Snake & Columbia River Cruise

American Queen Steamboat Company
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#1
Hudson, Massachusetts
250 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We are taking a Snake & Columbia in September and was wondering what paid excursions anyone can recommend.

Thanks!

~Carol
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#2
Los Angeles
318 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Originally posted by Cruze4Ever
We are taking a Snake & Columbia in September and was wondering what paid excursions anyone can recommend.

Thanks!

~Carol
Took the cruise Clarkston to Vancouver in October 2016. Didn't take any of the paid tours. However, wish I would have done the UNCOVERING THE SECRETS OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT. After visiting the Hanford Reach Museum (Hop On, Hop Off), I wish I would have done that excursion.
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JohnAmtrak - 30,000 miles: Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Capitol Limited, Pacific Surfliner. Later this year: Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, Southwest Chief, Illini/Saluki.
Other rail - White Pass and Yukon Route Railway - Skagway to Carcross, Grand Canyon Railway, Fillmore and Western Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Metrolink, Private railcar excursions.
#3
Hudson, Massachusetts
250 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by TinCan782
Took the cruise Clarkston to Vancouver in October 2016. Didn't take any of the paid tours. However, wish I would have done the UNCOVERING THE SECRETS OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT. After visiting the Hanford Reach Museum (Hop On, Hop Off), I wish I would have done that excursion.
Thank you so much for the info. I enjoyed looking at your amazing pictures!

~Carol
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05-31-2017 Oceania Regatta
01-13-2017 Oceania Riviera
10-19-2016 Star Princess
05-08-2016 Caribbean Princess
01-04-2016 Princess Island
10-10-2015 Viking Idi
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07-15-2013 Oceania Marina
05-29-2011 Avalon Tapestry
#4
Los Angeles
318 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
Originally posted by Cruze4Ever
Thank you so much for the info. I enjoyed looking at your amazing pictures!

~Carol
Glad you enjoyed the photos.
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JohnAmtrak - 30,000 miles: Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited, Texas Eagle, Capitol Limited, Pacific Surfliner. Later this year: Sunset Limited, City of New Orleans, Southwest Chief, Illini/Saluki.
Other rail - White Pass and Yukon Route Railway - Skagway to Carcross, Grand Canyon Railway, Fillmore and Western Railway, Napa Valley Wine Train, Metrolink, Private railcar excursions.
#5
Burbank, CA
157 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by Cruze4Ever
We are taking a Snake & Columbia in September and was wondering what paid excursions anyone can recommend.

Thanks!

~Carol
My wife and I just returned from the cruise traveling east to west with nine other couples. We did the Spokane City Tour, High Octane Antiques: The Western Aeroplane and Automobile Museum, Multnomah Falls & Vista House, Lewis and Clark Experience and the Portland Rose City Tour. All were very good but the Aeroplane & Automobile Museum was excellent. One couple did the Hells Canyon Jet Boat Experience and enjoyed it. The Hop-on, Hop-off tours were wonderful as always. I'll be doing a full review as soon as I can. Overall, a great trip.
#6
2,551 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We leave Saturday to go Vancouver to Spokane. Will report back on the excursions and the hop on hop off. Really looking forward to the trip. Pat
#7
Hudson, Massachusetts
250 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by pacmom
We leave Saturday to go Vancouver to Spokane. Will report back on the excursions and the hop on hop off. Really looking forward to the trip. Pat
Thank you! Have a wonderful trip and I am anxious to hear about it!
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05-31-2017 Oceania Regatta
01-13-2017 Oceania Riviera
10-19-2016 Star Princess
05-08-2016 Caribbean Princess
01-04-2016 Princess Island
10-10-2015 Viking Idi
05-16-2014 Oceania Nautica
07-15-2013 Oceania Marina
05-29-2011 Avalon Tapestry
#8
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by Cruze4Ever
Thank you so much for the info. I enjoyed looking at your amazing pictures!

~Carol
Hi Carol,
Never been on Riverboat but have heard great things and some not-so-great about American Empress condition, etc. Currently booking for the sept 22 cruise. Would appreciate candid review and recommendations on tours. Enjoyed your pictures. Maybe I can leave my "good camera" at home.
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Bop
#9
Hudson, Massachusetts
250 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by Bop
Hi Carol,
Never been on Riverboat but have heard great things and some not-so-great about American Empress condition, etc. Currently booking for the sept 22 cruise. Would appreciate candid review and recommendations on tours. Enjoyed your pictures. Maybe I can leave my "good camera" at home.
There are two popular cruise lines - American Cruise and American Queen. I have read much better reviews about American Queen.
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05-31-2017 Oceania Regatta
01-13-2017 Oceania Riviera
10-19-2016 Star Princess
05-08-2016 Caribbean Princess
01-04-2016 Princess Island
10-10-2015 Viking Idi
05-16-2014 Oceania Nautica
07-15-2013 Oceania Marina
05-29-2011 Avalon Tapestry
#10
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Thanks Carol.
I pretty much surmised that American Queen may be the best bet, however, some reviews are less than complimentary about the American Empress. Like Ocean Cruising and Euro river cruises, there are some folks who just aren't satisfied. I tend to look for the good and usually find it in the experiences and people I meet.

