Ready to take a once-in-a-lifetime Disney Cruise to Alaska? Beautiful scenery, rich Gold Rush history, and amazing wildlife are all part of what you’ll get on a cruise to Alaska with Disney. But how can you make the most of it? As the most offered Disney Alaska Cruise sailing, the 7-Night Itinerary on the Disney Wonder brings you to Alaska’s Inner Passage, and along the Alaskan Coastline. If you’re looking for Alaska cruise tips, here is everything we did on our Disney Alaska Cruise that may help you in planning yours.
- 1 Taking A Disney Cruise to Alaska
- 2 How to Get to Vancouver for a Disney Cruise to Alaska
- 3 Alaska Cruise from Vancouver British Columbia Canada | Day 1
- 4 Disney Alaska Cruise Day At Sea | Day 2
- 5 Alaskan Glacier Viewing Day Disney Cruise At Sea | Day 3
- 6 Skagway Alaska Cruise Port | Day 4
- 7 Juneau Alaska Cruise Port | Day 5
- 8 Ketchikan Alaska Cruise Port | Day 6
- 9 Disney Alaska Cruise Day at Sea | Day 7
- 10 Vancouver British Columbia Canada | Day 8
- 11 Disney Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions
- 12 Disney Alaska Cruise Tips
- 13 Disney Alaska Cruise Deals
Taking A Disney Cruise to Alaska
Whether this is your first Disney Cruise or just one you’ve wanted to do for a long time, know that a Disney Cruise to Alaska is a BIG DEAL! Exploring the last frontier via Disney Cruise Ship is unparalleled, and there are a lot of things to consider if this is your next family vacation. From Planning a Disney Cruise to Alaska to knowing What to Pack for a Disney Alaska Cruise, you may find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed. But, never fear! We’re sharing all our experiences in the posts on this blog to help you get the most out of your Disney Alaska Cruise.
Where does a Disney Cruise to Alaska Depart From?
Disney Cruise Line offers 5-night, 7-night, 8-night, and 9-night Alaskan cruises from Vancouver. As such all Disney Alaska cruises start and end in the city of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.
Where does a Disney Alaska Cruise Go?
A Disney Alaska Cruise on the Disney Wonder sets sail from Vancouver, Canada, and brings you all the way to Skagway along Alaska’s southeastern coast. Making a few stops at ports along the Alaska coastline along the way, we wanted to chart our journey here so you could see all the moving parts included in an Alaska Cruise. This post deep dives into our 7-Night Alaska Cruise from Vancouver, Canada. Covering an Alaskan Cruise Itinerary for a Disney Alaska Cruise that stops at Skagway, Juneau, and Ketchikan.
Do any Disney Alaska Cruises leave from Seattle?
Disney Cruise Line does not depart from Seattle, as they depart from Vancouver, Canada. However, there are other Cruises to Alaska that depart from Seattle. Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all offer roundtrip Alaska cruises that sail from Seattle, Washington.
Taking the Disney Wonder to Alaska
Disney Cruise Line’s current Alaska-designated ship is the Disney Wonder; one of our favorite ships. If you’ve never sailed on this boat, be sure to check out our posts for everything you need to know about the Disney Wonder to help you feel at home onboard.
How to Get to Vancouver for a Disney Cruise to Alaska
Much like trips to Disney Aulani in Hawaii, if you don’t live on the West Coast, half the battle is getting there. As such we went back and forth on the pros and cons of Flying into Vancouver for a Disney Cruise, or Taking the Train to Vancouver for a Disney Cruise. Of course, after seeing prices from our local airport to Vancouver International Airport ( YVR) and hearing some horror stories about how long it takes to get through Customs when you fly in, we decided the train would be best. So, we booked airline tickets from our home airport to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport ( SEA), which kept us in-country and out of long customs lines. We then headed to the Embassy Suites Hotel, which is located right next door to the King Street Station. This is where we grabbed the Amtrak Cascades Train and headed for Vancouver.
By far the Best Airline for Alaska Travel, Alaska Airlines is a good flight experience all around. Still offering free non-alcoholic beverages and in-flight snacks, Alaska Airlines is worth the look. Plus, baggage costs were cheaper than most airlines and the whole process was easy. While Alaska Airlines doesn’t offer an Alaska Cruise with Airfare package, there are many ways to make your travel easier with a travel agent.
Amtrak Cascade Train from Seattle to Vancouver
A bonus of taking the Amtrak Cascades Train from Seattle to Vancouver is that the Customs officer simply checks each passport while guests are on the train. No lines. About a 4-hour ride from Seattle to Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station, the train offers nice seating, ample overhead baggage storage, a baggage car, and a small cafe offering packaged snacks and coffee. The views from the train are worth the trip and great if you’re looking for a leisurely start to your vacation.
Vancouver Hotels for a Disney Cruise to Alaska
By far the BEST hotel in Vancouver for your Disney Cruise to Alaska, the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver is located on top of the Cruise Terminal. While there are plenty of other hotels nearby, staying at the Pan Pacific means that you can literally ask the bellman to take your luggage the morning of your departure, and they will make sure it gets on the ship for you! Just be sure to have your Disney Wonder luggage tags attached.
We also like the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver for your Disney Alaska Cruise, because being this close to the cruise port means you can actually watch the boat come in the morning of your embarkation day.
The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel is also near Canada Place and another easy walk to the Crusie terminal. While we didn’t stay here, it would be a great alternative if you were looking for somewhere close that you could walk to, and tote your own luggage back and forth, without the need for an Uber to port.
