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How Long Is The Ferry Ride From Ketchikan To Hollis


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Madalena Tamez



If you’re planning a trip to Alaska, you may find yourself in the stunning city of Ketchikan. Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Ketchikan offers an abundance of natural beauty and outdoor adventures. And if you’re looking to explore further, catching a ferry to Hollis is a fantastic option.


Located on Prince of Wales Island, Hollis is a charming small town that serves as the gateway to the wonders of the Tongass National Forest. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or just looking to experience the tranquility of Alaska’s untouched wilderness, the ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis is an unforgettable journey.


In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ferry route, the departure location in Ketchikan, the arrival location in Hollis, the ferry schedule and duration, the scenic views along the way, the amenities on the ferry, and some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable ride. So, let’s embark on this virtual journey and get ready to soak in the beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes.


Overview of the Ferry Route

The ferry route from Ketchikan to Hollis is operated by the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS), a state-owned ferry service that connects various coastal communities in Alaska. This route is part of the Inside Passage, a scenic waterway renowned for its breathtaking views and abundant wildlife.


The journey begins in Ketchikan, located on Revillagigedo Island. It is the southernmost city in Alaska and is accessible by air and sea. Ketchikan is known for its rich Native American heritage, colorful totem poles, and vibrant arts scene.


From Ketchikan, the ferry heads westward, navigating the narrow channels and fjords of the Inside Passage. As you sail through this picturesque route, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, lush forests, and pristine waters.


The final destination of the ferry route is the town of Hollis, situated on the eastern coast of Prince of Wales Island. Hollis serves as an important transportation hub for visitors looking to explore the wonders of the largest temperate rainforest in the United States, the Tongass National Forest.


The ferry journey offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes. Keep your camera handy, as you may encounter majestic whales, playful seals, and soaring eagles along the way.


Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply craving a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, the ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis is a quintessential Alaskan experience that shouldn’t be missed.


Departure Location in Ketchikan

The ferry departure point in Ketchikan is the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal, located in downtown Ketchikan. Situated near the heart of the city, the terminal is easily accessible and offers convenient amenities for travelers.


When you arrive at the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal, you’ll find ample parking available if you’re arriving by car. The terminal also offers facilities such as restrooms, vending machines, and a waiting area where you can relax before boarding the ferry.


It’s important to arrive at the terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time to ensure a smooth check-in process. Make sure to have your tickets or reservations ready, as well as any necessary identification documents.


If you’re coming from the Ketchikan International Airport, which is located on Gravina Island, you can take a short ferry ride from the airport to the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal. The airport ferry provides a convenient transportation option and offers stunning views of the surrounding waterways.


Once you’re at the terminal, the friendly staff will guide you through the boarding process. They will provide instructions on where to line up and how to load your belongings onto the ferry. It’s advisable to travel light and bring only essential items with you, as space onboard the ferry may be limited.


As you bid farewell to Ketchikan, take a moment to admire the scenic surroundings. The departure location offers panoramic views of the city’s waterfront, with colorful buildings lining the shores and fishing boats bobbing in the water.


Now that you’re set to depart from Ketchikan, it’s time to embark on the next leg of your journey to the charming town of Hollis on Prince of Wales Island. Get ready to soak in the stunning natural beauty of the Inside Passage as the ferry sets sail.


Arrival Location in Hollis

After a scenic ferry ride through the waters of the Inside Passage, you’ll arrive at your destination: the picturesque town of Hollis. Nestled on the eastern coast of Prince of Wales Island, Hollis offers a tranquil and idyllic setting for visitors to explore.


The ferry will dock at the Hollis Ferry Terminal, which is conveniently located near the heart of the town. As you disembark the ferry, you’ll be greeted by the peaceful ambiance of this small coastal community.


Hollis may be a small town, but it serves as an excellent base for outdoor adventures in the surrounding wilderness. The town is surrounded by the vast Tongass National Forest, providing endless opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing.


As you explore the area, you’ll discover pristine beaches, serene lakes, and lush forests teeming with diverse flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled for bald eagles soaring overhead, black bears foraging for food, and maybe even a glimpse of a rare Sitka black-tailed deer.


One of the main attractions near Hollis is the Klawock Totem Park, located just a short drive away. The park is home to a collection of intricately carved totem poles, which serve as a symbolic representation of Native Alaskan art and culture.


In addition to its natural beauty, Hollis offers amenities such as accommodations, restaurants, and small businesses where you can stock up on supplies for your outdoor adventures. Take the opportunity to sample fresh seafood at one of the local eateries and engage in conversation with the friendly locals.


For those looking to delve deeper into the history and culture of the region, the nearby community of Craig features the Craig Tribal Association Cultural Center. Here, you can learn about the traditions and heritage of the Tlingit people, one of Alaska’s indigenous groups.


