Taking the Alaska Marine Highway from Ketchikan to Juneau

Ketchikan Travel Blog

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Somewhere beautiful between Ketchikan and Juneau
We were pretty excited to be moving onto our next destination, Juneau, Alaska! I'll admit we were also excited to get on the ferry and be able to use the electrical outlets found throughout the ship! This would be an overnight ferry ride, departing Ketchikan at 2:30pm and arriving in Juneau at 10:30am the next morning.

Since we had a little time before our ferry left in the early afternoon, what else would we do, but explore one of the great American wonders - Wal-mart. It's there you can find Alaska stamped t-shirts and 36 cent kit kat bars - a couple hours well spent.

If you're going on an overnight ferry, be sure to bring some good books, food if you don't want the cafeteria food, cards and a sleeping bag! Don't worry about bringing absolutely everything with you.
Somewhere beautiful between Ketchikan and Juneau
There are a couple times when they allow passengers access to their cars, so you can pick up anything you've forgotten or put things away, but at other times, the doors are closed and there is no access to the card deck. They will announce over loud speaker when you can go down to your cars. We had brought up some instant noodles with the intent of not getting spending money in the cafeteria, but somehow we are always tempted ended up giving in to their fairly impressive salad bar and assortment of not-so-nutritious foods. We read away the afternoon and spent some time outside, watching the Alaskan wilderness pass us by.

Later in the night, we made our way up to the aft lounge. If you don't want to spend the money on an overnight cabin, you can bring your sleeping bag and even set up your tent on the deck.
Somewhere beautiful between Ketchikan and Juneau
But you can't throw out your sleeping bag and lie down anywhere, like on our ferry from the Queen Charlottes to Prince Rupert, where people were lining the aisles creating all sorts of fire hazards. There are signs saying where you are allowed to sleep and the aft lounge was one of them. There was another group of about 4 getting ready to sleep there too, but it's a big area. Although you have to go outside to get into the solarium, there is a bathroom inside so you don't have to run outside in the middle of the night! It is also carpeted, so you don't really need your sleeping pad. There are shades to block out the morning sun if you want to sleep, but it was also nice to be able to soak up the early morning sun through the plentiful windows and we sleepily woke up.

There are free showers to use in the bathrooms on the cabin deck and, I believe, for a fee you can rent a towel from the Steward's Office. It's a nice hot shower and if you're camping, take advantage of this place to get clean!

Be sure not to spend all your time inside! The views from the ferry are stunning and if you're lucky you'll see a humpback whale or some orcas. The stewards will also make announcements over the PA system if they spot one and you can rush outside and catch them if you can.
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Somewhere beautiful between Ketchi…
Somewhere beautiful between Ketch…
Somewhere beautiful between Ketchi…
Somewhere beautiful between Ketch…
Somewhere beautiful between Ketchi…
Somewhere beautiful between Ketch…
Ketchikan
photo by: Hummingbird