Alaska Cruise from Vancouver British Columbia Canada | Day 1
Arriving in Vancouver for your Disney Cruise to Alaska means that you’ll be headed to Canada Place; home to the Vancouver Sails and the Cruise Port Terminal. This building includes a massive convention center but is also home to the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, a Starbucks, the Canadian Historical Trail, the Flying over Canada Attraction, and several eateries to fill the time. Extremely walkable, you can get a taste of Vancouver just by being in this area. All guests should be Onboard by 4 pm for Embarkation Day. So be sure to check out your details from the Disney Cruise Line Check-in Process for your Port Arrival Time.
Disney Cruise Line App
As soon as you board the ship you can access the Disney Cruise Line App. Simply TURN ON Airplane Mode and Connect to the Disney Cruise Line Wi-Fi. Then open your Disney Cruise Line App. Once onboard and in the app you can see onboard activities, the time for the sail away party, the drinks of the day, and make any last-minute purchases for excursions or classes onboard. Activities are posted for each day and show the day, time, and location of each. Plus, you can heart the activities you like so you can keep track of your favorite things and when they’re happening.
Lunch on the Ship
If your port arrival time happens around lunchtime, then be sure to check out Cabanas or whichever Rotational Dining Restaurant on the Disney Wonder is serving up lunch on your embarkation day. In the past, we’ve eaten lunch at both Triton’s and Tianas onboard the Disney Wonder. Both offer a sit-down dining experience and can give you a chance to relax and make your plans for the evening. If choosing to head to Cabanas, know that this quick-service restaurant gets pretty crowded. Lined with food stations this restaurant offers a variety of seafood, salads, sandwiches, and more. Additional seating can be found on deck as well, so if the weather is nice, it’s most likely your best bet to manage the crowds.
Disney Cruise Sail Away Party
No Disney Cruise would be complete without a Sail Away Party, and sailing away to Alaska is something to celebrate! As your debarkation time nears head to the upper decks to get a good view of the stage, and FunnelVision. This is where the magic happens. Grab a drink or ice cream and settle into your spot for the Sail Away Party show. Filled with catchy songs and Disney friends, this is a great way to get the cruise party started. And since the entertainment team is part of this show, it’s the first time you get to “meet” them too! Take note of faces and names, as this team leads all the activities onboard the ship and will become your fast friends over the next 7 days.
Kid’s Club Open Houses
Day one on a Disney Cruise often means the opportunity to explore the ship and get to know the Kid’s Club spaces. We talk about the Kid’s Clubs on the Disney Wonder in our Disney Wonder Cruise Ship Guide, but if you’re looking to get the kids settled be sure to check out the open houses and get them ready. Times and details can be found in the Disney Cruise Line App, often referred to as the Disney Navigator, once you’re onboard.
50MB FREE Internet
Let us just say, Disney Cruise Wi-Fi is generally horrible; yes, even when you pay $90 extra for it. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t at least mention it in this Disney Alaska Cruise Guide. That said, be sure to give yourself a head start by signing up for the Free 50MB you have available to you on the FIRST DAY ONLY. This is able to be used throughout your cruise, but many can’t make it last that long. Here are some tried and true tips.
- Disable ALL notifications on your phone. Otherwise, as soon as you claim the credit, it will get used, in less than a minute, due to notifications.
- Turn OFF Background Refresh. Typically accessible from Settings- General. Otherwise, every app you have will use your wi-fi for updates, without you knowing it.
- Sign in to the Disney Cruise App, and click on Connect to the Internet.
- Once logged in “Claim” your Free 50 MB.
- LOG OUT! By far the most important thing to know. If you don’t log out once you’re done using the internet it will stay “ON” the entire time and you’ll burn through it in minutes.
- Note, if you’re hoping to make the most of the free MB offered to you, we recommend being mindful of the websites you’re visiting. Videos, Ads and more can bleed you dry in MB fairly quickly.
Disney Alaska Cruise Day At Sea | Day 2
Arn Ligs an Inside Passage Cruise to Alaska, Disney Cruises offer opportunities to see wildlife at sea, the Northern Lights, and shore excursions you won’t experience elsewhere. And every Disney Cruise offers ample opportunities for all ages to have fun at sea. From pool time, movies in the theaters, and classes for adults to family-friendly crafts and activities, there is plenty to do onboard for your Disney Cruise Day at Sea. On a Disney Alaska Cruise, however, you’re offered even more opportunities to learn about Alaska, in addition to all the other fun stuff of course.
Alaska Wildlife Cruise Viewing
Depending on the time of year you visit, there is a variety of Alaskan wildlife you can see on a Disney Cruise to Alaska. Seals, Whales, Eagles, and even bears can be seen from the boat throughout your cruise. While an Alaska small ship cruise can get you closer to some of the wildlife at sea, those extra excursions do cost extra, so be sure to check your options ahead of time if you’re hoping to add those excursions to your cruise.
Alaskan Naturalist Talks Onboard
We had several opportunities throughout the cruise to learn about the landscape, ocean, and wildlife of Alaska due to specially offered Alaskan Naturalist talks. Featuring local naturalists, these mini-presentations gave us an inside look at the types of birds, whales, and sealife we may see throughout the trip. While you may not want to spend your afternoon in the Walt Disney Theater watching a PowerPoint and hearing stories, it gave us exactly what we needed to help identify the wildlife we were seeing during the cruise.
Ahhh, we can never get enough Disney Trivia. Luckily, every Disney Cruise has ample opportunities to put your knowledge to the test or pick up some fun facts along the way. “What Disney Movie has the tagline; A Great Love Story?- Bambi!” And if Disney Trivia isn’t your thing there are other topics too! 90s Music Trivia, Television Trivia, and even Traditional British Pub Quiz questions pop up as activities you can do onboard.
