Alaska News

Canadian company considers Ketchikan ferry connection

KETCHIKAN — A tour boat company based in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, is considering running a weekly ferry service to Ketchikan next summer.

Owners of West Coast Launch and its subsidiary, Prince Rupert Adventure Tours, Debbie and Doug Davis, said they are interested in making trips to Alaska next year, especially as the Alaska Marine Highway Service reduces service, The Ketchikan Daily News reports.

Debbie Davis said at the Southeast Conference on Wednesday that as the Alaska Ferry system drops from twice-a-week service in the summer to one weekly trip for the winter, residents of Prince Rupert have been looking for alternatives to get to Alaska.

"Oh, yes — absolutely. A lot of people have asked," she said. "I think the two days a week (ferry) doesn't work in anyone's work schedule."

Their 100-passenger catamaran, the Inside Passage, meets the Safety of Life at Sea treaty requirements needed to access foreign ports, which has limited the number of Alaska ferry system vessels that can access Prince Rupert.

The Davis family operates seven vessels in Prince Rupert and in Kitamat, British Columbia. They said they're still working out details such as customs and exact ticket prices, but that they know the Inside Passage could do the job.

"The boat can take the weather .. It can be a rough trip, but that's why we're looking at summer," Debbie Davis said.