Riverboat Discovery & Gold Dredge 8


The Riverboat Discovery is a 3-hour tour aboard a 900-passenger sternwheeler. Guests will see a bush plane take off, a dog mushing demonstration, and take a guided walking tour through the Chena Indian Village. Gold Dredge 8 is a 2-hour tour aboard our train and through our gold camp. Guests will see several mining demonstrations, pan for gold, and have the opportunity to explore Gold Dredge 8.

Riverboat Discovery: In Fairbanks Alaska on the banks and waters of the Chena River. Gold Dredge 8: Located just outside of Fairbanks in Fox Alaska, with views of the Trans Alaska Pipeline.

About Riverboat Discovery & Gold Dredge 8

Our company can be described as a small, local, family owned and operated business.

Captain Jim Binkley, Sr., followed in his father’s footsteps and piloted freight vessels on the Yukon and Tanana Rivers in the 1940’s. In 1950, noting the coming changes in the freighting business, Captain Jim and his wife, Mary, began the business. Over the coming years, their business grew from the Godspeed, a 25-passenger vessel, to the Discovery III, a 900-passenger vessel. Today, their grandchildren run the company and you will still see Mary B around the property and waving to the boat.

The Binkley’s also operate a mining attraction: Gold Dredge 8. This tour incorporates large scale mining and the smaller scale side of mining into an all-encompassing tour that also features the Trans Alaska Pipeline and a replica of the Tanana Valley Railroad.

Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8 are located in the heart of Fairbanks, the second-largest city in Alaska.

At 65 degrees north latitude, the sky takes on a capricious life of its own — a canvas for the aurora borealis, the midnight sun and sunsets and sunrises that last forever. Here there are serious mountain ranges, pristine rivers and lakes, abundant wildlife, and a certain poignant solitude that is found nowhere else on earth. Locals embrace the natural world and have created a vibrant river city in the far north. Nowhere else can you travel to such a remote locale and still enjoy all the amenities of a charming downtown, a thriving arts community, rich Alaska Native culture, authentic Alaskan activities and attractions, and endless opportunities for exploration.

The Employee Experience

Working in Alaska will afford you memories, experiences, and friendships that will last a lifetime. Our state is vast and offers several opportunities to explore. On your days off you can seek out adventure in the form of hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, dog mushing, just to name a few. During the summer months, Fairbanks is the land of the midnight sun; the days and evenings are long, while the nights are short. You can sure pack in a lot of action and fun from May to September!
The Riverboat Discovery & Gold Dredge 8 put on a mid-season party and an end of season party for all employees with food, drinks, games, and contests. It is an opportunity for all of us to come together, enjoy each others company, and celebrate the crew that makes our seasonal operation come to life!  

Ideal Candidate

As a company, we are passionate about sharing Alaska with our guests and our employees. If you love Alaska, we know our guests will too. We are looking for individuals with good work ethic. If you have that, we can teach you anything else you need to know to do your job effectively. Every position within our company is customer service based, and we strive to provide the highest quality of customer service to our guests. 

Alaska holds a special place in our guests’ hearts. It is a bucket-list destination that most have dreamed of visiting for a lifetime. To locals, the things about Alaska and Fairbanks that we are used to — like long daylight hours in the summer, dark winters, natural beauty, etc. — are exotic to our guests. We are looking for individuals who are nice, outgoing, optimistic, enthusiastic, and passionate about sharing the great state of Alaska with those who visit us! We take pride in creating an environment for our crew that makes work a desirable and fun place to be. We often refer to our crew as our summer family. Our ideal candidate is:

  • Team-oriented and has a strong work ethic
  • Flexible and adaptable to change
  • Focused on the safety of guests
  • Committed to providing the highest level of customer service
  • Detail oriented 
  • Able to communicate well with supervisors and coworkers
  • Able to stand for long periods of time
  • Eligible to work in the US (proof of eligibility required)

Room and Board

We do not currently provide housing for employees. However, there are options for affordable housing in and around the Fairbanks area. If you are looking for a truly authentic Alaskan experience, you will find that dry cabins are a popular option for seasonal employees. 

We suggest using Craigslist & Facebook Marketplace to start and we are happy to offer any insight if you have questions or need some guidance!

Employee Perks

  • Bonus compensation when terms/dates of employment are completed include a $1.00 per hour bonus paid at the end of the season ($1.50 per OT hour)
  • $50 referral bonus per employee hired
  • Paid training sessions before and during the season
  • Four complimentary tour tickets for Riverboat Discovery and Gold Dredge 8 tours for friends and family
  • 20% discount in Steamboat Landing and Gold Dredge 8 gift shops
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Leadership training program
  • Employee parties
  • Lifetime friendships and unforgettable memories

Getting Here and Getting Around

Major airlines that fly to Fairbanks include; Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines. There are several options to fly direct from Seattle. You can also find flights from other major cities in the US flying to Anchorage Alaska with a short connecting flight to Fairbanks. 

It is possible to drive to Fairbanks from the contiguous US by crossing the border into Canada.  

A vehicle is not necessary but does make exploring easier.
Fairbanks offers public bus transportation.
There may be the ability to carpool with coworkers to and from work depending on location.
A bicycle is also a great form of transportation!

For Fun

Recreational Activities
Fairbanks offers an abundance of recreational activities; hiking and trail running near the University of Alaska Fairbanks and other nearby areas, mountain biking, rock climbing, disk golf, endless pavement for road biking, kayaking through Fairbanks on the Chena River, and various places to camp just to name a few.

Summer Events
Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival
Midnight Sun Festival 
Midnight Sun Run
Fairbanks Summer Folk Fest
World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
Fairbanks Golden Days 
Alaska Gold Panners (Summer Solstice Game)
Tanana Valley State Fair
Weekly Farmers Market 

Fairbanks has a culture rich with art and music. There are several opportunities throughout the summer to be immersed in this scene!

How to Apply

Thank you for your interest in applying for a job at Riverboat Discovery & Gold Dredge 8.

Please click Apply Now to begin our online application process. You will need to create a profile in GetHired. 
Please use your full name when creating your profile and fill out the application completely. Be sure to check your email for status updates on your application. 

Contact Riverboat Discovery & Gold Dredge 8