Disney Character Meet and Greets
Another popular At Sea Day activity is getting to meet the Disney Characters. Mickey and Friends and the Disney Princesses are usually available sometime throughout the Days at Sea for photos. And it’s a great way to grab pictures on your less busy days.
Bingo on a Disney Cruise
Nothing is more fun than Bingo on a Disney Cruise. With a high-energy feel, this activity can win you money and is family-friendly too. The cast members do a great job of keeping up the high vibes, and you may even win some Disney Cruise Line Freebies just for participating.
Alaskan Glacier Viewing Day Disney Cruise At Sea | Day 3
By far one of the most important parts of your whole Disney Alaska Cruise is seeing the Glacier tucked away in Alaska’s Inner Passage. While the glacier you see may vary ( Dawes Glacier, Stewart Glacier, Sitkine Ice Cap, etc.) be ready to stand on deck with all the other guests and marvel at nature as you weave slowly through the fjords. Glacier Viewing Day often includes slow sailing that happens until about 12 noon. But of course, your Cruise Director and Captain will keep you posted on when the glacier may be in view. As this is the most beautiful day for Alaskan scenery many guests just head to the top decks and claim their spots. Often hours ahead of time. That said, here are a few things to know about the Alaskan Glacier Viewing on Disney Cruise.
Disney Alaska Cruise Glacier Day Tips
- Dress Warmly. If you’re standing on Deck you will have fjord winds to deal with, which can be bracing. Be sure to have sunglasses, gloves, a hat, a scarf, and a coat; preferably with windbreaker capabilities.
- Have your Camera and Binoculars. Smaller glaciers, seals, whales, and beautiful mountains are all part of what you may see on your Inner Passage journey, so be ready for it.
- Naturalist Narration of the Scenery. As you get closer to the glacier you can expect an onboard narrated talk by a local Naturalist, shared over the loudspeakers. To hear the commentary, you may need to get closer to the speaker locations, as the winds dull much of the sound.
- Hot Cocoa is Served. On the Disney Wonder, you can grab mugs of Hot Cocoa in the basketball court area on the top deck. This area has a section that is covered and offers relief from the wind. And even with decent weather in the 60s, it will still be “cold” enough in the fjords to warrant the cocoa creaminess as a treat while you watch out for the glacier.
Mixology Class | $40
One of the many things for Adults on a Disney Cruise is a plethora of classes and tastings. From chocolate liqueur tastings to food and wine pairings to Anyone Can Cook classes, there are plenty of things to be had. On this last trip, we tried out the Mixology Class. Note: Specialty Classes need to be Reserved Ahead of Time as spots fill up fast. So when you’re Planning your Disney Cruise, be sure to add whatever strikes your fancy to your reservations list.
The Mixology Class on our Disney Cruise was quite amazing. Not only did we get a little history of The Cadillac Lounge, where we were hosted, but also a slew of alcoholic drinks to try. Our host shared details about each drink and then showed us how adding something different could make it a whole new drink, with a different name. Very laid back, we probably had about 5 mini drinks by the time the class was over. Completely worth the $40 price tag.
Skagway Alaska Cruise Port | Day 4
Port Times: Guests Ashore at 7:15 am Guests Onboard at 8:00 pm
Our first port on this Disney Alaska Cruise was Skagway. Know that sometimes the cruise itinerary is in reverse, so depending on your itinerary this may be your last stop. By far our favorite Alaskan port, Skagway is home to the astounding history of the Gold Rush. While this little town may look a bit sleepy, there is so much history here that it’s completely worth the deep dive. And you really get the rich storytelling when you book the excursion we did. Of course, there are also several things to do in Skagway on your own if you’re skipping the Port Excursions. From walking trails, to museums, and history placards littered among the streets, there is plenty to do here if you’re up for browsing. Here are some of our favorites.
White Pass Railroad and Skagway Street Car City Highlights | Disney Excursion $179
The Alaska Excursion we were most excited about was the White Pass Railroad and Skagway Street Car City Highlights Excursion. Running 4 hours and 30 min, at a rate of $179 per person, we felt this cost to be absolutely worth it. Mind you, if you’re bringing small children, consider the toll that 4.5 hours of talking grown-ups and natural landscapes may do. For adults, this can be heaven, but for kids- well we saw quite a few asleep by the time we got on the train. Included in this Disney Excursion are the Skagway Alaska Street Car Tour, the Klondike Highway Drive and Talk, and the White Pass Railroad Train Ride. Again, depending on your cruise, these activities may be done in reverse.
Skagway Alaska Street Car Tour
As part of this excursion, guests are ushered from the boat and settled into a renovated street car bus that “tours” the 23 blocks of Skagway’s historic town. On a somewhat quick trip, our guide gave us an overview of the history of certain storefronts, the “garden town” history, and even current information regarding the schools, jobs, and lifestyles you find in Skagway, Alaska. Once finished we disembarked for a bathroom break and headed to the second motorcoach, for a drive up the Klondike Highway.
Klondike Highway Drive and Talk
This stretch of our tour featured an amazing storyteller and previous National Park Ranger, Doug from the Skagway City and Summit Tour team. Sharing stories of Skagway’s claim to fame as the Gateway to the Klondike Gold Rush, there were many stories to tell. From panning for gold to the trails through the White Mountains that would lead fortune seekers to the Canadian border beyond, we learned A LOT on this tour. From the history of Skookum Jim to the trails carved out by George Carmack, the history in this part of the country is hopeful and devastating. Without this excursion, we would not have learned about the lands or the people’s struggles in so much detail, and are truly grateful to have had the experience.
