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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

Prince Rupert - Alaska Sailing's cancelled for summer 2023

No Ferries Will Travel between Prince Rupert BC & Alaska In 2023

The Alaska ferry system is experiencing crew shortages and has had to cancel 2 popular routes for the foreseeable future.

There will be no summer 2023 sailings between Prince Rupert in Canada and Alaska, nor will there be any Cross -Gulf ferry service to Whittier /Valdez etc from Bellingham or along the Inside Passage.

It is hoped the popular 5 hr sailing between Prince Rupert & Ketchikan on the Inside Passage will be one day be returned to service. but currently the only ferry to Ketchikan and up the Inside Passage commences in Bellingham WA.

To travel to Whittier one must board in Bellingham, ferry to Haines AK and then drive on to Whittier. 

( Note: the very late release of the Alaska summer ferry schedules has resulted in heavy demand for space on the ferries departing from Bellingham WA . It is now essential to book the ferries asap if desiring space ferry travel this summer

Alaska Ferry  Bellingham Ferry       Prince Rupert Ferry

Alaskas' Cross Gulf Sailings Cancelled

No Cross Gulf Sailings for Summer 2023

 Alaska ferries will not sail across the gulf for the foreseeable future.
Crew shortages have made it impossible to properly staff the vessels that historically travel between Bellingham, Juneau & Whittier so sadly the only way to travel to Whittier, Kodiak etc from the lower 48 is  either driving the AlCan or by taking the ferry from Bellingham WA to Haines and driving on from there.

If moving or being transferred between Alaska & the Lower 48, weekly barge services are available between Anchorage & Fairbanks to /fero Seattle WA.

To cost or book the barge between Alaska & WA go to the home page on 

Alaska Barge Alaska Ferry Bellingham Ferry Whittier Ferry

Kenmore Air Between Seattle & Victoria

Kenmore Air Serves Downtown Victoria <->Downtown Seattle

ferry alternate transportation opportunity for visitors wishing to visit Victoria on Vancouver Island from Seattle WA, is Kenmore Air.

Kenmore Air operate a year-round, 35 minute scheduled Thursday thru Monday sea plane services between Seattle (Lake Union & Lake Washington) & Victoria (Inner Harbour). 

Flying De Havilland (Bombardier) DH3 Turbo Otters, the standard Kenmore Air ticket price between Seattle & Victoria is +/- $204.00usd

Port Angeles - Victoria Drydock Servicing

Drydock Scheduled For The Port Angeles - Victoria Ferry 

Between Jan 04, 2023 & January 25, 2023 there will be no scheduled service for the ferry between Port Angeles & Victoria.

During this period the  MV Coho Port Angeles & Victoria ferry goes into drydock for her annual servicing.

During this period the passenger only ferry services will be available from Seattle WA to Victoria BC and vehicle/ passenger services will be available from Vancouver BC to Victoria BC.

Alternate transportation between downtown Seattle WA and downtown Victoria BC is provided by Kenmore Air & between downtown Vancouver BC and downtown Victoria BC is provided by Harbour Air

Information on both Harbour Air & Kenmore Air can be had by calling 1-800 686-0446

Seattle -Victoria Ferry Annual Maintenance

Drydock Scheduled For The Seattle - Victoria Ferry 

Between Jan 16, 2023 & March 01 2023 there will be no scheduled service for the ferry between Seattle & Victoria.

During this period, the Seattle -Victoria fast ferry goes into drydock for her annual servicing.

There are 2 alternate ferry systems providing service to Victoria, one from Port Angeles oil Washington & the other from Vancouver BC

For those travelling without a vehicle and wanting to travel between Seattle & Victoria during the Jan- March period Kenmore Air is a superb alternative.

Information on Kenmore Air can be had by c calling 1-800 686-0446

US Canada Border Requirements for Ferry Travellers

ID Requirements for Ferry Passengers crossing a border

 US & Canadian citizens require one of the following when crossing a US/Canada border

 A Valid PassportU.S. Passport Card

– Trusted traveler card (NEXUS)

– Enhanced Driver’s License from one of the following provinces/states: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont or Washington State
*Please note: “REAL ID’s” (issued by some states to comply with FAA and domestic federal requirements) are not a valid travel document for an international border crossing.

– Enhanced identification card (for example: enhanced Tribal cards, if available)

– U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)

– U.S. Military Identification with military travel orders

– U.S. Merchant Mariner Document with official maritime business

 U.S. & Canadian citizens 15 yrs & under need only to have proof of their citizenship. This means an original or photocopy of a birth certificate or a citizenship card.

When traveling with a school, religious group, social organization or sports team, children up to and including the age of 18, will be able to enter under adult supervision with originals or copies of their birth certificates or other proof of citizenship.

Seattle Victoria Ferry Fare Categories

Seattle Victoria Ferry Rates

Seattle Victoria ferry rates differ depending not only on the travel date chosen - but on whether one wants a standard changeable / cancelable ticket, or a less expensive discounted ticket.

Be Aware : Discounted tickets are always non-changeable & non-cancelable.

The price difference between a standard round trip ticket is around $20.00 each way which may seem like a lot - until you want or need to change or cancel the date.
If a discounted ticket was purchased, that ticket can not be changed : not changed for a different date, or a different time, and the ticket price can not be refunded.
Sometime connecting flights, or heavy traffic or any number of things cause one to miss or want to change their booked ferry - but if a discounted ticket is bought the result can be unhappy for everyone. 

If absolutely sure that the travel date booked will not change or be cancelled, & if comfortable with the no refund policy, call 1-800-686-0446 and ask for a discounted ticket.

Round Trip Adult Standard Ticket   vs  2  Day advance      vs     7 Day Advance Tickets
From Sept - Oct 31  179.00* 150.00** 140.00**
From Nov 10 Jan 2 155.00* 129.00** 115.00**
Note :a fluctuating fuel surcharge by the ferry operator is in effect: currently the charge  $13 pp each way

* Cancelable & changeable tickets
** non-cancelable; non-changeable, non refundable tickets

Important Whittier Tunnel Information

BC Ferries Conducting New Pet Policy

BC Ferries Testing Pet policy on Powell River & Sunshine Coast Ferry Routes

 A pilot project that sees cats and dogs allowed on the upper outside ferry decks on the route between Powell River & the Sunshine Coast, is currently underway.   If successful, the project could work to expand to other ferry routes.

Historically, pets travelling on any BC Ferry have had to remain either in their owners' vehicles on the car deck, or in a designed car deck pet area.

Owners using the outside deck during this project are required keep their dogs on a leash and cats in a travel carrier.

Canada Relaxes Border Crossing Requirements

Canada - US Border Crossing Easier as of October 01, 2022 

2023 Alaska Ferry Schedules Available For Booking

Book an Alaska Ferry Before Space Sells Out

The 2022 - 2023 October through April 2023 schedules are now available. 

Getting a quote from the "widget" on the Home Page is quick, efficient and does not commit you to a booking. 
It will however give you the timetables & costs, and it will never ask for your personal info (name, ph etc) unless you decide to book passage.  
If you decide to book passage your information is entered into the ships manifest as the coast guard requires: it is never shared with 3rd parties or advertisers.