the all-important summer tourism season,” President and CEO Frank Del Rio said in the letter. “Bringing yet another blow to Alaska’s tourism economy.”

“It’s very generous,” said Watt. “They’ve clearly had to dig deeper than maybe they would have to dug a couple of years ago.”

The donation has not escaped Alaska’s politicians.

“It means they want to stay coming to Alaska, and supporting their brother businesses in the state of Alaska,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy said in the letter. “It’s a good thing, and I want to thank them for that.”

“I really applaud them for what they’re doing, trying to help these communities that are hit really hard,” said Senator Dan Sullivan

Watt said it’s still too early to say how the city of Juneau will use its share of the money. The assembly still needs to approve to accept the donation.

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