During 2017 Alaska sailings, Disney Cruise Line guests can experience the beauty of Alaska in a way only Disney can provide with exclusive, one-of-a-kind Port Adventures.
Port Adventures are designed for Disney Cruise Line guests to make the most of their time ashore. Disney Cruise Line partners work with local tour operators to highlight each port of call, and create hassle-free, interactive adventures for families to enjoy.
For the 2017 Alaska season, all ports of call include tours that feature distinctly Disney touches, beloved characters and rich storytelling to help bring local culture and customs to life. Signature Collection tours range from deluxe experiences in intimate, upscale settings to customized tours that are enhanced with experiences exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.
A historic pathway that winds through the snow-capped mountains bordering Alaska is the Liarsville Gold Rush Trail. At the camp, nestled beside a waterfall, guests are delightfully entertained by a cast of sourdoughs and dance hall girls as they tell classic stories of the gold rush era and local tall tales through hilarious puppetry and live music. After the show, a fun scavenger hunt through the camp sets the stage for a gold-panning expedition joined by classic Disney characters, with everyone guaranteed to find the precious metal in every pan. Guests find their fortune, and gather around the campfire to roast marshmallows, and enjoy an all-you-can-eat feast featuring freshly grilled Alaskan salmon.
On the White Pass and Yukon Route, guests take a vintage railroad car 3,000 feet to the summit of White Pass while weaving through cliff-hanging turns to witness rushing waterfalls and towering mountains. Guests retrace the original route of the Klondike Gold Rush where they envision the path of the early prospectors seeking their fortune. During the return trip, children ride in their own car with Disney Cruise Line youth counselors, and take part in sing-alongs, games and stories of the gold rush age. Adults relax and toast a glass of champagne or cider, and receive a unique ornament welcoming them into the White Pass Summit Club.
For families looking to bring out their competitive side, the Klondike Family Challenge is full of immersive activities paired with fun challenges, like panning for gold and playing with Iditarod sled dogs. A tour of the Klondike Gold Fields brewery follows, where guests sample fresh brews and design their own root beer labels. Disney Cruise Line families leave their mark by etching their name into a wooden plank to leave at the site’s gold panning shed.
Only Disney Cruise Line guests get to live the life of an Iditarod champion during the Glacier Dog Musher for a Day Port Adventure. On this excursion, guests are transported by helicopter over the massive Juneau Icefield to one of the region’s most breathtaking glaciers. Atop the glacier, they are greeted by the crew and sled dogs of the Iditarod, and then follow their new furry friends to the camp for a behind-the-scenes tour of the kennel, cookhouse and veterinary clinic. After a backstage look of the camp, guests prepare their new canine companions for an unforgettable day of mushing. Once the dogs are fed, harnessed and cleared for the trail, mushers take guests on an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime adventure across the pristine snow-capped glacier.
Untouched Alaskan wilderness awaits at Taku Glacier Lodge, a remote outpost directly across from the picturesque Hole-In-The-Wall Glacier and surrounded by the Tongass National Forest. Guests enjoy a meal of wild Alaska king salmon, and hear stories of the lodge’s rich history and lively characters, such as Mary Joyce, a legendary adventurer who made a 1,000-mile dogsled journey from Juneau to Fairbanks in the 1930s.
Teens gear up for the ultimate adventure during the Teen Exclusive Ultimate Canopy & Zip Line Expedition. Accompanied by their favorite Disney Cruise Line youth counselors, teens embark on an adrenaline-pumping, high-flying adventure overlooking Juneau’s magnificent landscape that includes 10 zip lines, two towering sky bridges over lofty tree platforms and a thrilling repel to the ground.
In Ketchikan, Disney Cruise Line guests discover the rich culture and heritage of Annette Island, home to the only native reservation in Alaska. A signature Port Adventure gives guests a rare glimpse into a working village of the Tsimshian people. During this exclusive experience, guests learn about the lives and language of the culture through song and dance, create their very own drums, and learn a few words of the native language, Smalgyax.
On the Bering Sea Crab Fishermen’s Tour in Ketchikan, guests look on as professional fishermen haul in the catch of the day in 700-pound king crab pots. An on-deck aquarium becomes the crabs’ temporary home, providing an up-close look and a chance to hold the crabs and snap a photo. After a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship, including a photo in the captain’s chair, Disney Cruise Line guests have an exclusive opportunity to dine with the crew and listen to telling stories about life on the Bering Sea over freshly caught King crab and Dungeness crab.
Several Ketchikan excursions include a visit to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, a rollicking competition created especially for families that features some of the world’s top timber sport athletes going head-to-head for bragging rights and the title “Bull of the Woods.”
Offering a historical look at the timber industry that helped shape Alaska, the one-hour show includes events such as chopping, sawing, log rolling, death-defying speed climbing and more, plus opportunities for a few Disney Cruise Line children to participate alongside the burly competitors in select events. After clapping and cheering for their teams, families can meet the lumberjacks for autographs and photos at the end of each rowdy show.
Beginning May 22, the Disney Wonder will depart from Vancouver for 14 seven-night cruises to Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska.
Photos: Todd Anderson, Matt Stroshane and Diana Zalucky