‘Tis the Season for the Holiday Lighting Boat Cruise

With the holidays fast approaching, the town of Coeur d’Alene is preparing for one of the best activities to enjoy this winter – the Holiday Lighting Ceremony!

Every year, the city of Coeur d’Alene gathers together the day after Thanksgiving to officially kick off the winter season. This celebration includes a parade followed by a lighting ceremony out on the lake and it’s a family favorite for many reasons. For more information about this special event, keep reading below!

The Event Details

The Holiday Lighting Ceremony always takes place in downtown Coeur d’Alene the day after Thanksgiving. It includes a big parade along the city streets and at the end, all of the lights are turned on along the water as fireworks blast over the lake. It’s a truly magical moment where you and the family can celebrate the spirit of the season and welcome winter together. 

Make a tradition out of the evening by stopping by Dockside for dinner and a gooey first, followed by some shopping along the streets and some yummy hot cocoa from one of the many coffee stands. You can even take a stroll through the park, to enjoy the millions of twinkling lights in the trees and along paths. If you’re looking for a truly spectacular experience, though, you can also take the family out on a lighting ceremony cruise.

Lighting Ceremony Boat Cruise

If you’re looking to enjoy the fireworks display on Lake Coeur d’Alene front and center, then the Lighting Ceremony Boat Cruise with Coeur d’Alene Cruises is just perfect for you!

Anyone, young and old, is welcome aboard the Lighting Ceremony Cruise, which makes it the perfect event for the whole family. Everyone is invited to enjoy hot beverages as you peer out over the railing at the lights sparkling across downtown. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a magical wonderland as the fireworks explode above for the official ceremony!

Then, when the ceremony is over, it’s on to the North Pole. Anchored just off shore, the North Pole is where you and your family will find Santa and his Elves, waiting to read off the naughty and nice list. Trust us, your children will absolutely love this tradition and it’ll get them ready for the Christmas season ahead!

Schedule Your Cruise

So what do you say – are you ready to start a new family tradition? If so, then contact us today at Coeur d’Alene Cruises to book your spot on the Holiday Lighting Boat Cruise. Or, if you’re interested, we also offer a New Years Eve Cruise and Eagle Watching Cruises. There’s something for everyone here!

Enjoy Fall on Lake Coeur d’Alene!

Fall is finally here! While that means summer has officially come to an end, it doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. There are still plenty of things to do in Coeur d’Alene with your friends and family as the cooler weather seeps in.

Want some ideas for things to do in Coeur d’Alene this Fall? Keep reading below as we share some of our favorites! 

Things to do in Coeur d’Alene

Even though the water is too cold to enjoy this time of year, there are tons of things to do in Coeur d’Alene. Below are some of our favorite Fall activities:


Coeur d’Alene is home to many family-owned and local businesses. You can find anything from toy and candy stores to antiques, gag gifts, souvenirs, and more! Whether you’re looking for something specific or just hoping to browse some neat shops, this is the place to be. Grab that pumpkin spice latte, you’ll be busy for a while!


Are you and the family more into nature? If so, try out Tubbs Hill. Located on the east side of the Coeur d’Alene Resort, this popular hiking trail will take you along the water’s edge, all the way out to the point overlooking Lake Coeur d’Alene. The Fall is the perfect time to take the family on this adventure because the scorching temps have calmed down and the weather is usually perfect!


Hoping to try out some local cuisine? If so, Coeur d’Alene has a lot of really great options for you. The best part about the season is, most of the tourists have gone home for the school year so you won’t have to deal with long waits and crowded streets. Win-win!

Cruise the lake

The best thing to do in Coeur d’Alene during the Fall is to cruise the lake! There are plenty of daily cruises to choose from, as well as some specialty cruises like the Oktoberfest one! On the cruises, you can relax and lounge while you:

Take some photos

Have you seen the inland northwest during Fall? It’s absolutely breathtaking! With cool temperatures and crystal clear skies, you’re bound to get some great family shots of everyone on the deck!

Enjoy the foliage

It’s not Fall without the bright foliage. You’ll see every shade of red, yellow, and orange imaginable while out on the water. If that doesn’t get you excited, we don’t know what will!

