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Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Using the Ferries to Move to Alaska
Moving by Ferry Can Be Easy
Using the Alaska ferries to move from the Lower 48 to Alaska is not only a relaxing & time saving alternative to driving, but provides some of the most remarkable scenery found anywhere. It's important however to be prepared and follow the guidelines.

Also note that many Inside Passage ports (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell) are located on islands, so if moving to Anchorage or Fairbanks between Oct and Feb you will need to travel to Haines & then drive through Canada after disembarking.
Between March and September travelling through Canada can only be avoided by taking the cross-gulf ferry from Bellingham to Whittier 

Crossing the US /Canada Border

Canada has very strict regulations border crossing regulations and being prepared will make the crossing quick & easy.
Always answer any border officers' questions politely, completely and honestly.  Do not be chatty or evasive.

Passports

Anyone over 18 yrs crossing any border anywhere, now needs a valid passport.   Children under 18 yrs & travelling with their parents do not require passports.

Firearms:

Image result for free clip art for weaponsImage result for free clip art for weapons

The Alaska Marine ferry system allows passengers to travel with sealed, empty weapons. Any ammunition must be stored in a place separate from the gun.
Handguns and any automatic or semi-automatic guns are illegal in Canada & can result in both confiscation & entry refusal 
Unloaded rifles & ammunition can be taken across the Canadian border but must be declared at the time of crossing

DUI
Convictions (driving under the influence)
Canada considers a DUI conviction a felony and may refuse entry into the country. Travellers with a DUI are advised to call their State Justice Department to get the charge expunged so there are no disappointments at the border.
A handy site is http://www.ezbordercrossing.com/the-inspection-experience/prior-criminal-offenses/resolving-criminal-inadmissibility-to-canada/#.V-yuWNze70o

Pets

Pets must have a certificate of good health ( done within 30 days of travel & have a current rabies tag.
Open dog food is ok to take into Canada from the US but it is not OK to take that same open food into the US from Canada

Active Duty Military

Soldiers on active duty and being transferred to a base in Alaska can present their Transfer Orders at the boarder in lieu of a passport.
 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Super Savings on Alaska Ferry Travel
50% Discounts for Vehicle Drivers Using Alaska Ferries
Vehicle drivers using the Alaska ferries between 01 October 2016 and 30 April 2017 pay only 50% of the regular driver fare.
 
May 2016- Sept 2016
Bellingham - Haines: Driver  + 15' vehicle  = 1,719.00
Winter Special: (01 Oct 2016 - 30 Apr 2017 )
Bellingham - Haines: Driver  + 15' vehicle  = 1,479

All driver discounts are automatically calculated when ferry bookings are made on www.ferrytravel.com

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Alaska Ferry Planning Tips
Alaska Ferry Travel Notes
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Ferry trips between Bellingham and Whittier are seasonal & are now sold out of vehicle space through September 2016.
Service on this cross-gulf route is scheduled to resume in March 2017 but booking is expected to begin in late November /December 2016.

Note that the cross-gulf sailings must be reserved months in advance to ensure space as they are historically sold out for each summer by March/April.

Currently service to Anchorage, Fairbanks , Homer etc is available from the lower 48 between Bellingham WA and Haines AK.

Passports are required as the Hwy from Haines takes drivers through Canada.
Active military can show their orders at the border in place of a passport.



Monday, September 26, 2016
Alaska Ferries Redefine Trip Change Policy
Alaska Ferry Definition of Changes vs Cancellations

The Alaska Marine ferry management has re-emphasized that "if a customer is changing the city pairs on their ferry booking - they will be assessed the appropriate cancellation penalty for the sailing they are canceling, regardless if they are increasing the value."

That means for example that if a passengers books a trip Bellingham-Whittier (or between any ports), and then changes the destination- e.g.
-changes their trip from Bellingham-Whittier to Bellingham-Haines, the new request will NOT be treated as a change, but as an original booking cancellation and so will be subject to a cancellation penalty.

The request change, i.e. now Bellingham - Haines,  will be treated as a new booking. 

Change penalties have always been lower than the penalties for cancellations so it is important to be aware of this Alaska Marine Ferry System policy prior to booking


Friday, August 19, 2016
Victoria Ferry Traffic detours: Sun 21 August 2016
Image result for Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria photos
21 August 2016: Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria

This world class cycling event will result in numerous road closures around the city as the cyclists travel the routes and breathtaking scenery that contribute to the popularity of the event.

