The charming fishing town of Pelican is accessible only by boat or plane.

By plane

The flight into Pelican is quick, but serves up incredible flightseeing views: alpine slopes, sheltered coves and a breathtaking descent into Lisianski Inlet between towering mountains.

  • Alaska Seaplanes offers daily service from Juneau.
  • Harris Air Services flies into Pelican regularly from its base in Sitka.

By boat

  • Alaska Marine Highway System – The 7-hour ferry ride to Pelican from Juneau passes through Icy Strait, Chatham Strait and Cross Sound. It’s an affordable way to get to Pelican, and you can sit back and enjoy the view and marine mammal sightings (humpback whales, sea lions and sea otters are possible.) The ferry sails just once a month to Pelican, so you need to plan ahead to fit this in your schedule.
  • Kayak or charter boat – Some independent travelers enjoy gunkholing along the coast of Chichagof and Lisianski Inlet by kayak or boat. This requires research, planning, savvy water skills and wilderness survival know-how, but promises an amazing journey where you control the schedule of how long you stay in each little cove along the way.

Insider tip

Locals suggest arranging your schedule to fly in and ferry out of Pelican. It you time it right, you can catch the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry back to Juneau. On the way, it stops in Gustavus, the “Gateway to Glacier Bay National Park.” You can spend a day or two there, since there is more frequent ferry service between Juneau and Gustavus. If your schedule doesn’t coincide with the once-a-month ferry sailing from Pelican, you can charter a boat to drop you in Gustavus and then pick up the ferry from there.

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