White Pass Railroad Train Ride
Of course, the main reason people take this excursion is the chance to ride the train, that weaves high atop the mountain cliffs of the Yukon. A mainstay in the Skagway area this train offers views of Alaska like no other. Some of the most beautiful countries can be seen from the train. With waterfalls, forests, creeks, lakes, and mountainsides galore, guests are even allowed to withdraw to the open-air platforms at each end of the train to see the views better.
Dog Sledding and Glacier Flightseeing | $629
Available through Disney Cruise Line or for a cheaper price through Temsco which is the same company that does Disney’s Dog Sledding and Glacier Flightseeing Port Excursion. If you book directly you can get this a little cheaper. Guests board a helicopter and are taken to the mountaintops to meet musher dogs, learn about the sleds and take their turn at mushing on their own. A favorite among just about everyone, meeting the dogs, and learning how to mush are experiences you may only get the chance to do in Alaska. This excursion lasts 2 hours 30 min and is the unforgettable experience you’re sure to be writing home about.
Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Visitor Center
A must-see in Skagway is the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park Visitor Center. This visitor center includes a 3-d map of the Gold Rush trail and details about its most important people. You can also grab your National Park Passport Stamp here too!
Gold Rush Cemetery
About 2 miles out of town, the Gold Rush Cemetery is near Lower Reid Falls, and this is an easy walk for anyone wanting to see the history and nature of the area. As one of the Free Things to Do in Skagway, this cemetery features the likes of Soapy Smith and Martin Itjen. You can also grab the SMART shuttle to a spot about a 1/2 mile from the cemetery if you’re not walking or renting bikes.
The Red Onion Saloon
A classic saloon, the Red Onion Saloon in Skagway is a major stop for many tourists. Serving up pizza, burgers, salads, beer, and more, this restaurant is first come first serve…and you can expect a line. Our recommendation is don’t go as soon as you arrive. If you wait until later in the day, the crowds will be less heavy. And if you’ve ever wondered what an old-school brothel looks like, there is also a museum at this restaurant upstairs you can access for an extra charge.
Wondering if you really need a large piece of dough covered in sugar? Why question it? Of course, you do! A local specialty, Klondike Doughboy of Skagway is a MUST-DO stop in this small town. This little shop includes not only amazing fried dough patties, fried fresh and covered in sugar but also cute souvenirs in their store. A great one-stop shop for your maple syrup. Alaska magnets and ulu knife needs. On a side note, this dough treat is about as big as a dinner plate and costs $7. It is definitely a two-person dessert if you’re not averse to sharing.
Juneau Alaska Cruise Port | Day 5
Port Times: Guests Ashore 6:45 am Guests Onboard at 4:45 pm
As the capital city of Alaska, Juneau is very much a working city with suburbs, forests, activities, and more. And as a Cruise Port city, you can plan on having the amenities pretty close at hand, no matter what excursions you pick. Our Disney Cruise came in at the AJ dock in Juneau, which is typical for the Disney Wonder and is the farthest berth from town, about a 1-mile walk. If you’re taking any morning excursions, they will, however, drop you back in town so that everything is accessible for the rest of your day at Port. Be sure to stop off at the Juneau Visitors Center for a port map, and to ask questions. And there is also a free shuttle to the port when needed.
Alaska Whales and Rainforest Trails | Disney Excursion $249
If you’re hoping to see whales on your Disney Alaska Cruise, then you’d best book a tour. Through Disney Cruise, we booked the Alaska Whales and Rainforest Trails tour which spanned 5 hours and 15 minutes. At a cost of $249 per person, this is one of the more involved tours featuring both a rainforest walk in the Tongass National Forest and time on the whale-watching boat, waiting for sightings.
Offered by Gastineua Guiding in Juneau, Alaska we couldn’t be happier with Disney’s selection of tour companies here. For the rainforest portion, they brought us through the forest, and along an Alaskan beach, with beautiful views. And the Whale sightseeing also included seals and scenery of the Mendenhall Glacier. The guides for both parts of our excursion were knowledgeable, friendly, and truly passionate about their work. Sharing details about the plants, trees, and history on the trails, as well as fun facts about the whales. Just like most of the excursions on our Alaska trip, we just wouldn’t have gotten this level of detail or knowledge had we attempted these things on our own. It was such a great experience.
Nugget Falls and the Mendenhall Glacier
Only 12 miles from the cruise port, if Mendenhall Glacier isn’t included in a tour you’ve booked, it’s easiest and cheapest to just take a taxi there. You can get up close and personal with Nugget Falls, the Mendenhall Glacier, and the trails and beaches they occupy. We did get a glimpse of the Mendenhall Glacier from our Whales excursion, but not as close as if we would’ve just gone separately. Check out the Nugget Falls and Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center and the 1.5-mile loop you can walk while you’re there.
Known as the “Blue Building” you’ll find local shops, Frost +Fur, Pel Meni’s, Hearthside Books, seafood restaurants, and Glacier Coffee Co. here. If you’re looking for a place to go that has local specialties, and souvenirs, then this is where you can start.
Frost + Fur Novelty Shop
Found at Merchants Wharf, Frost + Fur is a specialty gift shop, featuring handmade screen-printed items, gifts, artwork, and local goods. Truly, one of the BEST shops in Juneau, this place was right up our alley. Offering a beautiful collection of specially curated souvenirs featuring things you’d want from Alaska. Shirts, Alaska tea, Camping Books, Artwork, Stickers, Travel journals, and more, we could have bought the entire store. Thankfully, since we do have luggage limits to consider, you can also find and support them online. Be sure to stop and see them in their shop at Merchants Wharf or shop Frost and Fur online.
Glacier Coffee Co.