Vehicle traffic on Belleville Street (location of both the Clipper ferry & Port Angeles ferry terminals) will be re-routed by traffic control personnel between 04:00am - 18:00 PM.
It is imperative to arrive early for any scheduled ferry sailings

Ferry traffic from both Seattle and Port Angeles will enter off Oswego St
The Belleville St located Hotel Grand Pacific can be entered off Oswego until 10:30am -  after 10:30am all entry to the hotel will be off Quebec Street
 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Still No word on Alaska Marines Delayed Fall-Winter Schedule Release
Image result for mad Hatter Late
Frustrated Travellers Seek Alternatives to Alaska Marine

Cruise Ships, Air Lines and BC Ferries continue to be the beneficiaries of the delayed Alaska Marine Fall/Winter schedule/ fare release.

Traditionally released in early July to enable October-April planning, to date there is still no word on either the Alaska Ferry schedules or fares for the end of 2016 or early 2017.

The result is a boon for BC Ferries as mainland Alaska travellers board the BC Ferry in Port Hardy, disembark in Prince Rupert, and carry on to Anchorage, Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula by road. 

The BC Ferry schedules and fares have been available for some 8 months and with the Canadian dollar significantly lower than the USD, its a win win situation for ferry travellers holding US currency.

Alaska Marine has undergone several major changes since December 2015: most significant certainly being that after 7+ years of frozen fares, Alaska Marine implemented serious cost hikes and reduced service.
 
From the WA terminal at Bellingham, motorcyclists saw their motorbike transportation cost rise almost 100%.   A motorcycle Bellingham WA to Haines AK was traditionally under $500: it is currently just under $1,000.  The driver is extra.

2016 also saw introduction of a per foot fare calculation replace the category calculation for all vehicles.
Previous years saw Alaska Marine vehicle fares based on incremental lengths: i.e. vehicles up to 15' were charged "x" dollars;  vehicles between 16'-19' were charged "y" dollars, RVs etc opver 20' have always been charged incrementally.

 Fingers crossed in hope that Alaska Marine releases its upcoming sailing /fare information soon.  







Friday, May 20, 2016
Alaska Marine Cost Policy Change
Alaska Ferries Take Tough Stance

Alaska Marine has introduced a recent policy change which now sees travellers being assessed a % charge rather than a flat fee charge for any changes and amendments.

Alaska Marine is going through a number of policy changes and price increases in an effort to try to stem some of the heavy losses experienced as a result of holding fare prices at the same level for the last number of years.


   

Tuesday, May 03, 2016
ALERT: Washington State & Clipper Ferry Travellers
The Alaskan Way Viaduct now carries traffic along Seattle's waterfront. It is slated for demolition.

Seattle Viaduct Detour May Affect Ferry travellers

Beginning Friday, April 29, the SR 99 Alaskan Way Viaduct will be closed for approximately two weeks as a precautionary measure while Bertha, the SR 99 tunneling machine, travels beneath the structure.
The viaduct will be closed between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge.
For the most up-to-date information, please visit  99closure.org
If catching a Clipper ferry to Victoria or a Washington State ferry from Alaskan way, please plan for additional travel time.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016
Seattle-Victoria Ferry Gift Cards

Happy Easter !
Gift Cards for Seattle-Victoria ferry travel - with or without a hotel package, are always a great treat.
Available for Easter, or year-round.
E-mail info@ferrytravel.com or call 1-800-686-0446 for details

 


Thursday, March 24, 2016
BC Ferries Upgrades Spirit Class ferries


Spirit Class ferries to be upgraded by 2019

With an expected completion date of 2019, two BC Ferries Spirit vessels are scheduled to receive refreshed interiors, updated safety systems and conversion to duel fuel which will enable operation on LNG and diesel

Friday, March 04, 2016
Huge Savings on Ferry/Hotel Packages in Victoria
Ferry / Hotel Package Savings Guarantee


If travelling between Seattle & Victoria & staying one or more nights in a hotel be sure to check the ferry/hotel packages.

SAVINGS are GUARANTEED & the choice of downtown Victoria hotels extends from the most expensive to the more modest.

Use the dollars you save on a ferry/hotel package to visit Butchart Gardens, to enjoy High Tea at the famous Empress ( shown above and included in a package) or perhaps to stay an extra night in BCs capital city.

Email info@ferrytravel.com or call 1-800-686-0446 for details

Friday, March 04, 2016
BC Ferries Passes Along Savings
No Ferry Fare increase in April for BC Ferries

There will be no increase in the cost of BC ferry travel this spring.

BC Ferries has just announced that the scheduled April 1 tariff increases will be offset by the lower cost of fuel - great news for ferry travellers.




Friday, March 04, 2016
Congratulations BC Ferries !