Clarkston to Vancouver, WA (Portland)

Fares from $3,299
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Cruise Summary

THE BEAUTY AND BOUNTY OF NATURE - This voyage through the Pacific Northwest shows you the beauty and bounty 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 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, such as a guided tour of Nez Perce National Historical Park to learn about the Native American tribe that assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition and that still inhabits a reservation near Lewiston.

Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

Premium Shore Excursions:
• See ports of call below for the options available to you. Click Here to learn more and to place reservations.

Post-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Extend your journey with an unforgettable 3-day/2-night city stay package. Click Here for full details and package pricing.

*All themed entertainment, events and tours are subject to change without notice.

Itinerary

Vessel: American Empress



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Spokane, WA

Hotel Stay - Spokane, WA
Your journey begins with a deluxe hotel stay in Spokane, Washington. 

Day 2: Embark - Clarkston, WA

Departure 6:00 PM
Embark - Clarkston, WA

Take time to explore Spokane at your leisure or consider a Pre-Cruise Premium Excursion before making your way to Clarkston to begin your American Empress voyage. Your voyage will start with an evening dinner cruise departing around 6 PM and returning back to Clarkston later in the evening.

Pre-Cruise: Spokane City Tour Including Bing Crosby's Home

Meet your local guide and board the motor coach for a tour of the rich history, historic homes, and attractions of Spokane. Travel through downtown, past historic brick buildings, learning about its’ rebuilding after the Great Fire of 1889.

Then, ascend up "The Hill" for views of the city and stunning mansions. Hear the story of the unique geology that shaped this region from the massive basalt flows to the Cataclysmic Ice Age Flood. Discover Manito Park rated one of the “Top 25 Attractions in the US” by Trip Advisor. Stroll through the formal Duncan Gardens, Perennial Gardens, Rose Gardens and flower-filled Conservatory.

Our journey will then bring us to St. John’s Cathedral, one of the few examples in the US of classic Gothic Architecture. The Cathedral’s construction was started on 1929 and completed in 1954 and is built completely out of stone. Marvel at the stain glass windows, wood carvings, tile and stone work as you tour through. In historic Browne's Addition, listen to stories about the early founders of Spokane and see the mansions built in the late 1800's for those who gained wealth from mining, agriculture, and railroads. Near Gonzaga University, tour inside the home where Bing Crosby grew up and see the collection of Crosby Memorabilia, second only to Kathryn Crosby’s collection and hear about his remarkable career that started in Spokane.

At the conclusion of this tour guests will enjoy free time for lunch before arriving at the dock of the American Empress

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 3: Clarkston, WA

Clarkston, WA

Nestled at the union of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in southeast Washington, Clarkston is the gateway to North America's deepest gorge, Hells Canyon. The picturesque vistas, year-round mild climates, and a deep history make this scenic inland port a more-than-desirable stop! Spend the day following the footsteps of the historic Lewis and Clark journey – where the city received its name. This incredible city is filled with artifacts and stories that depict the journeys of famous explorers. Clarkston has the ideal climate for visitors to enjoy countless activities including fishing, scenic walks along the trails, shopping, and exploring.

Nez Perce National Historical Park
For countless generations, the Nimiipuu or Nez Perce have lived among the rivers, canyons, prairies, and mountains of the inland northwest. Since the beginning of time, the Nez Perce have called this place home. Nez Perce National Historical Park offers a unique perspective of the American west - not from the Mississippi River looking west, but from an ancient homeland looking out. A stop at the park Visitor Center offers demonstrations and insights into this native tribe. The park was established in 1965 to tell the story of the Nez Perce people. Capturing the history and culture of the Nez Perce, it is spread over four states. Discover how the people adapted and thrived allowing them to continue to prosper today. The park commemorates the admirable contributions the Nez Perce have made to preserve the sites, artifacts, and stories. Learn the full story and the role they played in shaping the future generations in culture and tradition. Explore the park’s many collections and the research center to hear more about this interesting and innovative group of people.

First Territorial Capitol Interpretive Center
Constructed in 2007 by a group of advocates, this building is used to provide historical and educational benefits to the county. Walk through and learn the history of the town and learn the legacies of the people who have lived here. In early 2007 a small group of devoted advocates for history, education and economics met at the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce and formed a plan to rebuild Idaho's First Territorial Capitol Building replica. The Territorial Capitol would be "a walk through" memorial commemorating the beginnings of Idaho’s gold-driven history. Board by board, piece by piece, Idaho’s First Capitol Building replica was reconstructed to be historically and aesthetically correct in every detail, using vintage, 150 year old wood. Carpentry methods included making vintage handmade windows and doors, using rough sawn lumber for walls, floor and ceiling. Visitors can view artifacts from President Abraham Lincoln’s memorabilia, historical maps, documents and photographs plus other unique displays are on exhibit for the viewing public. Cameras are welcomed!

