Petersburg is located on an island and it is accessible only by water or air. Alaska Airlines, the Alaska Marine Highway System (ferry), the Inter-Island Ferry Authority and regional or local charter aircraft and boat operators provide transportation to and from the island.
© Donel Judy
Alaska Airlines (800-252-7522) provides twice-daily jet service, originating in Seattle, Washington, and Anchorage, Alaska, with several stops in-between. See route map of all Alaska Airline Destinations. Several smaller charter aircraft services flying fixed-wing float and wheeled aircraft provide access to and from Petersburg, to outlying areas, and to US Forest Service cabins. They also provide flightseeing tours over our icefields, great photo ops.
Alaska Marine Highway Ferry
© Donel Judy
The Alaska Marine Highway System (800-642-0066) (800-642-0066) serves Petersburg with several large ferries. The main departure point heading north to Petersburg are Bellingham, Washington and Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada, which connects with the BC Ferry system. From the north, heading south the ferry is accessible from the Alcan Highway at Skagway (via Whitehorse, Yukon Territory) or at Haines (via Haines Junction, Yukon territory). Ferries stop at several Southeast Alaska cities enroute.
The Inter-Island Ferry Authority serves central and southern Southeast Alaska with 2 ships. The terminal in Petersburg is out the road 26 miles of nicely paved highway. Three sailings a week with service to Prince of Wales Island and Wrangell during the summer months gives locals and visitors alike the choice of times to travel.??????
Petersburg is located well outside the sea lanes traversed by large cruise ships. However, several small cruise lines make Petersburg a port of call, including Fantasy Cruises (800-234-3861) and many local charter boats. These ships range from yacht size to over 200 feet and carry up to 200 passengers.
In the spring and fall, Petersburg’s Tides Inn Motel and the Alaska Marine Highway host the Elderhostel Southeast Alaska exploration trips.
By Land (but still requiring a ferry ride):
For those driving south from the Yukon and Interior Alaska, the ferry system is accessible from the Alcan Highway at Whitehorse through the Skagway and Haines Alaska terminals.
Travel Alaska App
For statewide travel information and planning assistance or to have a mobile itinerary, download this handy TravelAlaska app
For those traveling west on the Trans-Canada Yellowhead Highway 16 through western Canada, the Alaska Marine Highway and Petersburg are accessible from Prince Rupert, Canada. Canadian VIA Rail, Greyhound Bus Lines,and also BC Ferries to Vancouver Island and Canada’s Inside Passage, join with the Alaska Marine Highway system in Prince Rupert. You may have to wait a few days for the next ferry. Take time to check the schedules.
For those traveling through the Pacific Northwest and California, the southern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway is in Bellingham, Washington. Bellingham is 70 miles south of Vancouver, BC, Canada. Amtrak, Greyhound Bus and the Interstate Highway system all lead to the Alaska ferry terminal in Bellingham.
Viking Travel (800-327-2571) specializes in trip planning to and within Alaska. They are booking agents for the Alaska Marine Highway System, Alaska Airlines and cruise lines, adventures tours and sport fishing charters around Petersburg.
Petersburg is slightly off the beaten path, but we think you’ll find it well worth the effort to get here!
Then, of course, there is always the Valhalla…