UNALASKA VISITORS BUREAU

Hope McKenney/KUCB

This summer is shaping up to be another quiet tourism season in Unalaska. While public health mandates and regulations loosen, things like reduced ferry service to the island, ongoing regulatory battles keeping large cruise ships out of port and lingering fears about the risks of COVID-19 will likely mean Unalaska's shores will remain mostly void of visitors for the second year in a row.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

At a special meeting this week, the City of Unalaska granted more than $1.34 million to nine local organizations through its community support program for the fiscal year 2022. That's less than a 3% increase from last year's funding, despite more than a 9% increase in the amount requested.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

With 20 cruise ship visits scheduled, Unalaska had been preparing for a record number of visitors this year. But the industry has been dealt a series of blows in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

There have been port closures in Canada and Seattle, a federal "no sail order," and several outbreaks of the disease on cruise ships in the past two months.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Updated 9/23/19

After making a brief stop over the weekend, a large U.S. Navy ship is expected to call on Unalaska again — and stay for longer — next week.

"It's going to be noticeable," said Bailey Young, who's helping to organize the visit on behalf of the Unalaska Visitors Bureau. "They're not going be here for just a day."

Young was a member of the Navy for six years before moving to Unalaska. She said island residents should expect the port calling to be an even busier event than a cruise ship or U.S. Coast Guard cutter visit.