By Leigh Armstrong
The municipality received an invoice for $99 total for port commission chair Tom Cochran and his wife to travel later this month aboard the company’s inaugural U.S. voyage of the 3,804-passenger Norwegian Joy, which Tom Cochran has reimbursed back to the municipality.
The borough assembly voted last month to pay for the four-day cruise from Vancouver, B.C. to Los Angeles, which Norwegian Cruise Line had offered for free to Southeast Alaska community officials to familiarize themselves with the new ship and meet their colleagues.
Although Norwegian sent a bill to the muncipality, the cruise was offered free of charge initially.
The borough assembly decided to pay for the cruise to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
“There was no charge whatsoever until we made one,” Cochran said.
There is no published fare for the voyage to move the ship into position to start its Alaska cruises, so the municipality is dependent on the company to determine the cost of the ticket.
Cochran said Norwegian contacted him due to his position on the port commission and his former role as mayor. At the time Norwegian was inviting passengers for the start-of-season, Skagway had no mayor in place.
The cruise is set to take off from Vancouver on April 26 and arrive in Los Angeles on April 29.