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Alaska Marine Highway System Sells Fast Ferries: Vessels Headed to Spain

March 11th, 2021

On March 10, 2021, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) finalized the sale of the AMHS vessels Fairweather and Chenega to Servicios y Concesiones Maritimas Ibicencas S.A. of Ibiza, Spain. The sale price for Chenega was $3,111,111, and the Fairweather sold for $2,063,333, for a total of $5,174,444. AMHS will transfer the proceeds into its Vessel Construction Fund, an account used for future AMHS vessel maintenance and construction. The buyer has taken possession and plans to transport the vessels to Spain in the coming weeks.

"This sale is a significant milestone in our long-term vision to reshape the Alaska Marine Highway System," said DOT&PF Commissioner John MacKinnon. "Selling the fast ferries is a move to right-size the fleet and lets AMHS redirect funds used for their storage to operations. This moves us toward our goal of a more sustainable and affordable level of service for Alaskans."

In 2019, DOT&PF announced it would surplus the fast ferry vessels due to their high operating costs. The two ferries were first offered to other state agencies or Alaska municipalities to be used for transportation purposes. After receiving no interest, DOT&PF listed the vessels for sale. Bids were opened on January 13, 2021, and AMHS subsequently negotiated a deal with the sole bidder.

The buyer has enlisted a heavy-lift ship to pick up the two ferries in Ketchikan and transport both vessels via the Panama Canal to their new homeport in Spain.

Fast Ferries were an integral part of the system for about 15 years, ending in 2019.