Saturday, August 07, 2010

Alaska Marine Highway ... dispatches from Alaska

Ferry on the Alaska Marine Highway System.

They're wearing jackets while we're sweating in 100-degree heat.

As they travel the southern part of our beautiful 50th state, my friends have kept in touch with notes and photos. Here is what she wrote about the Alaska Marine Highway System:
Operating year round since 1963, the Marine Highway provides scheduled service of passengers, vehicles, and good to 30 communities in Alaska, starting in Bellingham, WA, and also serving Canada. It averages 400,000 passengers and 100,000 vehicles a year.

There are eleven vessels in the fleet ... Columbia is the largest and is the flagship. It is 418 feet in length and carries 600 passengers with a vehicle capacity of 2680 ft. There are seven decks, two for vehicles and five for passenger use. It has 100 staterooms, bar, dining room, snack bar, 2 lounges, solarium, and you have access to the side and aft deck.

The ferries are spotless and the crews are Alaskans, friendly and very helpful. To really see Alaska, this is a great way to travel. The ferries can travel to small towns and the narrow channels where the cruise ships can't go, giving you a very close up perspective of Alaska.

Note ... the Columbia is the only one out of Bellingham which we were on. We're traveling a smaller one from Ketchikan, Juneau, and Wrangell and then picking up the Columbia in Wrangell back to Bellingham.

Of all of our travels the past 50 years, this has got to be the best, next to Hawaii. Awesome.
Shhh ... don't want the secret to get out to too many people....

Previous dispatches from Alaska:
- Glacier photos from Alaska
- Note from Juneau
- Hello from Juneau
- Hello from Ketchikan

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