COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — The Coeur d’Alene Resort’s Journey to the North Pole Holiday Lights Cruise launched last night with its media kick-off cruise, as reported by KREM 2 news partner the Coeur d'Alene/Post Falls Press.
The sprightly elf Tigress, greeted guests at the door, decked out in red and green and of course, many jingling bells.
“I love getting people into the Christmas spirit,” she said.
Floating swiftly past the glorious light displays featuring over 1.5 million twinkling lights and 250 individual displays, while festive holiday music plays in the background, the cruise is the perfect family adventure to kick-start the holiday season.
As the “automatic reindeer flashers” put anxious children on high alert, the announcement that guests were approaching the North Pole came over the loudspeaker. Then the mad dash of excited young guests began.
“Yeah, party!” said seven year old Major Tschabold. Tschabold wasn’t sure he’d be on Santa’s “nice list” this year, but said he wants to come on the cruise every Christmas and his favorite part is seeing old Saint Nicholas.
Seeing the Grinch trying to dampen the Christmas spirit as the boat set off from the dock, gave Tschabold some cause to worry.
Tschabold’s cousin, Majestic Storm, is a weather forecaster, news anchor and reporter for KHQ and Fox 28. Dressed in a full, plush, Santa-style jumpsuit complete with long strands of multi-colored Christmas lights around her neck, she assured her cousin that he was, indeed, on the “nice list.”
“I’m always in the Christmas spirit,” Storm said. “I’ve been listening to Christmas music since October.”
Zoey Moen, the owner of Earthly Beauty Bar hair-salon on Fourth Street said she comes on the cruise every single year. A life-long Coeur d’Alene resident, Moen said that “We just can’t miss it.”
Moen’s daughter Zoey, a 7th grader at the Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy doesn’t think she’s outgrown the fun at twelve years old. “It’s still fun for me,” Zoey said. “It’s nice to talk to all the people, too.”
As Santa Claus came into view, he heartily welcomed guests. “I hear you came all the way from Idaho-ho-ho!” he said.
“When I heard you were coming to see me, it made me realize I hadn’t suped up my sleigh in about two-hundred years,” Santa said. “So I dusted off the old magic tool kit and went to work. Let’s see what this baby can do.”
With much fanfare, he demonstrated the power of his pyrotechnically powered sled, with flames shooting out of the back end.
“Tell the Grinch to stay out of the North Pole,” Santa said. “It really messes things up.”
Leading the crowd in singing “Jingle Bells,” Santa’s deep baritone voice reverberated across the water.
Each child’s name was announced, as every last one was on the “nice list” this year, Santa said.
With a jolly countdown, one of the world’s largest floating Christmas trees lit up, bringing smiles to all. The lights on the tree flashed in unison to a rock ‘n’ roll version of “Carol of the Bells,” as Santa danced the night away.
“It’s my first time on this big boat,” said five-year-old guest Jamison Eldridge, excitedly. “Look at all the ornaments!”
The cruise culminated in a hearty fireworks display that lit up the night sky.
“No one’s getting any coal tonight,” Santa said.
Each cruise is about 40 minutes long and they launch nightly from the resort dock at 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30, through January 2. Tickets are free for children under five, $10.50 for ages 6-12, adults are $25.50 and seniors over 55 are $24.50. Seats sell out quickly and can be secured online at cdacruises.com. For further information, email email@example.com or call (208) 292-5670.
Covid protocols have resulted in limited capacity to encourage social distancing, so book early. Masks are available on board but not required. Hand sanitizer is provided and all equipment and tables are thoroughly sanitized between cruises.
Private charter trips can be arranged for groups.
The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our news partner, click here.