Cruise ship traffic in southeast Alaska is increasing so much that some communities are outgrowing their infrastructure. In Hoonah, a partnership between a cruise line and a Native Corporation could help boost tourism numbers.

A new pier at Icy Strait Point will allow more cruise ships in and out. Huna Totem Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are working together to make the pier possible.

"Huna Totem Corp. is proud that it is able to bring new business that supports and contributes to Hoonah’s economy," Russell Dick, Huna Totem Corp. president and CEO, said in a release Wednesday. "Expanding the cruise business at Icy Strait Point directly benefits the residents of Hoonah — increasing the number of employment opportunities, tax revenue and creates a tangible future in tourism for our young people."

As the logging industry has dwindled, Hoonah city administrator Dennis Gray says tourism is what keeps the tiny town of less than 800 people afloat.

"It's allowing people to stay and work and not move out of the town," Gray said. "A lot of communities in Southeast are having folks move out because there aren't any jobs or opportunities for people to make a living."

If construction goes according to schedule, the new pier should be ready in time for the 2020 tourist season.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the project in Hoonah is between the Native Corporation and the city. It has been corrected to show that the new pier is a project between Huna Totem Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, not the city of Hoonah.

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