With a convenient ferry connection in Bellingham, Washington you don't have to have a passport to get to Alaska. Bring your vehicle or simply walk-on and let the Alaska Marine Highway take care of everything for you. Once you arrive in Whittier, you will be connected to the main Alaska road system, so you can explore Anchorage and beyond without crossing the border into Canada. If you wish to leave your own vehicle behind, you can always rent one in Anchorage.
Ferry from Bellingham to Juneau (+)
Ferry from Bellingham to Juneau (-)
The first part of your adventure will be getting to Bellingham, Washington. The ferries from Bellingham fill up quickly, so be sure to make a reservation in advance. The mainline ferry routes also visit the communities of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, and Sitka. If time allows, spend a day or two in one of these communities or simply stay on the ferry for the trip to Juneau. Your car, RV, motorcycle or bicycle will be safely stowed on the car deck while you relax in the main cabin. During the two-and-a-half-day cruise from Bellingham to Juneau relax and enjoy the scenery. Reserve a passenger cabin if you would prefer some privacy, or unwind in the recliner lounge or observation lounge. For the more adventurous, set up your own tent on the back deck. Food and beverage service is available, including hot and cold options.
Juneau — Alaska's Capital City (+)
Juneau — Alaska's Capital City (-)
Arrive in Juneau and spend some time exploring Alaska's capital city. Visit one of the local museums and the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery. Juneau's most popular attraction is the mighty Mendenhall Glacier, the only glacier accessible by road in Southeast Alaska. Go to the Visitor Center for interactive displays and hike one of the many trails in the area for different views of the glacier. Several helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft companies offer unique opportunities to see and experience the Juneau Icefield from the air. Whale watching is something you won't want to miss in Juneau. Humpback and orca whales congregate in the calm surrounding waters and put on quite a show in the summer. Also, try fishing, hiking, rafting, kayaking and even ziplining. Board the ferry in the afternoon of the second day in Juneau for the voyage to Whittier.
Ferry to Whittier and Drive to Anchorage (+)
Ferry to Whittier and Drive to Anchorage (-)
The Alaska Marine Highway offers service between Juneau and Whittier twice per month in the summer, so be sure to schedule the rest of your trip around the departure of this ferry. Space is very limited on this route, so be sure to make reservations well in advance. Bond with your travel companions and meet some new ones along the way. Step outside for some fresh air, the covered solarium is heated and provides spectacular views of the passing landscape. Along the way, the ferry stops in Yakutat for just over an hour. Get out and explore for a bit before continuing on to Whittier.
Arrive in Whittier in the morning and spend some time exploring Prince William Sound, or drive directly to Anchorage. Only a 60-mile drive, or two and a half hour train ride, you will be in Alaska's largest city by the end of the day, if you wish. Spend some time exploring Anchorage where metropolitan luxuries mix with unrivaled natural wonders to make this an unforgettable destination. You can fly home from Anchorage, or you can rent a vehicle or use your own to explore the surrounding area. Head up to Fairbanks, or over to the Kenai Peninsula to explore more of the Great Land. Your return journey can be completed the same way, board the ferry in Whittier to head south again.