After June 1, 2009 all U.S. citizens travelling through Canada will be required to show their passport. Driver's licenses or birth certificates alone may no longer be accepted as proof of citizenship. Traveling onboard an AMHS vessel between Bellingham, Washington and Ketchikan, Alaska these rules and restrictions do not apply, although the vessel travels through Canadian waters.
Starting June 1, 2009, Canadian citizens will be required to present a valid passport, a NEXUS or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card, or an enhanced driver's licence/enhanced identification card when seeking to enter the United States at its land or water crossings. For more information, visit the Canada Border Services Agency web site.
U.S. residents who are not citizens should carry their Alien Registration Receipt Cards. Permanent residents of Canada who are not Canadian citizens should have their Landed Immigrant Visas. Canadian customs officials will require travelers to show proof of sufficient funds for the trip. Motorists may be asked to show their vehicle registration card or proof of title and liability insurance coverage.
If you are traveling with a child not in your full legal custody, please check with a U.S. or Canada customs office about additional paperwork that may be required.
The Alaska Marine Highway may collect applicable personal information about its customers such as full legal name, date of birth, citizenship, address and contact information. This information is used to comply with US Coast Guard requirements and may be used to contact passengers in the event of a schedule change or in regards to travel arrangements.
Personal information provided to the Alaska Marine Highway System is used for identification purposes required by Homeland Security. Our privacy commitment includes ensuring the accuracy, confidentiality and security of our customers' personal information. Your e-mail address may be used to occasionally inform you about special events and fares only if you indicate to us on the customer information form that you would like to receive this information. The Alaska Marine Highway System and the State of Alaska maintain secure servers for all personal information and payment transactions and continuously monitor online security.
The State of Alaska reserves the right to alter, revise, or cancel schedules and rates without prior notice and assumes no responsibility for delays and/or expenses due to such modifications. You can get schedule updates by visiting our schedule changes page or by calling the AMHS reservation call center at 1-800-642-0066.
Payment and Cancellation
For reservations made more than 28 days from the date of departure, payment is due 14 days from the date of booking. If the booking date is less than 28 days prior to the departure date-payment is due 14 days prior to travel. (Ex: if the booking date is 18 days prior to travel, the customer is allowed 4 days to pay or the booking will be auto cancelled.) If the booking is made less than 14 days prior to the departure date - payment is due at the time of booking. Payment must be made by the payment due date or the reservation will be automatically cancelled.
Once your reservation has been confirmed via e-mail, telephone, or in person, you can pay for your reservation online over our secure server. To make payment online you will need to have your itinerary number and the last name of the itinerary holder or the customer number that you received when your reservation was confirmed. If you don't have this information, please contact reservations at 1-800-642-0066.
You may send in your payment by mail using a cashier's check or money order for the amount in full, in U.S. funds. Personal checks cannot be accepted unless drawn on an Alaskan bank. No counter checks are accepted. Please include your itinerary and the name of the itinerary holder with your payment. Payments should be mailed to:
Alaska Marine Highway System - Reservations
P.O. Box 112505, 6858 Glacier Highway
Juneau, AK 99811-2505
Credit card payment can be made by phone through our reservations agents toll free at 1-800-642-0066 during Juneau Call Center business hours (7am-5pm, Monday-Friday). Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit cards are accepted (some restrictions may apply).
You may pay for your reservation at any AMHS ferry terminal or ticket office during their hours of operation. Terminals are open during check-in times prior to ferry arrivals, while vessels are in port and for a short time after ferry departures.
To make changes or to cancel an itinerary, contact our reservation call center at 1-800-642-0066, or your local ferry terminal. Cancellation charges will be applied when any cancellation is made within 14 days of sailing resulting in a reduction in the prepaid amount. The penalty is 15% of the unused portion. A $10 change fee will be applied when any change is made to a vehicle itinerary, unless the change results in an increase of the value of the itinerary.
The AMHS reservation system will automatically cancel your booking if travel is not paid for by the payment due date.
Passengers traveling without vehicles are required to check in 2 hours prior to departure in Bellingham, and 1 hour prior to departure at all other ports. Passengers must pass through security inspection at least thirty minutes prior to boarding, and must be on board the vessel no later than 15 minutes before departure. Any walk-on passenger who has not checked in, been screened and ready to be boarded at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the scheduled sailing time may be denied passage for that sailing.
As in all matters pertaining to vessel operation, the Master of the vessel has the prerogative to refuse or allow sailing to any passenger. If in the judgment of the Master, walk-on passengers can be properly screened and boarded, outside of this fifteen-minute window, it shall be permitted.
Walk-on passengers who miss a sailing due to this boarding cut-off policy and who wish to travel at a later time will be processed normally without special priority.
During the summer, vehicles with reservations are required to check in at the terminal prior to posted vessel departures as follows: Bellingham and Prince Rupert - 3 hours; Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan - 2 hours; Petersburg - 1.5 hours; Homer, and Kodiak - 2 hours; all other ports - 1 hour.
The lengthy check-in times are needed so that the vehicles can be arranged in the boarding lanes for safe and efficient loading, and for security screening. Passengers with vehicles who do not arrive on time may find that their reserved space has been given to someone waiting on the standby list.
