DOT says COVID-19 pandemic will delay core ferry service until mid-May

The M/V Tustumena pulls away from Kodiak on Jan. 11, 2020, beginning a ferry service gap of more than three months. (Photo by Kavitha George/KMXT)

Alaska Marine Highway System’s mainline service won’t be back up and running until mid-May. The ferries Columbia, Kennicott and Tustumena were scheduled to return to service later this month. 

According to a Wednesday media release from the Department of Transportation, the three vessels are on schedule to be overhauled by Vigor Alaska. But the ferry crews needed to prep and provision the ships have been sent home due to COVID-19 precautions.

Travel restrictions implemented by a number of Southeast Alaska villages has also lessened demand for passenger service. But the DOT says essential grocery deliveries will continue throughout the public health crisis

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