The Alaska Marine Highway
Alaska is a big place with 656,425 square miles of rugged wilderness, scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. Which means traveling in Alaska presents some unique challenges as well as opportunities. Unlike the 'lower 48', many of our communities are not accessible by a land based road system, making the primary means of travel to them by air or sea. The Alaska Marine Highway makes up a large part of our 'highway system' and is a route so special it has been designated National Scenic Byway and an All American Road, the only marine route with this designation.
From the southern terminus in Bellingham, Washington, the Marine Highway stretches more than 3,500 miles to Dutch Harbor. With 119 state parks spread across the state and a total of 365 million acres, there's plenty of room for everyone to seek their own adventure. Whether your interest is in bike trails, secluded coves for kayaking, hiking trails, camping or National Parks and Wilderness areas, the Alaska Marine Highway is the perfect way to experience the communities that populate Alaska's diverse and scenic coastline.
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View A System Map
Click to view a system wide route map including all 35 port communities on the Alaska Marine Highway.
The Inside Passage
In the southeast, Alaska's Inside Passage treats you to spectacular natural beauty made up of mountains, rainforest and glaciers; offering an unmatched variety of wildlife; and containing a rich mixture of Native, early Russian, and gold rush history. It will reveal a multitude of islands and coves along the unspoiled coastline that are perfect to explore by boat or kayak. The entire region is wrapped in the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States and the largest contiguous temperate rain forest in the world.
Starting in Bellingham WA or Prince Rupert BC, stops are made through out Southeast Alaska communities. The MV Kennicott continues across the Gulf and onto Whittier during the summer months. The larger communities of Southeast are a regular stop on most cruise line itineraries and the locals are always ready to welcome visitors. These areas offer a multitude of tours, guides and outings to suit any taste. Don't miss the totem poles, Native dancers and many museums that highlight the rich Native culture of Southeast.
The Gulf of Alaska
Travel within Alaska is easy due to the cross Gulf of Alaska sailings on the Alaska Marine Highway. Begin your journey in Bellingham WA or Prince Rupert BC and travel on the ferry as far north as Whittier. From June through September, the MV Kennicott makes semi-monthly trips from Bellingham, stopping in Ketchikan and Juneau in the southeast before continuing on to Yakutat and Whittier.
This route is not only a service link between the Inside Passage in the Southeast and the Southwestern routes, but it is also the trip of a lifetime for those who like comfortable adventure. From Whittier, travel by road or train to Anchorage and beyond after a relaxing ferry ride. Or you can continue on a Southwest Ferry Route across Prince William Sound and onto Kodiak Island.
Prince William Sound to Kodiak Island
The ferry can take you through beautiful Prince William Sound and into the Gulf of Alaska, around the Kenai Peninsula and into lower Cook Inlet. The coastal communities of this region are the outdoor playgrounds for more than half of the state's population. Outdoor acivities abound with four mountain ranges within driving distance of these ports. Enjoy the opportunity for day hikes in the mountains of the Chugach State Park to multi-day excursions into spectacular Denali National Park. Choose from a variety of exciting adventures including camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting and much more.
Our South Central routes serve multiple communities in Prince William Sound and on Kodiak Island. While aboard the ferry, travelers will thrill to the spectacular sights of ice-blue glaciers, tranquil fjords, lush forests, and unbelievable concentrations of seabirds and marine wildlife. These routes continue with connections by road at Valdez, Homer and Whittier or by sea from Kodiak Island. On Kodiak Island, the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve their most popular residents, the Kodiak Brown Bear.
The Aleutian Chain
The Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula sweep more than 1,500 miles from Cook Inlet toward Asia. This region sits atop the "Ring of Fire", a string of volcanoes along the Pacific Rim, and boasts several wildlife refuges. The harsh weather precludes ferry service in the winter, but each spring the Alaska Marine Highway System resumes its regular sailings to the seven westward communities of Chignik, Sand Point, King Cove, Cold Bay, False Pass, Akutan and Dutch Harbor / Unalaska.
See the remote, beautiful, and mysterious Southwest Alaska on the Alaska Marine Highway. From gentle coastal grasslands to rumbling snow-capped volcanoes, The Aleutian Chain has a character and charm all its own. This land of mystery is home to numerous national wildlife refuges and hundreds of species of sea birds, fur seal colonies, walrus and other wildlife.
|Sand Point||to||King Cove||6:45|
|King Cove||to||Cold Bay||2:00|
|Cold Bay||to||False Pass||4:15|