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“Touristy but informative”

Riverboat Discovery
Ranked #11 of 62 Tours in Fairbanks
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: More than just a boat ride! Board the Sternwheeler Riverboat Discovery for one of the most unique Alaskan experiences available! This three-hour cruise will take you into the heart of Alaska and introduce you to a family who has made the rivers of Alaska a way of life for five generations. You will see a bush floatplane takeoff alongside the boat, visit the home and kennels of the late four-time Iditarod winner Susan Butcher and see her champion sled dogs in action. Be immersed into the ancient Athabascan Indian culture when our Alaskan Native Guides take you on a personalized tour of the Chena Indian Village.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed September 21, 2012

This tour does feel a little like going to Disneyland, but for people unfamiliar with Fairbanks and Athabascan life, it was informative. Treating Alaska bush aviation, local Fairbanks culture, Iditarod sled dog training, and Athabascan culture, it was pretty comprehensive. We even saw Iditarod champion Lance Mackey there. The crew were all friendly and well-informed and very engaging. The flowers at the Athabascan village were breathtaking. Once is enough, but we're glad we did it.

Thank Hippen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"float plane"
in 235 reviews
"native village"
in 164 reviews
"susan butcher"
in 139 reviews
"bush pilot"
in 102 reviews
"blueberry donuts"
in 90 reviews
"sled dogs"
in 253 reviews
"chena river"
in 200 reviews
"salmon"
in 165 reviews
"athabascan village"
in 76 reviews
"family style lunch"
in 37 reviews
"crackers"
in 57 reviews
"free coffee and donuts"
in 20 reviews
"stew"
in 87 reviews
"iditarod champion"
in 34 reviews
"gift shop"
in 129 reviews
"top deck"
in 16 reviews
"dog training"
in 30 reviews
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1,381 - 1,385 of 1,573 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2012

Enjoyed the time and effort put into the entire program. Everything from A Bush Plane takeoff , dog sled and Athabaskan Village

Thank fsumtnguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2012

Date Visited: August 2012

We had an enjoyable afternoon as the paddlewheeler, Riverboat Discovery, cruised along the Chena River. During the cruise portion of the tour, the boat’s pilot provided commentary on Alaskan history and folklore. We stopped along the river to enjoy the Iditarod dogs’ sled demonstration provided by Susan Butcher’s husband.

We also stopped at the Chena Indian Village where we had the opportunity to visit various areas of the village and learn about the natives’ way of life. Although we found this to be interesting, there was too much time spent on lectures and not enough time to enjoy the beauty of some of the different parts of the village.

The cruise staff were very friendly and more than happy to take the time to answer questions. All-in-all… a very enjoyable day!

Thank LoveTravelling-JB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2012

This was part of our land/cruise tour with Princess Cruise lines. We really just wanted the bus to take us to the hotel, thinking we could skip this excursion. We are so glad we didn't have a choice.... this was such a fun excursion. A relaxing cruise down the river, loved the visit to the sled dog camp, and the Indian Village was interesting. They had sled dog puppies in the gift shop area when we were getting ready to disembark, they were so cute.

Lots of people on the Riverboat, but it did not feel crowded at all. The captain and crew were very knowledgeable and entertaining.

This was a very worth while excursion, a little touristy, but a must do!

Thank gbutlerfan2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 15, 2012

I did this with my mother 28 years ago. I felt it was worth taking my husband this trip. They keep the boat updated (this one was the third, rode the II first time). The guide was very funny and enjoyable, got to see Susan Butcher's husband run the dogs and the stop at the fish camp was interesting.

Thank DesertGirl28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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