Happily located next to Frost + Fur was Glacier Coffee Co. serving up some of the Best Coffee in Juneau we had! And since we get kinda picky with our coffee, that’s saying something. Run by the locals, this coffee shop can whip up whatever you’d like, as they had loads of syrups, sauces, espressos, matcha, teas, and chai. Check out Glacier Coffee Co. and be sure to add them to your list for your Juneau Cruise Port stop.
Serving Russian Pierogi, Pel Menis is a local favorite and located in Merchant’s Wharf as well, just along the Marine Way edge of the building. Open for lunch and dinner, the offerings on the menu are 2 items only. Potato pelmeni, or beef pelmeni. These doughy, potato-y balls are a bit like dumplings, gnocchi, or pierogi and come topped with curry spices, hot sauce, and chives. Sometimes sour cream is offered, but we didn’t get that option when we visited. This dish is also served with a half piece of soft marbled rye bread. This meal was good for a chilly day in Alaska and was priced right at about $6 or $7 each. Plus, if you’re dealing with picky eaters, you can just get this lunch without the toppings for a cozy buttery pelmeni dish that even kids would love.
Freezing the Night Away Disney Cruise Deck Party
Much like Pirate Night on a Disney Cruise, on an Alaska Cruise, you get to Freeze the Night Away with friends from Frozen. This evening deck party happens between the first and second dinner seatings and includes the entertainment team, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and Olaf. Plan on sing-along songs, dances, and a reason to grab more hot cocoa from the drink station on Deck 9.
Ketchikan Alaska Cruise Port | Day 6
Port Times: Guests Ashore 11:15 am Guests Onboard 7:45 pm
Unlike Juneau, where some of the port is a little walking distance, the Disney Cruise Port at Ketchikan is right in the middle of town. With everything literally visible from the boat, and extremely walkable. Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions are easy to get to and experience here. Ketchikan features quite a few points of interest including the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, Creek Street, and the Totem Park. For our day in Ketchikan, we booked another rainforest walk, which duplicated much of the info we learned in Juneau. But as the tour also included the Raptor Center and the Totem Park, we were okay with that. As we were in Ketchikan on a Saturday, we were surprised to see that so many shops closed by 4 pm. This is definitely something to consider if you have later excursions and were hoping to visit attractions in town afterward. So be sure to check the hours of anywhere you plan to visit.
Rainforest Sanctuary and Totem Park | Disney Excursion $149
As part of the Rainforest Sanctuary and Totem Park excursion through Disney guests can experience the Tongass National Rainforest on a light hike, the Raptor Center, and the Totem Park. This tour is offered by Kawanti Adventures in Ketchikan, Alaska. Spanning about 3 hours this was a fairly decent deal for $149 if you wanted to get an inside look at the forests and learn about the birds and totems. However, there were definitely elements of this tour we would have changed if we had the option or had gone on our own. Included in this tour excursion are the Tongass National Rainforest Walk, The Raptor Sanctuary, and the Totem Park.
Tongass National Rainforest Walk
For this rainforest walk, we took a bus to the Tongass National Rainforest and easily walked on trails throughout while our guide pointed out interesting plants, like Devil’s Club, a local remedy, the Skunk plant, and more. Very knowledgeable, our guide Emily was great! This portion of the trip lasted maybe an hour and took up the most time of all three activities overall.
Raptor Sanctuary Alaska
Once we cleared the Rainforest, we walked over a bridge toward the Alaskan Raptor Sanctuary. This was one of our main reasons for booking this excursion and we wish we would have more time here. Once inside the small open-air porch space, we got to meet three birds that had been rescued. The caretaker shared their individual stories and we got to learn about the Raptor Center’s efforts.
Totem Park Alaska
After the Raptor Center Visit, we walked next door to the Totem Park located at the Herring Bay Lumber Company Sawmill. Claiming fame as the first Tsimshian totem pole park, this was somewhere we would have liked more time to explore. With placards telling the Native American history of each pole, the museum pieces inside the Sawmill, and the gift shop, there was much to do here. Overall we only had about 20 minutes for this last leg of our tour. Definitely, not enough time to check out the mill, all the totems, story plaques, or the general store. We saw several guests grab beverages, and snacks so a little food counter was also available and it would have been nice to spend more time here.
Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show Ketchikan
By far one of the most popular activities to do in Ketchikan, the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show is an excursion you can book with Disney or one you can just grab tickets to on your own. The building where this show takes place is literally about 1 block from the cruise port. This show includes log cutting, climbing, wheelbarrow races, axe throwing, and more to fill the time. A favorite among cruisers, we heard many families back onboard sharing how fun this was. Offering two types of tickets, the Disney Lumberjack Show is a little more expensive, showing on weekends at 4 pm. And it features Disney fun and character appearances. But the regular show is daily at 10 am and 1:30 pm if that works better for your port day. Check out ticket prices and dates on the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show website.
Totem Bright Historical State Park
While we didn’t get to see Totem Bright Historical State Park as part of our excursion, this park was on our list and would be the perfect day trip for your Ketchikan Port day. With budget-friendly tickets at $5 each through the season and free off-season, you can explore at your leisure. Filled with totems and stories, this park also features a Clan House and a history you won’t find elsewhere. Just a 12-minute drive from the port, this place is easy to get to, and the bus to and from town makes the trip hourly.
Creek Street Ketchikan Alaska Shopping
Creek Street in Ketchikan was a nice surprise for a stroll and browsing. Featuring several restaurants and shops, this area is very historical and offered a lot of neat details and history about the area. A great place to grab a souvenir, this was a nice one-stop shop for us to get a feeling of Ketchikan. You can even watch the Salmon run here.
