Travel to Juneau by Ferry
Welcome aboard the Alaska Marine Highway System
The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) provides epic views and authentic Alaskan experiences. The fleet is 11 vessels strong and stretches from Bellingham, Wash., in the southeast to the Aleutian Islands in the northwest. The ferry’s 3,500-mile route connects 35 ports and glides through the scenic Inside Passage. Treat yourself to this one-of-a-kind voyage and explore the unspoiled coastline of Southeast Alaska.
Fares vary by passenger type, distance, season and vehicle type/size. Children under 6 are free, while children ages 6 through 11 are half off adult fare. All trips are one-way, and passengers, vehicles and accommodations/amenities are all charged separately. For example, if there are two people traveling in your party and you would like to reserve one cabin and bring along one car, your total cost should include two passenger fares, one cabin fare, and one vehicle fare. Find complete fare schedules and pricing here.
Whether Juneau is your home base or just another stop along the route, getting to Juneau by ferry is easy. Both the Southeast Alaska route and the Cross-Gulf route serve the Juneau ferry terminal (JNU) at Mile 13.5 Glacier Highway in Auke Bay. Sailing from Bellingham, Wash., to Juneau can take up to three days while sailing from Juneau to Ketchikan can be done in 18 hours. Nearby Skagway is less than six hours from Juneau, while Petersburg is an eight-hour trip. Find complete route maps and travel times here.
In addition to the green forests, blue glaciers, imposing mountains, active volcanoes and crowning fjords you’ll see from the deck, also keep an eye out for abundant wildlife. Everything from porpoises and whales to bald eagles and bears have been spotted. See Alaska’s bustling maritime activity, like interesting ports of call, fishing and logging outposts and dozens of quaint, historic villages.
It’s no wonder this National Scenic Byway has received the nation’s highest designation as an All-American Road, one of only 27 U.S. highways that have received this honor.
All vessels vary in size, with some able to carry up to 500 passengers and 100 vehicles. Riders can either walk on board or bring their car, truck, RV, motorcycle, bicycle or kayak. Fares vary by distance, vehicle and size (see below).
Keeping yourself occupied is easy — all vessels feature observation lounges and solariums for optimal sightseeing, while some vessels boast theaters, card rooms, small video arcades and reading rooms. Stop by the vessel’s gift shop for souvenirs and information about Alaska, as well as travel essentials, magazines, and other goods.
Cabins are available on most ferries and provide basic sleeping and resting space. Many have complete bathroom facilities, including showers. Fresh linens are available upon request and trash is collected daily. For budget-savvy travelers, ditch the cabin and utilize the vessel’s public areas and showers. Comfortable reclining chairs are available, or you can bring your sleeping bag for respite in the solariums available on all vessels. For a truly unique experience, pitch a tent on the deck and fall asleep under the stars. Be mindful that vessels are brim with passengers in the summer, so plan your accommodations accordingly.
Most vessels serve up delicious Alaskan seafood, salads, sandwiches, snacks and beverages throughout the day. If you’re traveling on a budget, consider bringing your own food and drink. While there are no refrigerators, passengers may collect ice from the coin-operated ice machines to replenish their coolers. Microwaves are also available for meals that need warming. Alcohol is allowed, but certain restrictions apply.
Since Juneau cannot be accessed by car, ferry travel has become a norm for locals and visitors alike. The Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System makes transporting your car, truck or recreational vehicle an absolute breeze. Motorcycles, bicycles, small boats and kayaks are also welcome, though some restrictions apply. Be aware that there is no access to the car deck while the vessel is in motion, so be sure to gather all of your belongings before you set sail.
If you’re ready to hop aboard or need more information to complete your travel plans, visit www.ferryalaska.com or call 800-642-0066.