Bridablik/Schroeder House
Built in the “new bungalow style” in 1906 by local architect James Arnot, this Tudoresque-style home is perched on the brow of the hill overlooking Downtown Lewiston with a panoramic view of the Clearwater River. A guide adorned in 1910 garb will escort guests through the home and the landscaped grounds. Enjoy a complimentary wine tasting in the gardens after your tour. In 1906, local architect James Arnot, who also designed buildings on Lewiston's Main Street, drew the plans for this $6,000 Tudoresque home. Kjos, an early merchant, named his home "Bridablik," which loosely translates from Norwegian as "the house up high with a broad view." In 1910 Mr. Kjos moved to Spokane, Washington and sold this house to E.A. White. White made many upgrades to the home, including the addition of 5 bathrooms, a sleeping porch on the second story, and upgrading the house from coal to gas in 1924. The home was sold three more times until Larry and Kathry Schroeder purchased the home in 2006. They have fully restored the home and were awarded two City of Lewiston Historic Preservation Orchid Awards for their work.

Nez Perce Historical Society and Museum
Join us for a look at the history of the Nez Perce people, Lewis and Clark and a look into the society’s work to preserve the unique history of Nez Perce County. This museum building was occupied by the city’s first hotel – the Luna House, which was constructed in 1862. Ownership changed often and at one point the hotel sold for $500.00 and a pack of mules. During the 1880's, the hotel was used as the County court house, but was torn down in 1890. The property stood empty until 1937 when the current Art Deco building was constructed by the Works Progress Administration for use as government offices. In addition to preserving artifacts, the Society maintains a research library of local history and works with the public to provide educational information. An extensive photograph collection consists of early day citizens as well as historic scenes. Some of the incredible exhibits include, “Speeding up the U.S. Mail,” “Women through the Years,” “World War II Home Front,” and many more.

Lewis and Clark State College Center for Arts & History
Located in the heart of historic downtown Lewiston, Idaho, this 12,000 square foot building was built in 1884 as the Vollmer Great Bargain Store and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop at this historic location to browse its permanent and rotating exhibits that showcase the region and culture of the Pacific Northwest.

Hells Canyon Scenic Jet Boat Experience

Join us for an exclusive American Empress nature adventure into Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest gorge. Feel your excitement rise as you step aboard these covered, comfortable jet boats approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Sit back on this exhilarating ride as we venture through the narrowest sections of Hells Canyon along the Snake River. Soak in the overwhelmingly beautiful mountains lining the banks of the Snake River. Often, Big Horn sheep, deer, and other native wildlife meander along the canyon and river banks. Hear about Hells Canyon in detail, including the detailed history and geology of this natural wonder of the world.

As an extra bonus, guests will enjoy a stop at the Idaho Garden Creek Ranch, 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 simply sit back and take in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature’s landscape that surrounds you.

Note: Jet boats are generally enclosed and contain onboard bathroom facilities. All boats are inspected by the United States Coast Guard and are driven by licensed captains. This is a scenic jet boat experience and does not include white water rapids.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.75 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests
Birds-Eye-View Helicopter Tour

Take to the skies on a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter adventure of the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. Strap into your seat and put on your headset as the helicopter lifts into the air and rises through the clouds over the most scenic landscapes in the region. Watch as the rugged canyons and timbered wilderness unfold before your eyes from a bird’s eye view. Witness the mighty Snake River as it joins with the Clearwater River and meanders through the majestic canyons far below.

Then, head south out of the valley to witness some of the most beautiful rolling hills and fertile farmland in the country. Interspersed with ancient canyons, you will approach the southern end of Joseph Creek and cross over the awe-inspiring Grande Ronde River Canyon. As your helicopter dips into the canyon and soars through the twisting oasis, it winds its way around mini buttes and vertical ridges of eroded basalt columns. The Grande Ronde River Canyon is full of surprises and is touted as a pilot favorite. As your experienced pilot navigates the Robinson R44 Raven II Helicopter through the mountains and over the rivers of the Northwest, take advantage of the breathtaking and unique photo opportunities that cannot be captured from any other location. Don’t miss out on this highly exclusive American Empress excursion that will surely set your experience apart from the rest.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
1.25 hours
Tour Capacity
2 guest minimum - 3 guest maximum

Day 4: Tri-Cities (Richland), WA

Tri-Cities (Richland), WA

Richland is located at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia Rivers. The town has become an important hub for produce and local food and products. Visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of tis stunning and unique river-town. Spend the day exploring the many attractions and shops that line the streets of the city. Richland is weaved with history and filled with a culture that is unlike other northwest cities. Experience a place that thrives on the community and utilizes the support from each other to sustain a strong, intertwined city.

