3:30 pm update: The Railroad Dock will remained closed to allow an engineer to assess the damage. Ships being reaccommodated are: Carnival Miracle, after dock, tendering passengers to the Small Boat Harbor; Ruby Princess, Broadway Dock, Norwegian Jewel, Ore Dock.
An early morning rockslide in Skagway at the cruise ship dock rained down massive boulders onto the dock that just minutes later would have been filled with tourists disembarking a cruise ship. Portions of the dock are crushed but the dock is still usable. The damage is on the east side of the dock, rather than the west side, where the ships are tied up. Geotechnical engineers are coming to Skagway on Friday to assess the damage.
The area has been problematic in the past and presents an ongoing challenge for Skagway. The rockslide came from property owned by the Municipality of Skagway.
This morning, longshoremen were on the dock, tying up the Discovery Princess in the forward berth and placing the ramp that passengers use to leave the ship.
About 20 minutes after the longshoremen left and about 20 minutes before passengers would have started to disembark, the rocks came down in the area that last slid in 2017. This slide is in a nearby steep area, not in the same area as the 2017 slide.
The Discovery ship was subsequently moved to the aft berth and passengers are being tendered by small boats into the small boat harbor.
As a result, the cruise ship Quantum of the Seas has skipped its Skagway stop this morning, as there is no place for it to tie up. The dock is the only one that can handle the largest class of cruise ships that come into Southeast Alaska.