Ketchikan looks forward to seeing Prince Rupert again

The Feb. 9 edition of the Ketchikan Daily News contains a Wrangell Sentinel story about the potential return of Alaska state ferries to Prince Rupert, British Columbia — as soon as May 1.

The story details the issues that officials on both sides of the border are working on to bring back ferry service between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan.

We wish them great success.

The 90-mile, six-hour ferry connection is Ketchikan’s true gateway to the North America road system.

It’s much more affordable than ferry service to Bellingham, Washington, or barge service to the Seattle area.

It speeds access by vehicle to Canada and the central and eastern portions of the United States.

It opens range of relatively close-by recreational opportunities, from skiing at Shames Mountain near Terrace or Hudson Bay Mountain near Smithers to a loop trip up Canada’s Highway 37 and around to Skagway or Haines to catch a southbound ferry back home to the First City. Or, once in Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii’s just one more ferry ride away.

And, it’s a two-way “street.” Prince Rupert opens up access by Canadians and much of the Lower 48 to Ketchikan and the rest of Southeast Alaska.

Granted, COVID-19 wrecked havoc on cross-border travel in the recent past. The borders now are open under certain conditions, and we hope that pandemic-related restrictions soon will decline to the point of disappearing. With an open ferry link that’s convenient, reliable and affordable, the Prince Rupert-Ketchikan route can become as popular and beneficial as ever.

May 1 isn’t far away. Even if that’s not possible, we look forward to the resumption of AMHS ferry service between Ketchikan and Prince Rupert soon.


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