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Old 08-20-2007, 08:47 AM
23 posts, read 523,393 times
Reputation: 35


So we are planning on driving up to Anchorage in December, right after I graduate, we will be making the move.. I have looked into it and it would make much more sense to sell my car and everything else and buy a 1 way ticket.. But then again, that is no fun, and I really am stuck to my car and don't want to get rid of it.. (98 Subaru Legacy Outback with 129,000 miles).. It probably needs a few repairs and I'll get it thoroughly checked out before making the journey.. I currently live in Georgia so it is going to be a lonnnnggg drive.. Now, after talking with some people they say I would be crazy to try and drive the Alcan in December? So I was thinking of driving to Seattle, Tacoma, WA or where ever to try and catch a ferry.. I'm sure there are a few different ferries that run in and out.. One of them we called and said it was something like $550 to go from Tacoma to Valdez and it would take 5 days.. Does this seem right? Also, we are traveling with a few dogs and they said dogs were fine, do the ferries have designated "Pet" areas for the dogs to do their business in?

Does anyone have any ferry experiences? Good or bad? 5 days seems like a really long time to be trapped on a boat... Although I'm sure it is a HUGE boat..

The quotes I got to ship the vehicle and 1 apartments worth of stuff was $2300 for the car, $2500-3300 to ship our stuff..

I figure gas to Seattle might run about $700? plus ferry $500, plus hotels and stuff almost $1800 i'm sure, but I love to drive and it will be an awesome adventure...
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:29 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
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What an adventure it would be... yes.

I'm too scared to make the drive myself. the closer it gets to winter. A one way plane ticket was $250. easy. I don't have a lot of stuff, and what I don't bring with on the plane or mail, I replace... easy.

But the vehicle thing bothered me.. as it does you. I'm attached not only to my truck...but HAVING a truck.. what am I going to do without a vehicle!!

The ferry.. I would advise against? (but it may just be me) they make you keep your animals in your vehicle for the ride. (and it's days if not a week long) (and you need to check the routes... the deeper winter it is, another poster informed someone in your same predicament, that they don't RUN in the winter due to weather conditions, yikes!) but... they make you keep your animals in your vehicle..and only visit them when the ship is in port somewhere. That will be really rough on your babies... ya.

It's a long drive.. may be safer to do once the bite and thaw of winter has come and gone. But take everythign with a grain of salt that I'm saying.. my ti cket is booked for Sept 14th... but I'm still at the moment in turmoil wondering if I should just postphone the entire thing..and wait out the winter here, save up more, and "try" to make the drive when it gets a little warmer.

Keep your animals in mind if you want to ferry it up. If you want to drive, you need to buy a Milepost. and extra gascan. arctic clothing, road flares, keep a jack, spare tire, cellphone if possible. convert all your money sooon as you cross the border.... petrol prices in Canada are REALLLY hard to swallow right now.. but everyone knows gas prices go down slightly during the wniter. Same with the ferry rides.

Let me know what you plan on doing? Since I have still no idea what I should be doing... lol
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:16 AM
23 posts, read 523,393 times
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Wow, that sounds nuts.. That is just crazy they think you will leave you animals in the car for 5 days straight!!! I think my girlfriend's little 8 pound dog would die of hypothermia..

So yeah, I think we might be flying then, or who knows... Decisions, decisions...

I noticed on one of the ferries web pages that they did not run in the winter and I thought this was crazy, hell, my brother lives in Finland and he says the Ferries there double as Ice Breakers, so I would figure this would be no different..

Flying really seems like the way to go for the price, $250 like you said, +$50 for each animal, then maybe try and ship our stuff for $2500-3000, we have really nice furniture that I don't think I could sell for what it is worth..

I thought about waiting out the winter down south, but then that's no fun, I figure if we move in December, and can stand the worst winter months up there, Jan and Feb, then we are good to go, and by time we know it April and May will come around and things will start to thaw out..
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:38 AM
Location: I'm not lost, I'm exploring!
3,402 posts, read 12,820,303 times
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Move with the Truck Rental Alternative - ABF U-Pack Moving

Ok try that link above. They deliver a "pod" to your home and give you time to pack it yourself.. then they come and haul it off, along with lots of others going different places. My quote from Washington DC area to ANC was just under three thousand dollars... unfortunately, it wouold be the same price if I had one bedroom less, or 3 bedrooms more... (as i mentioned earlier I don't have a lot) ..but with those prices, you're paying for the distance, not necessarily the bulk of your shipment. If you have a lot of furniture that you want to hang onto, I would strongly suggest looking into it this way as well. International Professional Movers site I had do a quote over the phone for an average $5,200 for a 2 bedroom size, minimum. So packing yourself will safe you loads, whether you fly up or drive anyways. (unless you want to drive with all your things) I will let you know right now.. U-HAUL already said NO to crossing the Canada border with their trucks!!!! ..and the more you take with you on the road, the longer you "may" or "may not" sit while they search you at the border crossing. lol.

