Unfortunately, due to the extent of additional repairs and vendor delays on the Alaska state ferry M/V Matanuska, the ship’s expected returned to service is now Monday, Jan. 31.
Welders in the Ketchikan Shipyard worked extended hours to replace and repair damaged steel on the M/V Matanuska, a critical component in the Alaska Marine Highway System. The ship serves Bellingham, Juneau, Haines and Skagway, among other communities.
The delay means that Skagway will not have ferry service from Jan. 8 through about Feb. 5. Haines is served by the Kennicott on Jan. 12, but the ship is not scheduled to call on Skagway at this time.
The delay has caused a Jan. 24 cancellation to the Matanuska sailing to Bellingham, as well. Passengers may rebook on a later sailing or seek alternative arrangements to reach their destination. AMHS reservation staff is reaching out to affected passengers to provide assistance.
AMHS is seeking alternatives for the missed sailings, including crewing the Tazlina to provide service to Northern Lynn Canal and other communities. The department will share more information on these alternative sailings as soon as possible, it said in a press release.
The M/V Matanuska is 58 years old, among the oldest vessels in the marine highway system. Steel damage is not uncommon on older ships, and must be repaired, the Alaska Marine Highway System said. Additional repairs of control systems, the waste heat boiler system, and a generator repair are needed, and vendor delays are impacting the ship’s schedule.