If you’ve been around Seattle for a while, you may remember the Alaska ferry that used to sail from the downtown waterfront on a days-long voyage to Ketchikan, Juneau and other Southeast Alaska communities. Maybe you were lucky enough to sail away on the ferry, waving goodbye to the Seattle high-rises and heading for the wilderness beauty of the B.C. and Alaska coasts. You could sleep in little staterooms or pitch a tent on the deck and meet all kinds of people from all around the world. Its sailings were a modern link with the long Seattle-Alaska seagoing history.
Like me, maybe you still miss the Alaska ferry, which Bellingham lured away in 1989, persuading it to base there instead of in Seattle. But you still could join a party that the Port of Bellingham and the Alaska Marine Highway System are throwing on Saturday, Sept. 14, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s ferry system, which is a seagoing lifeline for remote communities.
The Bellingham-Alaska ferry, the MV Kennicott, will be open to the public at the Bellingham Ferry Terminal on Saturday (bring photo ID to board the vessel) from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.; check out the bridge, the public rooms and more. There also will be a travel show with visitors’ bureaus from Southeast Alaska - so you can plan an Alaska trip or at least daydream about one - plus live music, activities for kids (they can build their own little ferry boats), and, at the end of the day, a birthday cake. Get details at the Port of Bellingham website.
But I still wish it sailed from Seattle….