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Alaska Marine Highway

Frisco, CO
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158 posts
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Alaska Marine Highway

Thank you for all your very helpful responses in the past. I am now narrowing down the stops I intend to do from Port Rupert to Kodiak. My trip to Alaska will be a fairly long one (up to 3 months), so I figured that I can hop around and spend a few days along the way during each stop for a day cruise, a hike, and other visits. I am trying to rank the stops and then decide which ones to make. in your option, which stops along the way could be skipped?

I am also trying to compare whether it is best to make 1 reservation on the AMH versus several (would the cost be the same, or cheaper?). We will be 1 adult and 2 kids (12 and 6), so I think that they consider the 12 year old as another adult for the ferry ticket. Thanks!

haines, alaska
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for Haines
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1. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

If you are planning on staying in a cabin on the ferry or if you are taking a vehicle on the ferry, then yes, book ahead.....if you are walk on passengers, then you can play it by ear.......book it as you go.......pricing is the same either way......

Lake Tahoe...
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8,508 posts
60 reviews
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2. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

To get to Kodiak from Prince Rupert will not be easy. The Kennicott sails from Bellingham about twice a month and I do not believe it ports at Prince Rupert. It continues to Whittier on the cross gulf run and then to Kodiak before ending at Homer. Most will get off at Whittier and drive to Homer. When not on the Dutch Harbor run the Tustumena sails between Homer and Kodiak four times per week. Go to Alaska Ferry Adventures website and each ferry schedule is displayed by ship and month. It also includes time at port

Frisco, CO
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158 posts
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3. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

Thank you. I was planning to book ahead, just not sure whether to book separate segments or one single booking with multiple stops. If the price is the same, it obviously doesn't matter.

I am trying to narrow down which stops is a must and which other ones may be skipped. SInce you are familiar in your area, which ones would you recommend should not be skipped.

fti
MN
Destination Expert
for Alaska
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14,958 posts
27 reviews
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4. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

What are your interests? Which ports do the ferries stop at that you are looking at taking? You need to tell us first what info you have found with your research and also tell us your interests. Then we can say, "Stop in Juneau" or "Don't stop in Valdez."

By first asking for random opinions on which stops are a "must" (very subjective) and which may be skipped you are putting the cart before the horse. Find the route your ferries will take, list those ports here. Also list your interests. Then we can better help you.

For example, do you like history? museums? Russian or native history? hiking? scenery? glaciers? fishing? wildlife? photography? The list is endless.

Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

My area is Homer, part of the southcentral system. Most of the ferry service provided by Alaska Marine Highway serves the southeast from outside (Bellingham or Prince Rupert) to Skagway. It would be a matter of opinion for me to suggest one as don't know what your interests. Some of the offbeat ports are mainly Alaska Native villages.

Frisco, CO
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158 posts
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6. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

Thank you for your replies.

We have lined up the following trip so far:

1) prince Rupert - Ketchikan: (travel date 07/07/2012) 4 full days in Ketchikan (hiking, Misty fjords, ziplines)

2) Ketchikan - Hollis (Prince of Wales): (travel date 07/12/2012) 3 full days on the island (caving, sightseeing, hiking)

3) coffman cove - Wrangell: (travel date 07/16/2012) 2 full days in Wrangell (Anan bear observatory, hiking)

4) Wrangell - Juneau: (travel date 07/18/2012): 4 full days in Juneau (hiking, glacier viewing)

5) Juneau - Gustavus: (travel date 07/23/2012) : 2 full days in Gustavus (Glacier bay, hiking)

6) Gustavus - Juneau: (travel date 07/26/2012): 1 day in Juneau

7) Juneau - Haines (travel date 07/28/2012): continue on to Tok Fairbanks, Deadhorse, Denali, Kenai, Kodiak, Whittier, Tok, Dawson CIty, Dawson Creek, Prince George, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Glacier, Yellowstone, Teton, home (Summit County, CO).

Is the AMH a good itinerary? too short? no interesting in fishing, just hiking, glacier, scenery viewing/wildlife , and history.

I have a hold for this itinerary until the 16th, so I can change things around if needed. Missing the Coffman Cove to Wrangell leg on 07/16/2012 as I am unable to book online and nobody has been answering the phone. Phone says that they are starting service in July only.

Thanks!

haines, alaska
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7. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

So you will have a vehicle with you..........sounds like a very lengthy and well thought out itinerary....lots of great hiking in each of your stops.....be sure to bring rain gear and since you will be crossing into Canada, bring your passports so you can get back across the border into the US.......looks like you will arrive in Haines during the SE Alaska State Fair......that is a popular event for the surrounding communities so do book your accomodations ahead of time.......sounds like a great trip !.....Be sure to post a trip report when you get back home !

USA
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9,465 posts
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8. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

Wow, good job! It's challenging working the AMH schedules. This looks like a trip of a lifetime!

Be sure to give yourself plenty of time in Denali Nat'l Park, it's world class hiking, especially with the mountain out.

PLEASE keep a journal for a trip report for us! We love reading those, especially in the dead of winter.

Edited: 15 April 2012, 16:54
Adirondack, New York
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3,934 posts
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9. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

There is no ferry between Coffman Cove and Wrangell. It has been discontinued after 2008. We took the Interisland Ferry from Wrangell to Petersburg in 2008 and there were only 4 or 5 other passengers. Our fares didn't even pay for a fuel. The M/V Stikine from Coffman Cove to Wrangell and Petersburg operated only during three summers 2006, 2007 and 2008.

It suppose to resume sailing between Coffman Cove and Wrangell in 2012 but there were changes again. If using the ferry the only way is to get back to Ketchikan from Hollis and then take another ferry to Wrangell. Hiking in Wrangell is fantastic, IMHO

Lake Tahoe...
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10. Re: Alaska Marine Highway

Since you will be driving home not using the ferry system have you considered the cross gulf run on the Kennicott? It runs two times per month leaving Juneau for Whittier. There you can drive the Kenai Peninsula (or stay on board for Kodiak). Then drive out thru Anchorage, up thru Denali and Fairbanks and then.

Maybe, as you have your own vehicle add the Dempster Hwy and maybe the Cassair Hwy.

Be careful when in Homer. We visited that place 18 years ago and wound up moving here.