Ferry Service in Alaska

A photo of an Alaskan ferry boat against a vast mountain range.

The Malaspina of the Alaskan Marine Highway Service heads for the Auke Bay terminal after a daylong voyage from Haines. Photo © Xa’at, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

Ferries plying the Inside Passage from Bellingham to Skagway cruise up an inland waterway and through fjords far wilder than Norway’s, surpassing even a trip down the coast of Chile to Punta Arenas. One difference is that the North American journey is cheaper and more easily arranged than its South American or Scandinavian counterparts. Another difference is the variety of services, routes, and destinations for this 1,000-mile historic cruise.

Ferries operated by the Alaska Marine Highway (907/465-3941 or 800/642-0066, are the core of Inside Passage travel.

There are two primary state ferry networks: one from Bellingham, Washington, or Prince Rupert, British Columbia, and throughout Southeast Alaska; the other through Southcentral Alaska from Cordova all the way to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians. In addition, a ferry sails between Whittier and Juneau twice monthly in the summer, linking the two regions.

The Inter-Island Ferry Authority (907/826-4848 or 866/308-4848, operates a passenger and vehicle ferry between Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island.

British Columbia Ferries (250/386-3431 or 888/223-3779 Canada’s Inside Passage from Port Hardy at the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert on the B.C. mainland’s north coast.


Excerpted from the Tenth Edition of Moon Alaska.


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