Columbia and Snake River Cruise September 8 - 16, 2024 (9 Days)
Roundtrip air transportation from ABQ to Spokane/Portland to ABQ
6 night cruise with all meals aboard
1 night pre-cruise lodging
20 meals included - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Baggage handling (for one piece)
Shipboard gratuities (except optional activities)
Your Sun Tours escort
Government fees, port and air taxes
$6,045 per person Double Occupancy
Category “E” Veranda Stateroom
$6,145 per person Double Occupancy
Category “C” Deluxe Private Veranda
$7,375 per person Double Occupancy
Category “B” Superior Private Veranda
For Single Pricing
Please contact our office at 505-889-8888
Final Payment Due
May 8, 2024
$250 – now through May 8, 2024
25% – May 9 – June 7, 2024
50% – June 8 – July 7, 2024
75% – July 8 – August 7, 2024
100% – After August 7, 2024
Embrace the pioneering spirit of Lewis and Clark as you immerse yourself in the history of their expedition into the West. Join Sun Tours as we sail with American Cruise Lines on a paddlewheel ship limited to 150 passengers – an intimate and well-appointed riverboat as it makes its way along these legendary rivers, from Portland, OR to Clarkston, WA, and be amazed by the constant shifts in landscapes. From the lush forest mountains to magnificent waterfalls and even desert canyons, the evolving terrain is unlike anywhere else in America. Experience a front-row seat as we navigate through the famed lock and dam system, an awe-inspiring testament to human engineering.
Enjoy days of personalized exploration, led by our engaging local guides who enhance your understanding of fascinating landmarks, such as Mount St. Helens, famous for its eruption in 1980, and Multnomah Falls, an impressive 611-foot-tall cascade of falling water. Travel to scenic vineyards, where you can savor the area’s finest varietals.
On board, delight in the ship’s delicious cuisine, socialize at the daily cocktail hour, and enjoy onboard guest speaker presentations, featuring fascinating stories and insights about the region’s history, environment, and culture. Unwind each evening with a diverse array of talented regional performers in the intimate performance lounge.
Included meals are denoted: Breakfast: B, Lunch: L, Dinner: D
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. Our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Representatives from American Queen Voyages and our local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
DAY 2 (D)
Nestled at the union of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, Clarkston was settled in 1862 by Robert Bracken and was officially incorporated in 1902. Before becoming an official town the area was known by various names, including Jawbone Flats, Lewiston, and Concord – after the city in Massachusetts. The name Clarkston honors the legacy of William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition fame. Directly east across the Snake River is Lewiston, Idaho, the larger and older of the two towns, named for Meriwether Lewis. Their expedition passed westbound by canoe in October 1805; neither Lewis nor Clark ever visited the Clarkston side of the river. Eastbound, they returned in early May 1806. Spend the day tracing their historic journey.
DAY 3 (B, L, D)
The spirit of adventure, picturesque vistas, year-round mild temperatures and a deep history make this scenic inland port a desirable stop to learn the rich cultural heritage of the region and its first people, the legendary Nimiipuu. Clarkston also offers something for American Queen Voyage guests who appreciate being closer to the water’s edge. Here you can explore the rugged beauty of nearby Hells Canyon – North America’s deepest gorge – aboard a guided jet boat or rafting charter. Washington State wines are renowned as some of the most captivating and irresistible wines in the world. From Clarkston discover the Lewis-Clark Valley wine region, home to the award-winning Basalt Cellars Winery and Parejas Cellars. This small port offers more than a few adventures, and delicious wines, to fall in love with.
DAY 4 (B, L, D)
Step off the boat into a perfectly polished park, and take a short stroll to downtown Richland’s shops, eateries, and attractions. Or venture to Walla Walla, where around every bend is an iconic winery, unforgettable view, or epic adventure. With more than 120 wineries and 2,800 acres of grapes, Walla Walla is recognized among the finest wine regions in the nation. These robust, exceptional flavors come with a refreshingly relaxed come-as-you-are attitude.
Incorporated in 1910, Richland remained a small agricultural community until the U.S. Army purchased 640 square miles of land – half the size of Rhode Island – during World War II, evicting the 300 residents of Richland as well as those of the now vanished towns of White Bluffs and Hanford. The army turned it into a bedroom community for workers at its Manhattan Project facility who produced plutonium during World War II and the Cold War. The population increased from 300 in July and August 1943 to 25,000 by the end of World War II in August 1945. All land and buildings were owned by the government. Everything necessary was provided, from free bus service to lightbulbs, and trees were planted in people’s yards by the government. Housing was assigned to residents and token rent was collected; families were assigned to single-family homes or duplexes; single people were placed in apartments or barracks. The prefabricated duplexes and single-family homes are all that survive today. With the end of the war, the Hanford workers’ camp closed, and many workers moved away.
