It’s a family affair at Alaskan Dream Cruises, launched in 2011 by Alaska’s Allen family, members of the Alaska Native Tlingit tribe. David Allen, president and co-owner, believes in the innovative cruising approach of seeing the “True Alaska with True Alaskans,” offering eco/wildlife viewing, kayaking, hiking, tasty cuisine and enrichment heavily focused on Tlingit heritage/culture. In 2016, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association awarded the line its “Best Cultural Heritage Experience” award.
In 1967, Allen’s parents, Bob and Betty Allen founded Allen Marine, Inc., a well-known Sitka boat building company, and at 18, Dave Allen received his captain’s license. Later, he and brother Rob Allen became full partners in the family businesses, but when his brother pursued a different path, in 2005, Dave Allen took over managing the family’s companies.
At Alaskan Dream Cruises, Dave Allen oversees operations of five 10-to-84-passenger small ships. His team includes fellow co-owners (wife Lauren and daughters Zaide and Zia), along with nephew Jamey Cagle who is senior vice president, and other family members. Authenticity? The line’s small ships dock adjacent to the Allen family home in Sitka, adding a dose of authentic Alaska hospitality for guests.