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Old 08-28-2007, 04:54 PM
 
1 posts, read 9,672 times
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I am from Portland planning to take the Ferry ride up the inside passage. I know there are several ferries that go from Bellingham up to Juneau and Sitka. I would like to do that trip next week or two.

I am having trouble figuring out the following:

1. Which is the best ferry to take from Bellingham to Juneau? I heard some are better than others. I don't know what the differences are.

2. If I stay in Juneau how long should I stay there? 1 extra overnight? If so where should I stay? I am going alone.

3. I might bring my bike. What's good to do in Juneau?

4. Are there any side trips on other boats that I should do? I saw [SIZE=-1]Tracey Arm Fjord looks great. Is that recommended? If so how do I get there?

5. What is the best 'speed ferry' that I can take from Juneau to Sitca and how long will that take?

6. Are there are other things on the itinerary I am missing?

7. How long will this entire trip take? I will be taking the train to Bellingham from Portland.

Thanks, I am having lots of trouble planning this trip as the website listed is difficult to follow.
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Old 08-28-2007, 10:25 PM
 
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1. The Alaska Ferry system originates out of Bellingham. This as I recall leaves about 6:00 PM and makes it to Ketchikan early the next day then makes a couple of more stops and finally gets to Juneau
2. I say stay three days take all the tours you can - there are two Glacier tours one is all day leaves about 8:00 AM and gets back in the afternoon.
3. leave your bike home.
4. Side trip would be to take the high speed boat to Skagway maybe spend the day there and take it back the next day.
5. Don't know of a fast trip to Sitka you may be thinking of Skagway.
6. If you want to see most take all the tours available, try to spend a day at each stop and catch the ferry the next day going north. No need to stay in Craig. So I would say you could plan on a week or so. If you are Young you wont need sleeping cabins and if you are young and hardy bring a tent and duck tape and pitch your tent on the ferry. Even that is not needed as you can sleep in the lounge in the evenings (free).
If you want more help with schedule email me and I will help you.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Juneau, AK
2,628 posts, read 6,437,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earls View Post
1. The Alaska Ferry system originates out of Bellingham. This as I recall leaves about 6:00 PM and makes it to Ketchikan early the next day then makes a couple of more stops and finally gets to Juneau
2. I say stay three days take all the tours you can - there are two Glacier tours one is all day leaves about 8:00 AM and gets back in the afternoon.
3. leave your bike home.
4. Side trip would be to take the high speed boat to Skagway maybe spend the day there and take it back the next day.
5. Don't know of a fast trip to Sitka you may be thinking of Skagway.
6. If you want to see most take all the tours available, try to spend a day at each stop and catch the ferry the next day going north. No need to stay in Craig. So I would say you could plan on a week or so. If you are Young you wont need sleeping cabins and if you are young and hardy bring a tent and duck tape and pitch your tent on the ferry. Even that is not needed as you can sleep in the lounge in the evenings (free).
If you want more help with schedule email me and I will help you.

Not exactly.
It is a three day ferry ride from Bel-Jnu, you don't hit AK until day two. The tours are primarily oriented toward cruise ship passengers- most won't even run in the winter. The one to Tracy Arm is nice, but personally I'm fond of the one that takes you to the lodge and feeds you salmon. Mm.
Depending on when you go, I would DEFINITELY bring your bike. If you bring your car, you can reach some of the trails off the beaten path. For a <10 ft car, you are looking at about $400 to Juneau, one way but it is worth it. Having the car makes things much easier.
Fast ferry (the Fairweather- she's a beautiful ship) makes various runs- check the schedule. You can get to Sitka on her, but you have to spend a few days because she only leaves/arrives two or three times a week. Same w/ Skagway, but oter ferrys service Skag as well. I went on the Columbia, once I believe.
Stay in Juneau as long as you can, but plan about three days in Ketch, Sitka & Skag each to do them justice, maybe a little less for Skag.
Ok, I gotta stop typing my broken hand is killing me. Pm me later if you want more info from someone who's done it quite recently.
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:37 PM
 
23,194 posts, read 31,500,619 times
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I read about your hand, Xa'at, and can't recall which thread, but wanted to express my condolences.

