The city of Seward, Alaska is considering a plan to improve its cruise facilities, dredging around the cruise pier and extending a cargo pier that acts as an alternative cruise berth, said officials.

The Alaska Railroad Corporation, which operates the larger of the two docks, has already done some dredging, but city funds could help with the remainder of the upgrades – all told, a $13 million project, said Louis Bencardino, dock manager.

“We’re hoping that what the city is talking about doing will happen in 2009,” Bencardino said.

The cruise pier is currently 33 to 35 feet deep. Plans call for it to go down to 40 feet – future proofing against the possible arrival of larger ships.

The port expects 67 cruise calls during the 2009 season.

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