|Subject: Alaska state ferry system|
Hi Amelia! Yes, indeed, the ferry is a great way to travel through Southeast Alaska. More and more tourists are doing it.
Info can be had at
Whether a foot or car passenger (with/without auto) you can board at Bellingham, Washington, or Prince Rupert, British Columbia, for the ride up the Inside Passage. I suggest ticketing early enough to get a cabin unless you like 'camping' in the solarium or somewhere else on the ship along with the majority of the other passengers for the duration of the trip. I have to admit, however, this can be fun... especially in good weather.
The ferries stop at the cities (towns) along the way whenever they get there, day or night. If you disembark at any location and forget the time, the ferry will definitely leave without you and you will be buying another ticket. If it is a short enough stop, they won't let you off the ship. So you might want to check out getting off and spending the night in certain towns and reboarding with another ticket.
Towns along the way I would recommend you seeing would be Petersburg and Ketchikan, if you get there during the day, Sitka and Juneau for sure, regardless... get off and spend a day or two (and fly over to Glacier Bay), and Skagway at the northern end of the Southeast Inside Passage. There will be roads out of Haines and Skagway heading up into central Alaska, the Yukon or over and down into northern British Columbia.
Traveling this way will definitely put you in direct contact with locals. I think you would enjoy it!
You must, however, send good weather energy out before you arrive. The absolute majestic magnificence of this place can easily be hidden behind rain clouds that almost sit on the ground.
Regardless of the weather, the energy is high here! You will enjoy!
Carol in Juneau