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Newest State Ferry MV Hubbard Formally Christened

Jun 28, 2023 | News, Transportation

First Lady Rose Dunleavy smashes a ceremonial bottle of champagne to christen MV Hubbard, with the ferry’s relief captain Ethan Waldvogel.

Dawn Millen | Alaska Marine Highway System

A month into its debut season, the newest ferry in the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) was formally christened by First Lady Rose Dunleavy as MV Hubbard.

Alaska Classy

Smashing a bottle of champagne on the ferry’s bow as part of the ceremony, Dunleavy said, “I am honored to be part of AMHS history.”

The First Lady also recognized several women for their contribution to AMHS, including Port Captains Mara Cowen and Umeko Seaver, Vessel Scheduler Kerri Traudt, AMHS Administrative Manager Barb Henry, and Passenger Services Specialist May Flood. “Women have made a tremendous contribution to transportation in Alaska,” Dunleavy said. “Today, they are masters and mates, ship side and shore side, helping this great state getting to where they need to go.”

One of two Alaska-class ferries, Hubbard began serving its route between Juneau, Haines, and Skagway in late May. The vessel makes the circuit once each day, except Mondays.

When construction started in 2014, the ferry was intended for day trips. By the time it was completed in 2018, marine highway managers decided that the Alaska class needed the flexibility for routes that might exceed employee working hours, so the brand-new vessel had to be upgraded with crew quarters.

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Hubbard returned to the Ketchikan Vigor shipyard for a refit, which was finished last year. The addition of crew quarters enables AMHS to reach more ports if scheduling demands.

Hubbard is 280 feet long and carries up to 300 passengers and fifty-three vehicles. Construction cost about $60 million, and the refit cost another $15 million. Sister ship MV Tazlina was christened in 2018 and began service in 2019; the vessel currently runs day trips in the northern Panhandle.

Like all nine vessels in the AMHS fleet, Hubbard is named for a glacier, specifically the tidewater glacier 35 miles north of Yakutat. A student at Eagle River High School, Taylor Thompson, chose the name in a 2016 essay contest.

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