You can drive it with your dogs. But it would require a lot more money.. for extenuating circumstances that might come up with accidents in such cold weather in a foreign country on the middle of a not-so-well traveled highway.
It's a scenic trip that will take your breathe away, I'm told...

But On the bright side, it's only a 5-6 hour plane ride, versus 2 weeks (max) on the road.
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Old 08-20-2007, 11:53 AM
Location: Juneau, AK
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When my family moved up to Juneau (this is what I hear from them- I wasn't born yet) what they did was put everything on a freight barge and then drove up the alcan then took the ferry down from Skagway. You have a lot more options because you can drive all the way to Anchorage, however I've been on that road and wouldn't recommend driving it in the winter, especially for someone not used to northern winter driving...
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:28 PM
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
1,552 posts, read 5,960,887 times
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Your Kids (animals) are not locked down for days at a time, you are allowed to make trips below at certain times and walk them, feed em and care for them.
But boy is it exciting when one escapes below decks its a all hands emergency it seems. Then you get the barkers and can hear them above deck.
The problem with a december run is the last open water ferry departs juneau in October until spring time. Believe it was the Kennicot and we took the last ferry north was not crowded at all.
So keep that in mind been a couple years since we made the trip maybe they have the newer ferrys up and running more often.
Dropped us in Seward and we picked rental car up and into the tour mode.
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Old 08-20-2007, 12:47 PM
Location: Alaska
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You are allowed to check on your pet(s) every 4 hours. They can get out, walk around, etc, but only in the vehicle holding area. You are required to clean up after them.
It's well lit, clean, and heated. People work down there so it is not the dungeon you think it is. But it is a secure area tho, 24 hr lockdown while underway.
The north bound ferry ends in Oct because of the rough sea weather in the open gulf during the winter. Check out the sea's appearance on Deadliest Catch tv show. The ferry's are not small, but they are not made for that kind of weather.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:37 PM
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I'm going through more or less the same. I do not have dogs but I'm in the process of relocating next month. I'm from California and had a quote from able auto transport for $2k just for taking my car to Anchorage.The car will be taken in a truck to Washington state and from there it'll be shipped in a ferry or some kind of vessel to anc. Plus before leaving I have to make sure the car has anti-freeze protection. I thought it was kind of expensive and looked into driving through Canada but I was soon discouraged. My husband, who is in Anc already, adviced me against it because the road is dangerous and british columbia, in that area is like nobody's land.
I sold all my furniture and got rid of all my summer clothes, which I could'nt even wear in Anc during July. I shipped a couple of boxes with my personal belongings. I hope I can fit the rest in the 2 suitcases I'm taking with me in the plane.
It was no fun! I ended up selling my furniture for half the price it was worth, but then again it was too expensive for me to ship everything ($5k) but may be it's not such a bad deal, in general, since you can deduct moving expenses from your tax return...I guess it depends on how comfortable the person feels.
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:08 PM
23 posts, read 523,393 times
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Arctic Kitten: Their website doesn't say they send those re-lo-cube's to Alaska? I still put a quote in, but we'll see what they say..
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:40 PM
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but there are no passenger ferries from Seattle to Alaska. There are cruise ships, not I'm pretty sure that is not what you are looking for.

The Alaska Ferry System (Alaska Marine Highway) once served Bellingham, about 90 miles north of Seattle, but not sure if that service is still available. It is a little pricey with autos.

Driving could be an adventure from late October thru early April. With great snow tires, you could probably make it, but add about 10 hours to the trip with winter conditions. Not sure how many resources are put to clearing the highway in the winter.

One suggestion, maybe mentioned above, is ship everything via barge (it will take weeks), and make the three hour flight. Hard to believe a 4-day drive takes only 3 hours by air, but it's true due to the geography of the route.

When I moved to and from Anchorage it was during the good weather season, but even then was long and arduous.
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