Prince Rupert to Skagway
The Alaska Ferry was absolutely wonderful. It was smaller than the BC Ferry and funkier. The staff was more cordial. It even
included two park rangers who gave commentary and answered questions at the desk from 8 in the morning to 8 in the
evening. Our trip began at 6:00 p.m. and ended at 8:15 p.m. of the third day for a total of 38 hours.
The views from the ferry were terrific, particularly to the front. There was no seat saving on the ferry, so one could almost
always find a seat with a front window panel view. It was awesome. There were three car openings on the vessel, one in back
and one on each side, which made the job of lining up cars for multiple ports much easier. The maximum number of
passengers on our voyage was 198 passengers, although the ferry will book up to 500 passengers. We were told it was
pretty hectic a couple weeks earlier when the native people filled the ship to go to Anchorage for Celebration Days with many
children running the decks. We were also told by the ranger that Celebration Days in Anchorage is open to non-natives and
is well worth attending. There were few children on our trip.
Below, a sister Alaska ferry ship passes by.
One of the most interesting events was going through Wrangle Narrows, a very narrow passage, only 30 yards wide at one
point. This spectacular passage which took 75 minutes to navigate can not be done by cruise ships which must go 200 miles
around. Four crew were on the lookout from the bridge, and one from the front of the ship. At some locations they lined up
the ship by a series of lights. The trip must be timed for high tide to pass through with a clearance of seven feet.
We saw quite a number of Humpback Whales
There were also many playful dolphins
On board the ship we met some very interesting
people. The German lady at the right, Karen
Bunge, had this Volkswagen camper shipped to
Buenos Aires eighteen months ago. From there
she drove to Ushuaia, the further road south in
South America. She then drove up to the US and
Canada and was on her way to Prudohe Bay and
Inuvik when we met her. She was joined on this
trip by another German lady. The trip was
supposed to be six months long
We rented a cabin for our trip to Skagway. The cabin was quite decent and roomy. Some of the people slept on deck in the
lounge chairs on the covered sun deck at the back. One motorcyclist set up a tent on the sun deck and then went to use the
bathroom. Fortunately, some alert passengers saw his tent start to fly away and saved him from a significant loss.
Not too long after we left Prince Rupert, we saw this light house. Unlike the US, the Canadians still man their lighthouses.
According to the park ranger who maintains e-mail with the caretaker on this island lighthouse, the caretaker is single but
wishing for a woman to come live with him on this picturesque island. So far, the women who have visited have shied away
from living in such a remote place.
Below, John and Lawrence. We first noticed these two Brits as we waited in line for the BC Ferry. On the back of each
motorcycle was an extra set of tires which made us wonder if they were going where we were going. Sure enough, they also
planned to go to Prudoe Bay, Inuvik, and Yellowknife. A shirt they wore showed the route of their motor cycle trip.
On our way to Skagway, our ferry made stops at Ketchican ,Wrangle, Petersbug, Juneau, and Haines. Below, a 10 p.m.
sunset we enjoyed on this trip.