The REACH
The REACH is an interpretive center whose goal is centered on becoming a reflection of the people of the region as well as the elements and geology of the Hanford Reach National Monument. Stop here to learn about the Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, the history of the area including the Northern Pacific Railroad and more! In the year 2000, President Clinton established the 196,000-acre Hanford Reach National Monument, recognizing the historical, ecological, and scientific importance of the last free-flowing section of the mighty Columbia River. Today, The REACH stands as a gateway to the National Monument and a unique gathering place celebrating the stories of the Columbia River basin and its people. Using indoor and outdoor exhibits, The REACH teaches many stories of this interesting region. Learn the history and culture of this interesting river town through personal accounts and artifacts highlighting how the top-secret Manhattan Project transformed the Mid-Columbia region during World War II. Discover how engineers at the Hanford Site raced to produce material for the nuclear weapons that ended the war, and see how Hanford’s nuclear legacy both threatens and helps protect this unique desert and river ecosystems today. Explore exhibits that display the giant lava flows and cataclysmic ice age floods that sculpted the river’s course. Spend the day exploring this 10,000 square-foot museum, enjoying the many permanent exhibits including The Land Takes Form, The Living Land, and Manhattan Project at Hanford: 1942-1947, Digital Planets, and more. Outdoor Exhibits include Community Garden, Native Plant Communities, Columbia Center Rotary Outdoor Theater, and Animals of The REACH Interpretive Trail!

Sacajawea State Park
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 Interpretive Center highlights the history on this site and focuses on the Corps of Discovery’s voyage from modern-day Missouri to these grounds with the helpful guidance of their Native American interpreter, Sacajawea. Sacajawea State Park spans 284 acres across the city of Richland, located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers. It features 9,100 feet of freshwater shoreline. The area is in the perfect location to get a picture perfect image of the big sky and excellent views of the two rivers as they converge into one. The interpretive center features interactive displays that tell the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the experiences of Sacajawea, the young Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the expedition.

Franklin County Historical Society and Museum
The home of the Franklin County Historical Society, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the county’s past. Their purpose is to collect artifacts and information explaining the history of the town and present their collections within a beautiful museum. The Museum was originally constructed in 1910 as part of Andrew Carnegie's worldwide library construction program. The high ceilings and dark wood trim create an authentic period-atmosphere for this collection of historic artifacts and information. A new library was built in 1962, after which the building served several different business concerns, ending in a period of abandonment and neglect. In 1980 the library made the decision to convert themselves into a museum to help preserve the history of their town. Between 1980 and 1982, the building was beautifully refurbished by volunteers.

Highly Classified: Behind the Gates of the Hanford B-Reactor

The year was 1939. The world was in the midst of a global war, and the need for a nuclear device capable of great destruction grew in intensity with each passing day, as the United States believed it to be the only way to secure safety against Germany, which scientist Albert Einstein said was close to a breakthrough. Scientists joined together in an office just outside of Manhattan, New York, and began to collaborate and create the plans of what would eventually be referred to as the “Manhattan Project.”

The plan was to find a way to successfully harness the power of nuclear fission; the splitting of atomic nucleus. It was believed that both uranium and plutonium could be used to fuel a powerful nuclear weapon. Within months, three massive facilities were constructed in various parts of the United States and thousands of workers were recruited, most right out of high school. One of the most influential of these facilities was the Hanford Site, built on 586 square miles of Washington state land.

Today, join us for an EXCLUSIVE experience as we travel behind the gates of the infamous B-Reactor National Historic Landmark at the Hanford Site. An experience that has never been permitted before and has been crafted specifically for American Empress guests. Our journey will begin as we arrive at the Hanford REACH Museum, where we will enjoy an “official” boxed lunch, much like the one thousand workers would receive at the site each day. As we eat, our guide will share some background about the Manhattan Project at Hanford. After exploring the exhibits and displays in the museum, we will make our way to the Hanford Site and B-Reactor.

As we travel along the barren fields on the way to the facility, imagine you are a recruit on the way to your new clandestine job to help end the war. Billboards with messages reminding workers, “If you hear or see anything, keep it to yourself,” lined the roads. Envision the feeling of living in a country threatened by war and relive the desire felt by each American who wanted to help the war effort. The facility would be heavily protected by security gates, guards, and checkpoints.

As we arrive at Hanford, take in the sheer size of what was once located here. The facility originally consisted of more than 30 buildings and 20 service facilities. From 1969 through 2006, all the buildings were dismantled and removed, except for the B-Reactor and its cooling stack. Marvel at the beauty of the landscape, the engineering, and the imagination of what occurred in this area, unlike nowhere else in the world.

As we enter the B-Reactor building, where workers successfully created the plutonium used to fuel the “Fat Man” bomb, admire the remarkable and precise engineering of the plant. A knowledgeable historian will explain the function and purpose of each portion of the reactor, while sharing stories of the men and women who built and operated it.

