Rivers of Adventure (Columbia & Snake Rivers)

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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What to know more about UnCruise Adventures? Check out this overview presentation on all they have to offer.

Get a glimpse into the Rivers of Adventure.

UnCruise Adventures specializes in small ships, BIG Adventures (86 travelers or less).

2019 Departure Dates:

  • September 7, 14, 21, 28
  • October 5, 12, 19, 26


  • One-night hotel stay in Portland
  • Guided local Portland tour
  • Deschutes River whitewater rafting
  • Jet boat ride into Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Private tour and tasting at Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard
  • Transit eight locks and a private tour at Bonneville Dam Visitor Center
  • Waterfall hikes on both sides of the Cascade Mountains
  • Swimming, kayaking, biking, and skiff excursions
  • Presentation by a Nez Perce tribal member
  • Narration on board by natural and cultural history interpreter


DAY 1: Portland, OR: You made it, welcome to the City of Roses! Check in to your hotel, then go take it all in on your own. Farm-to-table dining, craft breweries, art, museums, shopping—more to explore than you have time, but it’s fun trying. Overnight at Hotel Rose (or similar).

DAY 2: Portland – Embarkation: After breakfast at your hotel, do as you please. Unless you sleep in, you have plenty of time before gathering with your shipmates for an afternoon city tour (by foot and by bus). Eclectic neighborhoods, expansive gardens and parks, historic bridges and mansions—Portland is quirky, cosmopolitan, and fascinating. Afterwards, the captain and crew help you settle in aboard ship. Then it’s all champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and sweeping views—a perfect start to your adventure cruise.

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. From there, take to the Columbia Gorge Highway for the Crown Point overlook where the iconic views of the Gorge come into sight. Snap a few photos and grab a bite 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.

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 tour a Hood River orchard and working farm (that makes a mighty fine cider).

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 hike or bike in the canyon of Deschutes River State Recreation Area. 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.

DAY 6: Washington Wine Country / Richland: Award-winning wines come out of the Red Mountain AVA. Sweeping views surround Terra Blanca Winery & Estate Vineyard. And its owner and winemaker do a good job of keeping you on the task of tasting. A private tour takes you through the vineyards, to the crush pads and production areas, and into their wine caves. After lunch, soak up the beauty of your surroundings with guided yoga stretches in a Richland park. Or, opt to run, walk or bike along the Columbia River Trail. Cruise the river this evening. Pop into the bridge to chat up the captain. Relax on the sun deck with a book and a glass of wine—or with your complimentary massage.

DAY 7: 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 8: 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.

DAY 9: Clarkston, WA – Disembark: One last fresh scone or omelet. After breakfast, disembark in Clarkston and transfer to the Lewiston, Idaho or Spokane, Washington airport (your choice) to catch your flight home.

To reserve space call UnCruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@uncruise.com and mention you are with NPCA.

Check out NPCA’s full tour lineup at www.npca.org/trips

  • Cost:
    From $5,195 per person, single supplement applies
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