Are you thinking of booking a Disney Alaska Cruise? Sailing on a Disney cruise ship is one of the most magical ways to see Alaska. The Disney Wonder cruise ship sails from Vancouver on her Alaskan adventures from May until September each year. Here we will answer the questions that you have about a Disney Alaskan cruise.
What Are the Disney Alaska Cruise Sailing Dates and Itineraries?
Disney Alaska Cruise 2017 Sailings
Most of the Disney Alaskan Cruises are 7 night cruises which sail from the port of Vancouver. The dates for the 2017 sailings are May 22, 29, June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, August 7, 14, 21, and 28. The Disney Wonder visits Tracy Arm, Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. This also gives you two days at sea. Here is the 7 night itinerary:
Monday Vancouver, Canada
Tuesday At Sea
Wednesday Tracy Arm, Alaska
Thursday Skagway, Alaska
Friday Juneau, Alaska
Saturday Ketchikan, Alaska
Sunday At Sea
Monday Vancouver, Canada
There is also one 5 night sailing on August 2:
Wednesday Vancouver, Canada
Thursday At Sea
Friday Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Saturday Ketchikan, Alaska
Sunday At Sea
Monday Vancouver, Canada
There is one longer sailing on the Disney Wonder which sails for 9 nights on July 24. This Disney Wonder sailing has extra days at sea which visit Icy Strait Point and Hubbard Glacier.
Monday Vancouver, Canada
Tuesday At Sea
Wednesday Ketchikan, Alaska
Thursday Icy Strait Point, Alaska
Friday Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Saturday Juneau, Alaska
Sunday Skagway, Alaska
Monday Tracy Arm Fjord, Alaska
Tuesday At Sea
Wednesday Vancouver Canada
The Disney Alaskan cruise itineraries for 2018 have not yet been released, but we will post them as soon as they are available. It is likely that they will follow the same general pattern for 2018.
Disney Alaska Cruise 2018 Sailings
The Disney Wonder will follow similar itineraries to previous years with sailings to Alaska for Summer 2018. There is a 5 night repositioning cruise from San Diego. New for 2018 are a 7 and a 9 night Alaska itinerary which will sail through Icy Strait Point.
Disney Wonder 5 Night California Coastal
This is a repositioning cruise so that the Disney Wonder can sail to her summer home port of Vancouver.
The Disney Wonder will leave San Diego on 5/16/18
Disney Wonder 5-Night Alaskan Cruise
Tracy Arm Fjord
The Disney Wonder will sail on this 5 night itinerary on 7/18/18
Disney Wonder 7-Night Alaskan Cruise
Tracy Arm Fjord
This sails on 5/21/18, 5/28/18, 6/4/18, 6/11/18, 6/18/18, 7/2/18
Disney Wonder 7-Night Alaskan Cruise with Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point
Sailing on 6/25/18 and 9/3/18
Disney Wonder 9-Night Alaskan Cruise with Icy Strait Point
Icy Strait Point
Tracy Arm Fjord
The Disney Wonder will sail on 7/9/18 from Vancouver for this unique Alaskan itinerary.
Why Choose a Disney Alaska Cruise Instead of a Rival Cruise Line?
We will talk later about the various port stops and excursions that are available, but first we want to take some time discussing what makes the Disney Wonder such a special ship. There are many other cruise lines which sail to Alaska and many of them go to exactly the same places. We think that the Disney Wonder is by far the best ship to choose to sail on an Alaskan cruise, particularly if you have children (although there is plenty to offer adults as well).
We know that Disney cruises are more expensive than many other cruise lines sailing to Alaska, but we think that the extra money is worth it. The Disney Wonder has just undergone a major dry dock refurbishment so everything is looking brand new.
The Disney difference is something which is difficult to explain. However, we think it comes down to very simply offering a superior cruise experience. The quality of service, entertainment, staterooms and dining is very high.