Sip some cider

Looking to cuddle up and chill while the boat takes you around the pristine lake? More power to you! Bring along a cup of coffee or cider and a nice warm blanket and you’ll have a beautiful afternoon to remember for years afterwards.

Book your cruise today

Whatever you choose to do, Fall in Coeur d’Alene is absolutely magnificent! 
Are you interested in booking a tour? If so, contact CDA Cruises! We offer daily cruises as well as specialty cruises fit for the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call today, let’s book you and your family on a Fall cruise you’re sure to remember forever!

Field Trip Cruises – Exciting AND Educational

These days, it can be difficult to teach students in a regular classroom environment. With the same curriculum each day, things can get monotonous pretty fast and students can start to feel bored. That’s why it’s a great idea to occasionally take them out of their comfort zone on adventures that are both exciting and educational. 

There are plenty of benefits to field trips. Not only do they give students a chance to learn in other environments, but they promote education in an interest-driven setting instead of a set curriculum. 

Want to know how you can give your students an experience they’ll remember for years to come? Keep reading below!

Things to do in Coeur d’Alene

Living so close to a beautiful lake, there are tons of things to do in Coeur d’Alene that are adventurous and educational. Take students on a hike up Tubbs Hill, learn about the history of the area at local museums and art galleries, or take them to explore the history of Lake Coeur d’Alene with CDA Cruises.

Field trip cruises

What child wouldn’t want to spend their school day cruising on Lake Coeur d’Alene, enjoying the scenery and learning about local wildlife and history? With CDA Cruises, you can take your students on the field trip of a lifetime! There are tons of daily cruises to choose from, or you can select an eagle watching tour for some winter wildlife education.

Eagle watching tours

Every year, hundreds of bald eagles migrate to Lake Coeur d’Alene to feed on the spawning population of Kokanee salmon in the water. It’s a great time to view them up close and in their natural habitat. And the best part – the scenery is just breathtaking!

With CDA cruises, you can take your students out on the lake, right up to their nesting grounds. You’ll be able to explore the history and migration patterns of these majestic birds, all from the safety of the cruise boat. Your students will enjoy watching these birds sitting in the trees and swooping down over the water and you’ll feel accomplished knowing they learned something about our national bird!

Schedule your adventure

What do you say? Are you ready to schedule your class field trip to the lake this winter? 

At CDA Cruises, we offer daily eagle watching tours in December and January. We also offer discounts for students and teachers, so you can focus more on education and less on budget.

Give us a call today, let’s schedule the field trip of your students’ dreams!

Discover the Steamship Graveyard in Lake CDA

Buried beneath the water of Lake Coeur d’Alene lies a graveyard. It’s long been a secret of the area, with little publicity but a lot of history.

This graveyard is unlike any other. It doesn’t boast the graves of ancestors, but rather the final resting places of large pieces of local history that remain rooted in culture and an era long since past.

Below, we’ll discover this historical graveyard and the historical impact it has on Coeur d’Alene Lake.

The steamship graveyard

The graveyard in question is none other than CDA’s steamship graveyard. It is here that several steamboats that used to traverse Coeur d’Alene Lake found their fate after a long and arduous career.


The history of Lake Coeur d’Alene is a long one, but it is filled with incredible feats and wonderful stories that have shaped the city into what it is today.

The lake was named by french fur traders. They felt that the local Indians were tough negotiators and gave them, and the area, the name Coeur d’Alene. Translated, it means “heart of the awl.”

The city itself didn’t start to emerge until the late 1800s when Fort Sherman was built on what is now North Idaho’s campus. By 1887, the region was known for its timber and mining capabilities and the city was officially founded.

To move high amounts of timber and mined materials, the area needed steamboats. These steamboats served the area for decades, for tourism and commercial purposes, until the 1900s when they were decommissioned forever. Then, in a ceremonious goodbye, they were lit a fire and sunk to the bottom of the lake for 4th of July celebrations.


Located just a few hundred yards out past the Coeur d’Alene Resort lies the steamship graveyard. Here, you will find the remains of several local favorites including the Amelia Wheaton. She was the first steamboat on the lake and in many ways was considered the “lady of the lake.”

