Portland, OR (Vancouver, WA) to Clarkston

Fares from $3,795
Portland, OR (Vancouver, WA) to Clarkston
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Tour summary

“OCIAN IN VIEW! O! THE JOY!”
These are the original words, and spelling of “ocean,” William Clark scrawled in his journal on November 7, 1805. One could hardly blame him for forgetting his spelling lessons in all the excitement. Experience the same sense of excitement and wonder as your journey begins in Portland near the Pacific Ocean, the objective of Lewis and Clark’s expeditionary party, the Corps of Discovery. You will visit many historic, scenic and enjoyable sites along your Columbia and Snake River voyage to Clarkston. If you’re looking for something tailored more to a specific interest, you might enjoy the Premium Shore Excursion to the Walla Walla Wine Trail or a trip to the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.

Itinerary

Day 1: Hotel Stay - Vancouver, WA

Hotel Stay - Vancouver, WA

Your journey begins with a deluxe hotel stay in Vancouver, Washington. 

Day 2: Vancouver, WA

Departure 6:00 PM
Vancouver, WA

Explore Vancouver at your leisure or consider a pre-cruise Premium Shore Excursion in Portland with afternoon transfer to the American Empress.

Pre-Cruise: Mount St. Helens Tour

Welcome to Portland, Oregon; located near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Known as the “City of Roses,” Portland was established in 1851. Largely settled by travelers of the Oregon Trail, Portland is the largest city in Oregon but is better known for its laid back small-town feel. We will tour all of the highlights of the City of Roses on a guided city tour aboard our industry leading motorcoaches as we head towards Mount St. Helens.

Mount St. Helens is well known for its catastrophic explosion in 1980 and is an active Stratovolcano along the Pacific Ring of Fire. 50 miles north of Portland, Mount St. Helens is a beautiful sight to behold and sits high atop the horizon of Portland. Guests will enjoy an up-close look at this violent volcano with an extensive guided tour with an included lunch.

Transportation
Included
Price
$129.00
Duration
8 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Pre-Cruise: Portland City Tour - The City of Roses

Explore the Portland, Oregon. We’ll embark on a narrated tour of this Pacific Northwest Town dubbed The “City of Roses.” Guests are welcomed by a view of the historic Willamette River which flows through the downtown before crossing over one of ten bridges and into Old Town where the original settlement began. Next we will view America’s second largest Chinatown before continuing on to Pioneer Square and continue to the International Rose Test Gardens where, in the summer months, over ten thousand blooms create a colorful frame for a panoramic view of Portland. As we continue on, we’ll visit Washington Park and the World Forestry Center where you can learn of the importance of timber industry of the Pacific Northwest. On the last leg of the tour passes through Portland State University and the riverfront where you can view the life on the busy waterway and take a picturesque drive down Naito Avenue before setting off for the American Empress.

Transportation
Included
Price
$59.00
Duration
2.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 3: Astoria, OR

Astoria, OR

Included Hop-on Hop-off Tour: 
Explore this historic pioneer city situated near the mouth of the Columbia River; Named after John Jacob Astor, an American Investor and owner of the American Fur Company. This tour begins with a stop at the Riverwalk; a four-mile paved walkway overlooking the beautiful Columbia River. In addition to the remarkable views, guests can explore the statues, shops, cafes, docks and historic canneries dotting the path. Guest who wish to can choose to board the riverfront trolley that runs along the banks for an extra fee. 

Next stop, the Flavel House and Carriage House Museum. The Flavel House stands proudly as a monument of national significance. As a perfectly preserved example of Queen Anne architecture, this historic abode was once the home of Captain George Flavel, one of Astoria’s most influential citizens in the late 1800s. Guests can tour this 11,000 square foot elegant mansion as well as the detached Carriage House Museum and Visitor’s Center.

If you’re seeking the perfect vantage point to view the majestic valley and the mouth of the Columbia River, the next stop will end your search. The peak of the Astoria Column sits 600 feet above sea level and boasts an incredible 365-degree view. Guests who are up to the challenge can climb the 164-step spiral staircase to the top of this spire for a majestic observation point, or remain on the ground to examine the ornate murals depicting 14 significant events from Oregon’s history.

Last stop on our tour is the Heritage Museum. Learn the history and culture of Oregon through their permanent and alternating exhibit galleries that beautifully capsulate the exciting history and culture of Oregon and the Columbia River. Located within Astoria’s Old City Hall building, this neoclassical structure pays tribute to the hunters, loggers and fishermen that forged this new territory and depicts the history of this frontier town.