Fabulous Fiber Arts Yarn Shop
One of our favorite finds on our Ketchikan day was a charming yarn shop. Featuring amazing yard finds for crafters, the Fabulous Fiber Arts Shop offers hand-dyed yarns, skeins, cashmere, and more for any yarn crafting needs. A staple among locals, this local business offers a knitting group, patterns, and kits to help get you started. Simply some of the best, and most beautiful yarns we’ve seen. Definitely worth a stop if you’re a hobby crafter.
Alaska Crepe Co.
A local favorite for breakfast, lunch, and dinner you can get a variety of crepes here. Serving up crepes both savory and sweet, plan between $10-17 dollars each, depending on what you order. While we didn’t get the chance to go here, it was definitely on our list and one we’d frequent without question as TripAdvisor Reviews are typically fantastic. Check out the Menu ahead of time at Alaska Crepe Co.
Just Dandy Apothecary and Cafe
In our search for coffee, when everywhere else was closed, we happily stumbled upon the Just Dandy Apothecary and Cafe. Serving up not only specialty coffees, like mochas, London fog teas, and pistachio matcha lattes but also wraps, bowls, and salads, this would have been a great place for lunch. Offering a public restroom, indoor seating, and an open library, this restaurant also had some cute souvenirs. We would definitely visit here again.
Old Ache Novelty Shop
A beautifully curated shop, the local gift shop features home decor items, candles, and more if you’re looking for something more upscale than the typical Alaskan souvenir. This shop is part of the Niblick’s General Store family, which is a mainstay in Ketchikan. Located at 326 Main Street this shop is next door to the Just Dandy Apothecary and Cafe and right up the street from 55 North Bakery and Coffee.
Sockeye Sams Shop
This souvenir shop has almost everything you could ever want in the way of Alaskan souvenirs. Tees, Sweatshirts, Magnets, Ornaments, Local Coffee, Maple Syrup, Devils Club Products, Glassware, you name it. Filled to the brim with Alaskan gift items, there are ample things to see. And of course, as with every port town, there are an ample amount of jewelry counters present too.
Meng and Ging’s Kitchen
There are a variety of Places to Eat in Ketchikan, depending on what you’re in the mood for but in lieu of seafood we decided to find something more to our taste. As such we stumbled upon Meng and Ging’s Kitchen, located within walking distance of the port right on Water Street. Decent food, they serve some of the best Mongolian Beef dishes you’ll try. While vegetarian options were limited, they were able to make egg fried rice which was a nice treat and offer a variety of egg rolls too. If Filipino and Asian food are favorites of yours be sure to stop by Meng and Ging’s Kitchen.
Disney Alaska Cruise Day at Sea | Day 7
Back on the boat after an activity-filled vacation we settled into all things Disney Cruise; watching movies, playing trivia, trying our hand at a pub quiz, and listening to the piano were all on the docket. We also felt like we needed a break, so booking a Brunch at Palo for our last day at sea was something we had been looking forward to the whole trip. That said, we also wanted to take it easy and just relax, so were looking for ways to do that mostly on the last day.
Brunch at Palo | $45 per person
If you want to add something special to your trip, guests over 18 can book brunch or dinner at Palo. As the signature dining experience on Disney Cruise Ships, Palo offers an elegant atmosphere, expansive views of the ocean, and the best food onboard. That said, dining here does cost extra and is Not included in your Disney Cruise. However, this elegant dining experience is completely worth the $45 price tag. With a multi-course offering and the chance to order more of anything ( plus one drink free), the value here is better than even the most basic restaurants we’ve visited at Walt Disney World.
And if you climb to the Castaway Club Ranks of Platinum or Pearl, you get a dining experience at Palo on the house. Brunch here included breakfast foods like eggs and waffles, as well as chicken parmesan, calzones, and pizza. Everything you’d expect to find at an upscale Italian restaurant. Highly Recommended.
Disney Cruise Towel Folding Class
One of our favorite classes to take onboard any Disney Cruise is Towel Folding. Mainly because the housekeeping team presents cute towel friends each evening, and we always wonder “how.” If you’re wondering how twisted towels can turn into cute animals that welcome you back to your cruise stateroom each evening, then be sure to check the Disney Navigator for classes throughout your cruise. It’s a fun skill to learn, and perfect for kids and adults alike.
Anyone Can Cook Class on a Disney Cruise
Another favorite Disney Class for your Day at Sea on a Disney Cruise is the Anyone Can Cook Series. Mostly offered on longer cruises, you may see both an adult-only and a family class offered. For the grown-ups, there’s usually a glass of wine involved. And with dishes to make like Lobster Ravioli and Apple Strudel, you’ll be excited to watch the professional chef onboard explain all the tips and tricks to making the perfect dish. You not only get to taste the creations shared but also get a recipe to take home. Absolutely a must-do class if it’s offered on your cruise.
Vancouver British Columbia Canada | Day 8
8 a.m. Debarkation Day
Disney Cruises return to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada when your cruise is complete. With an early arrival time on debarkation day, is always the saddest day, it pays to have a plan for your last day in Vancouver. Of course, you may be flying out of town right away. But if you’re spending one more day in Vancouver there are plenty of things to do there! We headed towards a few tourist attractions and tried to make the most of our visit to Vancouver. Here are a few things you may want to consider if you’re staying in Vancouver a day before or after your Disney Cruise to Alaska.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Accessible by FREE shuttle from Canada Place every 15 minutes, you can grab a short ride over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Featuring a Forest Walk that takes you over a series of suspension bridges, a deck walk that sits high above the small creek below, plus Kid’s Activities, and trails throughout, this one is not for the faint of heart. If a fear of heights is something you struggle with, choose something else to do! This area has both an indoor restaurant and a casual counter restaurant. The famous, Otter balls mini donuts, coffee, tea, and ice cream.
