Ferry system suspends service to Prince Rupert - Must Read Alaska
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Thursday, April 15, 2021
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Ferry system suspends service to Prince Rupert


The Alaska Marine Highway System service to Prince Rupert, British Columbia is cancelled until further notice, the AMHS reported today.

COVID-19 coronavirus-related travel restrictions delayed work to bring the Prince Rupert Terminal into compliance with federal regulations. All passengers are being notified and rebooked or refunded as necessary.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection was scheduled to meet with Alaska state officials this month at Prince Rupert to review and approve Alaska’s ferry terminal facility modifications, required to conduct international operations. Alaska’s ferry system must fully comply with the security operations stipulated within the Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement signed by the U.S. and Canada.

But with current travel restrictions, the April meeting cannot take place as planned. Alaska and Canadian officials will meet as soon as possible after travel restrictions are lifted, according to a press release from the Alaska Marine Highway System.

AMHS extended its policy waiving cancellation fees for any reservation until May 11, 2020. To cancel or make changes to an itinerary contact the AMHS reservation call center at 1-800- 642-0066 or call your local AMHS terminal.f

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Seems to me that this port of call should be permanently removed from the ALASKAN ferry route. It costs money we don’t have and is an almost constant source of international problems. Why are we subsidizing tourists trips anyways?

    • I first traveled on the ferry system over fifty years ago and worked on the SE vessels for a time. I realize you may be trying to offer constructive criticism but, frankly, and with all due respect, your observation is bizarre. Prince Rupert historically has been the point of origination for most of the north-bound traffic in SE Alaska. Bellingham serves this function, but the costs are substantial. Absent introduction of north-bound traffic at Prince Rupert the system does not make much sense and will economically fail.

      • I was born in Southeast, I’ve spent an untold number of days on the ferry all over the state. Bellingham makes sense as a port of call, it’s at least in the same country and can ship goods from the lower 48 offsetting the cost somewhat. Prince Rupert isn’t a destination for Alaskans, it is a tourist port…shift it to Bellingham and save some money and the tourists will follow.
        Many probably do not remember the armed standoff that occurred in Prince Rupert in 1997 with drunk Canadian fishermen burning American Flags and holding our state ferry and fellow Americans hostage. Before then and since then it has been a troublesome port of call. We pay to build and maintain their infrastructure, we have to pay to have an armed customs official, we pay we pay we pay.
        Maybe I’m wrong and the tourists pay their way, if that’s the case show it to me because I have yet to see where the price we pay to pick up some tourists in Canada pays for itself.
        The system is failing, Prince Rupert isn’t helping it.

  • Same reason Alaska subsidizes the fishing industry. And the oil industry. And every pseudo self reliant south easterner than can do everything but afford to live without the grossly expensive 250gallon per hour ferry system. Hell, every resident that can fog a mirror gets a fatty check. Special interests need a ton. Why not tourism? They need a teat, too. Don’t be a cheapskate.

  • Dear Mabel
    You may be correct about the fishing subsidies but the oil industry money runs this state. I know the earning from the oil money to the state is getting close to equal the oil money but Alaska couldn’t manage without their money. They spend millions of dollars BEFORE they make a dime. Alaska was a backwash state because Seattle ran the state due the fishing. For the fifty years the oil companies have picked Alaska rather than some Middle East nation is a plus for Alaska. One major oil company has already pulled stakes and left. Let don’t run another one run out because we can’t live within our blotted state budget. It is time to outlaw public service unions in the state of Alaska. Private sector unions are fine and help develop new workers but the [public sector unions are worst than the mafia for the state. We need to fix the situation while we can.

    • It can’t be done. They are too deeply ingrained into the coffers. Even when one screws up badly publicly, they all come running to shore up the leak. The speaker just did this with the racist finance manager. The Legislature sit on boards where it is a conflict of interest. This place make old Chicago and the crooked Kennedy’s look like a bunch of choir boys. They are well connected. Much of the voting public are ignorant of this, and only look to get the crumbs that they fick out to them to keep them satisfied and loyal. It is too late by about 15 years.

  • Greg,
    You may be right but we need to try.

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