American Empress Sailing the Columbia River
The Pacific Northwest
9 Days | March-November 2020
Starting At $Custom
This voyage through the Pacific Northwest shows you the bounty and beauty of nature, as well as the history and heritage of the people who inhabited this diverse region. The Cascade Range separates the dense forests of the coastal regions of Washington and Oregon from the arid rolling hills and wine country of the Red Mountain region. You will experience both climates on this voyage sailing west via the scenic Columbia River Gorge, the only break in the Cascades between British Columbia and Southern Oregon. At each port, you can embrace the culture and history of this region on an included shore excursion.
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Special Note: Depending on the departure date, the itinerary may be reversed.
Day 1 – Overnight in Vancouver – Today, arrive in Vancouver, WA for an overnight pre-cruise stay with the American Empress at the Hilton Vancouver Hotel. The evening is yours to venture into the city and enjoy the nightlife Vancouver has to offer.
The American Empress Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. It is here that friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving Premium Shore Excursions. An American Queen Steamboat Company representative, as well as a local representative, will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing suggestions so that you may maximize your time in Memphis.
Day 2 – Set Sail on the American Empress – Today is the day you have been waiting for! You have a few hours this morning to explore the beautiful city of Vancouver before boarding the American Empress.
Grand scale luxury and classic style await you aboard the American Empress for a paddlewheel cruise through America’s Pacific Northwest. Indulge yourself with delicious, onboard dining choices, welcoming staff and country club ambiance, and then view the vessel’s collection of North American regional artifacts from the Gold Rush and sternwheeler eras and more. Enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty as you cruise one of the most famous rivers in the region. The American Empress welcomes you with the latest amenities that you want and the style and luxury you deserve.
Day 3 – Astoria, OR – Astoria is known to be the oldest American Settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. For thousands of years, Clatsop Indians inhabited the lands that are now known as Astoria. In 1805, Lewis and Clark led their expedition through the town and spent the winter at Fort Clatsop. In 1813, a British warship sailed into the Columbia River, gaining possession of the city and holding control until 1818, when they finally agreed to a joint occupation of the land. The British did not fully leave Astoria until 1846. There is no doubting the rich history has deep roots grounded in this Columbia River town. When the history combines with the scenery, the harmony will surely bring you back for more!
Day 4 – Scenic River Cruising – Behold the beauty of nature as you enjoy a day of scenic river cruising. Picturesque canyon walls and fascinating volcanic formations will keep you guessing as to what lies around the next bend. As you wind through the dramatic mountains and forested ridges of the great Pacific Northwest, join our Riverlorian on-deck for insightful and entertaining narration.
Day 5 – The Dalles, OR – At the end of the overland Oregon Trail, The Dalles holds a unique place in history as a jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gun-slingers, floozies, and scallywags. Lewis and Clark camped at this location at Rock Fort Camp during their historic journey in 1805 and 1806. Fort Dalles was established in 1850. Oregon Trail pioneers ended their overland journey at The Dalles, forced to build rafts and take the “river road” west to Fort Vancouver, then into the Willamette River valley. Ten thousand years of Native American trading took place on the banks of the Columbia River, shaped by the Ice Age Missoula floods. The town was located at the foot of a series of dangerous rapids which the Hudson’s Bay Company fur traders called “The Dalles of the Columbia.”
Day 6 – The Dalles/ Hood River Bus Tour – Today, enjoy another day in The Dalles. Take advantage of included morning and afternoon tours in The Dalles with a scenic bus tour along Hood River.
Day 7 – Stevenson, WA – On the banks of the scenic Columbia River, the city of Stevenson is your launch pad to the Washington side of the Gorge. A stroll along the Rock Cove pathway or the Columbia River waterfront is a great way to take in surroundings. Downtown Stevenson is home to unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Stevenson is in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Explore the eastern entrance to Mount St. Helens or the spectacular Lewis River Valley.
Day 8 – Portland, WA – The “City of Roses” is an eclectic blend of art galleries, coffee shops, museums and farm-to-table restaurants with a spirited vibe. Marvel at the beauty of more than 8,000 roses at the International Rose Test Garden. Or spend the day discovering nature’s boundless power at nearby Mount St. Helens.
Day 9 – Vancouver, WA – After breakfast onboard this morning, disembark the American Empress depart for home.