Xa'at is pretty much right on here, instatone. You really should bring your bike too.
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Old 08-29-2007, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Alaska
1,437 posts, read 4,522,071 times
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Leave your car at home, it'll just get in the way and Juneau isn't that big.
The ferry actually parks 20 miles north of Juneau, in Auke Bay. Most motels provide free shuttle service if you stay at their place.
As far as motels go, if you want 5 star...forget it.
The Goldbelt and the Barranov (downtown) cater mostly to the crusie industry, and at best are 3 star. Not worth 180 bucks a night right now.
The Breakwater was bought last year, and the new owners have remodled the heck out of it. They have a web site and run specials. I would vote for their place. Free shuttle service also. It is one mile from downtown, 6 bucks in a cab.
Downtown covers approx one square mile. Picture the French Quarter in New Orleans. your feet will be all you need.
It takes 3 days to go from Bellingham to juneau. Pay for a cabin if you wish, but I wouldn't. Grab a lounge chair on the solarium and camp out. The solrarium is what makes the trip fun. Showers are free, soap and towels are a buck. you can even rent a pillow and blanket. there is a cafateria but you can bring your own food. Cup-o-Noodles is popular for a snack.
As far as the shops downtown, you can tell which is locally owned and operated and which is not. Just look at who is working there. The employees don't look "local", and when in doubt, just ask. They will trip a bit on their words, but the locals will flat out say "YES WE LIVE HERE! (among with a few colorful metaphors describing how they feel about the cruise line shops).
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Old 08-29-2007, 10:01 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,389 posts, read 11,567,869 times
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There is a Hostel downtown--the Juneau Hostel. I stayed there last month. A really great place. 10 bucks a night--clean, bunk beds--men sleep downstairs, women upstairs. They have a full service kitchen and free internet access. You are assigned a cleaning chore every night you stay there, but they are so easy and take about 5 minutes of your time. Really nice people who oversee the place too. It's within walking distance of everything downtown---in fact, all downtown is walking distance. You can grab groceries and cook or there are all sorts of places for to eat. If you want, you can walk from the ferry terminal down Veteran's Memorial Drive about a mile to the bus stop (a convenience store/gas station) which will take you down town for 3 bucks. I pretty much did all my traveling via bus. I think you can put your bike on the rack as well.

I did the Tracy Arm tour last year (July) through a company called Adventure Bound. I think they are on or around Franklin Street. Not hard to find. It was really great and definately worth it. Let me add though, that although it was sunny and warm, the tour itself was very cold, windy, once you get out on that water. If you do go, bring fleece and a good rainjacket. In fact, you should bring those regardless in Juneau.

I also hiked the ice caves of Mendenhall last month, but I had access to a car that day, as the trail starts at Skater's Cabin, near Montana Creek, which is in the valley, about 15 miles from downtown but closer to the ferry. It was really muddy and wet with all the snow and rain from last year. In fact, the lower trail was washed out because the Mendenhall lake was so high, so I took the high trail, which involves some rock climbing. If you could do that, it would be very cool and you wouldn't have to rely on a tour company. Lots of cool trails within walking distance of downtown as well: Perseverance, Mt Roberts, Mt Jumbo/Bradley on Douglas, which is just across the bridge.

Man there are all sorts of stuff to do in Juneau. 3-5 days would be nice.

Enjoy
Cobolt
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:28 AM
 
1 posts, read 9,228 times
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Default inside channel ferry ride -bellingham to juneau to.....??

Wee correction - there is only 1 ferry system travelling from WA State into AK.
The terminal is in Bellingham (about 1- 1/2 hrs N of Seattle) & the ferry system is operated by the State of AK.

The ship (only 1 per week in 2008) leaves each Friday at 6pm (3:00pm check in) and will get into Juneau the following Monday - usually in the wee hrs of the morning.
Ferries travelling up the Inside Passage also depart from Prince Rupert (about 1,000 miles from Bellingham) in British Columbia - these ferries are also operated by the State & are not usually as busy as the ferry from Bellingham - the cost is also much less as it only takes 1 day to get to Juneau

The cost per person from Bellingham is just over 300.00 and if travelling with a vehicle or if wanting a cabin, the cost is increased depending on what is wanted.

The easiest site through which to get schedules & find info on every port the ferries travelling up the Inside Passage stop at, is [URL="http://www.ferrytravel.com"]www.ferrytravel.com[/URL]

Be aware that Juneau is not accessible by road - visitors to Juneau (the State Capital) can arrive only by ferry or plane

Also be aware that summer space on the weekly ferry from Bellingham sells out quickly so if cabins or vehicle space is desired it is important to book by Feb /March.

Currently (18 April '08) cabin space from Bellingham is sold out 'till late August and vehicle space is tight through June 18.
The X-Gulf ferries which go into Whittier & Valdez are also sold out of vehicle space uptil late August (the X-gulf ferries bypass Canada but only travel 1x per month from May thru Sept)

Waitlists for cabin space from Bellingham have been started but for sailings like June 20th, are already closed
Hoping that helps a little?
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