Summary : The powerful Columbia and Snake Rivers flow through a beautiful land and offer access to fantastic wineries, places to kayak, bike or hike, and extraordinary scenery—you’ll experience it all. Hike to a towering waterfall. Taste local fruit at a family farm and enjoy views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Visit sites used by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark while they made their way to the Pacific Coast. Experience the region via expedition landing craft and kayak forays, or by hiking monumental Beacon Rock or Palouse Falls. Transit a series of eight locks that lift the ship 700 feet—10 times the elevation of the Panama Canal! Taste the bounty of the region through their fresh, local, and delectable cuisine. Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, a historian, a geologist/naturalist, plus a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor and a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the Columbia & Snake Rivers is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
- $500 air credit
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$4,990 to $8,890
Board the National Geographic Quest and discover why Portland is nicknamed “Bridgetown” as you sail under eight of the city’s 12 eclectic bridges along the Willamette River, the first of five rivers you will encounter on this voyage.
Begin your journey by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. At Cape Disappointment where Meriwether Lewis saw the Pacific in November of 1805, explore the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, see Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the north jetty of the Columbia River Bar. Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which chronicles the history of river navigation and all aspects of maritime commerce in the region. Hear harrowing stories of crossing “The Bar” at the mouth of the Columbia, one of the most dangerous passages in the world. In the afternoon explore the Astoria area with several options to choose from.
Spend your morning visiting the stunning Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson, Washington, featuring 15,000 years of cultural and natural history of the Columbia Gorge with displays both inside and outside. Or trek up the iconic Beacon Rock, the 848-foot basalt column that once formed the core of an ancient volcano. Lewis and Clark camped here on their way west, and it was at Beacon Rock that they first noticed the tides affecting the water levels in the Columbia River, more than 120 miles from its mouth.
Continue through the Gorge to Hood River, located in the shadows of majestic Mount Hood where you will enjoy a farm-to-table orchard lunch overlooking the golden Hood River Valley. The valley is known for its fruit growing orchards-including one of the world’s largest pear growing areas. After lunch you’ll have the option to visit the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum and explore one of the largest collections of still-functioning antique cars and planes in the country or trek the trails of Tom McCall Nature Preserve which is home to over 200 plant species.
Spend the day cruising through some of the most scenic and geologically interesting stretches of the Columbia River and the Columbia Plateau. Your onboard geologist and naturalists will talk with you about the Columbian Basalt Flows and the Missoula Floods that sculpted the landscape 13,000 years ago. Relive the historic tales of the Corps of Discovery through the eyes of the historian as you sail by landmarks from their epic journey. Or unwind with a massage from the wellness specialist.
The still water of the Palouse River is the perfect mirror for the surrounding basalt cliffs as you set off cruising via Zodiac and kayak adventures. Visit Palouse Falls, where cascading waters plunge 198 feet into the pool below. These falls and the canyon are an important feature of the channeled scablands created by the great Missoula Floods that swept periodically across the region. Afterwards, sail up the Snake River, enjoying a taste of local specialties.
At Clarkston, find yourself at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, more than 450 miles from the sea. The name Clarkston is in reference to William Clark and is located directly across the river from Lewiston, Idaho, which is named for Meriwether Lewis, though neither of them ever traveled to the Clarkston side of the river.
Travel by comfortable jet boat into one of North America’s most scenic spots, spectacular Hells Canyon. The 125-mile long canyon was carved by the waters of the Snake River and at 7,993 feet is North America’s deepest river gorge—most of it inaccessible by road. The earliest known settlers in the canyon were the Nez Percé tribe and, as you travel up the river, look to the hillsides and see remnants of their ancestral horse trails along with pictographs and petroglyphs on the rock formations. In the afternoon, join your fellow travelers in the lounge for songs and stories by a local Nez Percé storyteller.
This evening, enjoy the company of a local winemaker onboard and sip of their wines while you hear about how the geology of the area surrounding the Lewis-Clark Valley AVA—the newest Viticultural Area in the United States—affects the flavors of their wines. (NOTE: Winemaker on board eastbound itinerary only.)
After breakfast this morning transfer to the airport for your connecting flights home. Choose to fly from nearby Lewiston, Idaho, or travel though the picturesque landscapes of the Palouse to Spokane, Washington, located two hours away.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Reverse Itinerary (Clarkston to Portland):
9/21/2019, 10/3/2019, 10/15/2019, 9/19/2020, 10/1/2020, 10/13/2020
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Pre- or Post-Trip Extensions:
Portland City Tour (from $100 per person)
Willamette Valley Wine Tour (from $240 per person)
Explore the gems of Portland, and/or the boutique wineries of the Willamette Valley. All tours have a minimum guest participation of 4 guests in order to operate. Should participation be below the minimum, the cost may be higher. Hotel packages in Portland also available. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; soft drinks onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Air transportation; individual transfers; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, Internet, etc.; optional extensions; gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion; baggage/accident/cancellation insurance.
Photos ©: Linda M. Burback (Sacagawea statue and sky, mountain goat); Marc Cappelletti (canoe); Ralph Lee Hopkins (dam, kayak, bridge, sunset); Betty Lu Krause (Sacagawea statue and forest); Rich Reid (river canyon, Palouse Falls)