Epic adventures on Alaska’s Marine Highway

In Adventure, Alaska Travelgram, Cruises by scott

Although I’ve traveled extensively on Alaska’s Marine Highway (the ferry), there are several trips on my “bucket list”. Above, the “Trusty Tusty” (m/v Tustumena) sails into Kodiak. Taken from the deck on Marty + Marion Owen’s B-n-B, the “Cliff House”.   I talked with the ferry people last week to get some talking points on the cool trips this summer. Here’s a short list:

a. First, the bargains: Driver goes free! When you take a roundtrip journey on the ferry, you can take your car. It’s important to make reservations well in advance, since vehicle space is some of the first “sold out” category. When you go, though, the drive goes at no additional charge.

b. Sail the Aleutian Islands. This is a great trip, I hear. Friends of mine have sailed from Kodiak all the way to Dutch Harbor, with stops at Akutan, Cold Bay, Chignik and a host of other communities. There aren’t that many cabins on the m/v Tustumena. Most folks just sleep in their sleeping bags on the Solarium deck–or they pitch a tent (see photo above!). Hey–this is Alaska! There are two trips each month through through Oct. 1, 2011. Tip: take the ferry one way and fly back on PenAir!

c. Cross-gulf. This summer, the m/v Kennicott is sailing from Bellingham all the way to Whittier twice each month (three times in July). The next sailing is on June 4, 2011.  The Kennicott stops in Ketchikan and Juneau before heading across the Gulf of Alaska to Whittier. This is good for walk-on passengers, since there’s no room on this sailing for vehicles or cabin space. POPULAR! Check the schedule at ferryalaska.com .

d. Sail to Glacier Bay National Park from Juneau. This summer, the m/v LeConte is sailing twice each week from Juneau/Auke Bay over to Gustavus, the gateway to Glacier Bay National Park. From Juneau, the cost is $33 each way per person.

Plan now for your ferry adventure to Kodiak or in Prince William Sound. We drove down to Haines and caught the ferry over to Juneau. If you’re starting in Juneau, you can sail over to Sitka, to Wrangell and Petersburg or over to Ketchikan. Keep an eye on Tenakee Hot Springs…we’re headed there this summer! Check online today.


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