JUNEAU - The Inter-Island Ferry Authority inaugurated daily passenger/vehicle ferry service between Ketchikan and Hollis on Jan. 15, 2002, with the newly launched M/V Prince of Wales.
In the eight years through Jan. 15, the IFA has transported 436,294 passengers and 106,574 vehicles on 3,525 round-trips between Ketchikan and Prince of Wales Island, stated IFA general Manager Bruce Jones.
With the exception of 2008, operating revenues have increased each year on the Ketchikan-Hollis run, according to Jones. Revenue totaled $2,977,018 in 2009. We operated two daily round-trips during the peak summer months in 2008, resulting in more revenue but higher operating costs, he said.
The M/V Stikine was added to the IFA fleet in May, 2006. This vessel is basically the same design as the Prince of Wales, which is certified for 160 passengers. Engineering changes on the Stikine provide certification for 190 passengers and operational enhancements. The Stikine inaugurated Coffman Cove-Wrangell-Petersburg seasonal service in the summer of 2006. This route was suspended after the 2008 season because hoped for state funding was not available.
The Prince of Wales is presently on the daily Ketchikan-Hollis run, and also provides round-trip service between Ketchikan and Metlakatla daily except Tuesday and Wednesday, during the period while the M/V Lituya is undergoing annual maintenance.
The Stikine will replace the Prince of Wales on the Ketchikan-Hollis run this summer.