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Day 10 Diamond Princess Alaska Cruise - Fairbanks Riverside Cruise Part 1

Alaska CruiseTour . 2012 . Sep 24

This morning, we boarded the motor coach early for a long drive from Denali National Park to Fairbanks, our last stop of the cruisetour. It began to snow over the night and some of the roads were closed in the morning. We count ourselves being fortunate enough to visit Denali National Park yesterday before the roads close.

Many of the rivers are swelling with water, and workers are on standby at the road to clear away snow.



The only scenic pitstop along the way.


Along the way, we passed by several small towns.


Before the sky starts to look stormy again.





Fairbanks Riverside Cruise


The Fairbanks Riverside Cruise is another one of those free tours thrown in with our Princess cruisetour package (the other free tour is the Denali Natural History Tour).  It is priced at USD $75 per adult and lasts for 3.5 hrs, if bought separately.



Contrary to expectations, the motor coach did not drop us at our accomodation upon arrival at Fairbanks.  Instead, we were delivered to the Steamboat Landing directly for lunch (own expense) and the Riverside Cruise.



View of the Chena river and the Sternwheeler Discovery III.




Boarding passes for the cruise.





Discovery Dining Hall


Lunch is not included in the package, but is offered at the Discovery Dining Hall at a price.  It is a eat-all-you-can buffet and food will be served at the table.



We were not too keen on the canteen-like atmosphere at the Dining Hall, nor do we relish the thought of sharing a table with strangers.  So we opted for a cheap boxed lunch at $10.95 which we shared between us.  It was bought at a bistro within the souvenir shop and is cheap and good.  It gave us the time to explore the souvenir shop at Steamboat Landing too.

 We chose the Ham Sandwich Set.


And the cruise begins…

Tip: Make sure you queue up early to board and grab a seat on the left hand side of the boat, as that is where most of the action are!



Temperature-controlled interior of the sternwheeler.


A flat panel television shows passengers the scenery ahead.


Newsletter and cruising map provided upon embarkation.  




Leaving the Discovery III behind.  Instead of the newer and more spacious Discovery III, the more dated and smaller Discovery II was used instead as we were on the last few cruises of the season.





Bush Pilot Floatplane.   It was not the first time we saw a floatplane take off or land on water.  We’ve seen this so many times in Vancouver and at the Neets Bay Bear watching cruise.




Beautiful log cabins along the Chena river. This reminds us of the Miramar Brisbane River cruise we took when we went to Brisbane and Gold Coast.




Susan Butcher’s Kennels.  Watch the award winning sled dogs do a demonstration.






Appoaching Chena Indian Village.



This is the point where waters of the Chena River meets the Tanana River.  The silt deposits are caused when clear water of the Chena mingles with the glacier fed Tanana River.

In our next post, we will continue with a visit to the Chena Indian Village on Part 2 of our Fairbanks River Cruise review.

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