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Thread: Alaska Marine HWY for moving to Anchorage area?

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    Default Alaska Marine HWY for moving to Anchorage area?

    Does anyone have any thoughts or advice about using the alaska marine hwy ferry from bellingham to whittier? We are moving from Wisconsin to the valley area sometime in the next 12 months with my 3 kids, wife and parents. We would drive to bellingham, washington and then take the 4.5 day ferry ride from there to whittier. Has anyone done this?
    thanks,
    andy

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    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    I personally have not, but have had some aquitances do it, so I'll post what I have heard.
    -They charge by the foot, so if you have a trailer it gets pricy. (This I do know first hand when I had a long bed crew cab with 21' carhaulewr priced)
    -A cabin or room is NOT included in the price. It is not required to get a cabin or room, but with 3 kids, I'm a thinkin you will.
    -It is a pretty trip. (If you drive it is also very scenic)
    - Food and dring prices are obviously high, but you are allowed to bring on sandwiches, and drinks to curb that.

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    Member La Pine's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    My wife and I took the ferry from Bellingham to Whitter back in 2008 and had a nice time. We didn't rent a cabin you can sleep on the floor, seats, or the padded benches with sleeping bags. I will say we were glad to get to Whitter as thats a long way to travel sleeping on benches but we met some people that were doing the same thing and and made it a fun camping trip LOL. I think that with the kids it may be easer to have a cabin. You will most likely have a layover in Juneau for a day or two we did so you will need to factor that into the price also. Pack your food with you and save lots of money as the food on the ferry is pricey, you wont feel out of place doing that as lots of people do it.
    You can travel in the off season and save money too as they offer driver goes free discounts in the winter months. Book early as cabins go quick and space for vehicles fill up as well.
    Heres the link to the Alaska marine HWY http://www.dot.state.ak.us/amhs/index.shtml

    Enjoy your trip
    P.S. If I may ask what is bringing all the family up here?
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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    Honestly my wife and kids and i have been to Nome twice and the valley last Sept with my parents as well. I love Wisconsin and hunting whitetails, but there is now a part of me and us all that want more than Wisconsin has to offer. I am infected! It is so beautiful and there is much more to hunt and not to mention fish! We all love it and want to call Alaska home.
    Andy

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    Member La Pine's Avatar
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    Good for you and yours. The winters will be an adjustment for you, and not being on top the food chain lol. Just get a happy light for the winters and a big firearm to put on your belt and come on up. I have driven the alcan as well and thats a fun trip too. Be safe and enjoy your Alaska experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by hunterdave View Post
    Honestly my wife and kids and i have been to Nome twice and the valley last Sept with my parents as well. I love Wisconsin and hunting whitetails, but there is now a part of me and us all that want more than Wisconsin has to offer. I am infected! It is so beautiful and there is much more to hunt and not to mention fish! We all love it and want to call Alaska home.
    Andy
    May God Bless The USA!
    If you don't study and understand history, your doomed to repeat it!

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    Thanks La Pine.
    I love winter and big firearms!!!

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    Just a thought, coming from wisconsin, the drive to bellingham will have you a good ways towards getting to alaska if you drive up.
    The crossing at portal ND is one of my favorites and laid back compared to many border crossings.

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    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    I think Bellingham is about halfwayto Alaska from Wisconsin I'll check it out and thanks.
    andy

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    The ferry will be more expensive than driving the whole way. The drive isn't that big of a deal, though we did it with a 2 1/2 y/o and a 7 month old and it was litterally years before I'd go on a road trip :O

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Our trip with a 30 mths and 19 mths. was the complete opposite. Best trip we have ever had. In fact my son, the 19 mth old, dang near potty trained himself on that trip. They slept for 75% of it. Of course, those kids were in car seats doing 200 mile trips since the day they left the hospital, so it was really no big deal for them.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  11. #11

