Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is a ferry service operating along the south-central coast of Alaska, the eastern Aleutian Islands and the Inside Passage of Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. The ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway make up a large part of Alaska’s highway system, covering 3,500 miles of coastline and 35 communities that stretch from Bellingham, WA to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Chain. Ferries are diverse and range from mainline ferries that sail thousands of miles and make multiple stops, to shuttle ferries that provide daily links between neighboring communities. This allows riders the flexibility to access communities of choice by utilizing one or more vessel to reach their final destination through regional hubs in Ketchikan, Juneau, Whittier or Homer. Animals may be transported on AMHS vessels, but are restricted to the car deck. They must be properly contained in an approved carrier or be transported in a vehicle and accompanied by an adult passenger. Animals are transported at the owner’s risk and all state of Alaska regulations must be met prior to animals entering the state. Pets are restricted to the car deck and must be contained in an approved carrier or be transported in a vehicle and accompanied by an adult passenger. U.S. Coast Guard regulations restrict passenger access to the car deck while the vessel is underway. On extended sailings such as between Bellingham and Ketchikan, Juneau and Whittier, and in route to Sitka, 15-minute pet calls will be made approximately every 8 hours to allow pet owners to be escorted to the car deck. Owners are responsible for attending and cleaning up after pets. Pet calls are made at the discretion of the Captain and may occur throughout the day or night. Owners may also attend to pets any time the vessel is stopped in port. Household pets other than dogs and cats may be subject to additional rules and restrictions, please call for more information. Pet owners should take into consideration the car deck environment on board the ferry before confirming travel with a pet. Vehicles are parked closely together which may make it difficult for large dogs to exit or enter vehicles. Accessing vehicles with swinging rear doors or elderly pets that need special accommodation, such as a ramp, may not be possible.
Taking a pet to the United States involves preparation and planning far in advance of your departure date. Health certificates may be required for entry into some states; you should check with officials in your state of destination prior to your travel date. Find info on bringing a pet into Alaska.
More information on the Alaska Marine Highway pet policy