It’s amazing that access to the North American road system — not to mention roaded access to and through Central and South America — is available just 91 nautical miles from Ketchikan at Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
So close, but yet so far. There’s been no ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert since October of 2019, largely a result of Canadian and U.S. differences regarding armed law enforcement officers at the ferry terminal in Prince Rupert.
There are other issues, including how to renovate the wooden dock and accomplish other renovations at the Prince Rupert terminal. But understanding that hurdles remain, we’re thrilled to hear that the Alaska Marine Highway System is working toward a resumption of ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert beginning next May.
“Our goal is to get running there on May 1,” Capt. John Falvey, the general manager of AMHS, said in recent Wrangell Sentinel story.
That would be superb. In fact, the only thing better than a May restart would be having Prince Rupert back on the AMHS all-winter-spring schedule, too.
Service linking Prince Rupert and Southeast Alaska via Ketchikan is a tremendous asset to both sides of the U.S.-Canada border, as especially evidenced by its absence during the past 22-plus months.
The link opens up entire horizons of travel by people for recreation, business and relocation in both directions. It provides a relief valve if the longer-haul passenger and freight links to the Lower 48 are hampered in some way. And for many local residents, a ferry trip to access the road system at Prince Rupert is economically feasible, whereas the run between Ketchikan and Bellingham, Washington, is cost prohibitive.
We encourage all parties involved in clearing the way for a return of ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert to do their utmost to accomplish that task.
Ferry users from Alaska, Canada and far beyond will be grateful for your efforts and, hopefully, great success.