By Melinda Munson
The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) wants to clarify rumors that Skagway will not have service this winter. If the current plan is approved, the town will see three ferries each week for the months of January and February.
The proposed schedule shows the Columbia making port on Saturdays, with the Tazlina touching down on Fridays and Sundays. On Fridays, the ferry will arrive from Haines, but will skip the Haines stop on the way to Juneau. On Sundays, the Tazlina will come to Skagway directly from Juneau and will stop in Haines on the return trip.
“We’re planning on bringing the Tazlina back into service just like we did last year. If for some reason we are unable to crew up the Tazlina, we have supplemental service contracts with Goldbelt and Allen Marine that we can use for Hoonah, Gustavus, Angoon, and Pelican, and with union agreement, Haines and Skagway as well,” AMHS said.
Four days of service per week will resume in March, provided by the Le Conte and the Kennicot.
While the proposed schedule provides more service than the 2021 schedule, some residents are dissatisfied by the timing of the vessels.
“Although I’m happy there’s going to be ferries regularly this winter, Friday, Saturday, Sunday is stupid. We often need to leave for doctors appointments, who are not open on weekends. Why not spread it out a bit?” said Jessie Baker.
The comment period for the schedule ends Aug. 26. The proposed schedule can be found below.