Ketchikan-to-Hollis ferry carries its millionth passenger

The Inter-Island Ferry Authority on May 24 welcomed its one millionth passenger since the service began operating between Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island in 2002.

As passengers arrived for the Prince of Wales ferry’s 3:30 p.m. run from Ketchikan to Hollis, Inter-Island Ferry manager Ron Curtis stood at the loading ramp, keeping track of passengers to figure out when the all-time passenger count hit a million.

At 999,999 he announced: “It will be the next person to get on the ferry.”

Chance Headley approached the purser's station with his younger brother Tymber Hubble close behind. Headley and Hubble were traveling to Prince of Wales Island to attend their sister’s high school graduation in Craig.

Curtis shook Headley’s hand and presented him a voucher for free, round-trip Alaska Airlines tickets for any destination where the airline flies.

The Inter-Island Ferry Authority put the Prince of Wales, its first ferry, into service on Jan. 12, 2002. The operator transported 48,000 passengers in 2022 — its highest passenger count since 2011, Curtis said.

Its other ferry, the Stikine, has been in the Vigor Alaska shipyard in Ketchikan for $4.64 million in repairs — 33% more than anticipated. Both ships are 168 feet long and can run at 5 knots. Each can carry 160 passengers and 30 vehicles.

The Ketchikan-to-Hollis run takes about three hours and operates seven days a week, connecting travelers with the extensive road system on Prince of Wales.

The ferry authority pays its way mostly with passenger and vehicle revenues, but has received state funding over the years.

 

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