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There are many ways to explore Alaska.
Some people prefer hiking or driving across the country and then there are those who love the ease of taking a riverboat.
Well, Alaska provides a great riverboat experience on the Sternwheeler.
Discover the Sternwheeler Riverboat
Jump aboard a genuine Alaskan sternwheeler.
It will take you back as far as the 1950s.
The Riverboat Discovery goes to the Tanana and Chena Rivers.
This grand riverboat tour is conducted by the Binkley family. For four generations children, grandchildren and great grands have dedicated their lives to help tourists experience Alaska on a genuine sternwheeler.
Alaska is so beautiful and many visitors have experienced the intrigue of the area upon these vessels.
Alaskan Native Culture
There is so much history and culture in Alaska.
You can visit traditional villages, which are home to native Alaskans.
If you are interested, there is a Riverboat tour that goes to the Chena Indian Village.
It is extraordinary.
Locales from Alaska can give you a tour in Athabascan villages and their rich culture will be on display.
They have a connection to the land and animals that is so surreal and you can see this close up.
Athabascan villagers make clothing from animal hide and furs.
Plus, they are very artsy. Check out their intricate beadwork when you take the tour.
It is a family-friendly expedition that bonds members and can be appreciated at all ages. This place is so inclusive that people with disabilities are well taken care of with the necessary aids.
Ask for a wheelchair if necessary.
Enter the Alaskan Wilderness
You can expect to sojourn way up into the Alaskan wilderness on these sternwheeler boats.
These were also the same mode of transportation used during the period of the gold rush, back in the day.
The tour lasts about three to four hours.
Usually, you board the Discovery II or Discovery III, find a spot and settle in for some amazing sites.
It is a narrated tour, so you will have all your questions answered. The crew is happy to cater to you if there is more.
Keep your eyes open for wildlife. There are plenty out there.
Many come and have a drink by the river’s edge.
Look out for a bit of human activity as well. There are bush pilots taking off and further up, you will come to a fish camp.
Here you can learn about drying, smoking and preparing salmon. The native Alaskans are happy to show you how. Plus, the taste is mesmerizing.
Ask for Captain Jim, they do a mean smoked salmon.
Iditarod Dog Kennel
As you go down the river a bit, there is the Iditarod dog kennel. It is managed by the Susan Butcher’s family, who was an Iditarod champion herself.
There is much excitement to be found here.
Chena and Tanana Rivers
Look out for the “Wedding of the Waters.”
It is a grand site to behold. Not that you will miss it!
The sternwheeler’s pilot will surely point this out and you will hear the awe-inspired exclamations of fellow sailors.
The spectacle occurs when the Chena and Tanana Rivers meet.
Here the Tanana glacial has sweltering currents that produce clouds of silt. These mount up and drop when they merge with the lucid Chena waters.
Where to Find the Sternwheeler Boats?
When you come in through the Fairbanks International Airport, the Riverboat Discovery is just several minutes away.
Travel along the Airport Way west road and then onto the Dale Road. From there you will proceed and pay attention to the signs that direct you further.
You will enter from the Steamboat Landing.
When Do the Tours Start?
Like many of these tourists’ activities, they begin in the months of May through to September.
As mentioned, the tour takes about four hours and departs at about 9:00 a.m.
Prices begin just under $65.00 and they accept all major credit cards. Children pay around $40.00. get there on time, or 30 minutes before if you have a motor coach.
If you have a disability, no worries, they cater to you as well.
Travel Alaska and Enjoy All It Has To Offer.
Too many times, we let life pass us by. We get busy with work, family, and other obligations. Sometimes, we pass on annual vacations and live a life of stress.
But that is no reason to miss out on great experiences like traveling to Alaska and going on a riverboat tour.
Take the Sternwheeler Riverboat tour and you will see a lot that the country has to offer if you are strapped for time.
The wildlife and glacial scenery is definitely worth it.
The people are friendly and welcoming.
Be safe, take warm clothing, prepare to rest and relax on your vacation to Alaska.