Departure times at Sitka vary according to the tides and are set by the vessel master. Call the Sitka terminal at 907-747-8737 one hour before the arrival time listed in the schedule for a confirmed check-in/departure time.
Passengers traveling to and from Whittier are advised to check the Whittier Tunnel web site for a schedule of when the tunnel is open to vehicle traffic. You may be unable to make your sailing if you do not arrive at the tunnel at a time when it is open. Bicycle and foot traffic is prohibited through the tunnel, and there are vehicle size and other restrictions of which you should be aware before traveling through the tunnel. For a recording of the base schedule, call the Whittier Tunnel toll-free at (877) 611-2586.
Walk on passengers are allowed up to 100 pounds of hand luggage. Baggage carts are driven from the terminals to the vessel car deck to assist passengers with baggage. Baggage handling is not provided, and the AMHS is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged baggage. Passengers are responsible for the handling and safety of their luggage. There is no weight limit on luggage carried in or on a vehicle. Coin-operated storage lockers are available aboard most ships for storage of small hand-carried items.
Unaccompanied baggage is not allowed on board AMHS vessels. It is considered freight and must be shipped via commercial carrier or U.S. mail.
All baggage and carry on items are subject to security screening.
Alaska law is very specific about smoking in public facilities, including AMHS ferries. Smoking is restricted to the outside decks and posted areas only.
Alaska Marine Highway System thanks you for your patronage and appreciates the kind gestures you show our staff by desiring to leave gratuities. However, because our crewmembers are State of Alaska employees, they are prohibited by Alaska State law from accepting tips.“A public officer may not accept, receive, or solicit compensation for the performance of official duties or responsibilities from a person other than the State.” (AS 39.52.120(b) (2)) A ”public officer” is defined as a public employee. Please do not offer tips to our employees. Tip money left behind goes into the State general fund. Again, thank you for your generosity – it is our pleasure to serve you, your smile is reward enough!
Walk-on passengers traveling with legal firearms or weapons on AMHS vessels are required to check these items with an AMHS employee. All firearms must be unloaded and ammunition stowed separately from the firearms. Unloaded firearms may be securely locked in passengers' vehicles. Please note that new laws regulating the import, export, and possession of firearms have been implemented in Canada and the U.S. Please check with Canadian or U.S. customs offices prior to transporting a firearm into these countries. You can get more information on the Internet at Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Firearms Centre, and for U.S. regulations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms site.
Explosives, highly flammable materials, corrosives, etc. may not be transported on any AMHS vessel. Bottled gas containers, such as those used by recreational vehicles, are permitted on board AMHS vessels, but they must be turned off and sealed by an AMHS employee before being transported. For information concerning hazardous materials for non-commercial shippers, see the Hazardous Materials information for the general public.
The State reserves the right to refuse passage to any person apparently under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or any person whose conduct would be considered dangerous or objectionable to other passengers. Any persons who attempts to gain passage in a fraudulent manner, or any vehicle in an unsafe condition, will be denied boarding. It is a misdemeanor crime to stowaway on a State ferry. Stowaways will be removed from the ferry at the next port and will be prosecuted.
Pets must remain on the car decks of all AMHS vessels, and be cared for by their owners. This means they must stay either in vehicles or in suitable pet carriers (not provided by AMHS), which must also remain on the car deck. Pets are not allowed above the car deck or in passenger cabins. Owners may visit their pets on the car deck only while vessels are in port. Due to United States Coast Guard regulations, passengers are not allowed on the car deck while vessels are underway, unless accompanied by an AMHS employee. Accompanied pet calls are announced by the purser approximately three times a day on longer sailings between Bellingham and Ketchikan, and between Juneau and Whittier.
Dogs, cats, and other household pets cost $25 to transport to and from Bellingham, and $10 to transport to and from Prince Rupert. Travel between other AMHS ports is free, and there is no charge on any route for a certified service animal traveling with a person with a disability. Service animals do require prior approval from the Traffic Manager so that shipboard staff can be properly notified.
Certain small birds at risk of death due to car deck temperatures also must have prior approval from the Traffic Manager to be allowed in passenger's cabin. A cash only damage deposit is required.
If entering the State, animals must meet the State of Alaska requirements. Following is a reproduction of this regulation:
Sec. 03.55.070. TRANSPORTATION OF ANIMALS ON STATE FERRIES: HEALTH CERTIFICATES. (a) No animals may be transported into the State aboard a ferry operated by the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities unless the animal’s owner, custodian, or attendant possesses a valid health certificate for the animal. This certificate shall accompany the animal or be in the possession of the animal’s owner, custodian, or attendant aboard the ferry and shall be presented when requested by an employee of the State Ferry System at the time the owner, custodian, or attendant makes arrangements to transport the animal, boards the ferry with the animal, or at any other time.
For phone numbers of other state veterinarian offices, go to: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/area_offices/
Penalties for non-compliance vary from state to state, but may include animal quarantine or prohibited entry of the animal into the state.
A certificate of health is not required when traveling between Alaskan ports. For travel by road through Canada, proof of a rabies vaccination within the last three years is required, but passengers should check directly with Canadian customs for additional information.
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