Matanuska, moored at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard

The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Matanuska is moored at the Vigor Ketchikan Shipyard on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

KETCHIKAN (KDN) — The Alaska Marine Highway System ferry Matanuska will return to service a week late due to vendor delays and steel repairs, the state announced on Monday afternoon. The delay will cancel the 58-year-old vessel’s planned Jan. 24 sailing to Bellingham.

“Welders in the Ketchikan Shipyeard worked extended hours to replace and repair damaged steel on the M/V Matanuska,” the press release explained. “Unfortunately, due to the extent of additional repairs and vendor delays, the ship’s expected return to service is now Monday, Jan. 31.”

The release further states that, in additional to the standard steel damage, “additional repairs of control systems, the waste heat boiler system, and a generator repair are needed, and vendor delays are impacting the ship’s schedule.”

The delay also will affect sailings from Haines and Skagway.

“AMHS is seeking alternatives for these sailings, including crewing the Tazlina to provide services to Northern Lynn Canal and other communities,” according to the press release. “The department will share more information on these alternative sailings as soon as possible.”