Our experience will conclude as we take a few minutes to explore the reactor, one of the key assets toward the end of World War II, which ended in 1945. This special tour and experience covers the unique history, the emerging science, and the global politics of the World War II era. Join us on this one-of-a-kind excursion to discover the secrets that were hidden for so many years.

Note: There are items that are prohibited on this tour because of government regulations. These include all weapons, ammunition, explosives. However, cell phones, cameras, and recording equipment ARE ALLOWED on the tour. B-Reactor is in “interim safe storage” status and has been deemed radiologically safe for visitors to tour the site. This tour will be offered from mid-May until October.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5.25 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Wine and Spirits on Red Mountain

Embark on a journey through the Red Mountain Viticulture Area. Generally recognized as one of the Northwest’s best suited regions to grow wine grapes, we’ll lead you on a tour of the area with samplings of the wines borne from their fruits along the way. Discover the history of the Red Mountain area and the contributions of wine production in the Pacific Northwest. A visit to Hedges Family Estate and Winery will provide stunning views, before continuing on to Black Heron Spirits.

Take in the beautiful views of the surrounding areas, as you spend the day discovering the history of the Red Mountain Viticulture area. Enjoy samples of some of the finest wines in the region. A visit to the Hedges Family Estate and Winery, an awe-inspiring French Chateau, transports guests back into 18th century France. With just one tasting, you will experience the depth of a true Northwestern wine. Our last destination offers a slight change of pace. At Black Heron Spirits, a unique and quirky distillery, guests can explore the facility and taste their specialty whiskey and spirits.

Following Black Heron Spirits, our journey will continue as we make our way to Kiona Vineyards and Winery, a family run vineyard featuring the flavors and varieties of the Pacific Northwest region. While soaking in the stunning scenery surrounding the vineyard, sip on the robust and vibrant wine selections. Discover the history of the vineyard as our knowledgeable guide shares the stories of this local winery has made it’s name and its plans for future production.

Each location offers the opportunity to purchase wines to be enjoyed on the ship with dinner or for a perfect memento of your trip to share with family and friends back home. Ask your Shore Excursion Specialist about travel pouches for your precious cargo. 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
30 guests
Kayak Adventure

Witness the awe-inspiring beauty of inland Pacific Northwest! Grab a partner for a tandem-ride on a kayak, or take a relaxing solo-ride down the Columbia and Yakima Rivers! Board your own personal vessel and glide onto the surface of the River. Enjoy the sunshine on your back as your expert guide leads the way.

Guests will travel the river and see endless fields that continue past your line of vision, cliffs and bluffs that stretch so high into the horizon that you will need to tilt your head back and shield the sun just to get a view of the top. As you guide your floating vessel along, enjoy a view of some of the Northwest’s most beautiful and spectacular wilderness and wildlife.

Keep an eye out for great blue herons that elegantly gather along the shores of open water. Hawks and osprey are often spotted along the wind currents above head. Beavers hiding in homemade dams are prevalent in the area, as are deer who can be found gracefully grazing in the fields that flank the waterway.

Your guide will lead the way onto the banks of Bateman Island, situated comfortably between the two rivers and mentioned by Lewis and Clark in their expedition journals. Years down the road, Bateman Island was used for raising livestock and harvesting wheat before a wildfire swept through the lands in 2001. Though there are still some signs of this natural disaster, the community has done their absolute best to remove the negative presence of humans and preserve the raw beauty of the nature. The island is filled with many species of wildlife and is the perfect location for bird watching, fishing, hiking, or simply soaking in the picture-perfect scenery. A lovely way to experience the Pacific Northwest!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3 hours
Tour Capacity
6 guest minimum - 12 guest maximum

Day 5: Scenic River Cruising

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 6: The Dalles, OR

The Dalles, OR

Known as the end of the Oregon Trail, The Dalles has long been a destination point for pioneers and adventurers alike. Located on the south bank of the Columbia River between Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, the city's rich history dates back thousands of years to the Native American trading which took place right on the banks of the river. Explore the history that weaves through the town at every stop, discover the art that lines each of the streets, and taste the culinary expertise at some of the town’s most popular cuisine restaurants!

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
A winner of the American Institute of Architects Honor Award for its beautiful design, the Columbia Gorge Discover Center offers a multimedia, interactive museum that will inspire a broad appreciation of natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and beyond. Collections include hundreds of American Indian baskets, photo archives and breathtaking views of the surrounding flora and fauna of the surrounding landscape. Enjoy the beautiful, paved walking trails, a pond, and scenic overlooks. The Discovery Center is located in a beautiful and unique ecosystem native to the area. The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the Gorge and Wasco County. Exhibits focus on the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that created the Gorge, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and eleven thousand years of cultural history. In addition to touring the many fascinating exhibits, visitors can spend time viewing films in the theater located on site as well as exploring the museum’s incredible Raptor Interpretive Program, where live raptor shows where live birds of prey are showcased daily.

