Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The M/V Tazlina will provide service in January and February 2023, and bookings are now available for communities including Angoon, Gustavus, Hoonah, Juneau, Haines, and Skagway.
The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will operate the Tazlina four days each week between January 12 and February 26, while the M/V LeConte is offline for its annual overhaul and recertification.
"We are crewing up the Tazlina to cover the January and February Service Gap," said Ryan Anderson, DOT&PF Commissioner. "AMHS staff continues to make a tremendous effort to keep ships running, meeting Alaskans' needs for medical appointments and grocery runs, as well as maintaining the vital connection to the North American highway system.”
“Having the Tazlina operating as a standby ship to cover winter service gaps is exactly what our Northern Panhandle communities have been asking for,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “Thanks to the men and women at the Alaska Marine Highway for enabling the system to be resilient and adaptable when the need requires it.”
The Tazlina has been in layup as a standby ship, as continued labor market shortages prevented AMHS from scheduling the vessel for service this winter. Due in part to an aggressive recruitment program, AMHS will bring the Tazlina online for sailings beginning Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. The historical traffic in the Northern Panhandle and the availability of the Tazlina allowed for additional service once AMHS secured the necessary crew to provide these additional sailings. DOT&PF continues to explore supplemental service options in other areas of the state to respond to the needs of coastal communities served by the system.
DOT&PF recently launched the Charting the Course/Reimagining AMHS to advance a thriving and healthy transportation system. The program focuses first on stabilizing the system and then incrementally adding service while providing transparency through monitoring and reporting of critical system elements—our crew, our vessels, and the financial resources to support service.
In an effort to provide current and relevant information specific to each of the communities served, service area "playbooks" are available for communities to view current service levels, vessel availability for the route, mitigation measures in place, and as a way for DOT&PF to engage with communities on opportunities for service.
The Tazlina was the first of two Alaska Class ferries constructed at the Vigor Shipyard in Ketchikan, Alaska. Christened in Ketchikan in August 2018, Tazlina was the first AMHS vessel built in Alaska.