Before returning to the boat, guests can visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum for a reduced fee when showing their American Queen Identification Card. Here, guests can experience interactive displays, galleries and collections representing the history of the mighty Columbia River throughout time.

The Lewis & Clark Experience

Join us as we re-trace the history of America’s most famous frontiersmen. We’ll begin with the exploration of Station Camp. Occupied for ten days by the Corps of Discovery and used as a departure point for an overland trek to their first views of the Pacific Ocean. Explore this historical point in America’s History as the first leg of our exploration on the Lewis and Clark Trail.

Then, discover the last stage of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as we set off for Cape Disappointment overlooking the confluence of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. It was at this site where the American Pioneer’s two year expedition, and dream of discovering the Pacific Ocean via river, finally came to fruition. Explore the Interpretative center’s extensive and thorough timeline that documents the entire journey of these intrepid frontiersmen and experience the beauty and power of the Pacific Ocean from the enclosed overlook as the waves crash along the banks below. In addition to being the home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, these rocky banks were the set of “The Guardian,” a 2006 blockbuster staring acclaimed actor Kevin Costner.

As we continue our path along the Lewis and Clark Expedition, we’ll stop at a Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Fort Clatsop. Made famous as the winter encampment for the Corps of Discovery (Lewis and Clark and their crew). Here, guests can enjoy exhibits in the interpretive center, exhibit hall, gift shop, view films outlying the historic journey and explore a replica of the forts built by Lewis and Clark in their attempts to maintain shelter during the harsh winters.

Transportation
Included
Price
$69.00
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests
Zip Lining Adventure

Step off the luxurious decks of the American Empress and into the natural wonders of Oregon—one of America’s most beautiful and un-kept landscapes. We’ll bring you slightly outside of your comfort zone and allow guests to experience the wilderness from the best vantage point—soaring above the ground, within the trees and over the waterways of the area.

Today’s tour takes us to Highlife Adventures, a best in class zip lining experience. Guests of all ages can safely enjoy this experience as they are securely tethered onto one of eight courses throughout the forests and mountains of Oregon. Guests can be as adventurous or modest as they’d like since you can choose your own speed. Those with an extreme adventurist spirit can zip through, over lakes and through the trees and even choose to take a dunk in the lake as you soar by.

Don’t just visit Oregon, experience the wilderness of the lakes and timber throughout the mountains of the Pacific Northwest in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you won’t soon forget.

Transportation
Included
Price
$109.00
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 4: The Dalles, OR

The Dalles, OR

Included Hop-on Hop-off Tour: 
Welcome to The Dalles, Oregon; known as the end of the Oregon Trail! Hop on our industry leading Hop on-Hop off Motorcoach and set off to experience everything that The Dalles has to offer. First stop, the Original Courthouse Museum. This historic building was built in 1859 and is known as the first courthouse of the Rocky Mountains. Here guests can experience exhibits showcasing the history and culture of the local region and explore the courthouse. Next stop, The Dalles Visitor’s Center where guests can learn more about this Pioneer river town followed by a stop at the Fort Dalles Museum and Interpretive Center; an original military base built in the 1800’s. Guest can experience unique collections of military and pioneer artifacts as well as the historic wagons that brought early settlers to the Oregon Trail’s last stop. Before exploring the shops of the Downtown Shopping area guests can stop at the Sunshine Mills Winery. Originally a 130-year-old abandoned wheat mill and now a state of the art Quenett boutique winery and home of Copa Di Vino-a unique invention by entrepreneur and wine enthusiast, James Martin. Featured on ABC’s The Shark Tank, guests can stop in at the one-of-a-kind wine tasting room to try a sample of the new wine trend that’s sweeping the nation, one glass at a time.

Day 5: Stevenson, WA

Stevenson, WA

Included Hop-on Hop-off Tour: 
This included tour begins with a stop in Downtown Stevenson, Washington. Guests can hop off here and enjoy the various local specialty shops and boutiques lining the streets.

Then, we’ll stop at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. Located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area, the Interpretive Center brings life to human stories of natural history in our nation’s most compelling landscape. Here, guests can learn the local story of the geography and culture of the region and catch an under-water glimpse of spawning Salmon passing through the Fish Ladders. Exhibits celebrate 15,000 years of history.

