Using the ferry to Alaska with an RV, camper or 5th wheel has become so popular that requests for space begin months in advance of travel. The trip by ferry up the Inside Passage is spectacular
From Bellingham - the only Washington ferry terminal for the Alaska Marine Highway, the Inside Passage trip takes about 3 days end to end.
Although the State of Alaskas' ferries travel year-round from both Bellingham WA and Prince Rupert in British Columbia, May thru Sept is the most popular ferry travel period.
If travelling to Anchorage or Fairbanks from Washington, consider the 2 stge trip - Whittier - Juneau, Juneau to Bellingham route - more expensive by about 30% than the ferry from Haines to Bellingham - but a much shorter drive & one that avoids Canada. Remember Alaska ferries do not travel to Seattle
The vessels typically assigned to the major ferry routes can accommodate the largest of recreational vehicles.
Anyone taking a vehicle up the Inside Passage during the high season, & especially those with large units, should make their summer ferry reservations before February
Recreational Vehicle Dimensions
Maximum height: 13' (this accommodates all tides)
Maximum length: approximately 60'
The measurements hold true for most vessels operated by the Alaska Marine Highway, BC Ferries and the ferries operating in Washington
Alaska Marine has 3 width categories: Standard width: 8'5"; Wide: 8'6"- 8'11"; Extra Wide: over 9'
RV Fares for Alaska and BC Ferries
-are determined on the overall, length & width of a unit i.e. the deck space any unit uses
If travelling with a tow, it is the bumper to bumper connected length that determines the vehicle fare. Sometimes, (typically Oct - April), it is less expensive to disconnect a tow car and make two separate bookings because during the winter months vehicle drivers travel free.
A surcharge on wide vehicles is imposed by most ferry companies. The Alaska Marine Highway charge is a sum equal to 25% of the vehicle fare on all vehicles from 102" - 108" & a surcharge equal to 50% of the vehicle fare on all vehicles over 109" wide
BC Ferries imposes a flat fee on units wider than 102"
Propane Guidelines for RVs
Propane tanks must be turned off. Bottled gas containers will be sealed prior to boarding by terminal agents
Small portable containers of fuel (5 gallons or less, and limited to 2 containers) must be properly sealed, labelled with the owner's name for ID, and stored by AMHS while en route.
As all propane tanks are turned off during a voyage, it is important to stock up on ice if you are carrying perishables
Pets travelling into Alaska from another state or province must have a health certificate no more than 30 days old,
Alaska Marine charges $25 per pet entering or exiting AK through Bellingham and $10 per pet through Prince Rupert
There is no charge for pets travelling on BC Ferries
While onboard, pets must stay on the car deck but can be visited, fed & "watered" almost as often as desired. Simply request entry to the car deck from a purser
Reservations: Alaska Marine Highway and BC ferries
Because of the increasing popularity of the northern trips during the May - Sept period, vehicle & state-room reservations for most ferries in Alaska, and for the BC ferry between Port Hardy & Prince Rupert British Columbia in particular, should be booked asap