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Ferry from Washington to Alaska

All the ferries from (Seattle region) Washington State to Alaska


WA ⇔ Alaska
41 hours
Up to 2 times per week


WA ⇔ Alaska
62 hours
Once per week


WA ⇔ Alaska
69 hours
Once per week

The ferries to Alaska

The Alaska Marine Highway System is the only company you can travel with to reach Alaska by ferry from Washington State. The AMHS website is not easy to navigate. That's where we come in, and we want to help you.

AMHS has nine large ships in its fleet, sailing east and south of Alaska. When you want to ferry to Alaska from Washington State, you always start at Bellingham, and your first stop will always* be Ketchikan. (*Before 2023, the AMHS also stopped at Prince Rupert.)

The ships that sail from Bellingham on the main route to Alaska are old, and off-season, only one or two vessels are sailing, and in peak season, this is three to four. The best ships to be on are the MV Columbia(1974!) and the MV Kennicott (1998!). The differences, however, are limited. 

The route from Washington State (Bellingham)

Technically, you are already in Alaska when you anchor after 38 hours in Ketchikan. Ketchikan is known as the #3rd best place to Travel to in Alaska by US News; It is quite a nice destination to stay for a few days.  [1]US News: Best places to visit in Alaska But this doesn't get you close to Fairbanks, Glacier Bay (near Juneau), and other Alaska destinations. 

So, for an authentic Alaska experience, you have to travel further.. 

To Whittier or Juneau

To go further North, you have to book the following connections as well:

High season-only routes: (~ from March)

  • Juneau to Yakutat (17 hours) and Yakutat to Whittier (one hour to Anchorage): (22 hours) = 39 hours.

Since routes to Alaska are not that easy to book (since the best spots get fully booked fast when the season opens), you might need a partner like who can help you better and explain the ports you can visit and vice versa. Check them out to book a ticket to Alaska from Washington State.

We also wrote a complete guide about if you need to ferry or drive to Anchorage. (Euh… Of course, you need to ferry ;))

How does a booking to Alaska work and look

If you start from Washington State, select Bellingham as your starting point for the Outward Route, and only if you want to go in summer and book early in the year go for Whittier; otherwise, you have to go for Haines.

bellingham ferrytravel

  1. Select the date (you will immediately spot which dates are still available to book.)
  2. Select the kind of cabin you want (you will spend a lot of time in your cabin on this trip, might not be the best to save money on)

Then Ferry Travel will reserve your booking. Sometimes, they can't price you if limited space is available. Then they ask you to give them a call. That's quite a good one since they can answer all your questions then, too! 

Most of the time, you do get a price, and it will look like this:

booking at ferrytravel

Haines (or Juneau, close to Haines) is much more accessible to reach than Whittier.

alaska routes

At, you can simply select ‘Bellingham to Haines‘ and you'll end up on the right ferry!

Cheapest ferry from Washington to Alaska

Since there are no other options available the cheapest way to get to Alaska is to book early and book tickets without a cabin (bring your own tent, you can use that on board), this won't make this trip very cheap though, this trip to Alaska is always expensive. 

A perfect Alaska end-point

Whittier is a perfect hub to travel further onwards into Alaska, you can take the road/train to Anchorage or Fairbanks. During low season aim for Haines, Juneau or Skagway.

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