ID Requirements

Alaska Marine Highway customers will be required to show proper Valid Government ID upon acceptance of tickets at the terminal or the reservations office ticket counter and once again at the ramp / gangway prior to boarding the vessel. Random ticket and ID checks may be conducted onboard the vessel.

Valid Government ID is defined as one piece of photo identification issued by a government authority such as a state or provincial driver’s license, passport, official government issued identification, or military ID

Prince Rupert and Canada Border Crossing

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 license/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.

Personal Information

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.

Privacy Protection

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.

Unaccompanied Minors

Children under 12 years of age are not allowed passage unless accompanied by a person 19 years of age or older. Children ages 12-15 must be accompanied by a person 19 years of age or older or have written permission for passage signed by their parent or guardian. An Unaccompanied Minor Form can be found at your local terminal.

Schedule Changes

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.

Online Payments

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.

Payment by Mail

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

Payment by Phone

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, and Discover credit cards are accepted (some restrictions may apply).

Payment in Person

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.

Cancellations and Changes

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.

Automatic Cancellation

The AMHS reservation system will automatically cancel your booking if travel is not paid for by the payment due date.

Check - In Times

Passengers

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.

Vehicles

During the Summer Season, May - September, vehicles with reservations are required to check in at the terminal prior to posted vessel departures as follows:

  • 3 hours — Bellingham, Prince Rupert and Cross Gulf Sailings (Whittier/Juneau)
  • 2 hours — Skagway, Haines, Juneau, Ketchikan, Homer and Kodiak
  • 1.5 hours — Petersburg and Valdez
  • 1 hour — All other ports

During our Winter Season, October – April, sailings may have an adjusted check-in time. Please confirm your check-in times if you are unsure.

These check-in times are assigned so that the vehicles can be arranged in the boarding lanes for safe and efficient loading, and for security screening. Passengers with vehicles that 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.

Vehicle Restrictions for the Port of Gustavus

Passengers traveling to and from Whittier are advised to check the Whittier Tunnel website 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 1-877-611-2586.

Please visit our Transporting A Vehicle page for more information.

Waitlists

If vehicle or cabin space is not available on your preferred sailing date, a reservations agent may be able to place your request on a waitlist. Waitlists are limited to specific routes and may not be available for your intended sailing. Waitlisted items are processed as cancellations occur and space availability is monitored up to 2 weeks before sailing departures. Once space has been confirmed, you will be contacted by one of our agents. Some restrictions may apply; for more information or to be added to a waitlist, please contact a reservations agent toll-free 1-800-642-0066.

Standby

Standby lists are operated by terminal and vessel staff on the day of sailing. Passengers arriving to board a sold-out sailing without confirmed vehicle space may inquire with terminal staff to be put on their standby list.

Cabin requests that have not been confirmed at the time of sailing, may sign up on the purser’s standby list kept on board. Once the sailing is underway, the purser will assign any unoccupied cabins to those on standby.

Bellingham Departures

Customers who wish to be added to the standby list for a vehicle space departing from Bellingham can call the Bellingham terminal directly at 1-360-676-8445. Standby requests will be taken the Monday prior to that Friday or Saturday sailing. Please leave a message if no one is available to take your phone call and staff will return phone calls as soon as possible.

Bellingham terminal office hours of operation:

  • Monday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Thursday 12:00 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Friday 7:00 am – 6:30 pm

Baggage Limitation

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 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 a commercial carrier or U.S. mail. All baggage and carry-on items are subject to security screening.

Ticketing

Tickets can be picked up at any AMHS terminal; however, printed tickets are not required for check-in. A printed copy of your travel itinerary can be sent via fax or email to you by a reservations agent or can be printed through the View an Itinerary page. Tickets will then be issued at the departure terminal prior to travel.

Smoking

Alaska law is very specific about smoking in public facilities, including AMHS ferries. Smoking is restricted to the outside decks and posted areas only.

Tipping

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!

Transporting Firearms

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 by visiting the Canada Border Services Agency website, the Canadian Firearms Centre website, and for U.S. regulations at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website.

Restricted Materials (HAZMAT)

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 document.

Passenger Conduct

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.

Pet Policy

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. There is no charge for pet travel between other AMHS ports or on any route for a certified Service Animal that is traveling with a disabled person. 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. Transporation 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.

Penalties for non-compliance vary from state to state, but may include animal quarantine or prohibited entry of the animal into the state. Please view for more information on other state veterinarian offices.

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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