Whether you’re seeking solace in nature, immersing yourself in cultural experiences, or simply enjoying the serenity of small-town life, Hollis offers a welcoming and unforgettable experience for visitors.


So, get ready to disembark the ferry and step into the beauty and tranquility of Hollis. It’s time to create memories and embark on unforgettable adventures in this hidden gem of the Tongass National Forest.


Ferry Schedule and Duration

The ferry schedule from Ketchikan to Hollis can vary depending on the time of year and specific operating conditions. It’s important to check the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date schedule.


The duration of the ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. This time can vary depending on weather conditions and any potential stops at other ports along the route.


The AMHS offers both daily and weekly sailings, providing flexibility for passengers. During the summer months, when tourism is at its peak, there are usually more frequent sailings available.


It’s recommended to book your ferry tickets in advance, especially during the summer season or if you have specific travel dates in mind. This ensures that you secure your spot on the desired sailing and guarantees smooth travel arrangements.


When planning your trip, consider the departure and arrival times to ensure proper coordination with your overall travel itinerary. The ferry may depart from Ketchikan in the morning or afternoon, allowing you to explore Hollis and its surrounding areas upon arrival.


It’s important to arrive at the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time to complete the check-in process and ensure a hassle-free boarding experience.


During the ferry journey, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the scenic views along the way. The AMHS ferries are equipped with comfortable seating areas where you can sit back, read a book, or simply gaze out at the breathtaking landscapes passing by.


If you’re lucky, you might even spot wildlife such as whales, dolphins, or seals during the journey. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these memorable moments.


Keep in mind that the ferry schedule and duration are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions or maintenance requirements. It’s always a good idea to double-check the schedule closer to your travel date to avoid any potential disruptions.


Overall, the ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis offers a comfortable and scenic way to travel between these two Alaskan destinations. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey as you embark on your Alaskan adventure.


Scenic Views during the Ride

The ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis offers an unparalleled opportunity to soak in the stunning beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes. As you traverse the waters of the Inside Passage, you’ll be treated to a visual feast of breathtaking views and natural wonders.


One of the highlights of the journey is the chance to witness majestic marine mammals. Keep your eyes peeled for the graceful spouts and acrobatic breaches of humpback whales as they migrate through these waters. Pods of orcas, also known as killer whales, can also be spotted, showcasing their impressive hunting strategies and social behaviors.


As the ferry weaves through narrow channels and fjords, you’ll be surrounded by towering mountains, covered in lush green forests and cascading waterfalls. The lush vegetation and pristine waters create a tranquil and serene atmosphere, offering a sense of calm and peace.


Gliding through the Inside Passage, you’ll have the opportunity to marvel at the diverse wildlife that call this region home. Bald eagles can be seen soaring across the sky, their wings spread wide against the backdrop of the rugged coastline. Seals and sea lions may pop their heads above the water, curiously observing the passing ferry.


The route also passes by numerous small islands, each with its own unique charm. Keep an eye out for picturesque lighthouses perched on rocky outcrops, providing navigational assistance to passing vessels. These islands serve as havens for seabirds, including puffins, cormorants, and gulls, adding a touch of avian beauty to the already impressive scenery.


As you approach your destination in Hollis, the landscape becomes even more captivating. The verdant forests of Prince of Wales Island, with their towering spruce and hemlock trees, beckon you to explore their depths. The untouched wilderness surrounding the town fills you with a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural wonders of Alaska.


Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture these unforgettable moments. Each turn of the ferry brings a new perspective and a new photo-worthy scene. Whether you’re an avid photographer or simply enjoy preserving memories, the scenic views during the ferry ride will provide ample opportunities for stunning photographs.


So, sit back, relax, and let the beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes unfold before your eyes. Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Inside Passage as you embark on this memorable journey from Ketchikan to Hollis.


Amenities on the Ferry

During your ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) strives to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for passengers. The ferries are equipped with a range of amenities to ensure a pleasant journey.


One of the main amenities you can find onboard is the cafeteria or snack bar. Here, you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a hot cup of coffee. The cafeteria typically offers a variety of options, including sandwiches, snacks, and beverages. It’s the perfect place to refuel and satisfy your hunger during the journey.


In addition to the cafeteria, you’ll find comfortable seating areas throughout the ferry. These seating areas are designed to provide a relaxing and spacious environment for passengers to unwind as they enjoy the passing scenery. Take the opportunity to sit back, read a book, or engage in conversation with fellow travelers.


Most ferries also provide restroom facilities for passenger convenience. These restrooms are clean and well-maintained, ensuring a refreshing experience during your journey. It’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the restroom locations upon boarding the ferry.