Finally, experience an incredible man-made engineering feat at the Bonneville Dam. The Bonneville Dam, completed in 1938, is an electrical power generator for the local area using Hydro power. Guests can enjoy a self-guided tour of this powerhouse as they learn about its progression and improvements over time, the exhausting build project that encountered numerous obstacles due to the unique geology of the area and the unique way the dam assists spawning Salmon pass through the dam. Witness the ingenious apparatus that allows the Salmon population to thrive in the Salmon Ladder viewing area and learn about the importance of this invention.

The Beauty and Bounty of the Pacific Northwest

Explore the Fruit Loop; a breathtakingly beautiful 35-mile loop that leads to the base of Mt. Hood. Our motorcoach will embark on a narrated tour of this scenic roadway, crossing through orchards, forests and farmland unique to the area and its fertile soil. One cannot experience this area by simply driving through so we’ll make a few key stops along the way. Our first stop offers a paradoxical view. Guests may recognize this lodge as the eerie Overlook Hotel used in the blockbuster film The Shining. But there’s nothing scary about the Timberline Lodge, it’s basked in beauty and sits humbly in the shadows of the enormous Mt. Hood. Here guests can tour the hotel and stand in the very spot where President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered a memorable and moving speech in 1937. Explore the vast hotel before gathering in the warmth of the great stone hearth fireplace for coffee, cocoa and pastries.

Continuing on our tour of the Fruit Loop, we will stop for a homemade all-American lunch prepared with local ingredients and fruits harvested right here in the region. At the Parkdale Grange Hall, lunch includes an in-depth presentation by local horticulturalists who will explain why this area is so uniquely suited for the countries best produce and wines.

As we travel even further, into the valleys and orchards, we will make a stop at The Fruit Company. This family-owned company has been offering the fruits and “jems” found only in these fertile valleys to the rest of the country via their mail order program since 1942. They’ve taken pride in offering local produce and treats, showcasing the fruits of the region, their uniqueness and pristine quality—like nowhere else on earth.

We will then experience the fruits of the local fertile ground as we head down the Fruit Loop to the Mt. Hood Winery. Here, guests can enjoy samples of wine produced here at this historic Winery. Last, but certainly not least, we'll stop at Multnomah Falls, Oregon's tallest waterfall.

Note: Inclusion of the Timberline Lodge is dependent upon weather conditions. Due to its elevation and remote location, the Timberline Lodge stop will not be available in winter weather conditions. In the event that the road leading to the Timberline Lodge is impassable, there will be a substitution made including a shopping stop in Downtown Hood River. The Timberline Lodge sits at 6,000 feet above sea level-those at heightened risk for altitude sickness should avoid this tour.

Transportation
Included
Price
$99.00
Duration
8 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Multnomah Falls and Crown Point - Including the Old Scenic Highway

Today’s experience captures the awe-inspiring beauty of America’s most scenic landscapes. Upon departing the American Empress, guests will board our industry leading motorcoach and begin their excursion as we set off for a breathtaking drive along America’s most scenic stretch of highway. The Scenic Highway was built in 1913 and custom-crafted to enhance, yet not interrupt, the perfection of the surrounding natural wonders. Known as one of the greatest engineering feats; the “King of Roads” will lead us high into the mountains towards Crown Point. Before arriving at the Point, we’ll pull off the highway for scenic stop at the Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint. Here, guests can capture a perfect photo to remind them of their voyages through this beautiful landscape. Perhaps the most widely photographed vantage point of the Columbia River Gorge below. As we reach our destination, aptly named for its unique formation and created over 14 million years ago by a lava flow, Crown Point offers a view fit for a king. At the height of the bluff sits Vista House, perched high above the Columbia River as would a crown on a King. Vista House offers a panoramic view of the breathtaking Columbia river more than 700 feet below. Built in 1916 and known not only for its magnificent views, but also for its unique octagonal shape—this overlook contains a gift shop and interpretive displays exhibiting the historic and geological points of interest of the area.

As we continue our journey we will embark, once again, on the Scenic Highway and continue to Oregon’s highest waterfall and perhaps the most picturesque, Multnomah Falls, where guests can get a breathtaking look at the falls and browse the unique gift shop. 

