Ferry Tazlina heads back into service from Auke Bay


The M/V Tazlina docked at Auke Bay near Juneau on Sunday, where it’s tied up next to the broken down M/V Matanuska. It was brought north from the Ketchikan shipyards, where it’s been undergoing refitting so it can service more ports.

The ferry will start back into service on March 5, after it fuels up and gets its quarterly U.S. Coast Guard inspection. The crew also has to perform a number of safety and abandon-ship drills.

The ferry will begin servicing Northern Lynn Canal communities, including Angoon, Hoonah, Haines and Skagway.

[M/V Tazlina schedule can be found here]

Meanwhile, a vessel from Allen Marine in Sitka has been contracted by the State ferry system to provide service to some smaller communities. The M/V Melinda Leigh will next depart Tuesday for a run to Kake, Angoon, and Tenakee.

That run, on a vessel usually used in summers for tours, will cost the State $11,250 per trip. Passengers from Juneau to Tenakee will pay just $56 in fare for the 9-hour voyage to Tenakee. The Melinda Leigh does not carry vehicles.

The contract for the route from Juneau to Sitka will cost the State $10,900.


  1. What a waste. It cost me $300 for a one-way ticket to Anchorage and doesn’t cost the state one red cent. It’s comforting knowing that I’m not contributing to the State’s deficit.

  2. Greg,
    If the state of Alaska was a typical “business”, how could you justify investing over $60 billion in mostly foreign markets when the annual budget is running in the “red”?
    It might be time to audit the permanent fund and bring some of Alaska’s earnings home?

  3. Hey Greg! Well while your in Anchorage don’t drive on any of the state roads because they cost money too. I help pay for those roads and I don’t drive on them. What a waste for me. But I don’t complain.

        • Yes it’s currently $0.08 a gallon for State fuel tax and that goes to fixing potholes and maintaining the roads. I guess they thought I was driving an electric car and not buying any gasoline four tires or anything else that is taxed. The bottom line is these people are buying a ticket on the boat and the state is supplementing the rest of their fee in order to make the thing work. They’re not paying full cost and I am when I fly into Anchorage. My Bush carrier does not haul mail, so he gets no extra cash for that. He’s just a businessman trying to make a living the old-fashioned way.

          • You don’t pay for most of your road repair. Our tax contribution doesn’t cover most of the state portion and many of the state roads are built/maintained with matching federal funds, provided by a federal government that runs on a deficit (read: payed with credit cards and carrying a BIG balance because they only pay the minimum monthly payment). So please, stop spouting this “I pay my share” nonsense.

  4. To whom it may concern
    It is sad to see waste in Government.
    And yes the design of boats is questionable to Alaska waters. This being said.

    This system is essential to life of the sustainability of ALL Alaskans.

    Why? It is just as need as good roads or the protection of the police departments, the assistance of the fire department, or the aid of emergency crews, EMT.
    Alaska marine highway system helps keeps families in the communities and brings stability to the economy year round.

    The Alaska’s Marine Highway Serves as the post office delivering letters to large packages.
    It is the friend who assist you to a Doctor visit,
    It is team spirit, supporting the local school system helping develop social skills with class functions.
    It is the ride to a real grocery store, mall, or movie theater.
    It is the key in the romance for Alaska with many even Alaskan experiencing how awesome this State is, and the development of blooming relationships for Alaskans.
    It is the trip to the mechanic shop for the repairs after sliding off the road.
    It is the returning home from serving abroad, or going to serve abroad.
    It is the safe ride home in a winter storm.
    It is the trip home from a hospital with a new born baby or the visit of a Grandparent or going to visit family members.
    It represents an embrace of a hug, the tears of joy or sadness, wonderment, laughter, imagination, it is the building blocks of Alaskan friendship.

    By placing numbers and figures on this service an comparing it to other parts of Alaska or services isn’t fair and honestly can seem startling in cost to those who don’t live in these communities,
    These communities literally exit on this system. This winter much anxiety and stress, as well as undue additional cost has been added to families who had to scrabble since the drastic reduction this winter. With nothing to support them. That isn’t good Government.

    It is not a question the ferry system is needed year round it’s for the sustainability of these communities.
    Please don’t eliminate this system.
    Thank you

    • I can’t argue with you one bit on all that. But the State should not be paying for it, unless they going to start sending transport planes out to the Bush and haul everybody to Anchorage for cheap. Same difference.

  5. Build roads where practical, (think Sitka to Chatham) to shorten ferry runs. More roads equals better ferry service!

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