These days, if you want to get up close and personal, all you need is some scuba gear and an adventurous spirit. In fact, several people in the region enjoy regular dives to the steamship graveyard.

Down below, you can swim through passageways and along winding staircases that our ancestors walked on almost 150 years ago. It’s really neat!

Other treasures

Amongst the graveyard, you’re sure to find other trinkets and treasures. One local diver has made a business out of the items he’s recovered. He’s found bottles and vases, slot
machines and power tools. At one point, he even found a vintage car that was still in working order after being brought back to the surface!

Take a cruise

Would you like to explore Lake Coeur d’Alene and all of its unique history? If so, then you should take a cruise with CDA Cruises. Our scenic cruises will take you all around the lake so you can see first hand where the graveyard is.

You’ll also see the Floating Green of the golf course, Cedars Floating Restaurant, Arrow Point,
and more!

Book your cruise with us today and join us on the lake. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Pros and Cons of Planning a Wedding Cruise

Thinking of planning a wedding on a boat? How exciting! 

Wedding cruises are on the rise in recent years, as brides try to find unique and romantic wedding options that are both beautiful and affordable.

Romantic weddings on a boat

Keep reading below as we go over the pros and cons of wedding cruises, and decide for yourself if a boat wedding is for you!


There are so many pros to planning a wedding on the water. Our top 3 are:

It’s cost effective

Weddings on boats are typically cheaper than typical banquet weddings because the venue is much smaller. They’re also usually bundled packages, meaning less vendors and less stress!

Smaller venue = intimate guest lists

With smaller venues comes more intimate guest lists. Not interested in inviting your fiance’s great aunt or those distant second cousins? No problem! Boat weddings give you a reason to cut that guest list (and budget) big time!

The water is your decor

With boat weddings, the scenery is usually a big part of the decor. Instead of spending so much money on table decorations, you’ll be able to pocket that cash knowing your guests will be oooing and ahhing over the views. Win win!


Of course, with any wedding cruise comes a set of cons. 2 potential cons of a boat wedding are:

Small spaces

Boats are intimate and romantic, but they are also small. Plan accordingly when deciding if you want lots of space or if you’d prefer gorgeous views.


Boat weddings typically spend some time cruising and not at the dock. This means that if any of your guests want to leave early and you choose to cruise the water for the reception, then they won’t be able to disembark until the boat gets back.

What do you think? The pros definitely outweigh the cons if you ask us. Want to see a sample boat wedding to get an idea of how stunning they can be? Click here!

CDA Cruises

If you’re still in love with the idea of having a boat wedding, then look no further than CDA Cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene! 

CDA Cruises offers multiple wedding cruises out of the Coeur d’Alene Resort that are sure to have everything you’re looking for, including meals, cake service, set up and tear down of all chairs and tables, and photography.

Want to know more? Contact our wedding planner today to schedule a meeting!

Ditch the Tie and Shaving Kit for Father’s Day

It’s that time of year again! As we all scramble to find the best, most unique Father’s Day gifts for that special man in our lives, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We’ve all caved to the pressure and bought him the same thing as years past. Don’t let that happen again! Below, we’ll go over a few unique gift ideas for dad so you can finally ditch the tie and shaving kit for Father’s Day once and for all.

Unique Father’s Day Gifts for Dad

Now that you’ve decided to ditch the boring gifts, you’re probably wanting some ideas on unique gifts for dad. If so, below are some of our favorites:

Personalized gifts

Nothing shows your love more than thoughtfulness. If you’re crafty, try making something for dad by hand like string art signs or coaster sets. There are tons of ideas on pinterest, but don’t forget to use your imagination too!

Custom gifts

If you’re not crafty, then look for custom gifts that fit his hobbies. For example, if dad likes to grill then you can get him something like a grilling toolbox with all of his favorite utensils and seasonings in it. Or, if he likes board games, try getting him beeropoly or giant dice for the yard.

Practical Gifts

Some dads out there really love receiving practical gifts that they can use in everyday life. If so, he may like an engraved watch or a bluetooth speaker. Every time he uses his practical gifts, he’ll be thinking of you.

