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Thread: Bellingham to Whittier Ferry Question..

  1. #1

    Default Bellingham to Whittier Ferry Question..

    Hey folks! I have been prowling the threads here on the forum for quite a while, but finally decided to start a new thread to ask a question I have not been able to find much information on.


    I have to take the ferry from Bellingham to Whittier. I have a DUI, and know I won't be able to get into Canada. I have done some preliminary rate quotes, and it seems that with my 21ish foot Ram 1/2 ton 2013, this trip will cost me around $2700. This seems to be really expensive. I have seen blog postings online that say it costs much less. Am I doing something wrong?

    Any advice or other alternatives would be greatly appreciated?

    Anthony

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Without checking current rates, that doesn't sound out of line to me. I've always had the best success by avoiding the website, calling the ferry booking number direct and having an agent put together the best itinerary. Get your rate quote direct from the horses mouth and don't worry about what people say on some blog.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Prices have gone up due to normal inflation coupled with state budget shortfalls. Keep that in mind when comparing to old blog posts.

  4. #4

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    Okay. Yeah I thought I was going to be able to ferry it for about 1500, but it looks like 2500 is more around what i'll be spending. Unfortunate, but in the grand scheme of things, not a big deal at all. Just need to save a bit more

  5. #5
    Member LindenTree's Avatar
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    Did the trip in Sept 2015. My Ford Focus and a small cabin cost around 2,400 bucks.
    You may save a little money if you camp out on the Solarium.
    IMG_20150905_130819551.jpg
    May the rivers be crooked and winding, and the portages lonesome, leading to the most "Amazing View".

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by LindenTree View Post
    Did the trip in Sept 2015. My Ford Focus and a small cabin cost around 2,400 bucks.
    You may save a little money if you camp out on the Solarium.
    IMG_20150905_130819551.jpg
    Awesome info. Yeah I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and dish out the cash. Suppose fuel, wear and tare, and all that jazz would also cost a hefty sum if I drove

  7. #7
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Have you looked into shipping the truck and taking the ferry or flying yourself?
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  8. #8
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    I moved our little truck (packed to the gills!) to AK last year on the ferry. They charge for you, your truck, and a cabin if you wish and you need all three for ALL legs of your trip. Last year they ran an out of season (early and late) special where the driver was free. I did it in April (4th to the 9th) on either the last or next to last free trip. It was blowing snow sideways when we got to Whittier. Getting a reservation was a real effort! People could make a reservation and not pay for it but tie up a slot. If the reservation is not paid for within XX time it becomes open again. I think I started trying about Sept. to get a spot. There weren't many people on board, but there were lots of cars, trucks, boats, trailers, etc. that filled the slots. I had my own room and shared the public shower. Clean towel and wash cloth was around $1.

    Rates were higher this year and I didn't see any free trips.

    I be a bit on the cheap side, so I thought the food was a bit expensive. They let me have hot water and use a microwave for free. For me my own Tea and oatmeal for breakfast. The ferry served a huge breakfast. Lunch was OK some days ($9 or $10 for a burger or hot dog, a "little" less for soup). Dinner was usually pretty good (seems like $12 to $14). I took a lot of snack stuff with me.

    Several of the people were "camped out" in various places. Some slept where the signs said not to, but there were so few people it didn't make any difference. Everyone I met was nice. They showed a video or two on Alaska.

    The trip was wonderful.

    Traffic was very very bad in Washington. I had several extra hours built into my trip, but I was late about an hour for check in at the boat. They still got me loaded OK. Port stops are pretty short. When it's time to leave, the ferry leaves!

  9. #9
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    I got a preliminary quote for a vehicle and trailer (it was preliminary based on an estimated trailer size) for Bellingham to Valdez; Quote was received in early January for a trip sometime in July - September (my window). They gave me 2 or 3 specific itineraries that I don't have to hand right now.

    My quote was circa $4000 for SUV + trailer...so I suspect your quote isn't too far out of line
    Back in AK

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Have you looked into shipping the truck and taking the ferry or flying yourself?