The Disney Wonder offers things which others simply don’t. Let’s look at the things which set Disney cruise lines apart:
The Disney Wonder is Stunning
There are four ships in the Disney Cruise line fleet and we have to say that the Disney Wonder is our favorite. She is one of the “classic” original ships. The design is simply beautiful, with so much attention to detail. We recommend that you take the Art of the Ship Tour which is usually offered a couple of times a week. This will give you an insight into all the smaller details which you may not notice.
The Disney Wonder and Magic are the smaller ships in the Disney fleet. They are 964 feet long and can take a maximum of 2,713 passengers, with a crew of 950. For cruise ships these days this qualifies as one of the smaller ships! It has the advantage that it doesn’t feel huge and it is easy to navigate around. You won’t get lost, but there is still plenty to see and explore.
Disney Cruise Staterooms
Not only are Disney Cruise Staterooms around 25% larger than most other comparable cruise line staterooms, they are beautifully appointed. The Disney theme is subtle, but the quality of the furnishings and amenities is very high.
The room layouts are sensibly thought out and include the famous split bathroom in most staterooms. The split bathroom means that there is one room with a toilet and sink and another with a shower and another sink. This makes sharing one bathroom with the family a whole lot easier.
Disney Cruise lines is also one of the very few cruise lines which offers staterooms which will accommodate 5 guests. This means that larger families do not have to be split into two staterooms.
Disney Cruise Ship Entertainment
This is a key element of why Disney ships are very different from any other that you will experience. Disney knows how to put on a show and you will be amazed at their Broadway quality entertainment. There really isn’t anything to compare in the cruise industry. The shows on the Disney Wonder include The Golden Mickeys and Frozen, A Musical Spectacular. There are lots of live entertainers every evening around the ship and they are always of the highest quality.
There are plenty of opportunities for meeting with the Disney characters on the ship. There are numerous character greetings every day and you will often see the characters simply walking around the ship on the way to their destinations. It is a lot of fun to see Mickey Mouse or Cinderella walking through the ship.
Disney Cruise Dining
Disney has a unique concept which is known as rotational dining. There are three main dining rooms on the Disney Wonder. Guests will move to a different dining room each night, but their servers will come with them. This means that you really get to know your wait staff and they will be much better able to provide you with individualized service. This really is part of the Disney difference. The servers are usually outstanding. They actually seem to enjoy their job and want their guests to get the most out of their dining experience.
The Disney Wonder restaurants are amazing. Each has its own theme and ambiance. Animator’s Palate is the most people’s favorite with an amazing dinner show which will make you wonder how they make all of those effects work. Triton’s is themed around The Little Mermaid – the decor is beautiful. The newly enhanced Disney Wonder has Tiana’s Place which is themed around the movie Princess and the Frog. Tiana’s Place features live music and lots of fabulous food.
In addition to the main dining rooms there is an adults only restaurant Palo. For a very reasonable extra charge you can enjoy brunch or dinner at this excellent restaurant. We particularly enjoy brunch on the Disney Alaskan cruises in Palo as you can watch the scenery if you get a window table.
Disney Cruise Alaska Activities
You could be busy from morning until night if you really wanted to be. Or your can simply sit down, relax and watch the amazing Alaskan landscape pass by.
Every day your Personal Navigator will be delivered to your stateroom. This will detail the organized activities around the ship each day. These include art and cooking classes, wine tasting, educational talks, movies, shows, character greetings and trivia games. Most of these activities are included in the price of your Disney cruise (wine tasting has an extra fee).
Of course there are some great swimming pools on the Disney Wonder. You will probably not use these as often as you would on your Alaskan cruise as you would in the Caribbean, but you can always give it a try! It is wonderful to relax in a hot tun while you watch the beautiful scenery go by.
Disney Cruise For Kids
Disney cruise lines is just the very best for kids. There are kids clubs for all ages from 3 to 17. There is even a nursery for the little ones under 3 (for an extra charge). Your children will probably love the kids clubs so much that they will not want to leave them. The new enhanced Disney Wonder has more character appearances in the kids clubs – do not be surprised to see Spider Man or some of the other Marvel characters as well as some of the more traditional Disney characters.
