• I know that our Canadian neighbors could use a consistent reliable schedule from the AMHS so that their local businesses are not affected as they are now. When driving to Prince Rupert, BC I could see changes to places like Burns Lake and other communities that rely on business generated by traffic that passes thru their towns. From 1963 to 1968 the Marine Highway only went as far south as Prince Rupert. From May 1st until labor day the ships were full and this was without a reservation system in place. Too bad AMHS can no longer be that busy as they supported them selves in those busy times. I hope with this plan for reform we can at least be on track for providing service to the outlying communities of Alaska's coast.

  • As you know over the years our fleet has changed to several different types of craft. There is a major problem in the fact that by having so many different vessels that when managing traffic on them can be a nightmare when a breakdown occurs. As a Chief Purser aboard the M/V TAKU during the planning stages of refurbishment in the '80's I tried to explain that we needed to also stretch the TAKU to be the same as her sister ships Malaspina and Matanuska but was told funding was a problem along with the age of the vessel at the time. So the TAKU continued its service by being the only one of original size and this was a major problem when a vessel was needed to take another vessels place. This happened way too many times. Say the MAT was late out of the yard status and we needed a vessel to be used on the posted schedule but the load already booked would not fit the TAKU and AMHS lost over and over again reliability to the traveling public. Pretty soon you lose customers as they do not want to risk taking the ferry and then ruining their plans when such things occur. Recently by building new ships they didn't even consider this problem as there is no Crew Quarters to use in case you had to use that vessel somewhere else in your scheduling.
    Also by downsizing the new vessels they will be a tough ride in the winter when crossing Dixon Entrance. The TAKU would cross this body of water 4 times a week and in some cases we did not have enough toilets and sinks, and staterooms to go around with all the sea sickness that happened on such trips. The "Fast Ferry" idea was tried in the State of Washington and B.C. Canada before Alaska build our two and we knew they would not handle rough winter weather and used way to much fuel but were built anyway and now hardly ever used and of course not compatible in size with the mainline fleet just as the TAKU was. Originally the planning of the 235's (LeConte and Aurora) were the East/West runs so that the Mainline North/South runs had more time but the Mainliners still went to Sitka so that original plan was never put in place let alone tried out. I have a lot more info and comments to make but don't want to make this too long. FYI: Not too many of us are still around that worked on the M/V Wickersham and for me as a Jr. Asst. Purser on that ship I got to learn a lot. I was on the fleet for 36 1/2 years and have experience that I would like to share in this major undertaking that may occur with this "REFORM" - thank you for reading this post.

  • The key to saving this system is ridership, not jacking up the price of everything from passage to a cheeseburger. In case you have not noticed we have had a massive drop in people taking the ferry. Anymore it is cheaper to fly and rent a vehicle when they get to their destination. I have been out here with the marine highway for almost 30 years as a steward and deckhand. I have noticed a huge drop in ridership. Have any of you ever considered a frequent floater program? So many miles gets a discount on a meal or room or even passage fare. Alaska Airlines does it and it works wonderfully. This might be something worth implementing. We need to bring our ridership back up or we are going to die. Please consider this idea.

  • You should provide internet service on the ferries (for a fee). There are several possible companies who can help do this: for example:

    Do something with the (closed) cocktail lounge on the Columbia. It is wasted floor space. Go consult with Royal Caribbean or Carnival on what you could do. Even an "entertainment lounge" with individual cubicles where you could rent movies and view them would work.

  • We had a great time on the Columbia. We had some great meals in the dining room. We are going to plan more trips. We want to take the ship all the way up and back. Steve the purser was very helpful. Keep up the good work.

  • *offer packets of season coupons to increase ridership and reward those who make annual investments in travel

    *resist efforts to privatize like the akrr; from my understanding, that has not been a successful fix to anything

    *do not cut operating staff (ie shipboard) to save money; that would be a losing proposition and stress an already overworked staff

    * resist efforts to measure success by income stream; our mh system is a service and should not be designed as a for profit business

  • Should have been notified of change of boat because ours was still being serviced
    Lounges need to be opened instead of people sleeping in them
    Great friendly staff

  • On July 30, 2018, four of us boarded the vessel Columbia at Haines, AK for a trip to Bellingham, WA (Booking Number1320261, Code QHWY). During the four night trip we were impressed by your staff's courtesy and attention to detail. Notably were two individuals that took care of us in the restaurant: xxx and yyy. I would like to commend these two individuals as great representatives of your company. Jon Wiese 1141 Buckskin Drive Hailey ID 83333

  • The AMHS is trying to provide too many services in too many ports with too many boats. I would suggest eliminating the runs to Bellingham, Skagway, Valdez, Homer and Seldovia. All of these ports can be reached by vehicle except Seldovia and transportation between that port and Homer can be accomplished by a private entity. The reason for the connection to the lower 48 was due to excess rock slides on the Yellowhead Highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert and since then, highway conditions have been upgraded. The fast ferry to and from Sitka can also be eliminated; traffic can be handled easily with the two mainline boats arriving and departing here per week. This will require a little trip pre-planning by customers rather than having the luxury now provided. Please run my suggestions through your computers and let me know via email what the potential savings are. Thank you.

  • Four of us traveled on the Columbia, Malaspina, and LeConte during our trip to Alaska from May 18 through May 30. We were pleasantly delighted by the accommodations (we slept on board 3 nights), the food, and even more, the friendly and attentive crew. Our only concern was the lack of choice in the ships' schedules. It was apparent to us that a more frequent schedule would be welcomed not only by tourists such as us, but by the residents of the lovely towns we stopped in. We thank you for a lovely experience and highly recommend that you publicize how great travel by ferry can be, especially if you increase the trip schedule.The benefits of ferry travel far surpass those of cruise ships as far as I am concerned.