Great Family Adventures: Thomson Family Adventures' 'Alaska: Cruising the Inside Passage'

Yes, we know: The family vacation is a much-parodied event, and perhaps rightfully so. But fumbles, foibles, and hassles aside, families keep taking them for the same good reason: They’re priceless sources of memories.

    Photo: Heqs/Wikimedia Commons

HIGHLIGHTS: Experience Alaska’s western coves aboard the M/V Wilderness Discoverer, an agile boat with cozy rooms and a knowledgeable crew with lots of experience catering to kids. Get close to sparkling glaciers and spectacular ice fields while surrounded by a richness of wildlife: eagles, wolves, bears, seals, and whales. You’ll visit the biggest national forest in the United States, the temperate Tongass, where you’ll hike to the Americas’ largest mapped cave. In the Tlingit village of Klawock, learn the significance of carving and the meanings of totem poles, and hear authentic stories that native Tlingits have passed down for generations. Paddle or snorkel Frederick Sound’s coves, ride a dogsled across Juneau Glacier, and visit the Brothers, a pair of islands that serve as feeding ground for the Northern Hemisphere’s largest concentration of humpback whales. This trip is recommended for kids age eight and older.

OUTFITTER: Thomson Family Adventures claims to be the only adventure-travel company with a sole focus on families, and has been offering worldwide trips “designed for families by families” since 1998.

ITINERARY: Ketchikan to Tongass National Forest, Klawock, Chatham Strait, Frederick Sound, Stephen’s Passage, Endicott Arm, Ford’s Terror Wilderness, and back to Juneau.

DATES: Departs July 20, or request a customized itinerary.

PRICE: From $4,590 per person, including all meals and lodging (aboard the M/V Wilderness Discoverer and in Juneau’s waterfront Goldbelt Hotel), park entrance fees, port fees, ground transportation (including airport transfers), and travel insurance.

INFO:, (800) 262-6255.

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