Free rides to Prince of Wales Island for one week in January


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.

Reservations can be made by calling 866-308-4848.


    • Joel, please better educate yourself. The Inter-Island ferry system is completely independent of the State system, the apparent object of your poorly-aimed and ill-informed derision. IFA – green, State of AK – blue!

      • Whidbey, the article plainly says, “(the inter-island ferry authority)… has a subsidy from the State of Alaska of about $250,000 per year.”
        A wise man said, “there ain’t nothing in life for free; if you ain’t paying for it, someone else is.” Its a truism.
        The hard fact is, the free fares are being paid for by the people of Alaska because every dime of fare money forfeited could reduce the state subsidy by that amount. The free fares are a transfer of wealth by government tyranny.

  1. Actually it’s proof of concept. Southeast can function without the ferry system. Just sell it off to private enterprise.

  2. A beautiful ferry ride, and a beautiful island with an amazing road system. If you’ve never visited, head over this summer for a wonderful time.

  3. I had to grab my calculator for this 2015 data. Way to stay current and keep us updated. So each of the 3000 tourists had to spend over $3000 to get to ten million, and I’m stunned that We Alaskans are ‘subsidizing’ this ferry at almost $21,000 per month.
    Murkowski, Young and Sullivan all just voted to give this money eater more to munch on.
    Good grief.
    Here’s a little reminder: Nothing is free. That ‘free’ ride costs us all.

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