State ferries start seasonal changes

Posted: Thursday, September 06, 2001

JUNEAU Three state ferry sailings will be canceled later this month as the state ferry Matanuska takes over the Columbia's runs to and from Bellingham, Wash., a week early.

A Sept. 26 Ketchikan-Prince Rupert, British Columbia, run will be canceled, as will a Sept. 26-29 Rupert-Skagway run and a Sept. 29-30 Skagway-Rupert sailing. Ticketed passengers have been notified of the change. For details, call (800) 642-0066, 465-3941 or check the Web site

Capt. George Capacci, ferry system general manager, said the schedule was changed to reflect demand, since the Columbia is an expensive ship to run.

The Columbia is slated for about $5 million in work before next summer as part of a three-phase modernization effort. The project is out to bid, but a shipyard has not been chosen, Capacci said.

Two other ships also are making changes. The Taku is scheduled to undergo its annual overhaul, a $400,000 project at Ketchikan's Alaska Ship and Drydock, starting next week at the shipyard. The Malaspina will end its Juneau-Haines-Skagway day-boat operation after its Sunday sailing and will be used this winter in staff training exercises in Ketchikan and Juneau.

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