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zOur Pacific Northwest + American Empress Cruise

11 days

Oregon’s Coast + Vineyards + Columbia River Cruise aboard the American Empress

Small Group Discoveries

+ Sample the award-winning wines of the Willamette Valley and delight in the seasonally-sourced, farm-to-table cuisine of Oregon’s finest chefs.
+ See raucous Steller sea lions in their native coastal habitat and venture into the vast Oregon Dunes on a thrilling open-top buggy adventure with our professional driver.
+ Learn about the botanical wealth of the Northwest at the esteemed Oregon Garden and visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s historic Gordon House.
+ Discover the inspiring natural wonders, rich Native American heritage and exciting pioneer-days history along the Columbia and Snake Rivers on an 8-day cruise aboard the most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest.

Show all itinerary details


Welcome to Portland, Oregon

You’ll be met at the airport and escorted to our inviting modernhotel, set in a 1912 landmark in the heart of town. Dine tonight at Mother’s Bistro, famed for seasonal slow-cooked dishes refined with classical techniques. meals d


Portland to the Oregon Coast

With its fine views and 100-year history, the Pittock Mansion is the perfect place to start our tour of Portland. Continue in Pioneer Square and other vibrant areas like the Pearl District and waterfront. At Washington Park and International Rose Test Garden, you’ll see why Portland has earned its reputation for both urban appeal and nature at its best. Journey into the lovely Willamette Valley for a vineyard tour and wine tasting including the region’s esteemed Pinot Noir. Then cross the Oregon Coast Range to pick up the 101 Coastal Highway for the scenic drive to Newport, where you’ll dine at Saffron Salmon. Perched at the end of the pier with glorious views, this inviting restaurant showcases Northwest cuisine and locally-sourced ingredients like wild-caught salmon, Dungeness Crab and Oregon-raised lamb. Tonight, enjoy ocean views from your room at the Elizabeth Street Inn. meals b+d


Eugene + Special Winemakers Evening

Drive along the coast to Sea Lion Caves, a pristine coastal habitat and rookery for Stellar sea lions. This afternoon, set out in an open-top buggy with our professional driver for a thrilling and scenic adventure into the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; stretching for 40 miles along the Pacific, this is the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in America! In Eugene, a vibrant university town that’s been a leader in Oregon’s wine and culinary scene, you can meet merchants at the 5th Street Market, a great collection of shops and boutiques. You will have time to refresh at our luxury boutique hotel, The Inn at the 5th, before our exclusive Winemakers Evening at Ristorante Italiano. Prepared by Chef Maurizio Paparo, a pioneer in Oregon’s Slow Food Movement, each course of tonight’s farmto- table dinner is paired with a fine regional wine selected and presented by a master Oregon vintner. meals b+d


Oregon Garden + American Empress

At the beautiful Oregon Garden, you’ll come to know and appreciate the botanical wealth of the Pacific Northwest! With our expert guide, your visit will encompass the most significant and beautiful areas of this 80-acre complex which includes a Sensory Garden, Wetland Habitat and a unique collection of miniature conifers. Enjoy lunch in the garden’s cafe and tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s Gordon House. Return to Portland and cross the river where you’ll board the American Empress and say farewell to your local guide. Settle in to your outside stateroom and then gather with fellow cruisers in the Astoria Dining Room as we set sail up the Columbia River. Featuring the bounty of the Pacific Northwest, your evening meals onboard will be accompanied by free-flowing wine and beer. meals b+l+d


Astoria, Oregon

Step off your elegant riverboat this morning in the oldest settlement west of the Rockies. Our fleet of modern comfortable coaches will be waiting to take you on a narrated tour through town. With entry included, you can step off to visit the sites you wish including the Heritage Museum in Astoria’s old City Hall or the Flavel House & Carriage Museum, set in a handsome 19th-century Queen Anne home. You can also stroll along the 4-mile Riverwalk or ascend the Astoria Column for a breathtaking 360° view of the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. You can hop off wherever you wish, explore at your own pace, and then reboard the next coach to continue your touring. meals b+l+d


The Dalles, OR

Fascinating narration on today’s excursion delves into the history of the region’s Native American people who would gather here along the river bank to trade. You’ll also learn about the town’s pioneer-days heritage as the end of the Oregon Trail. Step off as you wish to explore places like the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Courthouse Museum or Sunshine Mills Winery. As always, entry for these sites is included. meals b+l+d


Stevenson, WA

Today you can visit the Bonneville Dam or tour the Interpretive Center to learn about the native peoples, early settlers and natural wonders of the area. This is the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and a stroll along the riverfront is a great way to take in its breathtaking beauty. meals b+l+d


Cruising the Columbia River

This stretch of river southwest of Richland is absolutely stunning! And as our ship navigates between the canyon walls and through the forested ridges, you can join our Pacific Northwest expert on deck for insightful and entertaining narration. Congenial conversation with fellow guests and gourmet meals with free-flowing wines enhance this delightful and relaxing day on the river. meals b+l+d


Richland, WA

Today you might explore the Franklin County Historical Society Museum and Sacajawea State Park, set on the site where Lewis and Clark camped in October 1805; the Park’s interpretive center explores the history of Lewis and Clark through the experiences of Sacagawea. At the REACH, you’ll find exhibits that delve into the area’s geology and Native American cultures. Here you can also learn about the role that the nearby Hanford Site played in the Manhattan Project during World War II. As always you can step off where you wish, explore at your own pace, and reboard the next coach. meals b+l+d


Clarkston, WA

Choices abound on our sightseeing route today! At Nez Perce National Historical Park, you can explore the history of the Nimi’ipuu who have long lived among the rivers, canyons and prairies of the inland northwest. Other stops include the Bridablik/Schroeder House built in 1906, the Nez Perce Historical Society Museum, and the Lewis and Clark State College Center for Arts & History. meals b+l+d


Bid Farewell...

After breakfast onboard, we’ll take you to the airport in Spokane, WA. meals b

Columbia River MapSearch

Our Flexible
Shore Excursions

With our private fleet of shiny comfortable coaches in each port, our flexible excursions begin with narrated touring on the history and culture of these places. Step off wherever you want and enjoy free entry at all selected sites. Our coaches run every 15 to 20 minutes, so you can easily hop back onboard to continue exploring – or return to ship. It’s all included, very easy, completely flexible, and hassle-free!

You can also book Premium Excursions for deeper exploration. Described here in the itinerary, you can add any of these tours to enrich your experience of the history, culture and natural beauty of these colorful ports.

Prices are per person, land only. Port charges of $169 (2017 departures) or $179 (2018 departures) per person are additional and are not included in the prices above.

Family + Friends

Travel is one of  life's most rewarding experiences, perhaps even more so when it's shared with those you love! Take advantage of our Family & Friends offer and Save $100 per person anytime you book 4 or more people on the same A+R program.