    I have thought about it, but I have a dog, a kayak, and a motorcycle. Those things kind of complicated options

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonardC View Post
    I moved our little truck (packed to the gills!) to AK last year on the ferry. They charge for you, your truck, and a cabin if you wish and you need all three for ALL legs of your trip. Last year they ran an out of season (early and late) special where the driver was free. I did it in April (4th to the 9th) on either the last or next to last free trip. It was blowing snow sideways when we got to Whittier. Getting a reservation was a real effort! People could make a reservation and not pay for it but tie up a slot. If the reservation is not paid for within XX time it becomes open again. I think I started trying about Sept. to get a spot. There weren't many people on board, but there were lots of cars, trucks, boats, trailers, etc. that filled the slots. I had my own room and shared the public shower. Clean towel and wash cloth was around $1.

    Rates were higher this year and I didn't see any free trips.

    I be a bit on the cheap side, so I thought the food was a bit expensive. They let me have hot water and use a microwave for free. For me my own Tea and oatmeal for breakfast. The ferry served a huge breakfast. Lunch was OK some days ($9 or $10 for a burger or hot dog, a "little" less for soup). Dinner was usually pretty good (seems like $12 to $14). I took a lot of snack stuff with me.

    Several of the people were "camped out" in various places. Some slept where the signs said not to, but there were so few people it didn't make any difference. Everyone I met was nice. They showed a video or two on Alaska.

    The trip was wonderful.

    Traffic was very very bad in Washington. I had several extra hours built into my trip, but I was late about an hour for check in at the boat. They still got me loaded OK. Port stops are pretty short. When it's time to leave, the ferry leaves!
    Thanks for the info. I plan to ruff in a major way. I'll definitely be camping and probably sneaking my dog out of his crate and letting him sleep in the tent. Dude has a little bit of separation anxiety, as I got him as a 2 week old Mexican street dog, down in Baja.

    I'll pack all of my own food to cut down on costs. I understand it is an amazing experience, so I guess I'll have to suck it up and dish out the cash. Alaska has always been my dream, the time is right in my life, so I won't let a $2500 ticket slow me down.

    Anthony

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    I got a preliminary quote for a vehicle and trailer (it was preliminary based on an estimated trailer size) for Bellingham to Valdez; Quote was received in early January for a trip sometime in July - September (my window). They gave me 2 or 3 specific itineraries that I don't have to hand right now.

    My quote was circa $4000 for SUV + trailer...so I suspect your quote isn't too far out of line
    Yeah, I asked for a quote with a trailer, around $4000 as well, Guess I'll just have to pack the 'ol 1/2ton to the gills

  13. #13
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amastro46 View Post
    I'll definitely be camping and probably sneaking my dog out of his crate and letting him sleep in the tent. Dude has a little bit of separation anxiety, as I got him as a 2 week old Mexican street dog, down in Baja.
    Dog has to stay in the vehicle on the car deck. No one visits the car deck unsupervised while vessel is underway. Better hatch a plan B.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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  14. #14
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    You need to "tweek" your plan just a bit. Iofthetaiga is right, the dog must stay within your truck on the car deck. They open it up about every 4 hours or so for people to let their pets out. They must be on leash, but you can feed, water, give love, and take for a short walk. YOU should pick up the poop (shock...people were really pretty good about it!); the crew would wash down the deck because the wet stuff can't be wiped up from the non-skid, I don't remember how often. It seems like about 20 min. per visit. I didn't have a dog with me, but I'd go down to get goodies out of my truck and get my puppy fix from the other dogs.

    People would also take their dogs off ship when in port to sniff the green grass. Again port calls are pretty short, but it's nice for dogs and people to get a little fresh air and exercise.

    When I made my reservation I told them I'd have a canoe on top of my truck. They were glad I told them and said they'd be sure to have a spot for me with plenty of room. Our plans changed and I built a rack to hold stuff and a couple of ladders on top instead, but with about the same 2 feet of extra height. The car deck is very tall; I don't think height would ever be a problem for most of us.

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    Another option to look at (particularly if you end up with a trailer) might be to get a cost to ship your vehicle(s) to AK on TOTE or a similar enterprise and fly up. It will be a very close call as to whether that saves you any $$, but it might.
    Back in AK

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Another option to look at (particularly if you end up with a trailer) might be to get a cost to ship your vehicle(s) to AK on TOTE or a similar enterprise and fly up. It will be a very close call as to whether that saves you any $$, but it might.
    I plan on shipping my trailer and driving through Canada, does anyone have experience with shipping companies or barges? FWIW, the ferry system wanted 2k just for the trailer

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