Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
All-Inclusive Pacific Northwest River Cruise Aboard American Queen Voyages' American Empress
Activity Level 1
Pace Level 1
On this 9 day, 8 port Pacific Northwest cruise on the Columbia & Snake Rivers, the landscape will transform from a majestic wall of spruce and pine to rolling hills speckled with vineyards and cherry trees. Here, Mother Nature presents her purest expression of life — untamed, spiritual and free.
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, the American Queen Voyages Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and their friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Representatives from American Queen Voyages and their local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
This port, nestled between the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River Gorge and Mount St. Helens, is a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Vancouver’s history begins with the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1806, when Meriwether Lewis had the wisdom to characterize the area as “the only desired situation for settlement west of the Rocky Mountains.” In 1825, voyageurs from the Hudson’s Bay Company broke a bottle of rum on a flagstaff and hoisted the Union Jack in the breeze. Fortunately for history buffs, attractions and museums will enlighten you, and in some cases, let you relive some exciting times from the fur trade to the settlement of Fort Vancouver. Vancouver is as naturally beautiful as it is diverse. American Queen Voyages guests will find abundant recreational activities, quirky shops, excellent restaurants, a burgeoning craft brew scene, and charming locals proud to show off this Pacific Northwest gem. The 90-foot Grant Street Pier is the focal point of the new Vancouver Waterfront. The cable-stayed pier is a gathering place for visitors and locals alike. Enjoy a fresh seafood dish on the Wild Fin Patio while watching sailboats pass by or grab something to go at the What-A-Catch Fish Bar walk-up window. If you seek an adult-beverage pour a local brew from the area’s only self-serve beer wall on the second floor of Barlows Public House or sip a Washington wine at Maryhill Winery’s satellite tasting room. You can even do a whole wine walk to five tasting rooms within a few blocks.
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.
Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Disembark this morning in Clarkston and transfer to the Spokane International airport for your return flight.
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