Meet Our Destination Expert:

5 Revealing Questions

Kristen Helgren

Rooms Department Manager, Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge

Number of Years with Princess:

I began working seasonally for Princess 24 years ago, and I’ve been full-time for 18 years.

Number of Countries Visited:

That’s hard to say. One of the few places I haven’t been to is Africa.


Cooper Landing, Alaska

A little about my job:

I work with our staff to help the guests feel the magic that is the Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge. With 86 guest rooms on 43 acres overlooking the beautiful Kenai River with mountain views all around, it doesn’t take long for our guests to realize that they’re somewhere special. I hire and oversee the training of all front desk, housekeeping and lodgeperson staff. I do the room blocking for arriving guests, assist at the front desk, help in the housekeeping department, hand out welcome envelopes to arriving cruisetour guests, assist in the espresso bar and with guest shuttles around the property, and care for the lodge flowers in the gardens and hanging baskets (plus lots more “behind the scene” multitasking to keep the hotel operations running smoothly!).


What item is in your suitcase that you couldn’t travel without?



What’s your most treasured travel souvenir?

Well, I have to say all of my animal bells. I have an incredible wooden cow bell from the island of Lompoc in Indonesia.


What’s the most memorable dish you’ve eaten during your travels?

A slice of wild mushroom pizza from a take-away deli close to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. I often think of traveling back to Rome so I can eat that pizza again.


What’s your travel motto?

Go with the flow, see what I see and don’t worry about what I don’t see.


Where haven’t you been that’s on your travel bucket list?

I want to cross all of the high mountain passes in the northern Andes between Chile and Argentina.

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