Plus, a Gift Shop with everything from maple syrup to the latest North Face merch. A perfect day out if you want an easy activity in Vancouver before heading home. Plan about 3 hours for this experience if you’re up for it. There is a Free Shuttle from Canada Place to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, which makes this an easy family excursion you can do on your own. Grab tickets to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park ahead of time or at the gate.
Tea at the Fairmont Hotel
With themes that change every few months, Tea at the Fairmont Hotel is well worth discovering. Serving up a High Tea, complete with a tower of savory and sweet things to eat. Each guest can choose a pot of tea, and settle in. Since we’ve been lamenting the pause of Tea at the Garden View Tea Room at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, we thought this one of the best ways to get our fix. And we were not disappointed! The food was fantastic, and they do accommodate vegetarian and vegan needs as well. Check out the current menu and theme for Tea at the Fairmont Vancouver.
Granville Island Vancouver Canada
One of the main attractions in Vancouver is Granville Island. Accessible by road or AquaBus, this place is filled with shops and restaurants to browse during your visit. You can head to the Public Market for a winding array of places to eat, grab a coffee, and buy treats.
A La Mode
Serving up handmade pot pies, pies, quiche, tarts, and croissants. The A La Mode Pie Cafe is a Must-Do on Granville Island. Mind you the line for this restaurant will be long, but it’s worth it. If you’re a fan of flaky pastry in all forms, then be sure to stop by.
A hidden gem, we found this place just by chance as we were leaving. Offering lovely paper products, you can grab specialty books, journals, planners, wrapping paper, unique pens, gift books, and gorgeous postcards here. Definitely worth a stop.
Nooroongji A Multilingual Curation Bookstore
Mindfully curated, this bookshop features books and guides for children and adults. Full collections of Harry Potter and Studio Ghibli merch sit happily next to Italo Calvino, Kafka, and Agatha Christie. The most amazing bookstore to browse if you’re looking for a unique book gift or a special edition of a classic.
If you’re looking for specialty preserves in unique flavors, then be sure to stop by The Preservatory. Also located in the Public Market, this counter offers tastings and special flavors. You can find Spiced Cranberry and Iced Apple Wine, Blueberries and Bourbon, and Fig and Walnut, so there are plenty of options. Perfect as a gift item, or just something to savor as part of your Canada trip. Shop The Preservatory.
Bon Macaron Patisserie
If you love delicate French Macarons then head to Bon Macaron Patisserie. This is a great place to get mini or regular-sized macarons, for your stroll or to take home. Shop Bon Macaron Patisserie.
Pacifico Pizzeria and Ristorante
If you’re looking for great pizza in Vancouver, then the Pacifico Pizzeria and Ristorante is what you’re looking for. Featuring a variety of pizza pies, in loads of combination flavors, this pizza place offers inside seating, pick-up, and delivery. Since we were staying nearby at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver, it was a quick 3-minute walk to pick up our pizza after a hectic day. This restaurant also offered pasta, salads, chicken parm, and more. An excellent place for lunch or dinner.
Breka Bakery and Cafe Vancouver
As we’re usually on the lookout for croissants and coffee, we just had to stop at Breka Bakery and Cafe during our stay in Vancouver. This place is perfect if you’re looking for Breakfast in Vancouver before your Disney Cruise to Alaska. Home to authentic French pastries, and desserts, you’ll feel like you’re visiting Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in EPCOT. Heck, maybe even France! The pastries here are just that good. You can also grab breakfast and lunch sandwiches here too. With seating both inside and out, there are a couple of locations in Vancouver. So, if you’re nearby, be sure to stop in and grab something special.
Starbucks Reserve Bar Vancouver
If you’re committed to visiting all the Starbucks Reserve Locations around the World, you’ll be happy to know that Vancouver is home to a Starbucks Reserve Bar. Built on a smaller scale, this coffee shop still offers fantastic coffee, specialty blends and sandwiches, and pastries too. Located at Granville St and Pender, you can even mobile order here. Be sure to add this one to your Starbucks Bucket List.
Disney Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions
You may notice that on this cruise we mixed Disney Alaska Shore Excursions and Self-led excursions based on our likes. That said, you may be wondering a few things about How to Book Disney Port Excursions. Things like, What are the best Alaska Shore Excursions to Book and How Much do Alaska Excursions cost are good questions to ask. Know that even if you don’t purchase excursions you can still get off the boat, wander the towns, and visit the restaurants and shops regardless. So, if you’re wondering how to Save Money on a Disney Alaska Cruise, skipping excursions may be your best bet.
Are Disney Port Adventures Included in Your Disney Cruise Cost?
No. One of the few things Not Included in your Disney Cruise are port excursions. And depending on which you choose, they can add up to a pretty penny.
When Can I Book Disney Alaska Shore Excursions for my Disney Alaska Cruise?
Reservation times for excursion booking are based on your Castaway Club Status, per the below. It’s advisable to have a plan as sometimes the most popular excursions have limited space and sell out.
- First-Time Guests: 75 days prior to sail date
- Silver Castaway Club Members: 90 days prior to sail date
- Gold Castaway Club Members: 105 days prior to sail date
- Concierge Guests and Platinum Castaway Club Members: 120 days prior to sail date
How Much Do Disney Alaska Cruise Shore Excursions Cost?
