Camp on the deck of a ferry. Covered solariums located on the upper decks of each vessel are popular sleeping areas and for those traveling with small tents, they are allowed on the upper decks.
I spent three nights on the ferry from Bellingham, WA, to Skagway, AK. Camping on the deck was wonderful. You can pitch a tent on the deck, or sleep under the heated overhang. You can also get a private cabin if you’d like, or find a quiet place in other places on board. Movie theater, showers, washer and dryer, food. More than you need. Plus amazing views! No booze on the deck but available in the dining room. The staff was also so sweet!
We took the Alaska Marine Highway from Whittier to Petersburg with stops in Yakutat and Juneau. Highly recommend getting a private room for overnight adventures but if you’re on a budget you can bring your tent and camp gear up to the solarium.
a different type of camping
This is the state of Alaska's public ferry system and runs from Bellingham, WA to Dutch Harbor, AK. Our journey started in Bellingham were we boarded the Columbia, the largest vessel in the AMH's fleet. It carries about 500 passengers who can either rent a cabin for an extra fee, pitch a tent on one of the decks, or sleep in a lounge chair in one of the solarium's or observation decks. We chose the tent option of course and picked out a good spot. The scenery along the British Columbia coast line is amazing and we got lucky enough to see a group of humpbacks and one full breach not far from the boat. Our first stop in Alaska was Ketchikan which is about a 36 hour boat ride from Bellingham. One of the biggest advantages of traveling by the ferries compared to other ways of travel like a cruise ship for example, is that it allows you to explore a place more thoroughly and not be in such a rush. I've never been on a cruise but the thought of only having a few hours in some of these places would drive me mad. It was nice to have a few days at each of our stops. Our trip was 9 days long and just gave us time to explore some of southeast Alaska around the towns of Ketchikan, Wrangell, Juneau and Skagway. Along the way we got to see glaciers calving, bears catching salmon and bald eagles landing on icebergs. This was definitely one of the most unique camping experiences I've ever had in one of the most wild and beautiful places I've ever been. Can't wait to do it again, exploring Skagway to Anchorage next time and all the stops along the way.