The Alaska Department of Transportation has released their schedule for the upcoming summer ferries, but Skagway residents may notice something they were expecting left off.
It was initially announced that the bookings for Tazlina ferry would start beginning Summer 2019, but the current proposed schedule has the same ferries traveling to and from Skagway as 2018.
The Tazlina ferry, which was supposed to replace the Le Conte, has been delayed for summer and is expected to start booking in mid-December, according to Aurah Landau, public information officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation.
Funding is still being raised for the crew quarters on the Tazlina, which is the reason why it won’t be starting in summer as initially planned, said Landau.
The proposed schedule, put out by the Department of Transportation, has a few different ferries hitting Skagway through the weeks of May to mid-September.
On Mondays, the Columbia ferry will arrive in Skagway in the afternoon and go to Haines and travel south to Juneau the following day.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, the LeConte arrives in Skagway Tuesday and Friday afternoon with stops to Haines and travel to Juneau.
Wednesdays, the Malaspina has transit to Haines in the evening, and overnight travel to Juneau, arriving in the morning.
Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, the Fairweather fast ferry makes two stops in Skagway. The first goes to Haines and the second goes to Juneau.
After mid-September, the ferries are proposed to slow down a bit in Skagway, with the Fairweather fast ferry stopping service. In addition, the Malaspina will move to Mondays and the Matanuska will start Wednesday service.
The proposed schedule is keeping special events in mind for the transit. Currently, the Klondike Road Relay on September 7-8 is listed for Skagway.
At a meeting of the Skagway Marine Highway Ad Hoc Committee, the members voted to approved the current schedule.
The Fairweather running three days a week (in summer) is going make people coming from Juneau happy,” said Dennis Bousson, member of the Skagway Marine Highway Ad Hoc Committee.
In addition to the approval, the committee is suggesting to AMHS that the Fairweather make a weekly stop in December.
Comments and considerations on the schedule are being taken by the Alaska Marine Highway System until Nov. 23 by email at dot.amhs.comments@ alaska.gov.
In addition, there will be a public teleconference on November 26 at 10 a.m. for people to voice any concerns they have with the schedule. The dial- in number is 1 (515)
604-9000 and access code 279613.