The series includes three departures on the newly introduced Baranof Dream vessel and is designed around interactive adventures that will make science come to life for the entire family.
Daily excursions provide boots-on and hands-on learning opportunities for kids, young adults and families. Activities range from cultural classes teaching traditional arts and crafts to geocaching expeditions in the rain forest to nature hikes that teach kids to indentify indigenous plants and animals. The surrounding mountains and the glaciers that shape them offer daily geology lessons.
Two family itineraries will be offered on the 144-foot, 58-passenger ship. The nine-day cruise, departing on June 15 and Aug. 16, sails round-trip from Sitka. A 10-day cruise on July 16 travels from Sitka to Ketchikan.
Both itineraries include the Sitka Sound Science Center and the Sea Otter and Wildlife Quest in Sitka; Mendenhall Glacier and the Alaska State Museum in Juneau; Alaskan Dream Cruises' exclusive ports, Hobart Bay and Orca Point Lodge; and the glaciers of Tracy Arm Fjord.
The nine-day itinerary also calls on Hoonah, the largest Tlingit village in Alaska, and spends time whale watching in Point Adolphus, a popular feeding area for humpback whales.
The July departure travels farther south through the Inside Passage to Petersburg, where visitors are greeted by children who perform a Norwegian folk dance; Kasaan, the home to the only remaining Haida clan house in Alaska; Misty Fjords, glacier-sculpted cliffs that staff say rival the awe-inspiring scenery of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve; and Ketchikan, a popular fishing and arts community.
A variety of opportunities will be available to see whales, eagles, bears and other wildlife in their natural environment, as well as activities including kayaking, all-terrain vehicle rides and Zego sports boat excursions.
The founders of Alaskan Dream Cruises developed these itineraries and experiences for families with their own Alaska childhoods in mind.
"Southeast Alaska provides the ideal environment for maritime education, such as nautical terminology and the study of tides. Kids have a lot of fun with it, especially talking to the captain,” said Michael Wien, Alaskan Dream Cruises vice president of sales and marketing. “These cruises offer adventure and experiences that bond a family together."
Alaskan Dream Cruises offers an intimate atmosphere and an insider's view of Southeast Alaska with a focus on the area's smaller communities. Offering eight-, nine-, 10-, 11- and 13-day cruises, the company was launched in 2011 by the Allen family, members of the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan Clan. The Allen family also founded Allen Marine, Inc., a boat building company, in 1967; Allen Marine Tours, which offers day cruise tours to travelers in Alaska's Inside Passage; and Windham Bay Lodge, a wilderness retreat in Southeast Alaska. For more information, please visit www.alaskandreamcruises.com.