A cruise to Alaska for many is a once in a lifetime experience. Picking the right excursions for your family is an important decision that requires plenty of research and planning. Check out our family picks for outstanding excursions from Skagsway, Juneau and Ketichikan that are family friendly for even your littlest cruiser!
Alaska is one of those places that once you visit, it changes you. When it comes to picking the right Disney Alaska Cruise excursions it can be a tough decision. After all there are a lot of excursions to pick from. Since we were traveling with a toddler and a teenager on our Alaska Cruise, it was important that we had excursions that the entire family could enjoy together. We set out on adventure, saw things I only saw in magazine and experienced things I never thought possible. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat.
I was hosted as a guest of Disney Cruise Line onboard the Disney Wonder to Alaska. All opinions of this magical trip are my own.
There’s nothing that compares to the excitement you feel on embarkation day. As the ship pulls out of the Port of Vancouver, the excitement really begins. It’s just the beginning of some of the magic you’ll experience in Alaska. There is never a shortage of things to do on the ship, it’s when you get off the adventure begins.
ICY STRAIGHT POINT
Our first stop was in Icy Straight Point. Our all ashore time wasn’t until 12:30 p.m. so we had a delicious breakfast in Palo before getting ready for our first excursion, whale watching!
We did the Whale and Marine Mammals Cruise at 1:45 p.m. and just hoped that we’d see at least one whale on the cruise. I’ve been on a few here in New Jersey and they’re always underwhelming and we never really seen any whales. This is Alaska so I was really hoping we saw at least one.
We boarded our boat and it was a great size. It didn’t feel crowded even though it was at capacity which was great for staking out a spot to observe the whales.
Evie fell asleep right after we boarded. Not even the beauty of Alaska and the excitement of seeing whales could keep her awake! Rest assured that if your toddler is due for a nap, the seats are comfy enough for it!
While asleep, she missed the first group of whales we saw at a distance and some of the small animals.
She woke up just in time to see the humpback whales breach. They were actually so close at this point and it w as breathtaking.
Seeing the humpback whales up close like this was awe-inspiring. I’ve seen plenty of photos and even video online but nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for the moment you see these magnificent creatures right in front of your eyes.
After our whale watching excursion, we had a little time to spend in Icy Point Straight, shop for some souvenirs and head back to the ship.
Our second excursion took us to the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail and Salmon Bake with Disney characters.
After a short bus ride to the town of Liarsville our day started with a little show that kept the kids entertained and laughing.
After the show, we headed to another area of the campsite to pan for gold. You could pick either real gold (gold flakes) and fool’s gold (a gold painted rock).
Chip ‘n Dale make their way around and really take time to interact with the kids. Chip came over to Evie and helped her look for gold.
Donald was there too and happily posed for photos with everyone.
After everyone had their fill of characters, gold and what life was life in a gold rush town, it. was time for lunch.
Across the street at another part of camp was the Salmon Bake. It was a delicious way to wrap up our morning in Liairsville. When lunch was over, we boarded the bus back to town and had a few hours to spend before dinner so we walked around Skagway taking in the sites.
Today was a short day in port, the all ashore time was 6:00 a.m. and an all aboard at 12:30 so we could spend the afternoon cruising through Tracy Arm. Since there was no way I was getting my kids up happily at 6 am, we slept in until it was time fro our excursion, the Enchanted Taku Glacier Lodge Flight and 5-Glacier Seaplane Discovery.
I’m not the biggest fan of flying in general so when I saw that we were flying on a little seaplane, I nearly fainted. Seriously.
I tried not to think about it much until the day of the flight. I was a nervous wreck, I put on a brave face since I didn’t want the kids to see mom was scared.
This was one of the most incredible moments of my life. I don’t think I can even put into words how amazing this was so I’ll let the photos do the talking. I cannot recommend this excursion enough.
Even if you’re afraid of flying like I was, what you will see and experience will literally change your life.
Everyone had a window seat on the flight so we all could experience the beauty of the Juneau Icefield, the snow-capped mountains and forests below. Headphones are provided so we could hear the narration during the flight that explained what we were seeing.
After our flight above the Juneau Icefield, we spent the morning at the most enchanting place – Taku Lodge. The lodge was built in 1923 directly across from the Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier, one of the few advancing glaciers in Alaska.
During our lunch of we enjoyed wild Alaskan king salmon, (chicken and kids meals are available) and REAL glacier ice in our drinks! Our ice was literally thousands of years old!
After our meal, we headed back outside to wander around the forest for a nature walk.
While we didn’t see any bears on our trip (they are common on 70% of the visits) we did see some bear foot prints and and fresh droppings which means we might have just missed one.
As our journey concluded, the rain moved in and impacted our travel plans back to Juneau and the ship. We had to divert to the Juneau airport about another 30 minutes from the ship meaning we would be back late. Later than the all aboard time.
It was good for us since we would be getting a view of the Mendenhall Glacier on the way back now. Since our excursion was booked directly with Disney and not an outside company, our cruise director was notified of issue and the ship waited for us to get back. Crisis averted.
Our last day in port had us visiting Ketchikan, the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast and the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show.
We started the day with a bus ride to the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast. The 30 minute ride drove us through the Alaskan coast past canneries and even totem poles.
Once we arrived at the George Inlet Lodge we boarded a boat and headed out to the crab fishing grounds. The ride was about 7 miles long which gave us ample opportunity for seeing the wildlife. We even saw orcas who make their home here.
Once we arrived at the crabbing grounds, the host pulled in a crab trap so we could get an up close look at the crabs as we learned about their anatomy and life cycle.
After our crab exploration was over we headed back to the lodge for a yummy Dungeness crab feast. You can even order crab to ship home while you are here!
After lunch, we headed back into town for the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. At first, I wasn’t sure about the show and thought maybe the kids wouldn’t be too interested.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, we all loved it! The action-packed performance showcased some of the world’s top timber sport athletes. These are the same guys you’ve seen competing on ESPN and The Outdoor Channel as they compete in fun chopping, sawing and chainsaw events.
Afterwards we had a chance to meet the lumberjacks for photos and autographs before we headed back to the ship. It was a fun way to end our Alaska explorations.
Overall, every Port Adventure we went on was perfect for everyone in our family. I hope you enjoyed this peek into our Alaska cruise and hope these Port Adventures inspired you to book some of them for yourself!
Which Port Adventure on our Disney Alaska Cruise would be your favorite?