Alaska Dream Cruises

Fodor’s Expert Review

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Founded by Alaskans who pioneered Alaska day boat tours more than 40 years ago to explore the Inside Passage, Alaskan Dream Cruises now offers multiday cruises aboard their yacht-like vessels. With shallow drafts and agile maneuverability, they offer up-close views of glaciers and the wildlife abundant in the region. Varied itineraries of 4 to 13 days throughout Southeast Alaska, departing from Sitka or Ketchikan, focus on natural wonders and native villages off the beaten track as well as some of the more well-known ports, including Juneau. Read More

The ships are small, offering an experience that is casual, personal, and intimate. Itineraries are designed to explore the Alaska where big ships cannot venture. Included are visits to the line’s exclusive wilderness lodges, Orca Point Lodge and Windham Bay Lodge. A full day in Glacier Bay gets you as close as you can get to the glaciers. Provided for use during the cruise are high-powered binoculars and “Alaska” gear, including rain jackets, pants, and boots. Alaska-crafted products and food are featured on board. There’s also a full library of books on the region on each ship.

Cruises are enhanced by an all-American crew, knowledgeable expedition leaders, and an open-bridge policy. Educational lectures are presented by cultural and scientific expedition leaders who also guide excursions and kayaking, hiking, and watercraft exploration. Basic excursions and airport or hotel transfers are included in the fare, and alternative tours are available at additional cost, as are pre- or post-cruise fishing adventures.

Top Reasons to Cruise

1
Flexibility.The captain may alter the ship’s route to take advantage of wildlife sightings.
2
Access to Wilderness.The maneuverability of the small vessels offers nearly unlimited access to wilderness areas for exploration and wildlife sightings.
3
Small Tours.Led by expedition leaders, tours include insightful discoveries ashore that showcase colorful native Alaskan heritage without overwhelming the environment.
4
Nearly All-Inclusive Fares.While fares are rather high, beer and wine are included with dinner. The only things you’ll pay extra for are airfare, pre- and post-cruise hotel accommodations, optional tours, and non-included alcoholic drinks.
5
Alaska Pride.The line is owned and operated by native Alaskans, whose passion for sharing the natural beauty and wonder of their home state is so warm and inviting that you will hate to leave at voyage end.

Is This Line Right for You?

Choose this Line If
Don’t Choose this Line If
What you see from aboard the vessel is more important than the ship itself.
Your idea of an entertaining evening is quiet conversation.
You want something a bit more active than a traditional sightseeing cruise.
You need cell phone and Wi-Fi access at all times; these cruises visit isolated areas without modern communications.
You require a wheelchair for mobility. These vessels are not wheelchair accessible.
You must smoke when and where you please. Smoking is allowed only on outside decks in designated areas.

What to Expect on Board

Food
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Food

After a social hour accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and drinks, chef-inspired cuisine is served in the open seating dining room.

Dinner menus include several selections that usually include a seafood or meat entrée and are prepared with primarily fresh, organic, and locally produced ingredients. Locally caught Alaskan seafood is a specialty of Alaskan Dream Cruises, and a complimentary glass of beer or wine is served with dinner. A continental buffet breakfast is served for early risers, while other mealtimes vary depending on the day’s activities. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available at all times in the dining room and forward viewing lounges. A king crab/salmon feast is held at Orca Point Lodge or Windham Bay Lodge during every sailing longer than four days. Special diets or meal requests can be accommodated in most cases with 60 days’ advance notice.

Entertainment

Don’t expect much in the way of organized entertainment on these small vessels.

TVs are located in public areas, but most passengers prefer to attend a nightly social hour, when a recap of the day is presented prior to dinner in the forward viewing lounges and expedition leaders offer a preview of the next day’s activities.

Fitness & Recreation

There are no fitness facilities on board, but passengers can count on getting plenty of exercise during walks ashore with expedition leaders.

Kayaking and hiking offer more-adventurous workouts.

Key cruising tips

Shore excursions are all included in the fare, as is ground transportation before and after the cruise.
There are no elevators on the small vessels, and guests requiring a wheelchair must provide their own.
Don’t expect room service; however, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are always available.
Recreational equipment is provided for use during visits to Windham Bay Lodge.
Cabins are fairly spacious, but you should limit yourself to two pieces of luggage.

Your Shipmates

Typically, passengers tend to be active, well-traveled mature couples and families with an adventurous spirit. Physical conditions aboard the vessels such as stairs, raised thresholds, a lack of an elevator, and narrow doorways or passageways may restrict access to some areas aboard the vessels for mobility-challenged passengers.

Dress Code

Dress is always casual on board and ashore. While “Alaska” gear is provided, it is recommended that guests pack waterproof jackets and other layered clothing options, as well as a warm hat and gloves and comfortable waterproof or all-terrain footwear. There are no laundry facilities on board.

Junior Cruisers

Alaskan Dream Cruises does not discourage families from cruising together, but there are no dedicated facilities or activities for kids and no in-cabin TVs. Additionally, there is no Wi-Fi, and cell phone accessibility is limited. Inquisitive children and teens who don’t require organized activities should find the itineraries educational and stimulating.

Service

With the services of an American crew, your needs will be satisfied in a friendly manner without a language barrier.

Tipping

There is no tipping required; however, you may reward crew members at a suggested rate of $15 per person per day.

CRUISE LINE INFO

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