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“Great way to start a vacation”

Riverboat Discovery
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Great way to start a vacation”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2012

We began our cruise package with the riverboat tour and had a great time. The fall colors were just coming out and made scenery just that much prettier. The boat was a bit crowded, but it has a lot to do with being a part fo teh cruise package. The coffee and donuts served complementary on the boat was a good touch early in the morning and the guide was very entertaining and informative. They also stop at a recreated native village and was staffed by some very friendly and accomodating natives. The girl that led our tour and modeled some of their native clothing was especially good.

Our package did not include the buffet lunch served after the tour, but it is well worth going to it, The stew and potato soups were very tasty and filling as were the other side dishes.

Visited September 2012
Thank skibums7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,257 reviews from our community

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Driftwood, Texas
Level Contributor
21 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2012

Just take the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena River to experience the Alaskan way of life. On this 3.5 hour tour this paddlewheeler stops along the river to see bush plane demonstration, visit Susan Butcher's kennels, and watch a fish wheel in use to capture fish be prepared for smoking. Also you'll visit an Athabascan village to better understand traditional lifestyles.

Visited August 2012
Thank CarSic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Exceeded our expectations”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2012

Not just a simple riverboat tour, as we thought. Great educational tour, saw plane launch/land in water along river as part of tour. Also saw a dog-sled team along the way to a final destination (native Alaskan camp). This camp was the highlight by far. It was pretty awesome and was totally surprised.

Also came with free donuts and salmon snacks.

Must see if visiting Fairbanks.

Visited September 2012
Thank motnasia1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Fantastic tour along the Chenas R.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2012

We enjoyed this lovely cruise along the Chenas R. as part of our Princess cruise land tour. Fall was at it's peak and the gold of the many trees, and calm waters and blue skies made for a very enjoyable riverboat cruise. They integrate it with a float plane take-off & landing along the ship and a sled dog demo along route - with microphones on the pilot and sled dog operator that you hear aboard the boat - great idea! An approx.1 hr. stop at an Athabascan village with guides was very interesting and gave insight into how native cultures survived this harsh environment back thousands of years. Many great photo opps, but having great weather definitely made it a perfect day for this. Boat narrator was fantastic and made it all sound great despite the fact he most likely does this everyday during the "season". Would highly recommend this riverboat cruise to anyone visiting Fairbanks while visiting during their operating season!

Visited September 2012
2 Thank sewbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mims florida
Level Contributor
795 reviews
383 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 580 helpful votes
“it is touristy but very well executed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2012

Locals recommended we do this but we were sceptical, and when we arrived and saw 5 coaches from Princess disembarking their weary crusiers my wife and I were pleased we had brought some reading material. It was not needed. Once we got our tickets (2 and half minutes per party was the speed of service or non service) and had waited 15 minutes to embark , everything else went so well I would award 5 stars.
The commenntary was tremendous, unlike others we have experienced in Alaska. Informative and not condescending. We experienced a sea plane take off and landing right by the boat; enjoyed a show with sled dogs; and visited a replica Native Alaskan village which was better at interpreting the Natives than the multi million pound Morris Thompson Center in Fairbanks. And the scenery was relaxing on the river.
Coffee and donuts are served free. The Princess passengers were ok even if they should have known to choose Regent or Celebrity.

Visited September 2012
Thank gwgMimsFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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