Orange routes = The AMHS Mainline to Homer. (Southeast Alaska and Gulf of Alaska)
Green routes = The AMHS South Central and Southwest Mainline.
Purple routes = The AMHS daily connections.
Yellow routes = Ferry connections from other operators (daily city-to-city ferries or ferries to tourist locations) near the AMHS routes.
The Seasonal influence on these routes is important to know, as many ferries don't run from October to March.
Ferries in Alaska
The Alaska Marine Highway System and its ferry routes are known for their complexity and frequent (smaller) changes, necessitating comprehensive guidance.
Additionally and – probably even more critical – the region's reliance on older vesselsAlaska government: Service notices and occasional crew shortagesSkagway News: Ferry system management says the state is working to fix hiring problems can further contribute to these challenges, making up-to-date guidance essential for travelers. All happenings that have direct influences on routes can be found here.
At AMHS, they are simply not good at translating all those routes, changes, and schedules in a user-friendly way. We've spent countless hours gathering the best possible data and plotting unique maps to provide better visual guidance. While you are able to view the schedules from AMHS, it's all difficult to use for the first time. We explain more about that here.
The AMHS Mainline: Southeast Alaska + Gulf of Alaska
Catch in-depth insights into the most-booked orange routes.
In this region, Juneau is the port most travelers embark from (41.000 passengers in 2019), and after that, Haines (24.000), Ketchikan (23.000), and Skagway (15.000).
Routes we will add shortly:
- Juneau to Haines
The AMHS South Central and Southwest Mainline
Catch in-depth insights into the most-booked Green routes.
Most people embark in the following ports in the Southwest region: Whittier (10.000), Valdez (5.000), Kodiak (6.000), Homer (7.000), and Cordova (5.000). To bring the differences into perspective, only +/- 400 passengers per year embark from Dutch Harbor.
As soon as we know the 2024 sailing dates we will add these routes in a more detailed way. On our list:
- Ferry to Dutch Harbor / Unalaska (70)
- False Pass
- Cold Bay
- King Cove
- Sand Point
- Old Harbor (Kodiak Island)
- Port Lions
The AMHS daily connections
Catch in-depth insights into the most-booked purple routes.
Ferry routes from AMHS with daily crossings, most around Whittier and Juneau.
Alaska ferry connections not owned by AMHS
Catch in-depth insights into the most-booked yellow routes
Smaller / more touristy or different routes not owned by AMHS.
2023 Alaska Ferry Travel Updates
- Summer Schedule: Due to international regulations, Prince Rupert AMHS doesn't stop here.
- Summer Schedule: There is no vessel available this summer that services Yakutat.
- Summer Schedule: No mainline service from Bellingham to Whittier (expected to return in 2024!)
- Summer Schedule: Reduced service to some Southwest and Prince William Sound Communities.
The summer schedule lasts from May until September. 2024 Updates will follow when we have them available.
Using the AMHS schedules
- Click here and then click on the Sailing Calendar.
- Press on the button ‘Get Schedule‘ When you have selected the month you want to travel.
- Click and play with the results, if you want to look at Cross Gulf crossings only click on the Colored Schedule Grid and select the schedule: Cross Gulf.
Let's hope they improve this in the near future, it might even be better to use the schedule made by FerryTravel.
Popular Guides and Blogs for ferries in Alaska
Information for ferry travelers
About the ferry routes in and around Alaska
Most people embark at Juneau, and other popular end destinations are Whittier (also to travel on to Anchorage), Haines, Ketchikan, and Homer.
Alaska residents are mostly from Juneau, Anchorage, or Ketchikan. Which also makes sense since those are the bigger cities along the route.
Ask, answer, and explore ferry routes with the community's expertise!