Columbia and Snake Rivers

007168-R12

Discover the history, geology, excellent food and wine, and the sheer beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We travel through the region as early explorers, settlers, and natives did—by the waterways that stretch far inland from the Pacific Ocean.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Sail in the wake of Lewis and Clark and their legendary Corps of Discovery expedition
  • Taste the bounty of the region through their harvests and fresh, local, delectable cuisine
  • Experience the region up close with water level expedition landing craft and kayak forays
  • Transit a series of eight locks the lift the ship 700 feet, 10 times the elevation of the Panama Canal
  • Bike, hike or kayak in stunning, natural surroundings
Details

Group Size: 62

2020 Dates:
April: 16, 22
September: 19, 22, 26, 29
October: 03, 10, 17, 22, 24, 29

2020 Prices:
From US$4,670 – twin, Category 1 to US$9,940 – twin, Category 5
From US$7,010 – single, Category 1 to US$10,370 – single, Category 5

Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in US$, per person based on two people sharing a twin cabin or one person in a single cabin.

Tour Code:
007168-R12

Itinerary
Open All
Day 1: Portland, Oregon/Embark Ship

In the late afternoon, embark the ship and cruise the lower part of the Willamette River, passing under the many bridges and through the centre of picturesque Portland, before reaching the Columbia River.

The powerful Columbia and Snake Rivers flow through a beautiful land and offer access to fantastic wineries, places to kayak, bike or hike, and extraordinary scenery—you’ll experience it all. Hike to a towering waterfall. Taste local fruit at a family farm and enjoy views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Visit sites used by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark while they made their way to the Pacific Coast.

Day 2: Columbia River Gorge - Hood River (Spring) or Astoria (Fall)

Spring dates: Gain a fresh perspective on such highlights as Bonneville Lock and Dam, Multnomah Falls, and Beacon Rock (perhaps even hike it if you are inclined). Bonneville is first in the series of eight locks which will lift or lower the ship some 700 feet above sea level, nearly 10 times that of the Panama Canal.  Continue through the Gorge to Hood River, located in the shadows of majestic Mount Hood where you will have the option to see the spring bloom in the Hood River Valley. The valley is known for its fruit growing orchards—including one of the world’s largest pear growing areas. Visit the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum and explore one of the largest collections of still functioning antique cars and planes or choose to do something more active in the area.  (B,L,D)

Fall dates: We begin our journey by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. At Cape Disappointment where Meriwether Lewis saw the Pacific in November of 1805, explore the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, see Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the north jetty of the Columbia River Bar. Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which chronicles the history of river navigation and all aspects of maritime commerce in the region. Hear harrowing stories of crossing “The Bar” at the mouth of the Columbia, one of the most dangerous passages in the world. In the afternoon explore the Astoria area with several options to choose from. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Cruising the Columbia River (Spring) or Columbia River Gorge/Hood River (Fall)

Spring dates: Today we will spend the day cruising through some of the most scenic and geologically interesting stretches of the Columbia River and the Columbia Plateau. Our onboard geologist and naturalists will talk with you about the Columbian Basalt Flows and the Missoula Floods that sculpted the landscape 13,000 years ago. Relive the historic tales of the Corps of Discovery through the eyes of the historian as you sail by landmarks from their epic journey. Or unwind with a massage from the wellness specialist. (B,L,D)

Fall dates: Days 3 & 4 – Spend your morning visiting the stunning Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, Washington, featuring 15,000 years of cultural and natural history of the Columbia Gorge with displays both inside and outside. Or trek up the iconic Beacon Rock, the 848-foot basalt column that once formed the core of an ancient volcano. Lewis and Clark camped here on their way west, and it was at Beacon Rock that they first noticed the tides affecting the water levels in the Columbia River, more than 120 miles from its mouth. Continue through the Gorge to Hood River, located in the shadows of majestic Mount Hood where you will enjoy a farm-to-table orchard lunch overlooking the golden Hood River Valley. The valley is known for its fruit growing orchards-including one of the world’s largest pear growing areas. After lunch you’ll have the option to visit the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum and explore one of the largest collections of still-functioning antique cars and planes in the country or trek the trails of Tom McCall Nature Preserve which is home to over 200 plant species.  (B,L,D)

Day 4: Walla Walla (Spring) or Columbia River Gorge/Hood River (Fall)

Spring dates: Drive through some of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, with bright, rolling green fields of sprouting wheat, asparagus, the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onions, and now the vineyards that bring Walla Walla world-wide recognition. Enjoy historic Walla Walla with a visit to the Whitman Mission, a National Historic Site, and the location of the 1847 attack on missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and 12 members of their household by a group of Cayuse seeking retribution for the spread of measles among their people and the inability of Whitman to heal the sick. Enjoy lunch and a tasting at a local winery. (B,L,D)

 

 