We are currently ready to book for mid sept 2019. We have always had good weather in Sept and with luck, maybe a touch of fall colors. We picked the Lewis and Clark itinerary after watching the great pioneer series om
n TV. Learned a lot that I did not know about L&C, Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, etc. Now we gotta buy our coonskin caps for our cruise.

Thanks for the response and happy cruising.

Bop
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Bop
#11
Southern Indiana
311 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
We did the optional Wine and Spirits on Red Mountain on our October 2017 cruise and really enjoyed that. We were booked on the Multnomah Falls and Vista House, but of course that was cancelled due to the road closures after the wildfires. The wine tour was sold out before we even sailed, and we waitlisted online. They ended up adding a second bus for that tour because so many were waitlisted.
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#12
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Just checked our reservation. We are amidship on the starboard side of the boat.Looks like we will be facing north from our veranda.

Bop
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Bop
#13
Southern Indiana
311 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Also, I'll be happy to answer any questions if I can. I posted an in depth review of our cruise when we returned (10/18). If you can't find it let me know, and I'll see if I can pull up the link. Like Bop says, it is what you make it and there will always be people who have something to gripe about, especially in this age group Hubby and I were in the lounge one afternoon and talking to the riverlorian, and I mentioned how everyone was so friendly and we had met lots of nice people. She replied that several of the staff had remarked about that with our cruise group, and that it did vary widely from week to week depending on the passengers. So again, a lot is in your attitude and outlook!
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Viking Star (Mediterranean) 3/19
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#14
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Amen!

Positive attitudes go a long way in enjoying life and enhancing travel experiences. Some of our fondest memories have been in dealing with travel difficulties with new- found friends. On one trip to Sirrince (sp?) in Turkey, our tour guide drove across a pasture and cow path and our van got stuck on a hump. We all had to get out and push the van back on solid ground through the mud. It turned out to be a laughing good time and a cherished memory. We still keep in touch with the tour guide and have sent other friends to him.

Bop
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Bop
#15
2,551 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Excursions that we took. DH went zip lining and loved it. Only 4 people from the boat went. I took the Lewis and Clark expedition and really enjoyed it. There is so much to learn about that time. The Riverlorian Mary gave a series of lectures about the expedition--nothing too technical. Enjoyed her talk about medicine at that time and on the trip. It is amazing that only one person died and that was his appendix.
We also did the Red Mountain Wine and Spirits tour. Mess up with the Falls trip. It was the day after the zip lining and DH really didn't want to go. Valerie the tour person had been able to find 2 seats, but we didn't go.

The boat is not new and had formally been the Empress of the North. Our cabin 205 was very clean--bed too soft for me, but DH loved it. Loved having a Kuerig machine in the cabin--tea and or coffee at any time. Made good use of our balcony because of the long daylight hours.

This was our 26th river cruise with various companies. Food in Main Dining Room was okay. Breads and desserts really needed to be upgraded. We only ate dinner there. The night that lobster was on the menu, we ordered 1/2 portion of the prime rib to go with it. The 2 nites in the River Grill entree was also lobster which you could have with a 1/2 portion of beef tornedos. The chef in the river grill was fantastic. He was there for all three meals. The grill station at breakfast and lunch were really good--super cheeseburgers.

Entertainment was quite good, two recent graduates of BelmontU. Music program--Jordan and Isaac. Great voices and good dance moves. They also had 2 guest artists, banjo program super.

Loved the way that embarkation was handled--all done at the precruise hotel. We did come in a day early and enjoyed wandering around Vancouver--great farmer's market on Sat and Sun a short walk from the Hilton.

All in all a very good cruise. Happy to answer any more questions. Pat
#16
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Has anyone found a better deal on cruise insurance At our age, the insurance is as much as the flights. AQSC insurance premiums seem very high.

Bop
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Bop
#17
Texas
943 Posts
Joined May 2002
You might want to look at "insuremytrip.com" if you haven't checked there. You can get a quote without any problems and compare different companies.
#18
Midlothian VA
967 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Gsel,
Thanks for suggestion. Will check site for quotes.

Bop
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Bop
#19
Southern Indiana
311 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by Gsel
You might want to look at "insuremytrip.com" if you haven't checked there. You can get a quote without any problems and compare different companies.
We always book through insuremytrip.com - they also have great customer service, if you have questions and need to call.
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Viking Star (Mediterranean) 3/19
Viking Tor (Romantic Danube) 11/18
American Empress 10/17
Viking Kvasir (Rhine Getaway) 8/15
Celebrity Infinity (Alaska) 8/10
Celebrity Infinity (Hawaii) 5/02
Celebrity Century (Eastern Caribbean) 5/96
Celebrity Zenith (Western Caribbean) 4/95
#20
22 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Originally posted by Cruze4Ever
We are taking a Snake & Columbia in September and was wondering what paid excursions anyone can recommend.

Thanks!

~Carol
We are also taking the S&C in Sept. 10-17th from Clarkston to Vancouver. We are worried about the fires and how they will impact excursions. We haven’t signed up for any, not sure when to do that , before we get on the boat or after.