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Malaspina to get free downtown parking for 50th Anniversary touring event

AMHS plans Juneau to Tracy Arm cruise for 50th anniversary commemoration By RUSSELL STIGALL

Posted: March 1, 2013 - 1:15am

Downtown Juneau is scheduled to receive a sight not seen since the ferry terminal opened in Auke Bay — an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry docked on the waterfront. However the city decided to waive profiting from the once-in-50-years event.

As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations, the ferry system plans to send the M/V Malaspina to Alaska ports from Ketchikan to Skagway for extended stays. Community events are scheduled to coincide and AMHS staff will be on hand to give tours of the Malaspina.

The ferry is scheduled to dock in Juneau on May 4. It will spend several hours at the Cruise Ship Terminal dock before departing for an 11-hour tour to Tracy Arm. The system chose to dock at the cruise terminal as it corresponds with the location of the former ferry docks.

The City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbors Board voted Thursday to waive the usual moorage fees vessels pay to dock downtown “as this is a special one-time event sponsored by AMHS,” Carl Uchytil, CBJ port director, said.

Uchytil also said docks and harbors plans to get tough on delinquent moorage fees in the city’s harbors.

“We need to vigorously prosecute,” Uchytil said, “Go after the worst offenders” through Juneau Superior Court.

Though contractors have recently announced the Statter Harbor rebuild is about a week ahead of schedule, completion of the project still wouldn’t happen in time for Juneau’s first cruise ship arrival on May 2. This could cause a conflict for fishing and sight-seeing charters based in the harbor.

Harbormaster Dwight Tajon said docks and harbors is aware of the conflict.

“We are working on it,” Tajon said.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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