The Alaska State Ferry Info Thread

Discussion in 'Americas' started by AKDuc, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. JasonLester

    JasonLester Riding north

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    Sitting on this boat now In Juneau [​IMG]
  2. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    I did this trip years ago and one hint if you use a bank of Alaska atm NEVER PRESS Balance. At least in my case the ATM in the Juneau bank of ALaska that took the card. 4 Days of smashing my head into a wall to get it back. I would have being hitting the glass windows in the bank but someone had broken them all the day before. IT was a great trip. Get places, even still have 3 or 4 flower power hippy commune left up there.
  3. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    Nice blue sky in Juneau, just spent a week there and did not see that.:cry

    $5.00 service fees to get money out of the Wells Fargo bank machine, Yikes !!!:eek1
  4. 4Skins

    4Skins Gnarly Adventurer

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    Hey Mark

    Greetings from Down Under. My wife and I are planning on heading up your way mid-2013.

    I just found this thread tonight and will work my way through it tomorrow night...

    Might PM you and ask a few questions after that.

    Cheers

    Johnny, Wellington NZ
  5. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    An old but worthy thread. :D

    Since folks are starting to make their way up thought I'd bring it ttt.

    Looking forward to meeting some of you somewhere up here in the "Last Frontier."

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
  6. Trail bandit

    Trail bandit Random adventurer

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    How is your planning going? We will be a 3 Aussie and one handgun toting American traveling up to arctic circle late July or early August.

    We have 4 weeks total from Nebraska and back again. Looks like we need the ferry to make the trip doable.

    Not sure about on and off points.

    Complications.

    2 bikes. KTM 990 and a random bike. bandit 1200 now or hopefully something more dirt oriented.
    F150 pickup.
    2 Labradors that will be in kennel or able to be kennel led on pickup.

    Handgun..... Maybe not. Didn't know the Canadians get fussy about these. Must be similar to Australia where a license to kill is a bit more difficult. Can't believe the Glock 50 round magazines you can get here....different crazy story.
  7. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Best try to get the reservations for the pickup asap especially for the return trip in Aug as many are departing Alaska at that time.

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
  8. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    One question to you guys. I am planning an Alaska trip towards the first of August. I am charting out my route plan, and I want to do the ferry on the way back since all my friends who went on cruises was raving about how awesome it is. The state website is somewhat difficult to navigate, and from what I see the trip from Whittier to Prince Rupert takes 5 days, and 800 bucks for the bike and me? That's a lot of time, and money.

    I am trying to travel somewhat cheap, but then I know that I won't probably make this trip again in my life. Which ferry would you suggest for me that gives me a taste of what it's like, but still won't end up taking much time. I'd prefer if it didn't cost a bomb, but my main concern is that I don't have enough vacation to cruise around for 5 days when the road probably cuts it down to 3 days. My eventual destination is Seattle, so anywhere on the west coast would be sweet. I was also planning on doing the Alaska Ave on the way back, so I am looking for a destination on South East Alaska or Northern BC. I am planning to reach Deadhorse before I embark on the cruise, so I'll have to stop around Fairbanks on the way back. I guess with that in place, I could do any of the starting points in the Cross Gulf route.

    Thanks for any insight you guys have, I've poured through 5-6 pages of this thread and I am not any more wiser. Maybe that's just how I am in general :D
  9. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    I recommend foregoing the cross gulf sailing and riding down to Haines, AK and taking any of the number of ferries down to Prince Rupert BC. Great roads and you save a lot of time and money.

    I just edited my original post to convey this message to others at the start of this thread.

    Remember, Aug is getting late for AK so bring warm clothes and good raingear.

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
  10. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Thanks AKDuc, that helps a lot :clap. I did a quick search, and there is a direct ferry that takes less than 2 days. And for 370 bucks, that leaves me with plenty of gas money. I wish I could make it sooner, but I am stuck with work till then. Plus, it really isn't an adventure if it's all blue skies and nice weather :D
  11. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    I was brain storming on a solid 8 month enduro in some parts of North America.

    The bike would be a DR200se

    Around a mid March time frame I'd like to get a ferry from Washington State to Ketchikan, AK.

    I would hang out here for a couple of days at least.

    Then I'd get on a ferry to Prince Wales Island and explore there. My resarch shows that this island is very vascualr with roads. I'd hang out there for maybe a week.

    Afterwards I'd get on a ferry to Prince Rupert, CA. I'd then take the Highway and back into WA.

    From what little I know, I feel like this should be an ok presentation of Alaska. Sure, it is only about 1% of the state if that.

    I'd prefer to miss the tourist peak season, and save the coin and wear and tear on the ride.

