Service Regions

With 119 state parks spread across the state and a total of 365 million acres, there's plenty of room for everyone to seek their own adventure in Alaska. Whether your interest is in bike trails, secluded coves for kayaking, hiking trails or camping, the Alaska Marine Highway is the perfect way to experience each region and the communities that populate Alaska's diverse and scenic coastline. Due to the vast size of the state and the length of the ferry route, we present it as three different service regions.

Never traveled by ferry? Let us show you around with our See More of Alaska ferry handbook. You'll find even more information on places to visit and not to miss experiences in each region.

Southeast Alaska – The Inside Passage

Alaska's Inside Passage treats you to spectacular natural beauty made up of mountains, rainforest and glaciers; offering an unmatched variety of wildlife; and containing a rich mixture of Native, early Russian, Norwegian, and gold rush history. The entire region is wrapped in the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States and the largest contiguous temperate rainforest in the world.

Totem pole at the Totem Bight State Park in Ketchikan Alaska © Brian Adams / Alaska Marine Highway System

South Central Alaska – Alaska's Heartland

The coastal communities of South Central Alaska are the outdoor playgrounds for more than half of the state's population. Centrally located, the port communities in this region provide access by ferry to other parts of the state. While aboard the ferry, thrill to the spectacular sights of ice-blue glaciers, tranquil fjords, lush forests and unbelievable concentrations of seabirds and marine wildlife.

Kayaking in Prince William Sound © Wayde Carroll Photography / Alaska Marine Highway System

Southwest Alaska – Kodiak & The Aleutian Chain

The Alaska Peninsula and Aleutian Islands sweep more than 1,500 miles from Cook Inlet toward Asia. This region sits atop the "Ring of Fire," a string of volcanoes along the Pacific Rim and is rich in Native and Russian culture, World War II history, and an amazing array of wildlife. From gentle coastal grasslands to rumbling snow-capped volcanoes, Southwest Alaska has a character and charm all its own.

Castle Cape outside of Chignik Alaska along the Aleutian Chain © Alaska Marine Highway System