Each Columbia & Snake Rivers itinerary comes complete with a Complimentary Pre-Cruise Package, providing you with a seamless way to board the ship and explore the local area. Arrive the day before your scheduled cruise date and American Cruise Lines will handle the rest. The package includes a premium hotel stay, where you can enjoy the city at your leisure. On the morning of the cruise, meet in the hotel lobby after breakfast and we will transport you to the ship to begin your cruise. All luggage will be brought directly from the hotel and placed in your stateroom aboard the ship.
*Pre-Cruise Package is not available for reservations made within 30 days of cruise date.
At the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, Portland was once a sanctuary for pioneers and is a fitting place to start your journey. The city is surrounded by national parkland, but also offers an array of museums and shopping. If arriving a day early, visit the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum or the Portland Art Museum.
The oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, the town of Astoria is steeped in culture and tradition. With more than 70 Victorian-era homes and the site of Fort Clatsop, a replica of where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806, the city is alive with history. Astoria is also well-known for being an integral part of the lucrative fur trading industry in the 1800's, with the Pacific Fur Company building its primary trading post in the town in 1811.
Columbia River Maritime Museum - Complimentary Excursion
In the morning, take a trolley or a leisurely 5-minute walk to the Columbia River Maritime Museum and meet with our guide for you a personalized tour of the facilities. Learn about the history of crossing the bar, known as one of the toughest and most treacherous routes in maritime history. Witness remnants of some of the actual ships that were destroyed during the river crossing, discover artifacts and learn what makes this specific area so dangerous and feared by even the most experienced sailors.
Fort Clatsop Tour & Astoria Experience
The evening before you tour Astoria, our onboard lecturer, often Todd Weber, will provide an entertaining and historically significant portrayal of the city and the Lewis and Clark expedition which took place during the 1800s. At Fort Clatsop, a park ranger will meet with our group to explain its significance and begin a personalized tour of the grounds. Witness live demonstrations, tour the museum, and explore the exact replica of the fort where Lewis and Clark wintered in 1806. Visit the Astoria Column, a majestic tower perched high on a bluff overlooking the city and river. Enjoy outstanding views of the landscape below and our ship as it rests in port. If you are up to the challenge, walk the 164 steps up the tower to the observation deck for a once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.
Cape Disappointment State Park
In the morning, take a scenic tour through Astoria as we journey to Cape Disappointment State Park. Here a park ranger will greet us and serve as our guide through the impressive Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. Situated on the cliffs 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Center commemorates the Corps of Discovery’s 1804-1806 expedition. Witness live demonstrations, an interactive film, and a variety of exhibits dedicated to Lewis and Clark. The impressive mural-sized “timeline” panels guide you through the exhibit while featuring many of the actual sketches, paintings, and photographs of the Corps members. This tour perfectly complements Todd Weber’s on board Lewis and Clark lectures.
Mount St. Helens, WA
Perhaps the most impactful of all landmarks in the region is Mount St. Helens. From high on an overlook, bear witness to the awesome power of the volcano whose eruption in 1980 scorched 230 square miles of forest land and forever changed the landscape. Expert guides will show you the pumice plain and lava dome as they explain the impact the volcano had on the environment and the lives of those in the surrounding towns.
Mount St. Helens Experience - Complimentary Excursion
May 18, 1980 is a day etched into the history of the United States, as the powerful eruption of Mount St. Helens drastically changed the landscape of what is now referred to as the National Volcanic Monument. On your scenic journey to the Mount St. Helens Johnston Ridge Observatory, your tour guide will provide engaging commentary regarding the eruption, how it affected the landscape and surrounding communities, and how the environment has responded naturally to the disturbance. The Observatory itself sits on a bluff near the crater, offering spectacular views of the pumice plain and blast site.
Multnomah Falls is an awesome sight to behold. After cruising past the waterfall, get up-close to one of North America's tallest waterfalls, as you stroll along the footpath to Benson Bridge where you can admire the 620-foot plunge. The village of Stevenson has a classic small town charm with a unique Northwest flair and is easily accessible from our dock.
Multnomah Falls - Complimentary Excursion
A highlight of any trip to the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Falls is sure to leave you in awe. After breakfast, our private guide will meet you at the ship’s dock right in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge, and your journey to the second tallest year-round waterfall in the U.S. As you wind through the thick forest you will cross the impressive “Bridge of the Gods,” before finally reaching Multnomah Falls. Upon arrival, you will have time to explore the Falls on your own and walk the famous Benson Bridge to get the best vantage point for your photo opportunities.
Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center - Complimentary Excursion
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center. The mission of the Center is to share the stories and natural history of Skamania County and the Columbia River Gorge with all of its visitors. Learn about the bountiful life of the Columbia River Gorge, the early culture of the First Peoples, and the transition to modern day culture.
Throughout your journey on the Columbia River, you will transit 8 locks, lifting the ship more than 700 feet vertically. Building upon the lectures of our onboard experts throughout the week, this excursion provides guests with an in-depth understanding of and appreciation for the engineering that enables the Dam to generate enough hydroelectric power to provide nearly 500,000 homes with electricity.
End your cruise back in the city of Portland. Spend the afternoon in the city and admire the red brick of Pioneer Courthouse Square and the beautiful fountains of Waterfront Park. Visit the Saturday Market, one of the largest farmer's markets in the United States, a wonderful place to conclude an amazing week in the Pacific Northwest.
City of Roses Tour
In the morning, our guide will meet us at the ship for a fun-filled, narrated tour of Portland, also known as the “City of Roses." Explore the popular downtown area, considered to be one of the “top 10” most livable cities in the world. We will cross many of the notable scenic Portland bridges including Hawthorne Bridge (1910) and Broadway Bridge (1913) as we make our way to the Rose Garden State Park. Our final stop will be to the popular International Test Garden, which features over 6,800 rose bushes representing 557 varieties. Here, you can stroll the lush grounds or visit the Rose Garden Store, offering hundreds of rose-themed items.
*This is a Signature Tour. Please call (800) 460-4518 in advance to reserve this experience.