One of the most unique gifts for Dad

You might be thinking, those are still boring Father’s Day gifts. I want to really blow his socks off this year! If so, then we have the perfect solution for you. What if, instead of buying your dad a gift for Father’s Day this year, you give him an experience instead. Think about it. Materials don’t last forever, but memories do. So this year, try taking dad out on an adventure that he’ll remember for the rest of his life.

Father’s Day Brunch Cruise

If you like the idea of giving dad an experience, then we have the perfect gift idea for you. Take dad on a Father’s Day Cruise with CDA Cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene! This unique brunch cruise lasts 1.5 hours and will take you on a scenic tour around the lake, all while you enjoy a delicious Father’s Day brunch.

The menu includes salad, fresh fruits, biscuits and gravy, rolls, bacon and sausage, eggs, meatballs and potatoes, beef, salmon, and of course desserts!

Book today

What are you waiting for? If this sounds like the perfect Father’s Day gift, then don’t wait. Purchase your tickets today before they sell out. Give dad an experience he’s sure to never forget.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime. We look forward to seeing you on the water!

Five Unique Ideas for Mother’s Day in North Idaho

Moms do so much for us; when Mother’s Day rolls around, we want to spoil her the same way! Coming up with the perfect gift for Mother’s Day can be hard, so we created a list of our favorite unique gifts for Mother’s Day in North Idaho.

Brunch on Lake Coeur d’Alene

Taking Mom out for brunch on Mother’s Day isn’t a new idea. Instead, put a twist on this classic special occasion meal with a cruise on North Idaho’s most beautiful lake! Get Mom (and the whole family) tickets to the Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch Cruise with Coeur d’Alene Cruises. The cruise runs on Sunday, May 12, from noon to 1:30 p.m., with boarding starting at 11:30 a.m.

The menu includes the chef’s homemade pasta salad, orange butter flake rolls, bacon cheddar biscuits, hickory smoked bacon and club link sausage, Sunday Brunch salmon (roasted on a cedar-plank, yum!), English roast beef, specialty desserts and MORE! Click here for tickets

Spend time shopping

Even if you just grab coffee and browse the windows, Mom will love spending time with you. One of the best places to shop is downtown CDA and the Resort Plaza Shops. There are some crazy, fun and unique stores here, with everything from the practical to the extraordinary. Find the zaniest toys in Figpickels Toy Emporium, pick out a darling collectable at Labrador Store & More, or find your next summer dress at any one of the adorable boutiques.

Concert tickets (or other future events!)

Does Mom like to get out of the house and enjoy live music, festivals or eclectic events? Snag her tickets to her favorite festival! If she likes to dance, present her with tickets to any of the Bands on Boats Concert Series cruises that will take place this summer on Lake CDA. From country to 80s hits, there’s something for everyone.

Spa treatments

If Mom is a hard worker, give her a day of rest and relaxation with a spa treatment. Places like the Coeur d’Alene Resort Spa have treatments like massages, facials, mani/pedis and more, with specials for Mother’s Day.

Rent a boat

What better way to show mom how much you love her than renting a boat for the day on Lake Coeur d’Alene! Boardwalk Marina offers Pontoon and Sport Boat rentals right on the resort, and they offer several hourly rates. Whether you’re looking for a quick jaunt around the water or a full day of sun, there is bound to be something just right for you.

What are you planning to get Mom this Mother’s Day? Comment and let us know your favorite
gift idea!

Things to do in Coeur d’Alene during the winter

Winter can make us go a little stir-crazy here in North Idaho. If you’re not actively working on getting outside and doing new things, you might find yourself getting down. Instead, we’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite winter activities for families and kids in Coeur d’Alene, including cruises on Lake Coeur d’Alene or hot chocolate in downtown:

See the eagles

One of the highlights during the winter in North Idaho is the migration of bald eagles to Lake Coeur d’Alene. During December and January, these majestic creatures flock to the Pacific Northwest lake — specifically, Higgins Point — to feed on salmon and other fish. Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises heads out to the area daily with our Eagle Watching Cruises, so you can get an up-close-and-personal look at these birds. Don’t forget your camera!

Grab a cup of hot chocolate (or something stronger!)

