Columbia/ snake river cruise

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#21
New Jersey
3,710 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi, Leafeater, have done the Columbia from Spokane/Lewiston to Astoria. Fantastic experience -- and plenty to see and do. If you liked Viking in Europe you'll enjoy this, too.


I'm heading out (again!) this weekend, doing the same direction, from Lewiston (which is about a 2 hour bus ride from Spokane through the most unexpectedly gorgeous country). Happy to answer any questions. One interesting thing about the route from east to west is how different the terrain is. It's a lot like a Douro River cruise in Portugal. When you start at the Snake/Columbia in Lewiston, it's very barren and desert-like. As you go west, it gets more lush every day (and then you go through great wine and food farming country), until you end up in misty Astoria. Lovely!

Carolyn


Carolyn Spencer Brown
Chief Content Strategist
Cruise Critic


Originally posted by LEAFEATER
My husband and I want to do a river cruse on the Columbia/snake rivers. We heard that the better way to go is Clarkston to Portland. We have looked into the American Queen and are wondering if Sept. or Oct. would have better weather. What have been others experiences on this cruise? We are in our 70's but active and my husband is a foodie. We have done Viking cruises in France and loved them, and are hoping for a similar experience
#22
Southern Indiana
236 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Hi, Leafeater, have done the Columbia from Spokane/Lewiston to Astoria. Fantastic experience -- and plenty to see and do. If you liked Viking in Europe you'll enjoy this, too.


I'm heading out (again!) this weekend, doing the same direction, from Lewiston (which is about a 2 hour bus ride from Spokane through the most unexpectedly gorgeous country). Happy to answer any questions. One interesting thing about the route from east to west is how different the terrain is. It's a lot like a Douro River cruise in Portugal. When you start at the Snake/Columbia in Lewiston, it's very barren and desert-like. As you go west, it gets more lush every day (and then you go through great wine and food farming country), until you end up in misty Astoria. Lovely!
We are doing the same route in mid-October, Carolyn. It's very hard to find reviews or details from folks about this cruise, so your info is much appreciated! Would love to hear more when you return. Maybe some suggestions of what shops, attractions, etc. are on the 'don't miss' list in each port? We've also done the Rhine with Viking, and booked this one last year due to unrest overseas. So we are hoping for a similar experience. Safe travels!
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#23
western co
21 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Have to agree that available information is sparse. Unfortunately, the cruise line is not much help. We are scheduled for October 1, 2017. Was looking at the list of add-on excursions and it does not come close to matching the list that is on the purchase list. The excursions are apparently developed/handled by another (related?) company. The cruise line unconvincingly says that the (buy) list is the correct one. I am finding that the AAA travel guides provide the most complete local information.
#24
Southern Indiana
236 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by mtncruiser1
Have to agree that available information is sparse. Unfortunately, the cruise line is not much help. We are scheduled for October 1, 2017. Was looking at the list of add-on excursions and it does not come close to matching the list that is on the purchase list. The excursions are apparently developed/handled by another (related?) company. The cruise line unconvincingly says that the (buy) list is the correct one. I am finding that the AAA travel guides provide the most complete local information.
Yes! Noticed the same difference in shore excursions. Seems like when I checked some months ago, there were a lot, including a beer tasting one that really interested my hubby. When I checked again last week to actually book them, the list had shrunk considerably, and the beer tasting is gone. Disappointing.
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#25
Tunbridge Wells
23 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
We cruised last September from Vancouver to Clarkston. Had a great trip.

The included jump on jump off bus service was run very efficiently. We were given maps of each town with bus stops and points of interest stated. The optional excursions were good value.

Each port had enough of interest for the time spent but we are glad we were only there for a day.
#26
6 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Hi, Leafeater, have done the Columbia from Spokane/Lewiston to Astoria. Fantastic experience -- and plenty to see and do. If you liked Viking in Europe you'll enjoy this, too.


I'm heading out (again!) this weekend, doing the same direction, from Lewiston (which is about a 2 hour bus ride from Spokane through the most unexpectedly gorgeous country). Happy to answer any questions. One interesting thing about the route from east to west is how different the terrain is. It's a lot like a Douro River cruise in Portugal. When you start at the Snake/Columbia in Lewiston, it's very barren and desert-like. As you go west, it gets more lush every day (and then you go through great wine and food farming country), until you end up in misty Astoria. Lovely!

Carolyn


Carolyn Spencer Brown
Chief Content Strategist
Cruise Critic

I was wondering if the fires this summer had impacted any of the Snake/Columbia river cruise?
#27
6 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
Has anyone done the Snake River/Columbia river cruise since the fires there this summer? We were wondering how badly damaged the scenery was. We are scheduled on the 9/10/18 Clarkston to Vancouver.
#28
Southern Indiana
236 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by LEAFEATER
Has anyone done the Snake River/Columbia river cruise since the fires there this summer? We were wondering how badly damaged the scenery was. We are scheduled on the 9/10/18 Clarkston to Vancouver.
We leave 10/22 (less than 2 weeks!) for our Columbia River cruise, so I'll let you know. I'm sure we'll see damage at least around the Multnomah Falls area, as that area was heavily impacted. In fact, I'm pretty sure our optional excursion to the Falls will be cancelled due to road closures
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#30
Ohio
2,385 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Originally posted by K9pal
We leave 10/22 (less than 2 weeks!) for our Columbia River cruise, so I'll let you know. I'm sure we'll see damage at least around the Multnomah Falls area, as that area was heavily impacted. In fact, I'm pretty sure our optional excursion to the Falls will be cancelled due to road closures
Likewise, hope your cruise is much better than you're possibly expecting. Will also look forward to your review.
Have a safe journey.
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#31
Southern Indiana
236 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
I plan to post a detailed review, and will let you know when I submit it. One thing I've been disappointed in is finding info from past cruisers, so I hope to 'pay it forward'. We are very excited, counting the days!!
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#32
3 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Alaskanb
We would love to do a September sailing --maybe in 2018.
A few questions however: where is the nearest airport to Clarkston? Does the company provide a transfer to the boat?
Are there tables for two in the dining room?
Thanks
We did this trip in September. You fly into Spokane WA and stay at the Davenport Hotel. Bus takes you to Clarkston to board the boat. It is about a 2 hr. bus trip. If you arrive in Spokane early enough, you can do the city tour which is good.

There are tables for two in the main dining room and River Grille (smaller more casual dining and lobster on menu every night. Also where you can eat breakfast and lunch
#33
New Jersey
3,710 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
The ride between Spokane and Clarkston is unbelievably beautiful, through the beautiful valley of the Palouse! A nice bonus.


Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Chief Content Strategist
Cruise Critic

Originally posted by MoraineMaven
We did this trip in September. You fly into Spokane WA and stay at the Davenport Hotel. Bus takes you to Clarkston to board the boat. It is about a 2 hr. bus trip. If you arrive in Spokane early enough, you can do the city tour which is good.

There are tables for two in the main dining room and River Grille (smaller more casual dining and lobster on menu every night. Also where you can eat breakfast and lunch
#34
San Diego
71 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
if you message me I'll be happy to pass along the one we used - they are located in the Columbia River area.[/quote]

Would love to know your travel agent but don't know how to message you. Can you help?
#35
2,167 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Interested in these river cruises so read through this thread but thought I should mention to keep these boards sane, it is against CC guidelines to ask for or give Travel agent names / contact info
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#36
Ohio
2,385 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Wanted to go on this cruise in 2018 until I read "Fun on American Empress... by Micoman, currently right below this posting. Will not be booking now.
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#37
Southern Indiana
236 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Originally posted by PROCRUISE
Wanted to go on this cruise in 2018 until I read "Fun on American Empress... by Micoman, currently right below this posting. Will not be booking now.
Do not let this change your plans. We went a full month after Micoman, and had no problems. Salmon season was over by then, I imagine the date he went was the height of salmon season. The fire was beyond anyone's control - we were unable to visit Multnomah Falls also due to road closures, but you won't have any problem next year. Go and have a great time!
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