Lewis & Clark finished the last leg of their historic journey down the winding Snake River to the mighty Columbia River whose mouth revealed the vast Pacific Ocean. They made their trek in canoes and on foot, but today's travelers have different Columbia River cruise options to retrace their route on the Columbia River and they can do it in fine style, choosing from dinner cruises, full day cruises or even week-long cruises aboard comfortable small ships.
The Columbia River offers a world of fascinating sites and experiences like the amazing Columbia River Bonneville Dam, the Columbia River Fish Ladder, Columbia River Dinner Cruises, many Columbia River Wineries, and all sort of Columbia River Gorge lodging. Choosing a Columbia River dinner cruise or a full-day cruises will provide you with a taste of this unique region of the world and you’ll appreciate the lush scenery in a relaxed manner where you can trade your steering wheel and traffic back ups for binoculars and attentive crew ready to help you relax and experience your surroundings. Taking one of the week-long Columbia River cruises (Cruise West Cruises, Lindblad Cruises or American Safari Cruises) will offer opportunities to see the expanse of the Columbia Gorge and where the Columbia River has cut a path down through the steep Cascade Mountain Range. You will see beautiful, historic scenery as you pass through 85 miles of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, a federally protected region of mountains, old growth evergreen forests, and picture-perfect waterfalls cascading from the cliffs above. You will tour the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and learn more about this ancient region.
One of the unique features of the Columbia River is the intricate set of dams and locks along the river. The Bonneville Dam is a fascinating site where you can enjoy the dam's visitor center, which features huge underwater observation windows that put you within inches of the fish spawning in the Columbia River.
It is recommended that you choose a Columbia River cruise that travels into the scenic Hells Canyon. The trip is usually made by fast jet boat. Hells Canyon borders Idaho to the east and Washington and Oregon to the west. A narrow 1.5 mile chasm was created from the river’s erosion and ancient seismic upheavals. There is much wildlife the see along the way, including black bear, eagles, bighorn sheep, deer and elk.
This secluded region makes it easy for you to imagine the journey Lewis & Clark traveled and to experience Americana at its best.
Featured Columbia River Cruises:
Columbia River Cruise options:
Columbia River Brunch & Dinner Cruises are a great way to quickly discover Portland and its surrounding areas by scenic waterway. It is also perfect for groups, out-of-town guests and special occasions.
TIP: Ask if the cruise provides live entertainment.
One day cruises:
If day cruising the Columbia River is your preference, small ships sail from downtown Portland or from Marine Park in the Port of Cascade Locks. You can expect the riverboat to provide delightful scenery and a fresh Northwest dinner cuisine prepared onboard the ship.
If your preference is to spend time cruising the Columbia River, a few small ship cruise lines offer excellent itineraries and value for a week-long Columbia River Cruise
Columbia River cruise point of interest
• The charming port city of Astoria with its historic Victorian buildings.
• The Columbia River Maritime Museum.
• Fort Clatsop National Park with its replica of the 1805 log fort headquarters of Lewis & Clark's Corps of Discovery.
• Maryhill Museum: a museum with an eclectic collection of Rodin sculptures, Native American basketry, 1940s women's fashions, ornate chess sets, and royal regalia once belonging to Queen Marie of Romania.
• The historic Whitman Mission, near Walla Walla, Washington, where 13 people, including Marcus and Narcissa Whitman were massacred in 1847.
• Pendleton, Oregon, home of the Pendleton Roundup and the hearty and beautiful Pendleton wools.