Everything about our trip from Prince Rupert, B.C. to Juneau Alaska aboard the Alaska Marine Highway’s ferry Matanuska was absolutely perfect — from booking the reservation (and making a change) by phone, to onboard staff, the cabin and the delicious food.
The trip northbound from Prince Rupert took 26 hours and cost approximately $1400 US for 2 passengers, one night in a cabin, and a vehicle with trailer totalling 26 feet in length.
After arriving at the Prince Rupert ferry terminal at 6AM, going through customs and boarding the Matanuska, we left Prince Rupert at 8AM on August 9th under rather gray, gloomy skies.
The skies had lifted slightly by the time we arrived in Ketchikan, so with an hour and a half in port, Ed and I decided to hustle our way over to the Starbucks that we’d spotted on our way in.
Sadly, the lineup was too long to wait for our fix, so we jogged back to avoiding missing our departure — hoping for another chance in Wrangell.
Such was not to be the case, however. While we did spot a nearby pub from the deck, we choice to remain aboard during the 45 minute port stay rather than get drenched for the sake on an Alaskan amber.
Of course, that’s because we had Rickard’s Red in the stateroom, from where I was also able to pick up a wireless signal to check my email and do some blog comment moderation.
The stateroom consisted of a set of bunk beds, a chair, a pull-down table, closet space and a washroom with shower. Comfortable and very clean if not exactly spacious.
I think perhaps that they forgot to equip our room with a ladder for top bunk access however — and I have the bruises to prove that the effort was no simple task. Using the chair as a step and the window frame as the next, it took almost everything I had to haul myself onto that top bunk, especially with my feeble left shoulder in play.
Contrary to appearance, the bed itself was very comfortable and I enjoyed a good night’s sleep without interruption but for waking up once to peer at the Petersburg port sometime around 2AM.
During daylight hours, a ranger from the Tongass National Forest service was in the forward lounge making presentations and available for questions.
As you can see from the picture above, seating space wasn’t at all limited — so you could up and enjoy the magnificent views from the best seats in the house at any time.
Approaching Juneau, the clouds began to lift and we were able to see many of the 13 glaciers in the area around the city.
The experience makes me wonder why anyone would bother taking an Alaskan cruise when you can take the ferry.
The next post will be about our Juneau experience.