After several delays, the Alaska Marine Highway System announced on Tuesday in a press release that the M/V Tustumena has returned to service for communities in the Kenai Peninsula, Southwest Alaska and the Aleutian chain. The Tustumena arrived in Homer on Tuesday.
The M/V Tustumena is one of 10 ferries providing essential service in coastal and non-port communities. Individuals, businesses, and local governments rely on the ferry system to transport vehicles, cargo, and passengers.
The boat will make three trips this season, with the first chain trip starting Aug. 22.
The Tustumena went in for its scheduled annual overhaul on March 13, and extensive steel damage was discovered in the engine room and other locations. The U.S. Coast Guard granted approval for the Tustumena’s safe return to service last week.
The Tustumena is 53-years-old. A replacement vessel has been designed, was funded in the fiscal year 2018 capital budget, and is expected to be in service within five years.
For bookings, call local terminals, the AMHS central reservations office at 1-907-465-3941, or toll free at 1-800-642-0066. An updated schedule is available online at www.FerryAlaska.com.