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. In 1854 The Dalles was designated by the Territorial Legislature as the county seat of one of the largest counties ever formed in the United States. Wasco County extended from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the Great Divide in the Rockies and encompassed 130,000 square miles. Construction begun in 1958, under the supervision of Judge Orlando Humason, who was the first county judge and also the chairman of the Board of Commissioners. This small courthouse was used as a public meeting place, church services, as well as the seat of law for the county.

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce
Discover the history of this historic and beautiful city. Use this opportunity to learn about the many attractions and buildings, and get a listing of the best places to grab a bite to eat, get a fine glass of wine, or do the most unique shopping. The friendly hosts will assist you in any way possible while informing you about their hometown with different exhibits and models.

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. Located in a former Dalles’ Surgeon’s Quarters and is one of Oregon’s oldest history museums, it first opened its doors in 1905. Take a tour of the unique collection of pioneer and military artifacts and antique wagons at one of the old west’s most pivotal places in history. Enjoy the views of the exhibits and walking on the grounds of this military fort. Fort Dalles Museum houses a historic collection of wagons and antique vehicles. The collection holds over 30 wheeled vehicles, including a stage coach, buses, road-building equipment, a covered wagon, two horse-drawn hearses, and two surreys, one of which was owned by Oregon Governor, Zenas Moody.

The Dalles Fire Museum
Located in City Hall, this museum was completed in August of 2009. The museum was curated by the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in cooperation with the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue District in partnership with the city of The Dalles. Tour the facility to learn more about the history and see some incredible artifacts and photos.

Downtown Shopping
The Dalles Commercial Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Spend the day exploring this city’s extraordinary boutiques, exquisite cuisine, and beautiful historic structures. Walk the streets of this peaceful and quirky river-town and admire the intricate murals that line the walls and streets of The Dalles. A total of 15 murals wrap around the city, depicting important moments in their history – 13 of these murals include a “voice box” that allows visitors to hear the history of the city as they soak in the beauty of the artwork.

High Octane Antiques: The Western Aeroplane and Automobile Museum

Today’s tour takes guests back in time. A time when flight was a novelty rather than a daily mode of transportation and when the automobile required a crank and power steering was almost a century away.

Embark on an exclusive tour to the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, also known as the WAAAM. Enjoy a guided tour of this facility offering an extensive collection of over 130 antique cars and hangers full of meticulously restored aeroplanes from as far back as 1917. Available exclusively to American Empress guests, enjoy an included tour of the restoration work shop where these antique modes of transportation are brought back to life. The pilots take these tributes to America’s history to the air as often as they can and proudly maintain them in full working order.

Uncover the story of young Silas Christofferson and his monumental flight off the top of the 12-story Multnomah Hotel in 1912 in his handmade plane and then get a first-hand look at that very plane. Explore the collection of Model T’s, Studebakers, the 1914 Detroit Electric, Harley Davidsons, military vehicles and so much more! Want to test out their capabilities? Guests will be able to ride around the property in an authentic Model T!

Experience Enhancement Option-High Octane Antiques and Private Plane Ride Bundle: Private Plane Ride
Enjoy the full tour of the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, as outlined above, but with an added twist—a private ride in a Cessna aircraft over Mt. Hood! Your 40 minute private ride is guided by a fully qualified pilot and includes up-close views of Mt. Hood, glimpses of Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainer and on a clear day you’ll get a birds-eyeview of Mt. Saint Helens. 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests
Art of the Dalles: From Maryhill Museum to the Vineyard

An elaborate dream of the eccentric Samuel Hill, the Maryhill Museum is perched prominently atop the bluffs overlooking the meandering Columbia River. With Mt. Hood stretching high into the horizon, the Maryhill Art Museum offers incredible views as well as an expansive art museum.

The extensive and eclectic collections of the Maryhill Museum of Art are beyond the wildest dreams and vary from highlights of local, indigenous peoples to international works of art. Their permanent collection includes pieces from Auguste Rodin, artifacts donated from Hill’s close friend, Marie the Queen of Romania as well as exhibits on the eccentric Samuel Hill himself. There is an inspiring garden sculpture collection as well as rotating local exhibits.

Step outside the doors of the expansive museum and onto the overlook veranda. Stretching over the sides of the gorge, the views from the Maryhill veranda are some of the very best of the entire week. With the river flowing below, the sun catches the cliffs and bluffs and dances beautifully through the vineyards below. Just off into the distance, Mt. Hood stands prominently, as if guarding the valley below.

Before departing Maryhill Museum, we will visit the re-constructed Stonehenge. Positioned on the edges of the gorge, this engineered Stonehenge was built in 1918 by Samuel Hill to resemble the imagined original construction as a memorial to those who perished in World War I. A beautiful and dramatic vantage point of the gorge below and a distinct reminder of how one man put his mark on the landscape of the area will leave you asking, “What in the Sam Hill?”