Disney Port Adventures in Alaska run the gamut when it comes to cost. Disney Alaska Port Excursions range from $47 per person for the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show to about $5200 for the Misty Fjords by Private Seaplane Tour. That said, we included the costs of the excursions here so you can see what extra we paid on top of our Disney Cruise costs. Check out the Disney Port Adventures List with offered excursions and prices. While your Castaway Club ranking will determine WHEN you can book these excursions, it pays to know ahead of time what options you may have available when your reservation window opens up. That said, after seeing these towns, and their proximity to the port we could have made this trip much cheaper with a few select excursions and more time in town.
Is Booking An Alaska Cruise Excursion Direct Cheaper than Disney?
Yes, almost always. The Helicopter Tour in Skagway in particular we booked through the same company Disney uses. This meant we walked to the helicopter on the nearby helipad, like everyone else. Then just booked a time, and paid directly with the company. This saved us a significant amount. In fact, we’ve included some of the tour company names in this post so that if you’re trying to save money, you can check prices to book directly instead of through Disney.
Are Disney Excursions Necessary on a Disney Alaska Cruise?
That depends. Again, for us, after seeing the ports and experiencing the towns, we probably could have tackled the exploring on our own. Even if it meant hiring some of the tour companies directly. We can definitely say we would have never learned the Gold Rush History, Whale science, Glacier details, Rainforest or Totem Pole information without the excursions. And for us, that is one of our favorite parts about traveling; the stories, the history, and meeting the people. That said if you were to tackle this trip on your own we’d highly recommend booking at least a small guided tour in each town so you get that history. Without it, you’re just experiencing pretty places without context.
Disney Alaska Cruise Tips
An Alaska cruise and land tour comes with the chance to explore new places and experience new things. As such, if you’re embarking on Alaskan Cruise Excursions, hunting for Alaska Cruise Itineraries, or figuring out how to Save Money on a Disney Alaska Cruise, we’ve rounded up the best Alaska Cruise Tips so you can go prepared.
How Much Do You Need in Tips on a Disney Alaska Cruise for Excursions?
Something to Know Before You Go are the best practices around Tips and Tipping on a Disney Cruise. From the train baggage handlers to the hotels to the tour guides at the post, there are plenty of people to tip along the way. And that’s not including the random cab driver or Uber ride. That said, it’s a good idea to gather up some cash, in small denominations, so that you have what you need throughout your vacation for ALL THE PEOPLE giving you this vacation experience.
Train Tips | Baggage Handlers
Plan to have small amounts of cash on hand for anyone who helps you with your luggage while traveling by train. While Amtrak’s Red Cap Baggage Assistance Service is Free, tipping for a job well done is always appreciated. A few dollars per bag is adequate, if you choose to tip.
Airport Tips | Porters
If you’re utilizing porters at the airport for your baggage plan on $2 for the first bag and $1 for each additional bag. Also, consider that if you’re traveling with oversized luggage convention is typically $2 per bag.
Hotel Tips | Maids, Bellman
At the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, it is expected that you tip your bellman between $3-$5 per piece of luggage for them to offer your baggage service. And as with any hotel stays you’d also want to tip your maid between $2-$5 per day of stay. Also note, that in Vancouver it is FINE to tip them in American dollars. There is of course an ATM on the first floor of Canada Place if you want to grab Canadian currency, but you will have to go to the concierge desk to make the change needed.
Disney Cruise Excursion Tour Guide Tips
The biggest costs you didn’t see coming are the Tips You Need for Disney Port Excursions. Most notably, because the guides on Disney Port Excursions are so fantastic, that you will want to pay them for a job well done. Keep in mind as well, that you may have to consider multiple people to tip on each excursion.
How Many People Do You Tip on a Disney Cruise Excursion?
For example on our White Pass Railroad and Skagway Street Car City Highlight Tour, we had several people to tip.
- The bus driver of the Street Car
- The shuttle driver for the Klondike Highway
- Our train car attendant on the White Pass Railroad
- Our train conductor on the White Pass Railroad
On our Whales and Rainforest Trails Tour, we also had several people to tip.
- Our guide on the bus
- Our hiking guide
- The captain of the boat
As you can see, you may need more on-hand cash than you realize. While it won’t be necessary to tip everyone, and some people providing insufficient service may not deserve your tip, it’s good to go prepared.
Disney Alaska Cruise Deals
If dreaming about a Disney Cruise to Alaska has been on your Disney Wish list for a while then know that finding Alaska cruise packages within your budget may not be impossible! Alaska Cruise Prices for 4 guests on a Disney Cruise to Alaska range from $5000- $11,000 depending on the length of trip and time of year you visit. While Disney Alaska Cruise Prices don’t include Alaska shore excursions, there are ways you can save money on your trip. Check out the Alaska Cruise Specials and ways to get them in our How to Save Money on a Disney Cruise to Alaska post.
Disney Alaska Cruise 7-Night Itinerary
So, there you have it! Our mini-journal of everything we did, saw and ate on our Disney Alaska Cruise. For us, this trip had been several years in the making. Between the planning and the saving money, it took some time, but we were happy with everything we chose to do and had the chance to experience. No matter how you fill your Disney Cruise to Alaska days know that there are gorgeous views from the boat, hot cocoa at the drinks station, walkable towns near the ports, and all the amazing activities onboard to make this your best cruise yet. We hope this post has been helpful. If you have any questions, just ask! To watch our Disney Alaskan Cruise adventures on YouTube, check out our playlist here!
Rochelle Mariah is a writer, designer and photographer with an MLIS in Information Science and a B.S. in Arch and Design. Determined to make Planning a DIY Disney Vacation easier she makes lots of lists and drinks lots of coffee. When not designing apparel at Polka Dot Pixie Shop, she's watching old movies and planning the holidays. She has been traveling to Disney destinations since 2010.