Another often-used route to Eielson is the Alaska Marine Highway. The marine highway offers the advantages of a break from driving combined with breathtaking scenery along Alaska’s inland waterways. Alaska operates 11 ferries, one of which sails for a four-night, five-day trip from Bellingham, Wash., (north of Seattle) to Alaska. Several ships operate in southeastern Alaska and can be boarded at Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Any of the Prince Rupert ships or the Seattle ship can provide vehicle and passenger accommodations all the way to Haines, Alaska. From Haines, it’s about 600 miles to Eielson’s main gate. If you prefer to see a bit of Canada before catching the ferry, then travel west on Yellowhead Highway 16 through Prince George to Prince Rupert. Travelers can board the ferry there. Tourist season is in full swing during the summer, so reservations must be made as early as possible. Reservations can be made as early as December for the following summer. The Alaska Marine Highway System is the only ferry system authorized for PCS travel to and from Alaska. There are various publications available concerning rates, schedules and reservations. The website mentioned above contains a complete ferry schedule for the summer travel season. If you are taking a pet, a current health certificate is needed or the pet will not be allowed on the ferry. Call your local TMO, and if you need further assistance, call the Eielson TMO at 907-377-1771.
For more information about the marine highway, call 800-642-0066, or visit www.alaska.gov/ferry. If you travel via the Alaska Marine Highway System, you will be paid normal mileage and per diem for driving to and from each ferry port. The member must pay the deck fee in cash for any vehicle (cash withdrawal using a government travel card is recommended), but an advance by finance may be made prior to your departure. Under some circumstances, members can ship two vehicles aboard the ferry. Check with your local TMO for details. Whether you drive all the way or part of the way and then use the ferry system, it must be authorized on your orders.
Alaska Marine Highway System