The Riverboat Discovery
Experience Fairbanks at its Best

Cloae-up of Paddle Wheel Discovery coming around a river bend.

Chasing the riverboat down stream proved to be quite a challenge. While I knew more or less how the river ran, the roads along it; especially those leading to a vantage point where you can take photos of the riverboat it passed were kind of a hit and miss thing. But since the Riverboat only travels at about 5 miles per hour I was eventually able to get some nice pictures

Discovery approaching from river bend Discovery approaching from river bend
iscover passing a grassy field Discover passing a gravel field

Sometime -- as soon as I am able I will provide a map showing various vantage points along the Chena River from which you can photograph Discovery as she paddles by.


Discovey wheel shot

Taking almost 4 hours the Riverboat Discovery's fully narrated Riverboat focuses on local history, lore, and turn of the century native life along the river. Begining with bush Pilot Bill Johnson's take off and landing the Riverboat passes

The riverboat then pauses in front of Susan Butcher's home,  The four time Iditarod champ stands on the riverbank and talks about sled dogs and running the Iditarod.

The riverboat then stops at a replica Athabascan village, where a team of Susan Butcher's dogs provides a mushing demonstration. After which native tour guides talk about their lives and their people's history.


Athabascan Village

Heading still further down stream The River boat discovery pauses where the Chena and Nenana river's meet Locally this is called the wedding of the rivers.  The reason why is that this is one of the few places in the world where two converging body's of water two distinctive colors. The results is a kind of underwater Aurora as the waters swirl and blend in unusual patterns.


wedding of the Chena and Tanana Rivers

Passengers can either  may view the sights from inside the lower two glass enclosed decks, or go up to one of the open decks. Video screens inside provide pictures of passing points of interest.  

Beginning in the 2000 tourist season the Binkley family will bring back a newly refurbishing Discovery II, a paddlewheel tugboat built in 1953,

Opening season in Spring and the closing in fall vary, so call ahead. Depending on the weather, the season ends around Sept. 20. 

Tickets are $39.95 for adults, $36.95 for military and children, aged 13 and 18, and $29.95 for children, ages 3 to 12. Children aged   2 and under ride for free.


For more information on tours and times Call: (907) 479-6673

Or visit the Riverboat Discovery's web site at: