Thursday, April 9, 2020

Travel restrictions sideswipe plans to re-introduce Alaska Marine Highway Service to Prince Rupert

The gates to the Alaska Marine Terminal will remain locked
for much of the Spring and into the summer as the AMHS
announces the cancellations of service int Prince Rupert will continue

The State of Alaska has announced the cancellation of service to Prince Rupert until further notice, the news relayed through an information statement released late Wednesday afternoon out of Ketchikan.

With COVID-19 related travel restrictions in place, the AMHS noted that its plans to bring the Prince Rupert Terminal into compliance with Federal regulations are now suspended, with no way of knowing when they will be back on track towards their efforts.

As part of the announcement the AMHS observed the following:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was scheduled to meet with AMHS this month at Prince Rupert to review and approve ferry terminal facility modifications that are required to conduct international operations. 

AMHS must fully comply with the security operations stipulated within the Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement (LRMA) signed by the U.S. and Canada. Due to current travel restrictions, the April meeting cannot take place as planned. AMHS and CBP will meet as soon as possible after travel restrictions are lifted.

The marine link to Ketchikan had suspended its regular service following a pair of sailings last fall, they had originally announced a return to a summer schedule last month.

That would have seen the MV Matanuska make the first visit since 2019 in the late evening of July 7th; the first departure out of Prince Rupert would have taken place four hours later at 3AM.

That plan may now need to be modified dependant on when the AMHS and CBP officials can once again travel south to Prince Rupert to review the security operations required.

The full announcement from the State of Alaska can be reviewed here.

For more notes on the recent changes to the Prince Rupert-Ketchikan service see our archive page here.

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