Our day will conclude at the stunning Jacob Williams Winery. The winery offers a picture perfect location to sample their award winning and locally made wines within their family-owned facility. Relax, sit back, and soak up the incredible views of Mt. Hood, the Columbia River, orchards, vineyards and the rolling hills of Oregon as you sip samples of wine deliciously crafted from the local vines.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 7: Stevenson, WA

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.
 

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. The mission of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is to share the story of Skamania County and the Columbia River Gorge. Make sure to visit “First People,” an exhibit focusing on the history of native people of this area – the cascade chinook. Then stop over at the “Grand Gallery” which is the largest gallery in the museum that showcases how to harvest resources and focuses on the timber industries throughout the gorge. Enjoy the indoor waterfall and the many artifacts on display!

Bonneville Dam
The Bonneville Dam, completed in 1938, is a hydroelectric generator for the surrounding cities. 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 Bonneville Dam is located 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It received its name from Captain Benjamin Bonneville – a soldier, trader, and explorer. It consists of two powerhouses, the first one began construction in 1933 and the second in 1974. Combined, the facilities cost about $752.4 million in total, but produce 1,227,000 Kilowatts. The walls of this massive dam rise to 2,000 feet above the lake. Visitors can experience firsthand the operation of two of the Nation’s largest hydroelectric powerhouse and watch migrating fish travel upstream at the underwater viewing rooms next to the fish ladders. These ladders are necessary so that adult fish can continue their journey’s upstream and return to their spawning grounds past the dam. Depending on the season, different fish will be found migrating upstream due to the separation of mating seasons. Bonneville Lock and Dam houses four recreational areas – a fishing area, fish hatchery, trails, and a visitor’s center.

Downtown Stevenson, Washington
Guests can hop off here and enjoy the various local specialty shops and boutiques lining the streets. Make a stop to Downtown Stevenson, where you can get a slice of what Stevenson is all about. Enjoy the many antique shops, historic buildings with vintage interiors, and beautiful, abundant gardens. Visit the boutiques and shops, restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores to treat yourself to a souvenir or a taste of the fine cuisine before heading to your next stop!

The Ultimate Pacific Northwest Experience

America’s Pacific Northwest includes some of the most exotic and desirable qualities of the country. Mountain ranges stretch as far as the eye can see; lush, green forests wrap delicately around the cool lakes, rivers meander through the region and rolling hills gradually merge into lively cities. Embark on a full day of exploration and experience everything that makes this region so unique.

Begin with a trip to Oregon’s tallest waterfall. Multnomah Falls offers a humbling view of a true natural wonder, a beautifully powerful waterfall cascading gracefully into a serene pool. Then, for a glimpse into something a bit more modern, a tour of the Bonneville Lock and Dam. Here, admire the rugged walls of the dam contrasted by the rapid waters, as the Columbia River pours through the region’s first hydro-power source. Then, journey through fertile valleys that wrap around the rocky peaks of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams on the “Fruit Loop,” a 35-mile scenic route filled with local orchards, vineyards, and fruit stands. Savor the fruits of the region with an all-American local lunch, resembling a Thanksgiving meal, at Parkdale Grange and hear about the fertile land in the Fruit Loop region.

To conclude the day, travel to Timberline Lodge, basked in beauty and sitting humbly in the shadows of Mt. Hood. Here, discover the history of the lodge and its workers and operations, as we are guided by an on-sight Park Ranger! As we make our way through this historic hotel, stand in the exact spot where President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a memorable speech in 1937. Complete your day while relaxing in the warmth of the great stone hearth fireplace, sipping on some of the finest beer and wine samplings found in the region, perfectly concluding a day in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

*Note: Due to its elevation, inclusion of the Timberline Lodge is dependent upon weather conditions. In the event that the roads are impassible, a substitution will be made.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
8.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Multnomah Falls and Vista House - Including the Old Scenic Highway

Just beyond Portland city limits, a breathtaking roadway stretches along America’s most scenic landscape. The Old Scenic Highway was built in 1913 and is known as one of the greatest engineering feats. The “King of Roads” weaves high into the bluffs towards Crown Point, through towering forest and breathtaking waterfalls. 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 from 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 or queen.

At the height of the bluff sits Vista House, perched above the Columbia River. 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 in the area.

As we return to the Scenic Highway we will continue to Oregon’s highest waterfall, and perhaps the most picturesque, Multnomah Falls, where guests can get a breathtaking look at the waterfall and shop in the unique gift shop. This roaring 611-foot natural wonder demonstrates the power and beauty of nature in her rawest form. Watch in awe as this mighty waterfall crashes down on the rocky cliffs below, spraying a peaceful mist on all those surrounding. Continuing on the Scenic Highway, get a picture-perfect view of more waterfalls as they spring from the bluffs along the picturesque roadway and offer rare glimpses of these geological wonders.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 8: Astoria, OR

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!

