There are such a large amount of family-friendly activities out there on an Alaskan cruise. From whale-watching to husky-hugging, here are all the highlights you need to know about before planning your trip.
For seven days, you can cruise Alaska, sailing through Glacier Bay National Park, and porting at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan. In Glacier Bay, you can find out about global warming and environmental preservation. In Juneau, you may end up yards removed from Humpbacks and sea lions.
The princess-owned properties you can also lodge in — Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge, Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, and Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge — have family travel in mind. Mt. McKinley Wilderness Lodge in Talkeetna is home to the Princess Tree House, as seen on Animal Planet’s Tree house Masters.
Kids will not simply love the tree house and the Denali views it offers, but they will even have a ball at Sappy Hour: a sampling of Birch syrups made up of Alaska’s distinctive sap. It is a must-do for any kid with a sweet tooth!
If you are considering traveling to Alaska with children, add these activities to your itinerary:
The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show
Tucked away in a corner of Ketchikan, the great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is a native staple. It’s part-show, part-competition, part do-it-yourself. Four lumberjacks break into teams and contend in a series of physical challenges — wood-chopping, climbing, and axe-throwing.
The tour does not have to finish there. Families can go ’round back to an axe-throwing area where you’ll attempt to hit the target. The children will probably worship the activity especially if they hit the bulls-eye a couple of times!
While luxury whale-watching on a yacht can get expensive, the choice with Alaska Luxury Tours is nice for families who wish to keep the experience personal. No more than eight viewers are on board at a time. While on the water, you will see humpbacks, eagles, and sea lions; some get even luckier and stumble across a pod of Orcas.
To experience whale-watching in a more wallet-friendly means, try the Whale watching & Salmon Bake excursion. You will set sail out of Juneau in a 48-passenger vessel, spend the day combing Auke Bay for humpbacks and Orcas, then finish with an authentic salmon bake, an all-you-can-eat buffet set within a historic gold rush setting.
Bus Tour through McKinley National Park
Denali National Park is a staple for viewing wildlife like caribou, dolly sheep, eagles, and brown bears in their natural habitat. The Tundra Wilderness Tour is a fully-narrated tour that brings you through the park by bus. You will venture sixty miles into the park, learning about native flora and fauna, the history of Denali, and efforts to preserve the area.
It’s the perfect tour choice for families staying 2+ nights in Denali and for those that are craving a very authentic experience deep within the wilderness of Denali.
River Boat Cruise Tour
On the Riverboat Discovery tour out of Fairbanks, families may watch a red fox wind through the river bank and caribou feed on grass while locals explain Alaskan winter’s -50 below climates. After demonstrations of how native Athabascan Indians use fish wheels to harvest food and salmon preparations, families disembark onto an island with recreations of native homes, clothing, and tools.
Kids can study traditional Athabascan garb and hunting practices by listening to anecdotal narratives from cultural experts and plunging hands-on into the neighborhood. Children can wear the garments and headdresses, pet sled-dogs, and totally immerse themselves within the culture by touring Athabascan homes.
Husky Homestead is a stand-out excursion for dog lovers. The Homestead is the home of Jeff King, four-time Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race champion. If you are not familiar with the trail sledge dog Race, it is a world-famous race ran across the state, from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska — a total of nearly 1,000 miles.
At the Homestead, guests can cuddle puppies as young as eight weeks old while King offers insight into training sled dogs. You will interact with dogs training for the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race and listen to stories from the trail and see the sleds and equipment champions use while out in the elements.
For families searching for a additional hands-on excursion, Juneau Shore Tours offers a dog-sledding excursion that lets you ride in a dog sled. You will sit between the dogs and musher as you depart on a 1-mile trek led by fourteen huskies.
If you’re embarking on a Princess Cruise to Alaska, add these activities to your list:
Train Ride to the Princess Cruise ship
Perhaps the best surprise moment of your trip — and one of the most distinctive experiences — can be the Princess’ Direct-to-Wilderness Rail Service available on cruise tours for 14 or 15 days. Princess is the only cruise to offer door-to-ship service, that features glass-domed rail cars, open-air observation platforms, and on-board rail guides who give knowledgeable commentary and authentic native anecdotes about what it’s like living within the last frontier year-round . From your seats within the rail car, you may spot whales, dolly sheep, eagles, and the occasional rock climber attempting his luck on a quarry.
On-board Camp Discovery Youth Centers
The Princess Cruises’ youth center is one-of-a-kind due to an exclusive partnership with Discovery Channel.
In Camp Discovery, campers tackle hands-on challenges modeled after the discovery show Myth-busters, invent tools to survive harsh winters a la Survive Alaska, and participate in family theme nights.
Kids find out about places, animals, and science while hanging out in Camp Discovery. It is a nice social skill-building experience and an awe-inspiring way to meet children from all over the globe.