6. Fairbanks: Riverboat Cruise and Local Village Tour
Enjoy a riverboat cruise along the Chena river. Discover the beauty of Alaska from the river and make multiple stops to truly understand the Alaskan way of life. You'll visit a local village, visit a dog-sledding kennel, and watch a bush pilot take off and land right in front of the boat. Be immersed in frontier living firsthand with a guided walking tour of an Athabascan village. You’ll see an Athabascan village with cabins made of spruce logs, a cache used for storing supplies, a primitive spruce bark hut, and fur pelts. Your guides will explain how the wolf, fox, martin, and beaver were used to provide food and protection in the harsh Arctic climate. They will also share how the Athabascans skillfully survived for over 10,000 years and how they adapted to village life and Western culture in the past century. At the end of your guided tour, you will have time to explore the village on your own, interact with your guides and visit dogs from Susan Butcher’s Trail Breaker Kennel. You'll also get the chance to see an Alaskan bush pilot take off and land right next to the boat. The pilot will share his stories of village life and explain the vital role planes play in remote Alaska. Finally, visit the home and kennel of the late four-time Iditarod champion Susan Butcher as you pass Trail Breaker Kennel along the Chena River. Learn firsthand about kennel life and the challenges that go into making a champion dogsled team. Hear stories of life on the trails as puppies play in anticipation of joining the team. Keep your cameras ready; you will not want to miss the dog mushing demonstration. If you are hungry, stop by the Captain's Corner located inside Steamboat Landing. There you'll find freshly made sandwiches, wraps, and salads ready each day. Enjoy your lunch on the beautiful outdoor deck as you soak in the sun and enjoy views of the Chena River. Beer, wine, and snacks are also available for sale aboard Discovery III.