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. The Astoria Riverwalk, also known as the Astoria River Trail, stretches the entire length of the city's waterfront, connecting restaurants and breweries, museums, and dozens of other attractions. It passes under the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the largest truss bridge in the world, arcing out across the Columbia River toward the hazy hillsides of Washington State. The trail follows the route of the Astoria and Columbia River Railroad that was completed in 1898.

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. This home was owned by Captain George Flavel, a noted pilot on the Columbia River and a prominent businessman, in the late 1800’s. It was built in a Queen Anne style by German architect Carl W. Leick in 1886. The home remained in the family for 7 years until George and Mary’s granddaughter, Patricia gave the property to the city as a memorial to her family in 1934. From 1937 through WWII, the Public Welfare Commission, the Red Cross, and the local Welfare commission all had their offices in the home. Inside the 11,600 square foot home, there are two and a half stories. There are six unique fireplaces throughout and the ceilings reach 14 feet on the first floor. On the second floor, the ceilings are embellished with plaster medallions and crown molding.

Astoria Column
Sits 600 feet above sea level and boasts an incredible 360-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. This magnificent monument stands 600 feet above sea level and gives the perfect view to Young’s Bay, the Coast Range, the Columbia River, and in the distance, even the Pacific Ocean. Ralph Budd initiated the project to celebrate Astoria’s early settlers. He hired Italian immigrant and artist, Atillio Pusterla who donated the piece to Astoria in July of 1926. It was modeled after the columns in Rome and features hand-painted spiral frieze work that would stretch over 500 feet if it were to be unwound.

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. This neoclassical structure was designed by Portland architect, Emil Schacht in 1904, originally intended to be Astoria’s City Hall building. Now it hosts both the Historical Society’s Archive and the Local History Museum. Inside, displays include a 1,000 year old hunting implement, fine 19th century Chinook and Clatsop Indian baskets, and a sea otter pelt and beaver hat. These artifacts, among many others, are used to help depict the history of this intensely interesting city.

Columbia River Maritime Museum
The museum was founded in 1962 when Rolf Klep returned to his birthplace after retiring from his art career on the East Coast. Klep was a long-time collector of maritime artifacts and he began to recruit his colleagues and friends to help establish a museum to present these collections. The museum was the first in Oregon to meet national accreditation standards and is designated the official maritime museum of Oregon. After a $6 million expansion, the museum now holds six galleries, the Great Hall, and the Lightship Columbia. Enjoy over 30,000 artifacts and 20,000 photos as you travel through this expansive maritime museum! (Admission additional)

The Lewis and Clark Experience

This experience will retrace the history of America’s most famous frontiersmen. We’ll begin by traveling to the site of Middle Village and Station Camp. Occupied for ten days in November of 1805 by the Corps of Discovery and was 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 next stages 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 their dream of discovering a river route to the Pacific Ocean, finally came to fruition. Explore the Interpretative Center’s extensive and thorough time line that documents the entire journey of these intrepid frontiersmen. 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 home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, these rocky banks were also the set of “The Guardian,” a 2006 Coast Guard blockbuster staring acclaimed actor Kevin Costner.

As we continue our path along the Lewis and Clark Expedition, we will stop at Fort Clatsop, part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. 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, book store and gift shop, view films outlining the historic journey and explore a replica of the forts built by The Corps of Discovery in their attempts to maintain shelter during the harsh winters.

Includes a copy of In the Wake of Lewis and Clark, a historical interpretation of the final leg of the Corps of Discovery, published exclusively for the American Queen Steamboat Company. (A $14.95 value)

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests
Astoria Ale Trail

Oregon breweries are recognized across the world for their quality and originality. Begin with a walk along the scenic Astoria Riverwalk, enjoying stunning views of the Columbia River. Our local guide will navigate us to three of Astoria's finest breweries, where you'll raise your glass to enjoy some innovative and exciting brews. Taste the creative variety of local beer at three Astoria breweries, where samples of various styles of beers and ales provide a spirited taste of this region’s rising brewery industry.

This beer-soaked day begins with a guided tour of Buoy Beer, located in an old cannery on the historic Astoria Riverwalk. The company began when Luke Colvin and his brother-in-law, Dan Hamilton, pitched their dream of opening a brewery to a few close friends. They worked together to completely renovate the cannery, to create a welcoming and unique atmosphere overlooking the Columbia River. After carefully testing and perfecting their brews, the team opened their doors in 2014. Today, Buoy Beer is a staple brewery in Astoria, offering delicious and unique beer in a friendly, eccentric atmosphere.

Then, travel to The Wet Dog, a cozy café and brewery situated on the bluffs of the Columbia River, offering stunning riverfront views from the pub’s deck. Here, enjoy a guided tour of the facility in addition to a wide variety of handcrafted beers, which feature an extensive range of hops and grains that produce unique, refreshing flavors. Don’t leave before trying “Strawberry Blonde,” which attributes its light pink hue to the barley, wheat, and 90 pounds of strawberries!

