When I came to Alaska before the summer, I drove all the way. On my way back, I thought it would be nice to take the Ferry, part of the way.
First, I would like to experience the Alaska Marine Highway. Second, I would like to stop by a couple of places you can’t reach by road, such as Juneau and Ketchikan. Lastly, I was hoping to see marine wildlife.
So I book the ferry from Haines to Prince Rupert (BC), stopping at Juneau and Ketchikan, each for three days.
Well, as you have read from my last few posts, I have seen Juneau and Ketchikan. To me, the natural scenery of Juneau is certainly worth seeing. As for Ketchikan, if one doesn’t care about Totem Poles that much, the scenery isn’t worth the time and money.
The experience of the ferry wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t anything exciting either. From Haines to Juneau was 4 hours in the evening so I didn’t see anything, other than a movie on board. From Juneau to Ketchikan was 19 hours so I did see a lot. However, to my disappointment, the scenery was so-so (mostly cloudy as well). Besides seagulls and a couple of Bald Eagles, I didn’t see any wildlife as I expected! Now I am so glad I did take the Cruise (Post #78) while I was in Seward. From Ketchikan to Prince Rupert was about 8-9 hours, again, all during the middle of the night so we didn’t see anything.
So, if you ask me, after experiencing the ferry system, I would suggest you not to take it. There are so many breathtakingly beautiful places in Alaska you can reach by car. As for marine wildlife and coastal scenery, take the specialized cruises instead of the ferry. Even the day cruise as I took, will take you to see so much more than the ferry. The travel agent was right – the ferry system is just a form of transportation, not a tour (Post #78).
PS. my photo website: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/qing-yang.html