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HIgh speed ferry cancelled. Drive Valdez to Anchorage?

HIgh speed ferry cancelled. Drive Valdez to Anchorage?

Old May 30th, 2005, 05:50 PM
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HIgh speed ferry cancelled. Drive Valdez to Anchorage?

We were just notified that the high speed ferry we were supposed to take from Valdez to Whittier has been cancelled. They re-scheduled us on a ferry that will take 5 hours. From Whittier we are going directly to Seward.

Now we are thinking about driving from Valdez to Seward. We would have to do it in one day because we plan to take the Kenai Fjords the next day. Also, if we still take the ferry, we will be on a ferry for over 5 hours and then the next day for 9 hours on the Kenia Fjords trip.
How bad is it to drive from Valdez to Seward?
What is a realistic estimate of how long it would take.
Thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:15 PM
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It will take all day, as in, say, 8-11 hours depending on your pace, stops, etc. I would definitely take the boat, but it's your call.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old May 30th, 2005, 06:34 PM
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jetset1
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Just an fyi for future travelers between Whittier and Valdez.. in mid July, there will be new ferry, the Chenega, which is supposed to cut the trip in half(to maybe three hours vs. six).
As I have friends in Valdez, I plan to wait and take the new ferry and will report back when the trip is done. I'm in Kenai, so the drive is only two hours, not counting the Whittier tunnel transit time. J.
 
Old May 30th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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jetset1
That is the ferry we were planning to take but they emailed me Fri and said it is not ready yet; our reservations were for July 8.
We are disappointed but nothing we can do.

Gardyloo
From other posts, I believe you live in AK so I appreciate your opinion and suggestion, that is what I was looking for.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 08:36 PM
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Here's a second for the ferry. If you were only going to Anchorage, it might be worth driving (gorgeous trip).

But these long drives on unfamiliar and scenic roads take a lot out of you. You have to pay a lot mor attention to driving that you do other places. At least on the ferry you can chill out -- and still have some time to play after to get to Seward.

Another thing to consider is that the road repair window in AK is very small and even during the height of the tourist season you can hit single-lane stuff or even sporadic closures (not many detour options ...)
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Old May 30th, 2005, 08:50 PM
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jetset1
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sandy49~ I was unclear from your first post of your travel dates. The article in the ADN yesterday mentioned mid July for the Chenega.. with anything new and delays in completion, I guess it's hard to know exactly when they will be running.
As I am a lifelong Alaskan that hasn't yet been across the sound by boat, I'm planning to wait and will post shortly afterward on my impressions. Good luck on your travels, J.
 
Old May 31st, 2005, 04:48 AM
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repete, Thanks for reminding us about the possibility of construction or other delays. I guess the bottom line is we will be more rested when we get to Seward if we take the ferry.

Jetset1 - I would love to hear your report afer you take the high speed ferry, we were really looking forward to it.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 06:20 AM
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Good choice.
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Old May 31st, 2005, 10:04 AM
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Valdez-Seward is not a day trip in my opinion. Take the ferry, it's a great ride and from Whittier, you are 2 hours from Seward, far better option with only one day to get there. I have taken the ferry several times, always a very scenic ride.
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 05:27 AM
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We just got back from our 2 week trip. We drove from Valdez to Anchorage, with LOTS of stops along the way, but I cringed when I read your question about going from Valdez to Seward. That is way too much for one day--and you'd want to enjoy the scenery and make a few stops along the way. Take the ferry!

Enjoy! Alaska is not to be missed!
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Old Jun 21st, 2005, 01:41 PM
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We were also booked on the Chenenga high speed ferry for mid August; however, we received notification that we are resheduled onto the Aurora which will take about 5 hours. I was told the new ferry will not be ready. But the way we look at it is that it will be a great way to enjoy Prince William Sound and get out of the car! We were told there is food on this ferry....or should we pick up food in Valdez? Just thought we'd put our 2 cents in! Have a great trip.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:43 AM
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Yes there is a full cafe on the boat. You also will have NO acess to your car during sailing. So be sure to take with you all that you will need.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2005, 07:26 PM
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I just checked yesterday with Alaska Marine Highway system and was told the new fast (3 hrs) Chenega ferry from Whittier to Valdez will not be in operation this summer, and they are not sure if ever. That is too bad..however the Aurora still continues (6 hrs, but apparently a beautiful trip). The Aurora is 20 yrs older and smaller than the much newer Kennicott which goes 3 times a month from Valdez to Whittier, and a couple of times I think from Whittier to Valdez,but in the middle of the night (11:30 to 3AM or something like that). Is the Aurora perfectly adequate, and Has anyone noticed a lot of Motion to cause any seasickness.? I do understand that|Prince William sound is pretty calm. WE are booked on the Aurora for the first part of Sept....was surprised at the 85 plus 85 plus 108 for the car totaling around $278 for the Whittier to Valdez portion. But I guess that "is what it is"!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:03 AM
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Yep, that's what it is.

You are on water, no one can guarantee no motion sickness. If anyone is prone you are best to take precautions.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:59 PM
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I am taking the same ferry on Aug 12 and wonder if driving to Anchorage is better also. After the ferry I read about a tunnel to go through - can that make the trip from Whittier to Anchorage unbearably long after a 6 hour boat ride?
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Old Jul 7th, 2005, 02:37 PM
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The tunnel is open about 15 min in each direction per hour, most likely you will be in the staging line for at least a few minutes. Allow about 1 hour 15 min. for the drive to downtown Anchorage, more with extended tunnel wait. The tunnel is only about 3 miles long.
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