Nome’s Port Commission met on February 18th to discuss the upcoming cruise ship season, tariffs, Covid-19 criteria for the harbor, and more updates for the Deep Draft Port project.

Harbormaster Lucas Stotts shared that the Silver Cloud, a cruise ship that planned on coming to Nome in September, cancelled their call when the Canadian Government issued a new order that prohibits cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until 2022. This order has significantly diminished Alaska’s cruise season statewide.

However, a few cruise ships are expected to dock at the port this summer, and Stotts remains hopeful. 

“Although 2021’s numbers for cruise ship activity around the globe looked pretty grim, [in] 2022, things are looking up, there’s a lot of positivity right now, and there’s already people looking forward and a lot of movement.”

– Lucas Stotts

Stotts also discussed quarantine procedures for ships using the Port of Nome this summer. He and Port Director Joy Baker are writing a detailed plan for ships that dock at the Nome harbor so that the city’s quarantine mandates are not broken.

“Most of these [ship] companies have pretty strict policies and stay on board anyways, no coming into town, that’s what they would just prefer … So we really scrutinize all those plans individually, we bring those to [City Manager] Glenn [Steckman] and then we basically follow the same procedure as everyone else.”

– Lucas Stotts

Stotts and Baker’s plan will be available on the Port’s website when it is completed.

Baker also shared that the city received the draft design agreement for the Deep Draft Port Project. The agreement will next go to the Army Corps of Engineers to be signed so that the port project can move through the 2-year design phase a little quicker.

“But the sooner we get the design agreement through the administration, the council and then through the attorney and get it signed, and the Corps signs it, the sooner we can get rolling on to your schedule. So we can spend a few months finding out whether we will be able to shave any time off the end.”

– Port Baker

The Commission also discussed Tariff #16, passed last spring, portions of which went into effect January 1st of this year. This tariff will include a $1.00 passenger fee and $2.00 facility fee for the transfer of passengers to and from a vessel. These are two new charges for the Port of Nome. The entire tariff can be read here.

The Nome Port Commission’s next regular meeting will be held on March 18th.

Image at top: Port Commission Vice Chairman Charlie Lean and Harbormaster Lucas Stotts at the Port Commission meeting on February 18th.

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