So, when you (or I) think of rafting, whitewater is what comes to mind. This is not that. While 5 months pregnant, me, my husband, and our three-year-old son were able to not only be entirely qualified to embark upon a float trip safely, but we enjoyed the heck out of it as well!
We had front door service/pick up from Skagway Float Tours and all of our questions about the area were answered by our friendly guide as we made our way out to the Dyea end of town to put into the river.
*The drive is slow and you'll be traveling in a 15 passenger van, so be prepared (and prepare kids) for a bit of a journey (though it's only a few miles) before the actual water fun begins! Life jackets are provided as well as rubber boots. If you have your own rubber boots, bring 'em!
Our son even got to pilot our craft for a while - the highlight of his day for sure! That and the Oreos (his fave) that were part of a snacks spread for the passengers of the boats as we left the water at the end of our float trip. There were crackers and cheese along with some smoked salmon and of course the Oreos and juice boxes. Great complimentary pick-me-up food after a nice, leisurely tour.
There is plenty of time to capture photos and relax. It is not fast travel - it's a float trip. So if adrenaline is what the teens are expecting, they will roll their eyes at you when you suggest a float. BUT, if a relaxing and very scenic voyage is what your family craves, this is it! It was perfect for our family at this stage in our lives -- having small kids, being pregnant, traveling with elderly family, being out-of-shape, or having any kind of disability -- even just wanting a taste of the river life and looking for an activity that is "newbie" friendly -- floating the river is PERFECT for you!
I could have went on and on with the tour all day. I was as relaxed as one can be, listening to eagles and enjoying the chilly air over the glacially-fed waters we were cruising. Wildflowers along the way in addition to the backdrop of gorgeous, rugged mountains made the day picturesque and pretty zen! Though it's only a few hours it fills an afternoon easily.
Tip: If you are booking a bike and float or any other excursion that includes a river float - check to see if it's this same one. We ran into a family that booked a biking tour AND this float and it turned out that they were floating twice in a row! Not ideal if you are short on time and want to take it all in. So just double check! There ARE far worse things than doubling up on this tour though! It's great!
Disclosure: We were given complimentary passage on a float tour while in Skagway. All opinions are our own and we had a smashin' good time!