To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Inter-Island Ferry Authority, the ferry will give free rides between Ketchikan and Hollis, Prince of Wales Island, from Jan. 8 through Jan. 14, 2022.
“During this week, Passenger travel will be discounted 100%,” the nonprofit ferry authority announced on its website. Vehicles will be charged regular rates. Those wanting to travel that week need to book the reservation by calling, rather than booking online.
The Inter-Island Ferry carries more than 50,000 passengers and 12,000 vehicles between our Hollis and Ketchikan ports annually.
In 2015, the IFA brought 3,000 tourists to Prince of Wales Island, where they spent more than $10 million on hotels, fishing expeditions, and dining – generating hundreds of summer jobs across the island, the authority says. It also moves millions of pounds of seafood every year and ensures people of Prince of Wales Island can get to medical care, even if the weather prevents flights, which it often does in Southeast Alaska.
The ferry takes shoppers, students and other to and fro from Hollis to Ketchikan; in 2015, there were 3,100 trips taken by students in 13 Alaska school districts.
The ferry also travels from Metlakatla to Ketchikan four days a week. The service is paid mainly through fares, but has a subsidy from the State of Alaska of about $250,000 per year.