Santa's giving his reindeer a break and taking the ferry this week as he travels to coastal communities throughout Alaska's panhandle.
"The elves have got everything under control at the North Pole, which gives me a chance to visit a few children ahead of time in these smaller, Inside Passage communities," the Alaska Marine Highway System quoted a Santa Claus in a news release Sunday before he departed from Juneau on the state ferry LeConte. "It's something the kids look forward to each year - and so do I."
He was unavailable for comment Monday.
He will travel to Tenakee Springs, Wrangell, Petersburg, Kake, Angoon, Hoonah and Pelican this week, passing out Christmas treats. Santa will visit children at ferry terminals in some communities and in others children will get a chance to sit on Santa's lap onboard the ship.
"He's made a special effort to do this for a number of years and it's kind of a tradition for him," said Alaska Marine Highway System spokeswoman Barbara Fairbanks. "He's going early so he has plenty of time to back to the North Pole to prepare for the big night."
The entourage returns to Juneau on Friday.
8:45 a.m. - arrive Wrangell; Santa in terminal.
9:45 a.m. - depart Wrangell.
12:45 p.m. - arrive Petersburg; Santa in terminal.
1:45 p.m. - depart Petersburg.
5:45 p.m. - arrive Kake; kids onboard.
6:45 p.m. - depart Kake.
11:15 a.m. - arrive Angoon; Santa at elementary school.
12:15 p.m. - depart Angoon.
4:15 p.m. - arrive Hoonah; Santa in terminal.
5:15 p.m. - depart Hoonah.
8:30 p.m. - arrive Juneau; Santa to take a quick nap and refill his bag of goodies.
4 a.m. depart Juneau
10:30 a.m. - arrive Pelican; kids onboard.
11:55 a.m. - depart Pelican.
6:30 p.m. - arrive Juneau.
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