Alaska Marine highway is a unique ferry system based in the Alaskan region. It consists of a fleet of ferries that through their constant services connect several communities and local towns all over Alaska and with Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Its Southern base has been moved to Washington, connecting it with the entire coastline of Alaska.
History of the Alaska Maritime Highway
The Alaska marine highway history goes back to 1963 when it was officially started by the Alaska state government as an initiative to promote transportation and business in the Alaskan region.
However, it soon became one the biggest boosters to the Alaskan tourism. The unique highway and marine system existed between Alaskan communities to begin with. Soon, the services were extended to Prince Rupert, British Columbia as well. This was done keeping in mind the boost in tourism this single highway system could provide. In year 1967, Settle, Washington was appointed as its southern base. The first cross gulf ferry on Alaska marine highway system was started to Yakutat.
The Alaska marine highway system is a 3500 miles long system that combines the roadways and waterways of entire Alaskan region. It is a close network of a fleet of 35 ferries that touch as many as 31 ports along the coast of Alaska and several in the region of Canada.
Several cross gulf ports have also been included in its working now. At present, these ferries depart and reach ports as far as Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Canadian towns of Juneau, Sitka and Ketchiken are all on the itinerary of the Alaska marine highway schedule. This system of ferries transcends through forests and narrow regions of Alaskan waterways, passing though Anchorage and other major towns of Alaska to reach the final destinations.
Construction of Alaska marine highway has been done keeping in view the utility and functionality of the region. As such, it was always important to keep the traffic in the region always moving. The unique system followed by this highway ensures that.
The Alaska marine highway is a system based more on the principle of functionality than luxury. The main aim of this system is to provide transporters and general people a comfortable way of reaching various points within the southern Alaskan region. Utility remains the main concern of Alaska marine highway schedule.
To make the most of this system, all you need to do is get a ticket for one of the ferries of the fleet. Cost of boarding the vehicle and lodging, if booked, might be included in the ticket. These ferries run round the year. However, summer being the major tourist season in Alaska and Canada, which mean the ferries, generally remain full. Hence, a pre-booking of a ticket is suggested. The ferries stop at several towns of the region. The stop is generally long enough to allow you to get on board easily.
The ticket is charged depending on the vehicle that you are ferrying. Pets are allowed on the board but no special facilities might be available. A stateroom on the ferry can be booked at time of booking the ticket. However, for those who do not wish to use the lodging, options of camping on deck are also available.
The ferries pass through all the major towns of the Alaskan region, providing people with opportunity to make a stop according to their convenience. A convenient parking for the vehicle is available on all the ferries of the fleet.
The fleet of Alaska marine highway system offers a variety of trips to people. You can choose a single day trip or a few days of travelling through Alaska or a complete exploration of the southern Alaska on a several weeks long trip.