Day 5: Exploring the Palouse River (Spring) or Cruising (Fall)

Spring dates: The still water of the Palouse River is the perfect mirror for the surrounding basalt cliffs as we set off on our expedition landing craft cruises and kayak adventures. Visit Palouse Falls where cascading waters plunge into the pool below. Afterwards, sail up the Snake River, enjoying a taste of local specialities. (B,L,D)

Fall dates: Today we will spend the day cruising through some of the most scenic and geologically interesting stretches of the Columbia River and the Columbia Plateau. Our onboard geologist and naturalists will talk with you about the Columbian Basalt Flows and the Missoula Floods that sculpted the landscape 13,000 years ago. Relive the historic tales of the Corps of Discovery through the eyes of the historian as you sail by landmarks from their epic journey. Or unwind with a massage from the wellness specialist. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Clarkston (Spring) or Exploring the Palouse River (Fall)

Spring dates: At Clarkston, we find ourselves at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, more than 450 miles from the sea. The name Clarkston is in reference to William Clark and is located directly across the river from Lewiston, Idaho, which is named for Meriwether Lewis, though neither of them ever traveled to the Clarkston side of the river. Travel by comfortable jet boat into one of North America’s most scenic spots, spectacular Hells Canyon.  The 125-mile long canyon was carved by the waters of the Snake River and at 7,993 feet is North America’s deepest river gorge—most of it inaccessible by road. The earliest known settlers in the canyon were the Nez Percé tribe and, as you travel up the river, look to the hillsides and see remnants of their ancestral horse trails along with pictographs and petroglyphs on the rock formations. This evening, enjoy the company of a local winemaker onboard and sip of their wines while you hear about how the geology of the area surrounding the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, the newest Viticultural Area in the United States, affects the flavors of their wines. (Winemaker onboard Eastbound itin only.) (B,L,D)

Fall dates: The still water of the Palouse River is the perfect mirror for the surrounding basalt cliffs as we set off on our expedition landing craft cruises and kayak adventures. Visit Palouse Falls where cascading waters plunge into the pool below. Afterwards, sail up the Snake River, enjoying a taste of local specialities. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Disembark & depart (Spring) or Clarkston, WA (Fall)

Spring dates: After breakfast this morning transfer to the airport for your connecting flights home. Choose to fly from nearby Lewiston, Idaho, or travel though the picturesque landscapes of the Palouse to Spokane, Washington, located two hours away.  (B)

Fall dates:

At Clarkston, we find ourselves at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, more than 450 miles from the sea. The name Clarkston is in reference to William Clark and is located directly across the river from Lewiston, Idaho, which is named for Meriwether Lewis, though neither of them ever traveled to the Clarkston side of the river.

 

Travel by comfortable jet boat into one of North America’s most scenic spots, spectacular Hells Canyon. For a short period each spring, the canyon is full of vibrant greens and colorful flowers. The 125-mile long canyon was carved by the waters of the Snake River and at 7,993 feet is North America’s deepest river gorge—most of it inaccessible by road. The earliest known settlers in the canyon were the Nez Percé tribe and, as you travel up the river, look to the hillsides and see remnants of their ancestral horse trails along with pictographs and petroglyphs on the rock formations. In the afternoon, join your fellow travelers in the lounge for songs and stories by a local Nez Percé storyteller. This evening, enjoy the company of a local winemaker onboard and sip their wines while you hear about how the geology of the area surrounding the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA, the newest Viticultural Area in the United States, affects the flavors of their wines. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Disembark & depart Clarkston, WA (Fall)

Spring dates: After breakfast this morning transfer to the airport for your connecting flights home. Choose to fly from nearby Lewiston, Idaho, or travel though the picturesque landscapes of the Palouse to Spokane, Washington, located two hours away.  (B)

Included
  • 6 nights of accommodation on-board in cabin category chosen (spring) or 7 nights (fall)
  • All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Cappuccinos, lattes and filtered water
  • 24 hour coffee, tea and soda
  • Hors d’oeuvres and snacks during recap
  • Expedition leader, naturalist/geologist, historian, expert guides, photography instructor and wellness specialist
  • Presentations by expedition staff and guest speakers
  • Use of fitness equipment
  • Fully stocked library
  • Excursions outlined in itinerary
  • Zodiac and kayak explorations
  • Snorkelling, including wetsuits, masks, fins and snorkel where relevant
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees during shore excursions
  • Special access permits, park fees and port taxes
Not Included
  • Airfare to/from Portland, OR and/or Clarkson, WA (please ask us for assistance in booking your airfare to ensure you are arriving to and departing from the correct cities)
  • Additional hotel nights pre and post cruise, as required
  • Private transfers
  • Optional tours
  • Alcoholic beverages, spa treatments, laundry, internet
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew
  • Voyage DVD
  • Passport and visa fees, if required
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
Tour Notes

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.

Map