Downtown Coeur d’Alene has tons of fun coffee shops and cafes that are perfect for grabbing a cup of hot cocoa. Or grab a hot beverage from the cabin inside your cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene! If your group is a little older (and legal drinking age!) head in to Whispers for a beautiful view of Lake Coeur d’Alene while you sip a hot toddy.

Stroll the Floating Boardwalk

In between winter storms, Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful winter wonderland! Check out the Holiday Lights Show on the Floating Boardwalk between Thanksgiving and New Years Day every year. Or, in January, bundle up in hats and mittens and stroll the boardwalk and downtown parks with the kids (a great way to burn a little energy!)

Learn about your home

When you cruise with Lake CDA Cruises, you’ll get more than an afternoon on the water. Our cruises are informational, so you’ll learn about the lakes and rivers, as well as the history of our beautiful town, while you cruise.

Spend time with family

Winter is a great time to get out of the house and see something new with your family. During the spring and summer, when outdoor sports and other obligations keep you busy, you may feel like your family is pulled in many directions. During the winter, the kids are out of school and there’s less going on. It’s the perfect time to head out as a group — maybe check out the holiday lights downtown or hit Lake Coeur d’Alene for a family-friendly cruise!

What to expect to see on your Lake Coeur d’Alene cruise

It may seem like a cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene or local Idaho rivers might be pretty straightforward. However, there’s actually a lot to see from the decks of our cruise ships! With a variety of cruises to choose from, you’ll see a lot of North Idaho in a short amount of time. This is perfect for visiting family or friends who want to get the most out of their North Idaho vacation— so much of the Pacific Northwest can be seen from the comfort and luxury of our ships!

Here’s a sample of some of the great sights you might see:

Water sport athletes

From parasailers to jet skiers and everything in between, Lake Coeur d’Alene is a haven for water sport athletes. The large area, secluded bays and calm waters are perfect for all sorts of sports! During the summer months, you and your family will surely see someone trying a fun new sport on the water.

Tubbs Hill and other geology

Tubbs Hill is an incredibly unique feature in North Idaho! With more than two miles of public trails, this area is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. You can get the full 360-degree view by skimming the area in one of our ships. 

The Famous Floating Green

A trip to Lake CDA isn’t complete without a view of the Famous Floating Green at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course! This is one of the rarest courses for golfers, as one of the holes is actually IN the water!


There’s all sorts of beautiful, majestic wildlife to see while cruising on Lake Coeur d’Alene. In addition to fish, river otters, deer and moose, you might also catch a spectacular bald eagle, especially during the winter months.

Amazing homes and architecture

There’s some incredible homes and architecture, steeped in history, all along the water. From homes of famous celebrities to historical mansions, it’s fun to take in all the homes along the water, especially on our St. Joe River Cruise

Beautiful sunsets

And of course, what night on the lake would be complete without a beautiful sunset!

Are you ready to book your cruise? Contact us today!

What comes with a chartered cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene?

When you charter one of the Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises ships, you’ll get an experience on  the water that your guests won’t soon forget. These ships are perfect for weddings, school trips, family reunions or even corporate events! But what all comes with a chartered ship, beside the captain and crew?

Actually, quite a bit! When you charter a ship on Lake Coeur d’Alene, you get access to an entire party-planning service! This can include:

  • Catering — Our amazing culinary team has a reputation for helping clients cultivate the perfect menu for their event. We can provide suggestions and example menus, or create a meal just for you!
  • Cakes — What wedding, graduation party or family gathering is complete without cake! Let our catering team make a custom-made creation just for you. Schedule a cake tasting and consultation to help you decide.
  • Décor and flowers — Set the ambiance for the evening with your very own arrangements and decorations, including chair cover, specialty linens and lighting.
  • Music — Dance the night away with a custom playlist or set the mood with a harpist and string quartet. Your cruise director can help you choose just the right set up for your event.
  • Photography — Capture every moment with images from award-winning Quicksilver Studios.
  • Transportation — Want to arrive in style? Take any one of our custom transportation services, from classic cars and limos to a horse-drawn carriage!

Ready to book your chartered cruise? Contact us today for more information!