The Alaska Marine Highway
Traveling in Southeast Alaska can present some unique opportunities. Unlike the ‘lower 48’ many of our communities are not accessible by a land based road system so in many areas our primary means of travel is by air or sea. The Alaska Marine Highway makes up a large part of our ‘highway system’ and is a route so special it has earned the title of All American Road, the only National Scenic Byway of its kind.
The Alaska Marine Highway is the perfect way to visit the communities that populate Alaska’s diverse and scenic coastline that totals over 3,500 miles from our southern ports of Bellingham, WA, 90 miles north of Seattle, Prince Rupert, BC and the Inside Passage. From there our route crosses the Gulf of Alaska out along the 1,000 mile stretch of the Aleutian Chain to the Bering Sea.
In the southeast, Alaska’s Inside Passage treats you to spectacular natural beauty, an unmatched variety of wildlife, and a rich mixture of native, early Russian, and gold rush history. It will reveal a multitude of islands and coves along the unspoiled coastline that are perfect to explore by boat or kayak. The entire region is wrapped in the Tongass National Forest, the largest National Forest in the United States and the largest contiguous temperate rain forest in the world.
The larger communities of Southeast are a regular stop on most cruise line itineraries and the locals are always ready to welcome visitors and offer a multitude of tours, guides and outings to suit any taste. Don’t miss the totem poles, native dancers and the many museums that highlight the rich native culture of Southeast.
For detailed information about Southeast Alaska communities, please see our Communities to Explore.