close
close

The Tustumena ferry’s next stop in Kodiak has been pushed back another week, bypassing Port Lions and Ouzinkie

The return to service of the ferry (M/V) Tustumena has been further delayed, after having already been detained for weeks at the Seward Shipyard for repairs.

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced on May 2 that the Tustumena would no longer sail to Kodiak until Monday, May 13, leaving Homer in the afternoon at 1:00 p.m. and arriving in Kodiak later that evening around 10:00 p.m.

The Tusty was originally scheduled to sail to Kodiak later this week on May 9th. Passengers will now have to wait longer due to additional work required on the ship’s propulsion shaft alignment, as well as a delay in the ship meeting its annual inspection certificate requirements.

The 60-year-old main ferry was already receiving repairs to areas of cracked and rusted steel in various parts of the ship. Marine Highway System Director Craig Tornga said during a recent AMHS Zoom teleconference on April 22 that the costs of repairing the aging fleet exceed the costs of completely replacing them. But the current ferries still provide an essential service to residents of coastal Alaska while replacement vessels are built.

“There’s no doubt that when you have something this age and the metal is old, it’s tired; it’s not a good amount of money spent, but it’s what we need to do to continue providing the service until we have the new ships,” Tornga explained.

The replacement vessel Tustumena (TRV) is planned for construction, but the project has not yet been put out to tender.

If the Tustumena sails to Kodiak next week as planned, it will not stop in the Port Lions or Ouzinkie communities as originally planned. For the latest updates and schedule changes, go online to the AMHS website, FerryAlaska.com.