Only one airline servicing Unalaska / Dutch Harbor these days - Alaska Air. Actual route is flown with PenAir aircraft - but reservations made thru Alaska Air. PenAir is using a Saab 340B turbo-prop that carries 30 people. Flight from Anchorage takes from 2.5 to 3.5 hours, depending on headwinds and whether they need to stop for fuel on the way.
Fare came down just recently (6/15/05), to around $450 one way.
Flight frequency varies with the fishing seasons from 3 to 6 flights daily.
And remember the airline calls this place Dutch Harbor (DUT). Ask for a flight to Unalaska and they'll say they don't go there!!
A word of warning - they will bump baggage if they are full and the headwinds are excessive. So pack accordingly. A good way to make sure you have what you need when you get here is to take as a carry on and give to the ramp agent plane side. They will tag and load on top of the baggage. Just be sure to wait by the aircraft when you get here to retrieve it. Another tip - they only feed you peanuts and cookies - eat before you fly!
The Alaska Marine Highway system has gone back to once a month service to Unalaska/Dutch Harbor from Homer. Sure wish they would quit playing with their schedule. If they would leave it alone they could build a reliable passenger base.
Taking the run to Dutch on the "Trusty Tusty" is one of the last of the great adventures in Alaska.
Once a month, from April thru October, the ferry, M/V Tustemena, calls on Unalaska / Dutch Harbor. Starting at the end of the road in Homer it is a 3 1/2 day run to Dutch Harbor with many stops at the villages all along the way. The Tustemena arrives Dutch Harbor on Saturday mornings at 0800 and departs a little later this year at 1430. So even if you stay on round trip you can have a short visit here. Or better yet - you can ferry one way and fly back.
I have made the trip out twice now and just love the mix of passengers - some locals and some tourists - all sharing the same adventure. It is the best way I know of seeing the beautiful country between Homer and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.
One tip - book early. Ticket for the following year go on sale around October. With only 21 cabins onboard they fill up fast. The ship holds 200 people and most sleep up in the solarium in tents or just sleeping bags. I find the cabins tiny and spartan, but it nice to have a bit of privacy and your own WC.
We get about 10 cruise ships a year. Larger ships that are transiting to and from Asia and six port calls from small eco cruise ships like the Spirit of Oceanus shown in this photo. They only stay in Unalaska for 5-6 hours but it's better than never coming :)
This year (2005) the two adventure cruise vessels calling here are: The Spirit of Oceanus - 4 port calls - run by Cruise West and Clipper Odyssey - 2 port calls - run by Clipper Cruises / Intrav.
The larger ships are Crystal Harmony - 750 passengers, and Seven Seas Mariner, also with around 700 passengers.
None of the major national car rental companies do business in Dutch Harbor / Unalaska.
There are two local companies that offer cars/trucks/suvs for rent here.
BC Vehicles @ 907 581-1589
North Port Rentals @ 907 581-3880
Run between $60 & $100 a day.
Insider tip: If you coming in the winter (Nov-March) get something with 4WD.
If you only have an hour or two in town, a low cost way to see the sights is to rent a taxi by the hour. They all have meters but that can really add up. Bargain with them and you could get a cab for $60/hour. Split that among 6-10 folks since most cabs are 12 passenger vans.
It used to be you could go anywhere on the island for $5 each, but that went away a few years back and all cabs must have meters.
There are at least 10 cab companies in town.
The Dutch Harbor airport is a small regional place, not a place you would want to linger. But it helps you get around, and helps to serve as one of the hubs serving the smaller islands around Dutch Harbor. And the restaurant there is not bad, serves up some good Vietnamese food.
For the most fun you can have, get Sheila Taranto to give you the tour. For around $20 a person (depending on the number of people) She will give you an unforgettable tour of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska.
If you want to do it on your own, a cab fare into the village of Unalaska will be about $5 a person for a vanload.
Sheila Taranto, Taxi USA
P O Box 921587
Dutch Harbor, AK 99692
By ferry the way to Dutch Harbour is reached ones a month between April and October from Kodiak. The ferry departs Homer, Alaska for Kodiak, Alaska on a Tuesday, and arrives in Dutch Harbour the following Saturday at approximately 6:30 AM. The ferry then departs back for Kodiak, Alaska the same day at 11:45 AM.
Another Airline that operates flights to Dutch Harbour is Alaska Airlines. Flights can be booked online at their web page below.