Disney Alaskan Cruise For Adults
The Disney Wonder has plenty to keep the adults happy too. Disney wanted to make sure that there were plenty of kid free spaces for the grown ups to enjoy. Adults have their very own pool deck space and spa which is only open to the over 18s. There you will find the Quiet Cove Pool which is exclusively for adults. The kid free zone also has a bar, cafe and a full service spa.
There is also an entertainment area on Deck 3 which is adults only and is known as After Hours. This has three differently themed bars: Azure, the British pub themed Crown and Fin, and the Cadillac Lounge.
What Are The Disney Alaskan Cruise Port Stops Like?
A Disney cruise has port stops in Skagway, Juneau and Ketchikan. It also has a day exploring Tracy Arm. Each of these experiences has something different to offer.
Disney Cruise Tracy Arm
This isn’t a port – it is an experience sailing around the Tracy Arm Glacier. This is an amazing experience and is often the highlight of an Alaskan cruise. To be able to get up close and see the amazing scenery is an experience not to be missed. Having said that, sometimes there is too much ice to sail safely into Tracy Arm and the Captain will divert the ship to sail through Endicott Arm. Either option is an amazing experience. You get very close to the glaciers. Nothing can prepare you for that amazing sight of the spectacular glaciers.
Many people say that you must have a Verandah stateroom on an Alaska cruise. It is a fabulous option as you have your own private space to simply sit and admire the landscape. The glacier experience from your own balcony is one not to be missed. However, not everyone has room in their budget for a Verandah stateroom. These staterooms are always sold at a higher price than inside and outside staterooms, and the price gap is even more pronounced on an Alaska cruise.
If you don’t have a Verandah stateroom there are plenty of ways to enjoy the scenery. The best views are of course from either the front or the back of the ship from Deck 9. This is also where everyone else goes. What you may not realize at the start of the day is that you spend a long time in Tracy Arm so there is plenty of opportunity to take in the views.
Everyone tends to crowd into the best viewing spaces at the start of the day, so just wait a little and the crowds will lessen and you will get a better view. Deck 4 is also a great place to be although the view is from the side of the ship. Sitting in a hot tub is also a pretty good way to enjoy the view! The Tracy Arm experience will last around 5 hours, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the experience from different view points. Remember to dress in layers and bring those binoculars with you! Don’t forget the hot chocolate and cookies which are available on Deck 9.
Even though this is a stay on the ship day, there is an excursion that you can book if you want to get even closer to the glacier. The Glacier Explorer Disney excursion will take you by catamaran to get you even closer to the glacier. The cost of this is $215 for adults and $149 for children. This is a once in a lifetime experience as it does take you to places where the Disney Wonder can’t reach, but the view on the ship is pretty fabulous too. Personally we wouldn’t book this excursion, but would save our money for another day and splurge on something else. The experience on the ship is priceless.
Disney Cruise Alaska Skagway Port and Excursions
The small town of Skagway is your next port of call on your Disney Alaskan Cruise. You dock right in the middle of the town and the shops are within walking distance. This is how you imagine stepping back in time would feel like. Skagway is a tiny town. It has one main street which isn’t very long. It is well worth the short walk into town though if only to imagine what it must have been like to live in one of the Gold Rush towns. There are some tourist stores, a couple of bars and a museum which is worth checking out. However, you will most likely want to combine your visit to Skagway with some Disney cruise excursions to make the most of your time there.
What many people are interested in is the White Pass Scenic Railway. The station is right where the Disney Wonder docks in the town. We recommend that if you are interested in this excursion you book it as soon as you can, as it does sell out. The cost is $134 for adults and $65 for children aged 3 to 9. This vintage train takes you on a spectacular journey on a track which was built in 1898. This is another one of those once in a lifetime experiences which we highly recommend.
One of the most sought after Disney Cruise Alaska excursions is a dog sledding adventure. There are plenty of opportunities to book an Alaskan port adventure where you can enjoy this amazing experience. Here is a complete guide as to the Disney excursions which include dog sledding.
