Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-31-2023, 07:50 PM   #1
Winnebago Camper
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 10
Alaska via Inside Passage with our canine!!!

Greeting folks from Idaho! We still have 39 inches of snow in the front yard.
My wife and I are planning a trip to Alaska next year using the ferry system We expect to gone 4 to 6 weeks and don't want to leave our four legged member of the family with family or friends for that length of time. I have read you can take you pet along on the ferry but you only have access to them every 8 hours. Good friends of ours did this trip without a pet and while on the ferry they noticed folks had access to their pets every four hours or so.

I was wondering what has been your experiences? Have you taken a dog? Ours is medium size at 65 lbs. If so how did it go?

Thanks in advance,

CraigS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2023, 09:04 PM   #2
Site Team
Eagle5's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: South Bend, WA
Posts: 2,152
Hi Craig,
I have thought about that sort of trip too. Here are the rules for pets, which matches what you say. I guess the biggest disappointment with the travel is that you cannot stay in your motorhome while underway. That pretty much would have solved the problem.
They do say that Service animals can go anywhere on the Ferry, so perhaps Tow Service Dogs would qualify? Well, here's hoping...
2019 Minnie Winnie 22M on an E-450 frame
Eagle5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2023, 06:58 PM   #3
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Mile High City
Posts: 52
As the regulations state, being escorted to the car deck only occurs during the multi-day legs, not every 8 hours unless the weather cooperates. After Ketchikan, you are only allowed on the car deck during port calls.

And don't forget your refrigerated/frozen food. Your propane tanks are turned off and sealed by an AMHS employee before departure. That means that, even if you have a propane-120v AC fridge, it will be off for the entire voyage. So, if you or your pet requires any special refrigerated food or medication, you're out of luck unless you bring an ice chest and buy some dry ice before you embark. BTW, dry ice is easy to find at every Alaska port because that's how all that salmon, halibut, king crab, graying, etc., that sportsmen catch (buy?) are shipped to the Lower 48. Back in the early '70s, I shipped a 20# box of king crab back home as part of my baggage on Western Airlines (remember them?).

Both the car deck access rules and the propane rules are U.S. Coast Guard regulations, not AMHS regs.

We have taken the AMHS ferries multiple times and safety is more important to AMHS employees than is your convenience! On overnight trips, we got a cabin. On shorter trips, you can just sit in airport terminal-style seats in the enclosed observation deck. BUT, on overnight trips you can also bring a sleeping bag and sleep on the deck chairs on the rear deck at no extra cost. The forward portion of that deck even has infrared heaters under an awning. And many Alaskans do travel overnight or even from Alaska to Bellingham in pop-up tents back there.
Retirement is the best job I ever had!
2020 Winnebago Navion 24V, 400w solar, 210ah LiFePO4 batteries, Helwig
Fanrgs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2023, 07:45 AM   #4
Americanrascal's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 409
We did the voyage from Whittier down to Bellingham a few years back in a truck camper, with a Red Bone Coon Hound and a Yorkie. The Red Bone seemed to have a harder time with the loneliness and the lengthy time restriction between stretch and potty breaks. While at sea and not in port the walk around on the ships deck vehicle steel turntable to allow them to relieve themselves did not seem to provide enough relaxation for her. The crew was always standing by with lots of paper towels for whenever a deposit was made.

They loved getting off at ports for a stretch and walk. But finding a blade of grass to use for their needs always seemed tough no matter which port we visited. There is definitely a grass shortage at piers and ports of call with a late night walk at Yakutat being the worst.

On the other hand the yorkie seemed to do well and adapted better than the larger Red Bone. But we noticed that no matter what they were both stressed about the at sea part of our travels.

We made sure that as soon as we got off the boat at Bellingham we hit the town dog park for a lengthy run and stretch for them which they enjoyed. As much as we enjoyed the trip ourselves, we vowed not to put them through that again.
Joe a/k/a "Americanrascal"
2016 Winnebago Adventurer 38Q +tow dolly
8th RV to sit in our driveway in 40 years
Americanrascal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2023, 10:41 AM   #5
Winnebago Owner
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Mile High City
Posts: 52
What might help with pets is just to take the RV to Prince Rupert BC, then get on the ferry to Juneau and Skagway or Haines. Then you have no long at-sea periods and lots of port calls to exercise the pets (and you!). Or do the reverse on the way home. That way you get to see some of the SE Alaska ports/islands, even if only briefly, and get a feel for which places are MUST-SEES for your next Alaska RV trip or cruise.

And a not-to-missed port for us is Sitka. Besides being the old Russian capital of Alaska, it is, in my opinion, the most gorgeous town in the state (with Valdez a not-even-close second!). And I have been in a lot of Alaska towns, from Chicken to Shemya Island at the western tip of the Aleutians and Hyder to Kotzebue and Nome. Nowhere else can you watch 3 or 4 DOZEN bald eagles in the air at one time over Sitka-spruce tipped islets in the harbor, while the sun sets behind the volcanic cone just outside the harbor entrance. Magical!

Even the ferry ride between Sitka and Juneau is thrilling. Peril Strait is so narrow and sinuous that the 408' ferry actually fishtails around the curves! And that's why no cruise ship passenger has ever seen the strait--it's just for fishing boats and ferries. I've gotten so enthused just writing this that I want to go back tomorrow!

And that's what makes the Alaska Marine Highways more fun and certainly more interesting than any Inside Passage cruise ship voyage.
Fanrgs is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Greetings From Alaska! dick_slade Welcome Mat 7 06-08-2019 10:58 AM
Road trip to Alaska pros and cons 46490 Campgrounds, Travel and Attractions 12 03-01-2017 01:31 PM
Hydraulics leaking on Alaska Highway? Americanrascal General Maintenance and Repair 7 07-24-2015 11:17 PM
How cool does your motorhome get inside? FrontRangeRVer Winnebago General Discussions 44 08-18-2006 05:01 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:17 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.