    Does this sound like a fair plan for someone who wants to sample a little bit of Alaska culture and wilderness?

    Do the ferrys going to Prince of Wales Island go there daily?

    Is the time right? Mid March. The average lows should be just above 0 degrees C. The rain could be worse.

    Also, what time of year do the early bird RVers get there?

    Thanks for reading.

    Again, solid thread that has helped me out a lot.

    I think it is interesting just how depopulated the area is. Granted, I'm in San Diego now. :D

    I read about the Lynn Canal Highway. Looks like a difficult project.
  12. AKjeff

    AKjeff Long timer

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    We have had snow in mid April in Ketchikan.
    It's unusual but it does happen.
    I think I'd aim for late April to early May.
    If you're heading south by the middle of May you will miss most of the RV crowd.

    I was unsure if the Inter island Ferry runs daily but their website says they do:

    http://www.interislandferry.com/

    I drove up through BC the first week this past April and it was not motorcycle weather. The roads were snow covered through the mountains. They will still be covered with gravel too. Every semi that passes you will be throwing that at you, I've broken two truck windshields going through there.
    I think southbound on a bike through BC I'd wait until mid May at the earliest.
  13. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Thank you for the "guy on the ground" intell. It is much appreciated!

    Yeah, it looks like the island created their own ferry service. :evil

    It looks like Prince of Wales Island is about the size of the state of Delaware:eek1!
    Wow, that's big country. It is the fourth largest island in the Nation!
    It looks small compared to the rest of the state.

    I was looking at their chamber of commerce, they have a 1/2 marathon and full marathon on the island! http://www.princeofwalescoc.org/marathon

    That would be nice to do. I'd do the old, jog for 3 min, and then walk for 1 min for the first 18 miles, and then recon shuffle the rest. :rofl

    Have a great summer!
  14. lifeofadv

    lifeofadv Adventurer

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    On July 4, i took the 15 hour ferry ride from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy. It cost about $400 but was worth it. You're bound to meet other riders who have stories to share.

    I didn't reserve a spot and got there at 6AM which was pretty much when they started loading. The ferry was nearly empty. Unfortunately, I can't remember which vessel I was aboard but see if you can find the seats that face the windows. They were on the 5th and 6th decks.
  15. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Another idea that would involve much more of Alaska.

    1. First of April, WA to Haines, AK.

    Stay in Haines a few days, then Skagway for a few days.

    It looks like there is not a ferry that will take you to Homer from either of these two towns.

    2. Take Ferry down to Juneau. Stay there for a few days.

    3. Take Ferry to Homer. Wiki has Homer as being fairly warm (above freezing) in late April. I'll stay there a few days.

    4. slowly creep up into the interior as the summer approaches.

    I'd like to experience Haines and Skagway in the early weeks of April and visit the area and hang out with the locals. There looks like plenty of stuff to do.
    I'd like to be there early rather than late in the year.

    However, the more conservative thing to do would be to take a mid April ferry from WA to Homer. This would be cheaper, but money is not a big deal.

    However, after riding through Tok and into YK Candada and into Haines or Skagway in July, it would be peak tourist season.

    __
    Any advice on the two options. My goal would be to stay ahead of the tourist crowd as much as possible.

    thanks for reading.
  16. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    http://www.alaskaferryvacations.com/PDF/2013_14Schedule/CrossGulf_W13.pdf

    there are plenty of Ferrys leaving Haines/Skagway for Juneua.

    The Juneua to Homer options in April are:

    8th leave the Capital. On the 11th arrive in Homer. Still freezing temps. :cry

    22nd April leave the Capital. On the 25th be in Homer. Should be above freezing by then. :clap

    April is the end of the "winter" ferry season.

    __
    I actually like to try and take the Ferry up to Haines/Skagway in Mid March, then push back down to Juneua, then on the 8th push to Homer. Sure, I'd be walking and Hiking around more than Riding, but I think it would be really nice to check this area out during this time of the year.
  17. AKjeff

    AKjeff Long timer

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    I don't know about the conditions up that way. I haven't traveled through there enough to get a feel for it.
    You may want to post in the trip planning forum and see what people that have traveled that way have experienced.
  18. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice In Garrison.

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    Thanks for the feedback and reference on where to ask.

    Take it easy.
  19. AKjeff

    AKjeff Long timer

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    Sorry, I forgot this was in the Trip Planning forum.
    :lol3

    For some reason I thought it was the Alaska forum.
  20. jimbee

    jimbee Airhead Intermediate

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    Any update on whether or not there is wifi on the boats? Look to be heading down on the Haines to Bellingham run on the Columbia so any info on the Columbia would be much appreciated!! Thanks much! JB