Click here to view travel advisories for Whatcom County and North Cascades National Park.
March 29, 2020

Danielle Doyle. Marketing Manager
Alaska Marine Highway System

Alaska Marine Highway System Puts Safety Protocols in Place to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The health and well-being of passengers and crew is a top priority for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). In response to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are following federal government guidance to clean and disinfect our ships and terminals. AMHS is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Coast Guard to ensure our methods and materials remain consistent and current for handling new developments related to COVID-19.

Alaska Ferry / Credit: Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism

AMHS has implemented multilayer cleaning protocols to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases:

Intensified cleaning of our terminal facilities;

  • Virox wipes are used to clean high touch areas; such as ticket counter/window areas, doors and tables.
  • All terminal restrooms are currently closed to reduce potential spread of the COVID virus.
  • There is a no contact policy between employees and customers - employees will distance themselves from customers when assisting.
  • Our employees will follow a sanitization protocol after handling customers’ hand luggage, boxes and freight.
  • Our employees will not be handling credit cards, they will request that customers read their credit card details.
  • Signage with protocol for boarding vessels is being added to terminals and boarding areas.

Immediate steps already implemented onboard our vessels;

  • All public restrooms are disinfected three times per day and wiped down routinely throughout the day.
  • High touch areas such as handrails, countertops, door handles, drinking fountains and vending machines are sanitized several times per day.
  • AMHS has temporarily removed certain food items such as; salad bars, self-serve and unwrapped food items from our cafes. These items can be requested from the staff.
  • AMHS is providing regular training to our crew regarding the CDC advised cleaning practices and using the CDC recommended disinfecting and sanitizing products.

AMHS Announces New Boarding Process to Avoid Disruptions in Service

Travelers to be observed for symptoms of COVID-19 before boarding.

AMHS is required to immediately report any illness of persons on board our vessels to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new boarding process has been put in place to avoid disruptions to service or a situation involving passengers quarantined aboard ship. Travelers will be observed by AMHS staff during the ticketing and boarding process. If a traveler exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or other flu-like illnesses, they will not be allowed to board and will receive a full refund.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
Visitor Center Located at I-5 Exit 253 - Check Hours
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
Phone: 360-671-3990

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