Tuesday, January 26, 2021

No sailings scheduled for 2021, but the Alaska Marine Highway System is still holding a spot open for Prince Rupert

The Alaska Marine Highway has released their Draft Summer Schedule for service in 2021 and as it was last year, there will seemingly be no sightings of an Alaska Ferry in Prince Rupert harbour for the year ahead, at least if the current restrictions on travel to and from Canada remain in place.

The Draft schedule posted to the AMHS website on Monday indicates that Americans looking to reach the lower 48 states will have only one option in the year ahead, the regular service between Bellingham and Ketchikan which travels the Inside Passage of Vancouver Island and hugs the Northern BC coastline on its transit North and South.

In their notes of Monday, the AMHS did make mention of Prince Rupert, that through a short item that outlines the current situation and the option of adding the Fairview Bay terminal to the destination board should the circumstances change.

Due to the pandemic and continuing Canadian border closure, the proposed summer schedule does not include service to Prince Rupert. Upon the future reopening of the Canadian border, a team from the State of Alaska will meet at that time with US Customs and Border Protection and Transport Canada in Prince Rupert to finalize the steps necessary to meet US Customs Full Pre Clearance requirements for service to Prince Rupert.

Beyond the COVID measures which don't appear likely to be lifted in the foreseeable future, still to be resolved is the US Customs and Border Protection Service requirement of armed law enforcement for the Prince Rupert terminal at Fairview Bay.

The Alaska Marine Highway suspended its service to Prince Rupert in the late fall of 2019.

The full information release from Monday can be examined here.

The Draft schedules and further background on the service  is available for review here, while the Alaska Department of Transportation is receiving comments at  dot.amhs.comments@alaska.gov

You can find more notes on Marine travel on the North Coast from our archive page here.

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