There are many other options of excursions in Skagway. One of the least pricey is the Skagway’s Original Street Car City Tour which is $49 for adults and $32 for children. On this excursion you board an original 1927 sightseeing bus and are taken on an historical journey around the town. It is a good way to see more of the breathtaking scenery surrounding the town and to get an overview of the history of the area.
Other excursions include Alpine Lake Canoe Adventure, Dog Sledding and Glacier Flightseeing, Evening Wildlife Expedition, Klondike Bicycle Tour, Ocean Raft Nature Adventure, Sunset Horseback Adventure and the Yukon Expedition.
Disney Cruise Alaska Juneau Port and Excursions
Your next port of call will be Juneau, the state capital of Alaska. This is the only state capital in the US which is land locked – in other words there are no roads going in and out of the town. The only way to get to Juneau is by air or sea.
The Disney Wonder docks right in the center of town so you can just walk off the ship and explore the shops and restaurants. It is of course a town which caters to tourists, so you will find a lot of souvenir shops which start to look the same as each other very quickly.
The Mount Roberts Tramway is a very popular attraction in Juneau. The aerial tramway takes guests 1,800 feet into the mountains for a spectacular view of the surrounding scenery. The entrance is a short walk from the ship. You can do this on your own, but there is also an excursion available. The lines can be long and if the weather is bad (as it often is) you may not see much of a view. We would say to wait until you arrive and see what the weather is like before deciding if it is worth standing in line.
There are so many activities that you can do in Juneau you will find yourself struggling about which to choose. Juneau is particularly well known for the Mendenhall Glacier. This breathtaking natural feature is the only glacier in Alaska which you can get to by road. There are many Disney port adventures which give guests the chance to visit the glacier. These range from a trip to view the glacier from the ground, to plenty of options from a boat or kayak. The Mendenhall Lake Kayak Adventure gives you an opportunity to explore the glacier up close.
Alaska is of course known for it’s abundant wildlife. You will likely see whales from your ship, but if you want to increase your odds of seeing one of these beautiful creatures there are plenty of Whale Watching Adventures to choose from. The Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest is $161 for adults and $90 for children. Guests will board a catamaran and sail on a whale watching adventure.
For the ultimate adventure you and up to five friends can take the Juneau Private Helicopter Adventure. The cost is a whopping $3999, but you do get the once in a lifetime experience of being able to fly over this amazing place and make 2 landings. You get to pick where you want to go – weather and safety considerations permitting of course!
Disney Cruise Alaska Ketchikan Port and Excursions
The final port on your Disney Cruise is the town of Ketchikan. The Disney Wonder docks right in the town so you can just step off the ship and explore. Once again the town is full of tourist shops. It is worth taking a short time to browse around, but you will probably want to take an excursion to explore much more than the town itself. Ketchikan is most famous for it’s colorful totem poles which you can see around the town.
The Classic Misty Fjords Flightseeing is a very popular excursion. This 2 hour adventure will have you flying over spectacular scenery and enjoying a view of the surrounding fjords, waterfalls and lakes.
Ketchikan is also famous for its lumberjack show, which is a short walk from the cruise ship. You can book the Exclusive Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show at $46 for adults and $26 for children. It is a 90 minute show and the kids will probably love it.
There are lots of Disney Cruise Port Adventures to get you out in the amazing Alaskan scenery. These include an Alaksan Bear Adventure, Zipline Adventures, Hunting for Halibut, Mountain Point Snorkeling Adventure, Rainforest Family Adventure and a Wilderness Exploration and Crab Fest. There is something for everyone and you really should take the opportunity to explore this amazing place.
Is a Disney Alaskan Cruise Worth It?
We know that there are many choices of cruise line to sail with to Alaska. However, for us Disney offers the very best experience. This is particularly true if you have children. Many of the other cruise lines have an older client base for the Alaskan cruises and children may be in the minority. A Disney Alaska Cruise is something which you will remember for a lifetime. And will no doubt want to book another one!
If you are thinking of sailing on a cruise on the Disney Alaska Cruise we always suggest contacting a Disney Authorized Travel Agent. We recommend Destinations in Florida – Get a Quote Now!. There services are free and you may even get a discount!