The Alaska State Ferry Info Thread

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

  1. UT R1150R

    UT R1150R Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,345
    Location:
    Utah
    Nevermind, I just discovered that the ferry only goes to and from Unalaska once a month :eek1

    I'd have to call into work with a lot of sick days to pull that one off :lol3
    #61
  2. AKjeff

    AKjeff Long timer

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,495
    Location:
    here
    .
    #62
  3. Mike955i

    Mike955i Future Escapee

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm doing the same route (Pt Rupert to Juneau, then on to Haines and the highway) some time in mid-late June. I'll be coming from Northern California. PM me if interested and maybe we can ride the initial leg together. I'm reasonably mechanically inclined and good with tire changes.

    Regardless, have a great trip. Cheers.....Mike
    #63
  4. squirley

    squirley punk in drublic

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    152
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I know it's not the Alaska ferry system. But taking Prince Rupert down to Port Hardy on my way home is a possibility for me. Couple of questions though.
    1) Does it cut any time off? On the web site it looks like its just a 24 hr ride, but it costs about 370 bucks!

    2) Has anyone done this route? I want to ride Vancouver Island on my way home to the lower 48 but if another ferry, say one that drops me off in Prince rupert to ride down is better than I would like to hear. Any advice is welcome!
    #64
  5. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,892
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Sorry, I'm not familiar witht the BC ferry system.

    I suggest starting a thread in the 'Canada' forum where you'll get some quick and friendly advice.

    Have fun, Mark H.
    #65
  6. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,605
    Location:
    Earth
    I did prince rupert to port hardy about 6 years ago. Nice ride and I enjoyed riding down the island. I got to port hardy at about 2300 and got to a nearby motel for the night.

    Did it save time/no idea.

    Heading north to alaska on friday!
    #66
  7. RoyBatty

    RoyBatty Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    133
    Location:
    Santa Clarita, CA
    I'll be heading to Whittier from Prince Rupert on July 5th (The M/V Kennicot). Can anyone give me some tips on streamlining the process on boarding the ferry and what I should expect for vehicle access during the voyage?

    Details on the website say: Arrive 3 hours before departure, Have tie-downs for your bike, Have passport ready, No vehicle access during sailing - though we have 2 stops along the way.

    Since I'm camping on the deck or sleeping in the solarium, should I pre-pack that stuff and everything else that I'll need to live on deck for 3 days?



    Thanks.
    #67
  8. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,554
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    Generally, you will have access to the car deck any time you are in port, and so long as the seas aren't too rough they will allow access a couple of times per day, as some people have pets in their vehicles that require attention. Still, it is a good idea to carry everything you will need for the first day's travel when you go topside as you can't count on being able to get back down when you want to.

    Since the Kennicott travels across the Gulf of Alaska with a beam sea (waves and swells coming from the side) she rolls more than when down along the Inside Passage, so you will want to be sure your bike is well secured. My preference is to use three straps and the sidestand. Two on the left side, one on the right, and make sure the bike can't roll forward and off the sidestand.

    As far as boarding - they will load you whenever and wherever they feel it will fit in best, considering the other vehicles to be loaded, and where everyone is getting off. Going to Whittier, you will be one of the last to get off, so will be loaded accordingly. Most of the time you will have plenty of time to tie your bike down and get everything topside before they cast off, unless you're the last vehicle on, in which case they might hurry you a bit.
    #68
  9. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    I bought my own straps before leaving AK and was glad I had them. If they are loading motorcycles side-by-side try and get yours on the outside. When disembarking the ship, get down early enough to remove the straps and pack your goods. Spare Keys.
    #69
  10. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    So where do the roads in Alaska start connecting?
    I'd like to go from Seward to Anchorage to Fairbanks to that dinky sign at the arctic circle :D and then back down.
    Should I stop at Whittier? Cordova? Is there a place further east where it all connects.

    Also, I was thinking of taking a ferry from Seattle to someplace in AK, then ride up. Does this exist? Something that connects to the Marine Highway from Washington state. Do I need to make a reservation well in advance?
    I know I can ride into Canada, but let's assume I can't.

    Kinda vague questions, I know, but I'm just now hashing out a plan.
    #70
  11. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,882
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Well, the Alaska Marine Highway system does start from Bellingham Wa.:thumb
    #71
  12. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    :thumb indeed!
    I'm just starting to do some research thx for the tip!
    #72
  13. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,892
    Location:
    Anchorage, Alaska
    To totally avoid Canada requires a VERY long and expensive boat ride!

    You'll have to take the once a week ferry out of Bellingham, WA up to Ketchikan or Juneau, AK to catch the once a month ferry up to Whittier, AK on my least favorite ferry, the MV Kennicott. Reservations for a motorcycle usually aren't as critical as for a 4-wheeled vehicle.

    Good luck and have fun, Mark H.
    #73
  14. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Ouch, I didn't know it was that bad.
    #74
  15. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    If I do take a ferry starting from Bellingham, will I need a passport?
    It looks like the ship goes from Bellingham straight to Ketchikan, skipping over Prince Rupert (Canada). I have nothing against Canada, honest. :wink:
    #75
  16. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    Ok n/m
    So assume I can get to Prince Rupert by the end of the first week of August.
    I can get from Prince Rupert to KETCHIKAN, no problems, since there are plenty of departures from YPR.
    Ditto for JUNEAU.
    But going from JUNEAU to someplace further north is a pita.
    It looks like I wont be able to get to WHITTIER until Thu, Aug 19 .

    Anyone have a decent route for me to take to the towns further north?
    I plan on being at Prince Rupert by the end of the first week of August.

    Thanks folks. This really is the last frontier, isn't it? :bluduh
    #76
  17. j911brick

    j911brick Squidinator

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    Republic of Texas
    You can do it without a passport, but I think you have to sail all the way to Seward. There is no way to get from Ketchikan to Anchorage without going though Canada.
    #77
  18. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,006
    If I can get to Skagway or Haines, it looks like I can take the Haines or Klondike highway into Canada and connect with the Alaskan Highway to Anchorage.
    This may be better since there are more frequent ferry departures from Prince Rupert.

    Does that make sense?
    What are the roads like for a sportbike?
    #78
  19. Alcan Rider

    Alcan Rider Frozen Fossil Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,554
    Location:
    Over the rear wheel
    That is exactly how many riders make the trip, either coming north or going back south.

    The roads are all paved, although there is some construction going on every summer, especially north of Haines Junction. Sport bikes, cruisers, touring bikes, dualsports, etc. all make the trip successfully every year. Success or failure is far more dependent upon the rider than the bike.
    #79
  20. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    881
    Location:
    Sacramento CA
    Bellingham to Haines or Skagway is 3.5 days and fairly expensive though you do not stop in Canada. I enjoyed my (reverse) stay very much. I had a room though you could save money and sleep on the deck in a tent or on a lounge chair (many do it). Showers, laundry, restaurants, and some movies are available. The ride from Haines to Haines Junction is awe inspiring. Destruction Bay is nice. If you go to Anchorage you might as well go to the Kenai Peninsula (it is worth the ride).
    #80