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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2021
Press Release: 21-0008
Contact: Sam Dapcevich, sam.dapcevich@alaska.gov, (907) 465-4503

AMHS Vessels Tustumena, Aurora, and LeConte Return to Service
Passenger Capacities Increased and promotional fares to be offered

(KETCHIKAN, Alaska) – The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is ready for summer travelers with more ships running, increased passenger capacities, and special promotional fares to boost ridership on lower-demand routes.

In response to the rising demand for ferry travel, AMHS has increased passenger capacities, limited by pandemic conditions, from 50 to 75 percent. Travelers should visit the AMHS COVID-19 Travel Advisories web page to learn more and prepare for their voyage.

Three AMHS vessels recently wrapped up their annual overhauls and certifications and have returned to service; Aurora, LeConte, and Tustumena. Aurora will head north, providing service to the communities of Prince William Sound, LeConte will cover the Northern Panhandle route in Southeast Alaska, and Tustumena will resume service for the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, and Southwest Alaska. The Matanuska, Kennicott, and Lituya are already in operation for a total of six vessels connecting Alaska's coastal communities.

Throughout the 2021 summer season, AMHS plans to announce promotional fares on select routes. Customers should visit the AMHS website and subscribe to receive updates.

"As Alaska's vaccination rate is one of the best in the nation and COVID-19 cases continue to decline statewide, our coastal communities and small businesses are eager to welcome travelers once again," said Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy. "The Alaska Marine Highway is a great way to safely see Alaska's unmatched vistas."

Alaska's port communities have been severely impacted by the loss of cruise ships in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic. The impact of the conditional sail order by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) amounts to an estimated $98.6 million in lost revenue each year to local communities. As the Dunleavy Administration continues efforts to resume the cruise ship season in 2021, Alaska and the Alaska Marine Highway remain open for business. Visit ferryalaska.com to view schedules and book a trip on the Alaska Marine Highway.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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