As we complete our drive on the 13 miles of Scenic Highway, we will pass eight additional falls including Latourell Falls, Oregon’s most unique fall which drops straight down from an over-hanging cliff; Wahkeena Falls, a 242-foot high subtle cascade that received its name from Native American’s word for “most beautiful” and last but certainly not least; Horsetail Falls, named by its unique equestrian shape.

Transportation
Included
Price
$39.00
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 6: Tri-Cities, WA

Tri-Cities, WA
Included Tour: Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center 
Explore Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center. Located at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Sacajawea State Park marks a significant point in American History. Guests can explore the Interpretive Center on the Park grounds which feature the history of Lewis and Clark. The on-site exhibits and a knowledgeable presentation at 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM will highlight the history on this site and focuses on the Core of Discovery’s voyage from modern-day Illinois to these grounds with the helpful guidance of their Native American interpreter, Sacajawea.
 
Included Tour: The Country Mercantile Store 
Also included at this port; The Country Mercantile Store. This country store is a working farm and unique store filled with gourmet foods, jams, local items, homemade ice cream, hand dipped chocolates and one-of-a-kind gifts for guests to explore and take home as a special memento of their time in Washington. Enjoy a guided tour of the facility and the candy factory at this sweet location.

 
Progressive Walla Walla Wine Trail

Tour the region that produces wine unlike any other. A region that demands patience and perseverance but bears fruit that captures the heart and soul of a landscape that is uniquely American. Join us, as we travel along the Walla Walla Wine Trail for a progressive experience offering the full wine-enthusiast experience. Our progressive wine journey follows the regional grapes through the process to transform them into award winning vintages. We will begin with the unique agriculture of the land, to the bottling and ageing process, before finally reaching the perfected glass of local wine.

Travel through Walla Walla, Washington as our knowledgeable local guide offers a guided tour of this unique and historic town. We will arrive first at Basel Cellars Estate Winery. Here, guests can enjoy a tasting of wines from local vineyards as well as an engaging explanation of the agricultural aspects of wine production in the Walla Walla area. Discover why this location produces high quality and distinctive wines and learn about the effort and procedures involved to create the perfect vintage. We will continue on to Seven Hills Winery. Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is Walla Walla’s oldest and most respected winery. Enjoy a sample of the wines that helped shape this region and secure its position as a wine production capital world-wide. Here, learn about the production side of winery—the intricacies of wine making from ageing to the bottling process.

As our experience continues, guests make the short stroll to the Historic Marcus Whitman Hotel for a buffet lunch. Built in 1928 and named in honor of missionary Marcus Whitman, this stately hotel stands proudly as a keystone within the Walla Walla community. Enjoy lunch in this beautiful hotel along with a presentation from their in-house sommelier who will explain the intricacies of wine paring and offer insider knowledge on the art of wine choice.

Our final stop brings us to the crescendo of our progressive wine experience. At Three River Winery guests can sample the wines produced from the vines harvested from this 16-acre site. Perched atop a small knoll overlooking the breathtaking vineyards below, Three River Winery offers the perfect ambiance to appreciate the artful wine created on site. Enjoy a wine tasting paired with a sweet treat all within their rustic tasting room, complete with exposed timber, vaulted ceilings and a warm stone fireplace as the perfect cap to your full wine experience. A beautifully delicious ending to a spectacular day in America’s wine country.

Transportation
Included
Price
$99.00
Duration
8 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 7: River Cruising

River Cruising

Enjoy a day of scenic Snake River cruising. Picturesque canyon walls and crevasses will keep you guessing as to what lies around the next bend. Wildlife of many varieties can be spotted in the area, from bighorn sheep to gray wolves to bald eagles.

Day 8: Clarkston, WA

Clarkston, WA

Included Morning Tour: Nez Perce National Historic Park 
Experience the history and culture of the Nez Perce people as we travel to the Nez Perce National Historical Park. Learn about the historic and present-day way of life of these Native American’s whose name is derived from the French “Pierced Nose.” The Nez Perce people are well known for their involvement and assistance with the Lewis and Clark Expedition and guests can learn first-hand how they were trusted by the Corps of Discovery through an exclusive presentation by the staff of Nez Perce National Historical Park. 
This tour departs at 8:30 AM and 9:30 AM.

Included Afternoon Tour: Lewiston to Clarkston Shuttle 
Travel to Clarkston, Washington, the brother city to Lewiston, Idaho. Nestled in the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, this town was ironically never a stop on the Lewis and Clark trail but both boast the early American explorers’ names. Discover this historical town first settled in 1862. Guests can visit the Nez Perce County Historical Society and Museum that strives to preserve and interpret the history of the local region and culture. With rotating exhibits that chronicle the early history of the town and the surrounding are. After discovering the history of the town, guests can enjoy free time in the downtown region for shopping and independent exploring or hop on the trolley for a ride around town.