DAY 5 (B, L, D)
Known as the end of the Oregon Trail, The Dalles holds a unique place in history as the gateway to the Inland Empire. The Dalles was the jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gunslingers, floozies and scallywags, who loaded their wagons onto rafts or barges and floated down the Columbia to the mouth of the Willamette River, then upriver to Oregon City. The Barlow Trail was constructed later to permit an overland crossing. The Dalles was also the site of Fort Dalles. Established in 1850 to protect immigrants after the Whitman Massacre, it was the only military post between the Pacific Coast and Wyoming.
The only building left of Fort Dalles is the Surgeon’s Quarters, which has been incorporated into the Fort Dalles Museum. Fort Dalles Museum features a collection of military artifacts, household goods and old medical equipment. Recreation in The Dalles includes windsurfing, camping and fishing. Anglers can try for walleye and sturgeon in the Columbia River. Although part of the Oregon High Desert, the area features a long growing season and a relatively warm climate that supports the growing of grapes. The Dalles is Oregon wine country’s new frontier and home to a wine scene with ballooning production. Visitors will be pleased to see the surrounding landscape is like a watercolor painting, the many greens of ripe orchards and vines blending into verdant, tree-lined hillsides. Mount Hood overlooks the Cascades and the shield they provide against the persistent rain the Willamette Valley has grown so accustomed to. (B, L, D)
DAY 6 (B, L, D)
Nestled between the Columbia River to the south, and the mountains and basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge to the north, Stevenson offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of larger ports. The area has been home to Native American settlements for thousands of years. Their villages were focal points for commerce and social gatherings as they came to trade and fish along the riverbanks. Later, in 1843, the Oregon Trail brought the first of a great wave of settlers; pioneers portaged around the Cascade Rapids on their way to the Willamette Valley.
Some of these pioneers chose to stay. The Stevenson family from Missouri, who settled in the Gorge in the 1800s, founded the town. Under the auspices of the Stevenson Land Company, George Stevenson established the town along the lower flat near the river and expanded the original dock to serve the daily arrivals of sternwheelers. Stevenson still embraces the adventurist – with hiking trails, hot springs and local wineries, there is plenty to see and do. Take a stroll along Stevenson’s riverfront where giant fish wheels once plied the Columbia River’s waters for salmon. Witness colorful kiteboarders’ sails, as they jump and twist on the Columbia’s swells. Watch the ducks, geese and other waterfowl nesting at Rock Creek Cove. Browse through the small, locally owned gift shops, antique stores and art galleries in which reside treasures of the Pacific Northwest. And visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center to explore Native American legends, petroglyphs and artifacts telling the story of the Gorge.
DAY 7 (B, L, D)
Camas and Washougal are located side-by-side on the banks of the Columbia River. Part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, this community serves as the “Gateway to the Gorge.” A highlight to a visit here is a drive through the Columbia River Gorge, the largest national scenic area in the United States. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the Gorge stretches for more than 80 miles as the Columbia River winds westward through the Cascade Range, forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south. Three volcanoes dominate the Cascades and are major attractions when visiting the Gorge. Majestic Mt. Hood is the highest point in Oregon. It is one of the three dormant volcanoes in this region, with Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens located across the river in Washington state. The western Gorge, with an average annual rainfall of 75 inches, is lush and green with misty mountains, old growth forest and over 40 plus waterfalls. The eastern Gorge, with an annual rainfall of less than 15 inches, is a region of rocky bluffs, rolling hills, desert wildflowers and wide, open spaces.
In downtown Camas, the older buildings have been preserved and are utilized by businesses to make this a bustling community center. Trees and planters line the streets make the downtown mall an appealing place to visit and shop. The Port of Camas/Washougal and Parker’s Landing Historical Park may very well be sitting atop the birthplace of Washougal, which features a trendy downtown that has been totally revitalized.
DAY 8 (B)
Surrounded by forests, boasting three rivers and situated a stone’s throw away from the Pacific, Astoria is a picturesque port city with Victorian-era homes etched into hills overlooking the Columbia River. Astoria is known to be the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, inhabited for thousands of years by the Clatsop Tribe. Astoria has a rich history that reflects the many influences the town has had from people and cultures around the world. Many of its current residents are descendants from early settlers, many of whom were Chinese and played a significant role in Astoria’s history especially in the canneries, railroads, and the jetties at the Columbia River. The Garden of Surging Waves is a beautiful park that celebrates and honors Astoria’s relationship with China over the years. The Astoria Riverwalk is the lifeblood of the city and the best way to get a feel for the city spirit.
Perhaps start your exploration at the Port of Astoria with hundreds of ships from all over the world. Walk under the 4.1-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge, enjoy the spectacular views of the river, check out the Maritime Memorial, visit one of the many nearby shipwrecks, learn about life on the Columbia at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and enjoy the lounging sea lions on the docks at 36th Street. Alternatively, you can climb to the top of the Astoria Column – wrapped in depictions of history – look out over the landscape toward the Pacific Ocean and watch your model wooden airplane glide through the air to its rest below.
After our visit to Astoria, we will head to the Portland Airport for our ride home.
Itinerary is subject to change.