Our day will conclude at Fort George Brewery and Public House, a quirky and inventive brewery housed in a rehabilitated automotive service station. Fort George brews offer exciting flavors such as coffee stout and wasabi-flavored ginger ale or the local favorite, “The Quick Wit,” a Belgian-styled ale made with organic pale and wheat malts, ground coriander, and lemongrass. Taste the distinctive flavors that set this brewery apart from many contenders.

In addition to beer, each pub offers light snacks to pair with your brews. There are also souvenirs, T-shirts, and collectibles for purchase as a memory of your journey through some of Oregon’s most iconic breweries! Note: Guests must be 21 years or older in order to participate in this tour.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3 hours
Tour Capacity
20 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 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, through the towering trees and over the Pacific Northwest waterways.

No experience needed! Guests of all ages can safely enjoy this guided experience as they are securely tethered onto a course consisting of eight lines zipping throughout the lush, green forests of Oregon. Experience a unique and exhilarating day as guests conquer one zip at a time, learning along the way how to manipulate speed using body positioning. Those with an extreme adventurous spirit can zip over lakes and through the trees and even choose to take a dunk in the lake as you soar by!

After adrenaline levels recede, guests are welcomed to explore the gift shop where they can purchase Highlife Adventures official memorabilia or a personal candid photo of themselves in action, taken as each guest soars past the automatic camera perfectly situated on the course!

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.

As a safety precaution, closed-toe shoes will be required during the participation of this excursion.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
6 guest minimum - 12 guest maximum

Day 9: Disembark - Vancouver, WA

Arrival 8:00 AM
Disembark - Vancouver, WA

Disembark the American Empress and make your way home from your authentic Pacific Northwest experience or consider extending your stay in Portland, Oregon with our three day, two night Rose City Stay package.

Post-Cruise: "The Rose City" Portland Tour - Including Sight-Seeing in Downtown Portland

Explore Portland, Oregon, sister city to Vancouver, Washington. Embark on a narrated journey through this iconic Pacific Northwest Town dubbed “The Rose City.” Enjoy the scenic views of this beautiful town, lined with expansive decorative murals and flowers. Guests are welcomed by a view of the historic Willamette River which flows through the downtown area before crossing over one of ten bridges and into Old Town.

Our day will begin with a glimpse of Portland’s art scene at the Oregon History Mural, an eight-story hyper-realistic mural depicting the history of some of the most influential moments in Oregon’s history. At the International Rose Test Gardens, guests can stroll the meticulously pruned roses in more varieties than one can imagine. Here, in the warmer months, over ten thousand blooms create a colorful frame for a panoramic view of Portland. At the International Rose Test Gardens, guests can stroll the meticulously pruned roses in more varieties than one can imagine. Here, in the warmer months, over ten thousand blooms create a colorful frame for a panoramic view of Portland.

We will continue to Downtown Portland where guests will be able to immerse themselves in the serenity of the tranquil Lan Su Chinese Botanical Garden. This peaceful garden is a treasured site to many Portland visitors. Feel a sense of inspiration as you explore the 2,000-year-old art traditions, architecture, designs, and nature all in absolute harmony. The last leg of the tour passes through Portland State University and the riverfront where you can view life on the busy waterway and take a picturesque drive down Naito Avenue before setting off for the Portland International Airport or official American Empress Post-Cruise Hotel. 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Post-Cruise 2: Mount St. Helens Tour - Including a Portland City Tour

Welcome to Portland, Oregon, located near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. Embark on a brief narrated Portland city tour highlighting areas of historical significance before making a stop at the world-renowned International Rose Test Garden, here breathtaking flowers fill the park in practically every direction. As the motorcoach makes its way outside the city limits, we will begin to climb in elevation towards Mount Saint Helens National Monument.

Mount St. Helens is most known for the powerful, catastrophic explosion that occurred in 1980 and is still an active Stratovolcano along the Pacific Ring of Fire. We will weave through the mountainous roads, and watch as the lush green slowly fades into the “Blast Zone” where the forest is gradually re-building from the devastation caused by this powerful eruption. View the mountain from several different angles and perspectives with carefully chosen stops along the way.

After an included lunch at Fire Mountain Grill, we will continue to Coldwater Lake Recreational Area overlooks Coldwater Lake, a glacier-fed lake created when mud flows from the eruption made a natural dam on the Coldwater Creek. Here, view a spectacular view of the mountain as well as the tranquil turquoise lake ominously sitting in its shadow.

Our final vantage point is perhaps the most dramatic. Johnston Ridge Observatory is the closest stop to the Mount St. Helens crater with an awe-inspiring view into the massive crater only 5 miles away. Named after the intrepid volcanologist who lost his life the day of the explosion just after his historic live report back to his base, “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it!”

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
8.25 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests