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Bellingham Ferry to Whittier Sailing Update

Alaska Cross-Gulf Sailings Expected to Resume in 2024

It is currently anticipated that ferry reservations for Alaskas' Cross-Gulf route on the MV Kennicott will soon be reservable for sailings commencing March of 2024. 

Early entry of your information on for the 2024 Bellingham - Whittier ( & the reverse, Whittier to Bellingham) ferry route/s will enable us to contact you as soon as the proposed cross-gulf sailings & schedules are confirmed.  

Demand for the cross-gulf sailings which avoid the otherwise necessary entry into Canada & resulting need for a passport, is extremely popular. 
Historically reservations, especially for cabin & vehicle space, sell out early in the year.

Always stay on the Home Page and use the widget ( marked Get Quote or Book Ferry Here) to secure a quote. 
Using the widget does not commit you to a reservation, but instead will provide full information on all routes, schedule times & costs relating to the details entered.( eg passenger ages, vehicle details, pets, cabin type request etc) 
Cabins are always optional but the lounges are available for sleeping
 have recliner chairs and there are public showers etc   

Remember - any site requesting your personal info ( name, email, phone # etc )  PRIOR to providing your requested travel information, is data collecting.  Move on.
You should never need to share your personal information if only seeking information on pricing, schedules, costs etc 

Alaska Ferry Ferries to Alaska Whittier -Bellingham Ferry Anchorage Ferry to WA

Alaska Ferry Staffing Issues Continue

AMHS Looking for Licensed Crew Members

Two of the more popular Alaska Ferry routes, Prince Rupert to Ketchikan & the cross gulf route that travels the Inside Passage (Bellingham to Whittier ) were put on hold in 2023 due to a shortage of crew.

It is hoped that by March 2024 the Alaska Ferry Systems' crew shortage will be satisfied & that all ferry routes will be restored.

Always check ( Stay on the home page and use the quote/booking widget) to see the most current active ferry schedules for ferries in Alaska, Washington & British Columbia

ESTA... Who Needs It

BC Ferry Mainland Service Resumes

Full Summer Ferry Service To Resume between Tsawwassen & Swartz Bay

The Coastal Celebration, the large ferry pulled from service to complete minor repairs 2 weeks ago, has a return-to-service date of Friday 29 July to continue serving Mainland - Vancouver Island travellers.

Difference Between A Ferry & A Cruise Ship

Taking a Ferry vs Taking a Cruise
A ferry is a basic form of sea transportation & does not provide the amenities offered by a cruise ship. Ferries carry passengers and/or vehicles & cargo, from one port to another, have limited and very basic cabin space and usually only a single cafeteria.     Ferries should be thought of as sea buses .... designed to travel between port A & port B, (or on longer routes) stopping at each port for only a short time & simply to pick-up and drop-off passengers before proceeding to the next port. 
Cruise ships however are designed as resorts on the sea .... stopping in various harbours for extended periods so their passengers can disembark to explore the port.  Cruise ships typically have amenities like pools, spas, entertainment, multiple restaurants, hotel style cabins and they provide services geared to ensuring their passengers have access to most of the amenities that would be enjoyed if staying at an onshore resort.
Cruise ships often carry hundreds & some vessels even thousands of passengers, while the larger ferries typically accommodate only a few hundred passengers. 
Surprisingly, on longer trips, a cruise ship ticket which is typically all inclusive, can often be less expensive than a ferry ticket as the ferries charge for each component ( food, cabins, drinks, luggage storage, pet etc) and are not designed to be anything other than a basic mode of transportation.

Ferry Cancellation & Amendment Fees

Be sure you Are Booking Only the Travel Dates You Want 
Cancellation & Amendment fees are based on a number of factors but can be quite heavy depending on when they occur relative to the travel date. The closer to the travel date booked the higher the fees.
 Cancellation fees were introduced because it was discovered that when unsure of desired travel dates, people would often hold space on 2 or 3 dates. 
Because of the popularity of the ferries this often meant that a sailing would show sold out when in fact it might not be

If illness is the cause of a cancellation or amendment it is important to provide a doctors travel advice on official letterhead and often all but the credit card fees can be refunded

Ferry Help Hints

Bellingham Ferry Space Tight

Popular Inside Passage Ferry Sold Out of Vehicle Space Until late June

A number of factors have combined to make booking the Bellingham ferry into Alaska a less than easy task for those who have waited to secure vehicle reservations for summer 2023.
The MV Columbia with a 499 passenger & a 133 vehicle ( at 20' per) capacity, is Alaska Marines' largest vessel.
She travels north every week from Bellingham to make her way up the Inside Passage with stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Sitka, Juneau, Haines & finally arriving in Skagway before returning south. 

Vehicle, passenger and cabin space is still available for travellers headed South from Alaska to Bellingham . 
The 2 Berth cabins from Bellingham (of which there are only two), are also sold out until late summer -  but 4 berth cabins ( ie cabins with 2 bunk beds ) are still available in both directions.

Sleeping accommodation is available on the Columbia on recliner chairs in any of the lounges  & many passenger like to pitch a tent on the aft deck in the solarium.

With public showers available, lack of a cabin should be no deterrent to the Alaska bound traveller. 

Access Alaska Without Travelling Through Canada

Barging to Alaska Avoids Travel Through Canada

 Because the Cross Gulf ferry route is not available this year, the only 2023 summer alternative to bypassing Canada to access Alaska with a vehicle, is to barge from Seattle. 

Barges departing every Tuesday, make the trip from Seattle WA to Anchorage or Fairbanks in approximately 2 to 2-1/2 weeks.

While barges are for vehicles only ( no passengers), Alaska Airlines has been running out early morning Seattle to Anchorage specials at a little over $110.

 For barge costs and sailing times go to and set the quote widget on the Home Page to Seattle barge to Anchorage. 

BC Ferries See Heavy Traffic On Northern Routes

Port Hardy - Prince Rupert Sailing Space Selling Out Quickly

Demand for passage on the BC Ferry sailings between Port Hardy & Prince Rupert continues to be high as travellers reschedule those holiday plans put on hold during the pandemic.

 It is important to know that vehicle space on the Northern Route sailings is always divided into over and under 20': and as of now, all space for vehicles over 20' is sold out through June.  
(Cancellations do however occur & available space can be checked by calling 1-800-686-0446)

If planing a Discovery Coast passage this summer, think about travelling in August / September. The weather is usually great and the 15 hr day sailing (7:30 am - 11:30 pm) continues to the end of September before the schedule changes to an overnight sailing (8:00pm - 11:00am). 

Tip:  because the ferry arrives in both Hardy & Rupert at 11:30 PM, booking lodging as soon as a ferry booking is confirmed is important.

    Prince Rupert Ferry       Port Hardy Ferry 

Seniors Travelling On BC Ferries Enjoy Fare Relief

Seniors Travel Free On BC Ferries Monday Through Thursday

BC residents 65+, still travel free Mondays through Thursdays (excluding statutory holidays) on all but the Northern Routes.  Vehicles are charged at the standard fare.

BC resident seniors providing proof of resident status are entitled to a 33% discount on the Northern Routes.

Prince Rupert Ferry       Port Hardy Ferry 

Anacortes WA ferry to Sidney BC Out of Service

International Sidney - Anacortes Ferry Remains Suspended

 The town of Sidney reports that the popular Anacortes - Sidney ferry will not only not be operating in 2023, but is not expected resume service for some time.

Currently out of service, a number of factors including a labour shortage has kept the ferry route suspended since the pandemic.

First launched in 1922, the sister cities of Sidney & Anacortes had been looking forward to celebrating 100 years of the ferry service which had helped boost tourism in both cities.

Both Sidney & Anacortes are committed to seeing the earliest possible resumption of this popular International route.

Ferry Nanaimo Downtown - Vancouver Downtown

High-Speed Passenger-Only Ferry Service to begin in 2023

Requests for a reliable, cost efficient Nanaimo downtown to Vancouver downtown ferry service have been ongoing for years, and the call to action has been met unsuccessfully, by 3 separate ferry operators.

The newest "kid on the dock" is HILLO, and it appears that this time enough planning with respect to passenger fares, sailing times and the appropriate vessels (high-speed catamarans), has been made to enable what should be a highly popular & successful service. 

Scheduled to commence operation in late summer 2023 with up to 7 daily sailings & a running time of 70 minutes, the ferry service is designed to begin early enough and run late enough to serve the interests of both daily commuters and Islanders attending off Island special events. 

HULLO will operate two 354 seat “Cats”with 3 service tiers ( comfort, premium& business ) & free Wi-Fi.  Snacks will be available for purchase.

Fares, schedules and reservation information will be available & posted on in early June.

summer 2023

Sidney - Anacortes Ferry

Anacortes - Sidney Service Suspended Until Further Notice