Carnival Corp. has made an investment in Alaska that includes ownership of the White Pass & Yukon Route excursion railroad in Skagway.

On its website, the railroad says it is Alaska's most popular shore excursion, carrying 400,000 passengers in 2014. It operates a rail fleet of 20 diesel-electric locomotives, 70 restored and replica parlor cars and two steam locomotives. The oldest rail car dates to 1883.

Carnival said it entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire TWC Enterprises Limited's division that includes the railroad, along with port and retail operations in Skagway, for $290 million.

Carnival also agreed to form a joint venture to manage the businesses. The venture would make Survey Point Holdings the managing partner of the port, the White Pass Scenic Railway and the associated retail operations. Under the agreement, Ketchikan-based Survey Point will continue managing the railroad's day-to-day terminal operations and customer relations.

The agreement calls for the partners to invest in the business, and support the expansion of docking facilities to accommodate the newest generation of cruise ships.

Carnival will hold a minority stake in the management company, with the majority held by Survey Point, P3 Group and Rail Management Services -- an affiliate of Survey Point.

Carnival made the investment through its subsidiary, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours.

The 118-year-old White Pass & Yukon Route was built for $10 million during the Alaska Gold rush to ferry miners and supplies from the Skagway waterfront to Whitepass in the Yukon interior. The narrow-gauge scenic railway, which opened in 1988, operates on 67 miles of the original 110 miles of track.

"Passengers are domestic and international visitors and/or railfans who want to experience the breathtaking panorama of mountains, glaciers, gorges, waterfalls, tunnels, trestles and historic sites from the comfort of vintage parlor cars," the railroad's website says.


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