Proudly serving as the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River, the American Empress cruises the Columbia and Snake Rivers delivering a rich sense of history in modern comfort. Boasting a vast collection of some of the most intricate artifacts and artwork of Native Alaska, Russia, the Gold Rush and the sternwheeler era in and around Portland, Oregon, the corridors of our Columbia and Snake River cruise boat hold nearly as much beauty and intrigue as the dramatic scenery unfolding on the river outside.
Spokane to Portland Steamboat Cruise
Day 1: Hotel Stay – Spokane, WA
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the historic Davenport Hotel. The evening is yours to venture into the city and independently explore fine eateries, museums, theaters and local attractions.Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.. It is here that our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving Premium Shore Excursions. An American Queen Steamboat Company representative, as well as a local representative, will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing suggestions so that you may maximize your time in Spokane.
Day 2: Clarkston, WA (Spokane)
Today is the big day! Spend a few hours exploring the beautiful city of Spokane before traveling to Clarkston, Washington, where you will board the American Empress on the Columbia River. If you didn’t have a chance to check-in on the first night, the hospitality desk will be open today between 8:30 AM and 12:00 PM at the official Pre-Cruise hotel. During the easy check-in procedure, representatives will arrange your transfer to the vessel and answer questions regarding your upcoming voyage. The process is simple and will have you back to exploring or relaxing in no time. If you think of additional questions, the hospitality staff will be at your service until the transfers begin.
The vessel will depart for a lovely dinner cruise and then return to Clarkston for an overnight stay onboard.
Day 3: Clarkston, WA
Nestled at the union of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in southeast Washington, Clarkston is the gateway to North America’s deepest gorge, Hells Canyon on the Snake River. The picturesque vistas, year-round mild climates, and a deep history make this scenic inland port a more-than-desirable stop! Spend the day following the footsteps of the historic Lewis and Clark journey – where the city received its name. This incredible city is filled with artifacts and stories that depict the journeys of famous explorers. Clarkston has the ideal climate for visitors to enjoy countless activities including fishing, scenic walks along the trails, shopping, and exploring.
Day 4: Richland, WA (Tri-Cities)
Richland is located near the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers, the northern most point reached by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805. First incorporated in 1910, Richland remained a small agricultural community until the Army acquired it and 670 square miles of adjacent land in 1943 as the site of the Hanford Engineer Works which was used to produce plutonium during World War II and the Cold War. Today, the historic B Reactor and other important historical venues are part of the new Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The city is also home to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and a branch campus of Washington State University.
Day 5: Scenic River Cruising or Optional Premium Experience
Spend a leisurely day cruising through the scenic Columbia River Gorge. You may wish to relax on your veranda and take in the spectacular scenery, attend a discussion with our Riverlorian or enjoy a variety of onboard activities. If you prefer a day ashore, you can also choose a premium experience that will take you to Pendleton, Oregon while the vessel is underway. There you have the opportunity to explore the wild West town, enjoy a delicious lunch, browse downtown shops and tour the Pendleton Woolen Mill and factory outlet store.
Day 6: The Dalles, OR
At the end of the overland Oregon Trail, The Dalles holds a unique place in history as a jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gun-slingers, floozies, and scallywags. Lewis and Clark camped at this location at Rock Fort Camp during their historic journey in 1805 and 1806. Fort Dalles was established in 1850. Oregon Trail pioneers ended their overland journey at The Dalles, forced to build rafts and take the “river road” west to Fort Vancouver, then into the Willamette River valley. Ten thousand years of Native American trading took place on the banks of the Columbia River, shaped by the Ice Age Missoula floods. The town was located at the foot of a series of dangerous rapids which the Hudson’s Bay Company fur traders called “The Dalles of the Columbia.”
Day 7: Stevenson, WA
On the banks of the scenic Columbia River, the city of Stevenson is your launch pad to the Washington side of the Gorge. A stroll along the Rock Cove pathway or the Columbia River waterfront is a great way to take in surroundings. Downtown Stevenson is home to unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Stevenson is in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Explore the eastern entrance to Mount St. Helens or the spectacular Lewis River Valley.
Day 8: Astoria, OR
Astoria is known to be the oldest American Settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. For thousands of years, Clatsop Indians inhabited the lands that are now known as Astoria. In 1805, Lewis and Clark led their expedition through the town and spent the winter at Fort Clatsop. In 1813, a British warship sailed into the Columbia River, gaining possession of the city and holding control until 1818, when they finally agreed to a joint occupation of the land. The British did not fully leave Astoria until 1846. There is no doubting the rich history has deep roots grounded in this Columbia River town. When the history combines with the scenery, the harmony will surely bring you back for more!
Disembark after a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy Vancouver at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.