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LEAFEATER

Columbia/ snake river cruise

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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

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Hi Leafeater,

We just signed up for the July 1st 2018 from Clarkston to Vancouver, We are from the St.Louis area with high humidity so we thought to spend July 4th on the river would be cooler than being on the river under the Arch. You might google for the average temp in Sept/Oct. I'm thinking no matter what time you will need to layer your clothing. Good promotions going on for 2018

Later in Life,

Mark

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We did the American Empress last October...weather was mixed but not terrible. Some showery days but no long periods of heavy rean; several beautiful clear and comfortable days. Our day in Astoria was cancelled due to storm and wind warnings for that day. We spent that day in Vancouver and AE provided bus tours of Portland and Vancouver. We will definitely do it again...the Mississippi next time!

 

Don't know how AE compares to Viking - we had a great experience being on a smaller boat/ship. The food and service was great. We sailed Clarkston to Vancouver as it was a better fit to the Amtrak schedules in Spokane and Vancouver.

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Thanks for the info TinCan. We also wonder about the dining times. one seems so early, but the later 7:45 seems too late

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

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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

 

 

Fly (or other) into Spokane...AQSC puts you up for one night in the Historic Davenport Hotel and then busses you down to Clarkston to begin the actual cruise. The cruise "check-in" takes place at the Davenport. The Davenport was really nice!

 

Yes, there are tables for two. We had 7:45 dinner seating. Although we would have preferred early, dinners worked out well. One evening we had dinner (reservations required) in the River Grill and Bar.

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I am looking into booking a cruise in Sept. 2018 and would like to know if anyone booked this cruise privately either through a travel agent or website and received a better price than the cruiseline is offering.

 

Thanks so much!

 

Carol

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We've taken two cruises on the American Queen and have booked the Columbia River for May, 2018. Always book thru our travel agent who provides onboard credit.

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BTW...here are the photos from our river cruise last October 8-16. We were in Category "C" Cabin 210.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/frensicpic/collections/72157675314886241/

 

Great pictures! Thanks for sharing them. From Cabin 210 did you see the sunsets? I am looking to book very soon and I was told the even numbered side of the ship is best for sunsets from Clarston to Vancouver. Do you agree?

 

Thank you!

 

Carol

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We were on the port side of the boat which faced south. As we cruised in October, the sun tended to be toward the south which may have helped the view of sunsets. Our balcony, facing south, was warmed by the sun on clear days and quite nice. If you do a mid-summer (June-Juy) cruise, the sun will be more overhead. The American Queen is not that large so, its easy to head to the other side if you don't mind leaving your cabin.

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We were on the port side of the boat which faced south. As we cruised in October, the sun tended to be toward the south which may have helped the view of sunsets. Our balcony, facing south, was warmed by the sun on clear days and quite nice. If you do a mid-summer (June-Juy) cruise, the sun will be more overhead. The American Queen is not that large so, its easy to head to the other side if you don't mind leaving your cabin.

 

Thanks so much!!!

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We were on the port side of the boat which faced south. As we cruised in October, the sun tended to be toward the south which may have helped the view of sunsets. Our balcony, facing south, was warmed by the sun on clear days and quite nice. If you do a mid-summer (June-Juy) cruise, the sun will be more overhead. The American Queen is not that large so, its easy to head to the other side if you don't mind leaving your cabin.

 

Whoops...should be American Empress, not Queen!

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Whoops...should be American Empress, not Queen!

 

I knew that you meant American Empress from reading your previous post.

 

Thanks again!

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I am looking into booking a cruise in Sept. 2018 and would like to know if anyone booked this cruise privately either through a travel agent or website and received a better price than the cruiseline is offering.

 

 

From what I understand, AQSC prices are pretty much set. and are not discounted. Whatever specials they might offer are passed along to travel agents. However, a travel agent can offer on board credit. I'm not sure if we can mention travel agencies by name, but if you message me I'll be happy to pass along the one we used - they are located in the Columbia River area.

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John, thanks for posting your photos! One question - do you have any suggestions for transportation from the airport in Spokane to the hotel? I understand the hotel's shuttle can be pricey.

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John, thanks for posting your photos! One question - do you have any suggestions for transportation from the airport in Spokane to the hotel? I understand the hotel's shuttle can be pricey.

 

I can't comment on airport transportation. We arrived by train in Spokane and it was a very short shuttle ride (free, provided by the Davenport Hotel).

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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

 

 

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

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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?

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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.

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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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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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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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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

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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

 

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

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if you message me I'll be happy to pass along the one we used - they are located in the Columbia River area.

 

Would love to know your travel agent but don't know how to message you. Can you help?

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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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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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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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