Summary : Sail in the wake of Lewis and Clark on a scenic yacht cruise. Emerald mountains and high desert punctuate shores shaped by geologic forces over thousands of years. Explore on an invigorating jet boat ride or take to the waters in a kayak. Admire the tremendous engineering feat of the locks and dams stretching from the breathtaking Columbia Gorge to the golden coulees of the east. Taste exquisite wines in Washington’s wine country and enjoy private winery tours. Expert guides and local specialists will relate tales of on the journey.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Welcome! You will be met at the airport this afternoon and transferred to the yacht. The crew greets you with champagne and smiles, and you’ll enjoy a short dinner cruise along the canyons of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. This evening a local historian joins you in the salon for an informative presentation on the area.
After breakfast this morning, transfer to a jet boat for an invigorating ride into Hells Canyon. Vertical cliffs carved by the river now hem in the rushing waters that you travel upon, and you’ll watch some of the most dramatic scenery unfold as you jet upriver. Watch for big horn sheep and hawks throughout the day. After the excursion, cruise the Snake River, passing through the first lock and dam called Lower Granite. After dinner the Expedition Leader will provide a brief orientation to the journey.
Pass through the Little Goose lock and dam first thing this morning and then anchor at the mouth of the Palouse River. The kayaks and skiff will be lowered for an up-close exploration of the pristine and lovely Palouse canyon. Watch for hundreds of cliff swallows that nest on the canyon walls, and for Northern Harriers and osprey hovering above the still waters as they hunt.
Transit through the McNary Dam locks. The McNary Dam encompasses an impressive wildlife region. Keep your eyes peeled and binoculars in hand to see some of the 212 species of migratory birds that rest here en route through the Pacific Fly-way: snow geese, tundra swans, canvasbacks, ring-necked ducks, redheads and many others. Later pass by Sacajawea State Park and learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition's travails and triumphs through this river confluence area.
The fastest wine-growing region in the U.S. is in eastern Washington, and today you’ll see why. Visit exclusive local wineries for tours and tastings. Return to the yacht after the tours and tastings, and have time to relax onboard before dinner.
The vast eastern plains give way to the flanks of the Cascade Mountain Range as you cruise west today. Watch as the banks of the river go from gentle and low-lying to cliffs rising hundreds of feet high beside you. The wind and weather shifts from arid to temperate as you come closer to the Pacific Ocean. Stop in Hood River (the windsurfing capital of the world) this afternoon where you’ll have time to browse the boutique shops or tour the local brew pub. Stay dockside here tonight, so take your time and enjoy the town.
Cruise through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area this morning. The outside decks provide the best views of this beautiful passage. At Bradford Island you’ll step ashore for a guided tour of Bonneville Lock and Dam, the final lock on the journey. Visit the power station and fish ladders, learning more about how this engineering marvel fits into the local environment and community. This evening enjoy a festive Farewell Dinner as the anchor drops in a quiet channel for the night.
Your crew serves another excellent breakfast this morning before bidding you “adieu.” At 9:00 am you’ll be transferred to the Portland airport.
Reverse Itinerary: 9/29/2012, 10/13/2012 (Portland to Lewiston)
Exclusive shore excursions and transfers; all meals aboard the yacht; premium wine, beer and liquor; meet/greet serices and transfers; kayaking and small-boat exploration; onboard professional naturalist / expedition leader; all taxes, port charges and fees.
Airfare to and from your home city; super-premium wine, beer and liquor; discretionary gratuities to vessel's crew, typically 5-10% of fare; travel insurance.