(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) today announced that the M/V Tustumena successfully returned to revenue service Sunday, Oct. 20.
The M/V Tustumena will provide service this fall and winter to Homer, Seldovia, Port Lions, Ouzinkie and Kodiak. In spring 2014 the vessel will resume twice per month Aleutian Chain service.
“The Tustumena is in the best shape that it has been for many years and will be very capable of providing safe and reliable service to the communities of Southwest Alaska and the Aleutian Chain,” said AMHS General Manager Captain John Falvey.
The M/V Tustumena entered a capital improvement project on Nov. 1, 2012 and was originally scheduled to return to service on April 17, 2013. Due, in part, to unexpected discovery items, specifically steel work, two project extensions were conveyed to the Seward Shipyard. Further delays ensued at the shipyard and the vessel's return to service was postponed indefinitely until the necessary repairs could be completed and met U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
The completed repairs will allow the vessel to reliably serve the communities that depend solely on the M/V Tustumena. ADOT&PF is confident that the vessel is in good repair and very capable of providing service for several more years while the department continues to work toward designing and constructing a replacement vessel for Southwest Alaska and the Aleutian Chain.
Travelers are encouraged to make reservations in advance either online at FerryAlaska.com, by calling 1-800-642-0066, or visiting ferry terminal staff throughout the system. Making advance reservations is the best way to guarantee space for passengers and vehicles, and it allows the system to operate more efficiently. Fare information is available online or from reservations agents.
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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