Mountains to the left, wildlife to the right—with an explorer’s spirit, navigate the Columbia & Snake Rivers by small ship. Each day the great outdoors calls: coulees and canyons, evergreen forest, dramatic basalt cliffs. Hike to waterfalls and overlooks. Bike the Columbia’s Twin Tunnels Trail. Raft the Deschutes River. It’s a recreation mecca!
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Get a glimpse into the Rivers of Adventure.
UnCruise Adventures specializes in small ships, BIG Adventures (90 travelers or less).
2019 Departure Dates:
- September 7, 14, 21, 28
- October 5, 12, 19, 26
- Deschutes River rafting trip
- Hike, kayak, swim, and skiff at: Palouse Falls State Park, Columbia Hills State Park, Ft. Clatsop, a Lewis and Clark National Historic Park
- Multnomah Falls walk and visit
- Jet boat ride into Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
- Bike (or shuttle) and wine outing in Hood River Valley
- Rowena Overlook hikes at Tom McCall Nature Preserve
- Transit eight locks and tour the Bonneville Dam Visitor Center
- Presentation by a Nez Perce tribal member
- Narration by natural and cultural history guides
DAY 1: Portland – Embarkation: Arriving in Portland, an UnCruise representative escorts you to our hospitality suite where you can relax or explore the city. Breweries, bookstores, coffee shops, and quirkiness abound, the City of Roses doesn’t disappoint with colorful options within walking distance. When it’s time to board the S.S. Legacy, you’ll be welcomed with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and views of the city—a perfect start to your adventure cruise. (D)
DAY 2: Astoria / Ft. Clatsop—Lewis & Clark National Historical Park: Dock in charming, Victorian downtown Astoria then you’re off to Ft. Clatsop, the winter fort of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Check out the exhibits and follow trails to the replica fort or take a low/no elevation walk from the visitor center to view replica dugout canoes. For a longer but easy hike, a one-mile trail along the Lewis and Clark River leads to an outdoor viewing area highlighting the landscape and stories described in the journals of Lewis & Clark. Hard chargers can take a 7-mile, one-way hike on the Fort to Sea Trail through forest, fields, and dunes. Whichever you opt for, everyone experiences Ft. Clatsop and beach walks. Back downtown, explore on your own, walk the waterfront trail, and/or visit the Astoria Column. Afterwards, set sail up river and see what delectable treats your chef and crew have in store for the evening—a nibble from a local harvest, a special pairing perhaps? A shuttle is available for guests who prefer not to ride bikes. (BLD)
DAY 3: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area / Hood River Valley: Gateway to the gorge. Slip through the Bonneville Dam locks, then head behind the scenes at the visitor center. You’re in luck with a private tour of its massive turbines and fish ladders. Take a walk on the wild side at Multnomah Falls—the tallest in the state. Snap a few photos before big adventure: a bike* and wine outing. Pedal and taste your way through the Hood River Valley accompanied by local guides. Quaint shops, bountiful orchards, boutique wineries—it’s all worth stopping for. Hop off your bike for visits with the locals and wine tastings on sunny patios. Back on the saddle again, feel the breeze in your face as you wind your way on backcountry roads through this perfectly pastoral countryside. On board, rest up from a full day with a good soak in the hot tub. (BLD)
DAY 4: Rowena Plateau / Columbia River Gorge: Lava flows, floods, and volcanic ash deposits shaped the Rowena—sheer cliffs, basalt landforms, wide-stretching plateaus. At Rowena Overlook, it’s boots-on-the-ground exploration. Opt for 2-mile round trip hike to the crest of Tom McCall Nature Preserve. Your reward: expansive views in every direction—including the river far below. Or, choose the steeper, 3.6-mile round trip Tom McCall Point trail. On a cloudless day, your effort gaining 1,000 feet of elevation pays off with views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River GorgeOUS! Post-hike, fuel up. There’s time to cycle or stroll along the Twin Tunnels Trail—a pedestrian-only section of the historic Columbia River Highway, or explore downtown Hood River on your own. Art galleries, boutique shops, and wine tasting are all options. (BLD)
DAY 5: Deschutes River: River play is on the agenda today—whichever option you pick start with a shallow wet landing on beach. Choose whitewater with a Deschutes rafting adventure. Class II and III+ rapids come with names like Elevator and Surf City. Rafting guides provide the gear (including optional wetsuits) and expertise; your ship’s chef provides the picnic lunch. Stick to dry land and visit the Columbia Hills State Park on foot or, if weather permits, by skiff. Take a dip in a lazy section of the river, and let the sunshine dry you up after a swim. Along the river’s edge, listen to the rustle of cottonwoods. Swap stories with your shipmates over sunset cocktails and appetizers. (BLD)
DAY 6: Palouse Falls State Park / Snake River:
The essentials of the day—kayaks, paddle boards, swimsuits, and hiking shoes. Bring your binocs, too (there’s great birding and views). At the only remaining waterfall formed by the ice age-era Missoula Floods, hike above the canyon to view the falls—which according to tribal legend, were born after a gallant fight with a mythic creature. Afterwards, skiff out to the kayaks and grab a paddle or go for a swim in the Palouse River. Wind up the afternoon cruising one of the most scenic stretches of the Snake River. After your final upriver locking at Lower Granite Dam, dock in Clarkston, Washington.
DAY 7: Hells Canyon: The history of this area is as rich as the canyon walls are dense. Delve into it! After breakfast, it’s a treat when a Nez Perce tribal member comes aboard for a special story, song, and music presentation. Lewis & Clark, Nez Perce, early Pioneers—signs of the past tell tales on your jet boat ride into the canyon. Keep your eyes peeled for sure-footed bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and 7,000-year-old petroglyphs. Hemmed in by vertical cliffs, this free-flowing stretch of the Snake cuts its way through North America’s deepest river gorge. Celebrate the week tonight with a Farewell Dinner and slide show recap presented by your expedition team. (BLD)
DAY 8: Clarkston, Washington – Disembark: One last fresh scone or omelet. After breakfast, disembark in Clarkston and transfer to the Spokane, Washington airport to catch your flight home. (B)
Check out NPCA’s full tour lineup at www.npca.org/trips