If you’re traveling with a vehicle, the ferry provides a safe and secure place to park. The vehicle deck is designed to accommodate cars, RVs, motorcycles, and bicycles. You can rest easy knowing your vehicle will be transported to your destination with care.


For those who require special accommodations, such as accessible seating or facilities, the AMHS strives to cater to your needs. It’s recommended to contact the AMHS customer service in advance to discuss any specific requirements you may have.


Throughout the ferry ride, you’ll also have access to the ship’s crew who are available to assist and answer any questions you may have. Their friendly and knowledgeable demeanor ensures that your journey is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.


Furthermore, don’t forget to take advantage of the outdoor observation areas on the ferry. These areas provide unobstructed views of the surrounding waters and landscapes, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery. This is especially true if the weather permits, as stepping outside onto the deck can offer a refreshing and invigorating experience.


With these amenities in place, the AMHS aims to make your ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Take advantage of the onboard facilities, relax, and make the most of your journey as you journey through the scenic Inside Passage.


Tips for a Smooth Ferry Ride

Embarking on a ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis is an exciting adventure. To ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:


1. Plan Ahead: Check the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) website or contact their customer service to confirm the ferry schedule and make reservations in advance. This will ensure you secure your spot on the desired sailing and avoid any last-minute complications.


2. Arrive Early: Arrive at the Ketchikan Ferry Terminal at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. This will give you sufficient time to check-in, unload your vehicle (if applicable), and get settled onboard.


3. Pack Essentials: Bring essential items such as snacks, water, extra layers of clothing, and any necessary medications. While there are amenities available onboard, having these items readily available will ensure your comfort throughout the journey.


4. Dress Accordingly: Wear layers and dress in weather-appropriate clothing. The temperature and weather conditions can change during the ferry ride, so it’s best to be prepared. Additionally, bring a jacket or a windbreaker to stay warm during any outdoor observation periods.


5. Be Mindful of Motion Sickness: If you’re prone to motion sickness, consider taking medication or wearing motion sickness bands. Be sure to consume light meals before boarding, avoid greasy or heavy foods during the journey, and focus on fixed points on the horizon to alleviate symptoms.


6. Capture Moments: Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the stunning views along the route. Opportunities for beautiful photographs are abundant, so keep your device handy to ensure you don’t miss out on capturing those memorable moments.


7. Engage with Fellow Passengers: Strike up conversations with fellow passengers as you travel. You may meet interesting people and discover valuable insights about Alaska and the surrounding areas. It’s also a great way to pass the time and make new connections.


8. Follow Safety Instructions: Pay attention to safety briefings and instructions provided by the ship’s crew. Familiarize yourself with emergency exits, life jacket locations, and other safety measures. Your safety and well-being are of utmost importance.


9. Respect the Environment: Help preserve the natural beauty of the region by following Leave No Trace principles. Dispose of trash properly and avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging vegetation. Show respect for the delicate ecosystem you are privileged to experience.


10. Enjoy the Journey: Finally, relax and savor the journey. Sit back, immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery, and appreciate the unique opportunity to explore the beauty of Alaska’s coastal landscapes. Embrace the tranquility of the ferry ride and let the wonders of the Inside Passage unfold before your eyes.


By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for a smooth and memorable ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis. Enjoy the adventure and create lasting memories as you traverse the spectacular waterways of Alaska.



The ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis is a captivating journey through the scenic wonders of Alaska’s coastal landscapes. As you navigate the waters of the Inside Passage, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of towering mountains, lush forests, and abundant wildlife.


Ketchikan, known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” serves as the departure point for this memorable adventure. From there, the ferry carries you to the enchanting town of Hollis on Prince of Wales Island, where you can immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Tongass National Forest.


During the ferry ride, take advantage of amenities such as cafeterias, comfortable seating areas, and outdoor observation decks. Capture the picturesque scenery through your lens and engage with fellow travelers to enhance your experience.


Remember to plan ahead, arrive early, and pack essentials for a smooth journey. Dress appropriately, be mindful of motion sickness, and follow safety instructions provided by the ship’s crew. Most importantly, cherish the serenity of the ride and embrace the opportunity to appreciate the pristine beauty of Alaska’s coastal region.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, nature lover, or simply in search of tranquility, the ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It showcases the grandeur of Alaska’s natural landscape and invites you to explore the untouched wilderness that awaits in Hollis.


So, embark on this scenic journey, marvel at the panoramic views, and let the tranquility of the Inside Passage envelop you. The ferry ride from Ketchikan to Hollis promises not only a mode of transportation but also an immersive and awe-inspiring adventure through the captivating landscapes of Alaska.