On January 01, Alaska Marine raised their currently published spring rates by 5%.
The rate increase on spring travel (and which applies to vehicles, cabins and passengers travelling on the Alaska ferries) was unexpected, but is effectively immediately.
The Summer 2016 Alaska ferry schedules ( May thru September) have still not been confirmed but the latest word is that they will be released around 11 January.
The big question is whether Alaska Marine will implement another raise in their rates for May-September ferry travel; and if so, by how much?
Alaska Ferry schedules for the May - September 2016 period have once again been delayed as discussion on how to best serve the smaller communities on reduced budgets, continues.
The latest release date is expected to be mid-January.
The ramification of the delayed schedules has been both general frustration and missed early airline booking discounts.
December 18 will see the start of increased ferry sailings on the 3 BC Ferry major routes: Tsawwassen - Nanaimo ( at Duke Point ); Tsawwassen - Victoria ( at Swartz Bay) and Horseshoe Bay ( West Vancouver - Nanaimo ( at Departure Bay )
Christmas & New Years Day ferry sailings will be reduced as historically demand for sailings on those day is reduced
Demand for space will be heavy so reservations are recommended or extra early arrival if going stand-by
BC Ferry Vessel Spirit of Vancouver Island
Cancellations continue as another winter storm lashes the west coast.
Heavy winds and rain combined to make for unhappy ferry travellers as delays and cancellations put a crimp in holiday travel.
While the storms play havoc on the waters they have however been great news for skiers as the local mountains continue receiving fresh snow.
In the past 24 hrs Cypress Mountain received about 75 cm, Grouse Mountain 43 cm and Whistler Mountain 42 cm.
On Vancouver Island Mt Washington is also enjoying the results of fresh snow.
BC Ferries have cancelled a number of sailings today as a result of heavy winds and rough waters.
To get the latest ferry information, or to confirm a BC ferry reservation - call 1-888-223-3779
The wait continues for the release of the May- September Alaska Ferry schedules and fares with December 17 being noted as the latest anticipated release date.
It is worth knowing that Alaska bound travellers who know approximately when they wish to use the 2016 ferry/ ferries have been emailing / phoning in their booking requests since October.
Waitlists that address travellers ferry requests are already significant and will be filled on a "first come" bases.
If planning travel during the May-September period it is important to note that because the summer sailing will be less frequent than in 2015, travellers should not wait longer than necessary to make advance space requests.
For more information on Alaska ferry bookings and getting onto the waitlist call 1-800-686-0446 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BC Ferries travellers should check with their intended departure terminal to ensure the ferries are running on time while the inclement winter weather continues.
Fierce winds and heavy rains are expected in B.C. as the back-to-back storms are predicted to cause disruptions over the next few days
Salish Orca & Salish Eagle - BC Ferries newest ferries being built to replace the Queen of Nanaimo and the Queen of Burnaby are expected to go into service in 2017 for the Gulf Islands over the next 2 years.
The intermediate vessels will be capable of running as dual-fuel on either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultra-low Sulphur diesel & will augment peak & shoulder season Gulf Island service.
BC Ferries have imposed a lifetime traveling ban on the man who recently released a lifeboat & then jumped into Active Pass from a moving BC Ferry.
The unidentified man was found a short time later, when he turned up nude and dripping wet after breaking into a home on Galiano Island.
Travel round-trip Victoria to Seattle on the ferry in November & stay 2 nights in a deluxe room at the Warwick Hotel in downtown Seattle
Shop, visit SAM (Seattle Art Museum), enjoy the Pacific Northwest Ballet as they perform Emergence, see The Sound of Music at the 5th Avenue Theatre or take a Seattle Lakes Lunch Cruise travelling Lake Union and Lake Washington.
Clipper package prices are USD & are based on double occupancy.
Valid passports are required & a fuel surcharge/security fee may be added to all Victoria/Seattle Fares
The delay is reported to result from an attempt to ensure that unlike in summer 2015, the published schedules will be maintained.
Sarah Leonard, the Alaska Travel Association President noted that 33% of her 700 member businesses are in ferry ports and that ..“The changes to the schedule last summer resulted in a 14 percent decline in non-resident travel on the ferry."
Members reported that thousands of dollars in business were lost due to ferry rebookings and cancellations.
Transportation Department Deputy Commissioner Mike Neussl noted that everything depends on legislative funding but promised to do his best to ensure the upcoming schedule will be funded & locked in.
04 November: BC Ferry Passenger Deploys Lifeboat
The MV Coastal Celebration en route from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay was stopped in Active Pass at around 9:30pm last night as a passenger released and jumped into one of the vessels' lifeboats.
Passengers reported that a man in his 20s
activated one of the ferry’s life-rafts and jumped into it.
Rescue boats from both the Coastal Celebration and the Spirit of BC were deployed and the suspect was later discovered on Galiano Island.
He was transferred to the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria for assessment.
Captain Falvey ( GM for AMHS for the last number of years ) announced earlier in the fall that due to lack of funding Alaska Marine may dry-dock some of its vessels this summer.
Summer 2015 saw the 1st fare increase in more than 5 years & the trickle down effect is that there is now not enough money in the Alaska ferry budget to provide the same service as previously enjoyed.
2016 schedules are now expected in early Dec & widespread guessing is that the fares will increase as the system tries to deal with its budget issues.