Hells Canyon Scenic Jet Boat Experience

Join us for an exclusive American Empress nature adventure into Hells Canyon; North America's deepest Gorge. As we board the ultra-comfortable Coast Guard approved luxury jet boats, you will immediately feel the adventure begin. We will leave directly from our Clarkston dock and travel deep into the narrowest part of Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River. Guests will enjoy, not only the excitement of being in this beautiful natural setting with its remarkable geological landscape, but also a naturalist’s journey while viewing Big Horn sheep, deer, and other wildlife. Our exclusive nature tour of Hell’s Canyon is a fully narrated tour including the history and geology of this natural wonder.

As an extra bonus, guests will enjoy a stop at the Idaho Garden Creek Preserve, owned by the Nature Conservancy in Hells Canyon, to stretch your legs and enjoy a snack and refreshments. The Idaho Garden Creek Preserve, once a working cattle ranch, is now a facility welcoming its visitors to explore and enjoy this section of the Gorge. Stroll through the orchard where deer and turkey make their home, snack on seasonal fresh fruit or just sit back and take in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature’s landscape that surrounds you.

Note: Jet boats are generally enclosed, heated and contain onboard bathroom facilities. All boats are inspected by the Coast Guard and are driven by licensed captains.

Transportation
Included
Price
$129.00
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests
White Water Hell's Canyon Jet Boat - All Day Experience

Looking for a little more excitement? Guests can opt for the American Empress’ longer 9-hour Jet Boat adventure for a more in-depth experience that includes class 4 and 5 rapids. Enjoy the same breathtaking views of the briefer, slower paced alternative as well as a stop at the Idaho Garden Creek Preserve.

Transportation
Included
Price
$299.00
Duration
9 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
In the Shadows of Lewiston

Experience Lewiston, Idaho—the stories seldom told and often forgotten. Embark on this historical tour beginning with a ride through town in a 1920’s-style trolley. This narrated tour provides guests with an overview of the history of our host town along with the eerie and long-forgotten tales of the spirits and ghosts still present among its citizens. Included is a tour of the acclaimed Normal Hill and cemetery in addition to a walking tour with views of historic Victorian homes throughout the town.

Transportation
Included
Price
$29.00
Duration
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
20 guests

Day 9: Clarkston, WA

Arrival 8:00 AM
Clarkston, WA

Disembark the American Empress and make your way home from your authentic Pacific Northwest experience or consider extending your stay in Spokane with our three day, two night Naturally Nice City Stay package. Click here for full details.

Post-Cruise: Near Nature, Near Perfect City Tour

Welcome to Spokane, Washington the hub of the Inland Northwest. In the 1870's early settlers were drawn here by the Spokane Falls for power, rich agricultural land, the building of the railroads and what became the richest silver mining area in the world in nearby Northern Idaho. Your post-cruise tour begins at the American Empress and continues with a narrated driving tour of Spokane as we make our way to Manito Park where guests will tour their beautifully pristine gardens including Duncan Garden, the Rose Garden and Conservatory.

We’ll continue our Near Perfect, Near Nature tour with a walking tour of Riverfront Park. Take a guided walking tour of the historic buildings downtown as we head to Riverfront Park, former sight of Expo '74, the first environmental-oriented World's Fair. This 100-acre expansive park boasts a historic Carousel, larger than life Red Radio Flyer wagon (so big you can slide down the handle!) and views of the river falls and rock channels. Take a ride on the 1909 carousel and walk through this urban greenscape on a guided walking tour that covers all of the highlights including the Sculpture Path with unique sculptures of varying mediums, Stop at the Garbage Goat to offer some trash for its afternoon snack – yes it will eat your garbage. Guests wishing to get an up-close look at the cascading falls can hop on a sky-ride that travels over the river offering a perfect vantage point to experience the power and beauty of the falls below.

At the conclusion of this tour guests will arrive at the Spokane International Airport (Please book flights after 3:00 PM) or guests who have purchased the Post-Cruise City Stay Package will be transferred to the American Empress Post-Cruise Hotel.

Transportation
Included
Price
$69.00
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests