How the magic happens: Bringing the North Pole to Coeur d’Alene

Getting Santa, Mrs. Claus and all the elves from the North Pole to Lake Coeur d’Alene for our Holiday Light Cruises can be tricky, logistically. After all, it is the busiest time of the year for Santa Claus, as he and the elves make toys for all the good girls and boys of the world.

So instead of asking Santa to take time out of his busy schedule, we bring children to the North Pole for a quick meet-and-greet with the Head Elf himself.

There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes magic that goes into the annual Journey to the North Pole Cruises. Each year, the Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre uses its influence with Mr. Claus to bring the North Pole to life. We sat down with the summer theatre’s artistic director Jadd Davis for a couple quick questions about how the winter magic happens.

Question: How long has CST been involved in the Journey to the North Pole cruises?
Jadd Davis: The Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre began recruiting the entertainment aspects of the Holiday Light Show in 2016, so we’re on our second year. It made sense for CST to collaborate with CDA Lake Cruises as The Resort was needing some good talent and we are always looking for ways to keep our pros working locally.

Q: How do Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves prepare for their roles?
Davis: So. Much. Egg nog.

Q: How are actors chosen?
Davis: Actors are recruited throughout the year. Every person wearing a costume — such as the elves, the Grinch and Santa — is brought in and trained by Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. The casting requirements: 1) Must love Christmas. 2) Must love children. 3) Must be willing to make believe all night!

Q: Tell us a little about the “behind the scenes” magic that happens!
Davis: We need to be careful not to reveal trade secrets! That said, the number one goal of the journey is to make sure Santa knows who all the kids are who are visiting him! With the billions of kids out there, he needs some administrative assistance to help keep him organized. That’s where the elves come in! Elves surreptitiously greet every family who takes the cruise and make sure all the names of the children are magically delivered to Santa. We utilize all the technology at our disposal to make sure no good child is left off the list!

Are you looking to experience the magic for yourself? Schedule your tickets for the Journey to the North Pole cruises, going on through the end of the month. Contact us today for more information!

Spring break cruises allow you to see Lake Coeur d’Alene the way the locals do!

Each year, tourists and travelers begin flocking to North Idaho’s majestic mountains and beautiful lakes as early as March and April. Many families and students take trips to the Northwest to enjoy beautiful scenery and one-of-a-kind experiences, such as biking the Centennial Trail or visiting the Coeur d’Alene Resort. While average temperatures in March and April in Coeur d’Alene sit at a sunny 60 degrees, the town still provides a good base camp for day trips to local ski hills, such as Lookout Ski Resort, Schweitzer Mountain and Silver Mountain, for a bluebird ski day.

One of the most frequently asked questions from tourists is, “What do the locals do in Coeur d’Alene?”

Because Lake Coeur d’Alene is such a beautiful focal point to our town, locals are always looking to spend more time on the water!

Coeur d’Alene Cruises gets our passengers — tourists and locals alike — on the water for one of the best lake experiences. Our team offers adventures for daily scenic excursions, bird and wildlife watching tours on the St. Joe River and even specialty cruises for holidays, such as Easter.

Spring break is also a great time to get the whole family together. Our cruise ships offer the perfect private venue for family reunions or parties.

Curious about spending spring break in North Idaho, or looking for more information on seeing the lake the way the locals do? Contact us today!

The best way to see eagles on Lake Coeur d’Alene — by boat!

One of the most exciting things about winter in the Pacific Northwest is the arrival of the eagles on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Year after year, bald eagles from Canada and Alaska congregate at the north end of the scenic north Idaho lake to feed on lake-bound salmon. During December and January, the majestic birds flock to the lake, and it is always a sight to see! Many people do not get the chance to see bald eagles in their natural habitat, let alone a large number of them up close and personal.

However, the team at Coeur d’Alene Cruises has a special treat! Each year, our captain takes daily cruises to Wolf Lodge Bay to see the awe-inspiring birds as they feed.

Our cruises are two hours long, and not only give information on the eagles, but also offer an opportunity to see them in person.

Cruises are perfect for families or school groups who want to help teach children about the birds.

For dates and times, visit our information page or to schedule a tour, contact our team today!

Meetings on the water – small or large, cruise ships can accommodate

From wedding receptions to end-of-year celebrations, Coeur d’Alene Cruise boats are the best place to hold a fun family or business gathering. With the private atmosphere, picturesque setting and tranquil ambiance, the boats have everything you may need to hold a successful gathering.

However, did you know that our cruise boats can also accommodate business meetings, large or small? If your company is looking to host any sort of meeting, training or team building, why settle for a stifling conference room in the basement of a hotel? Instead, take a breath of fresh air and relax on one of several top-of-the-line vessels.

The two-deck Lake Coeur d’Alene cruises boats are climate-controlled, with picture windows and clear sound systems, which helps to create a wonderful atmosphere on the water. Employees will remember the meeting they had on the beautiful north Idaho lake, and the scenery will help the creativity and teamwork flow. Our chef can even whip up five-star meal for groups, both small and large, so you don’t have to interrupt your work.

If your company is planning a business meeting, no matter what size, contact a member of our team today to reserve a boat.

Radio cruise

If you’ve ever wanted to rock out with your favorite D.J.s, or listen to some of the best music ever created while watching the epic north Idaho sunset, then have we got an event for you!

Throughout the entire summer, we’re putting on our legendary Radio Station Summer Cruises. Join your favorite local radio station as they host an entire night filled with music, refreshments and festivities that you will remember well into the winter months.

Cruises start at 7 p.m. on select nights, and run to 10 p.m., with options running through September.

The summer kicks off when KDRK The Mountain hosts the first party on the Mishinook** on July 2.

Here’s the rest of the schedule:

  • July 16 on the Mishinook- Oldies 101.1
  • July 16 on the CDA**- ZZU
  • July 23- Coyote Country
  • July 30- 98.9 KKZX
  • Aug. 12- Curleys
  • Aug. 13- Oldies 101.1
  • Aug. 16- Pro Beats Entertainment
  • Aug. 20- 98.1 KISS
  • Aug. 27 on the CDA- 96.1 KIX
  • Aug. 27 on the Mishinook- Coyote Country
  • Aug. 28- KDRK The Mountain
  • Sept. 3- 98.9 KKZX

Tickets can be purchased online on the Coeur d’Alene Cruise website. Contact us today for more information!

Stay safe this spring and summer!

The first time that summer sun starts to heat up and peak through the clouds, everyone in North Idaho is out and about, trying to catch just a hint of that spring warmth. We know, we’re doing it too! Any excuse to get out of the office and into that sunshine, we’ll take it! And after the gloomy, gray northwest winters, can you blame us?

However, now is not the time to go frolicking about without a care in the world. The sun is out, which means there’s still a chance for sunburn and over-exposure to ultra violet rays. Regardless if you’re on a cruise or playing on the beach, here are some quick tips to stay safe this year!

  • Wear sunscreen
    Even though the rays may seem weak when it’s not sweltering out, long exposure to the sun can cause serious damage over time. A quick layer of sunscreen before you spend time outside can prevent both long- and short-term damage— think beginning of the season sunburn!
  • Cover up
    Yes, we’d like to start wearing shorts and tank tops too, but a light layer can also help protect you from sun exposure.
  • Stay hydrated
    While you’re playing in the sun, make sure you’re taking regular break to drink water. It is recommended to drink eight glasses per day, but that number goes up if you’re sweating or working out. 

So start your season off right, and stay safe this year. If you’re looking for a plethora of fun things to do this summer, check out our specialty cruises or contact us today!