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    I am thinking of making that same trip . I plan to take my huinting rifles and all my gear packed up in my truck as well as pulling a trailer with a 4 wheeler and some other stuff. How much do you think it will cost me? Is it ok to leave vehicle locked up all My few guns will be in cases and packed up tight under all my other belongings in truck . Is there any trouble or problems transporting like this? ..Ed

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Just declare the guns when you get on the ferry. If you get off at Wrangell it will save you lots of money
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  13. #13

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    I am moving to the Kenai /Soldotna area . How far is it to drive from Wrangell vs Whittier ? I am all for saving money but I have never travelled that far much less on a ferry to anywhere so very green on the rules. Looked at Alaskan HWY website and saw where guns are permittable unloaded away from ammo and locked up securely in the vehicle. Cannot seem to get the fare pricing to work . I will be driving a F-150 Short Wheel Base 4 dr 4wd and pulling a 5x10ft trailer I saw where trailers permitted up to 20ft . have you travelled this route from Bellingham to Whittier or Wrangell? Thanks,....Ed

  14. #14

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    My girlfriend and I recently did this to move up here to Alaska.
    We hopped on the ferry in Bellingham, then got off in Haines and drove the 800 miles or so to anchorage. We had a cat and a dog with us, and got to make stops at 4 different ports along the way. We ended up camping out on the deck of the boat. 1 night in a tent, but after the tent almost blew into shreds, we slept under the heated solarium, which was much more comfy. Haines was a fun town. The road through the yukon was horrible, but very pretty. Please feel free to ask any questions you might have

  15. #15

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    I was thinking of getting off at Whittier and driving about 2 hours or so to Kenai. About how much does it cost? I havent had any luck trying to figure out that chart. I will have a full size 4dr truck pulling a 10ft trailer . Also about how long do you think it will take me to get from Bellingham to Whittier on the Boat. I was told this Boat much better than driving thru Canada and packing and unpacking all your crap for inspections also I will have locked hunting rifle or 2 and dont want to get in trouble The Boat instructions say firearms allowed if locked up and away from ammunition. Anything you can think of that would I need to know will help. Did you have to pay to stay at heated solarium ? If not all you need is sleeping bag? Did you pack lunchs ar buy food on boat?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mshunter1960 View Post
    I was thinking of getting off at Whittier and driving about 2 hours or so to Kenai. About how much does it cost? I havent had any luck trying to figure out that chart. I will have a full size 4dr truck pulling a 10ft trailer . Also about how long do you think it will take me to get from Bellingham to Whittier on the Boat. I was told this Boat much better than driving thru Canada and packing and unpacking all your crap for inspections also I will have locked hunting rifle or 2 and dont want to get in trouble The Boat instructions say firearms allowed if locked up and away from ammunition. Anything you can think of that would I need to know will help. Did you have to pay to stay at heated solarium ? If not all you need is sleeping bag? Did you pack lunchs ar buy food on boat?
    The ferry charges you by the foot for the length of your vehicle. We had a 02 tacoma, with a bike on the back. I think we put it down as 17 ft. You can pack the vehicle as high as you want to though. For our vehicle, 2 people total, and a cat and a dog, it cost us 1600 to get from Bellingham to Haines in 3 days. It would have cost at least 400 more to get to get up to valdez. Maybe 600 more to get to whittier. If we would have gotten off in Whittier, it also would have saved us 900 miles of driving, crossing the border, and staying 2 nights (once in Tok and another night in Palmer). The road is very rough through canada and on the Glenn Hwy in some spots. Camping under the solarium is free. All you need is a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad and a pillow, and you will be comfy. You can sleep on lounge chairs, or move them around and sleep on the deck. It was too hot for a sleeping bag for me most of the time though. You can stock up on food in a cooler in Bellingham, and then buy a lunch or two on the boat if you feel like it. They had cafeteria type food, burgers, fish n chips, sandwiches, fries, etc as well as drinks and coffee. There was a restaurant but it was out of our budget. There is also a bar, if you care to drink.

    Feel free to ask any more questions you may have!

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