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SNAKE & COLUMBIA RIVER BY PADDLE BOAT 9 day cruise/tour - June 17, 2018

Majestic and Unimaginably Gorgeous!

If you want to witness staggering beauty, then this is the cruise for you. If you want to be taught about Lewis & Clark’s expedition, then this is the cruise for you. If you would like to learn about Sacajawea, their faithful Native Indian guide, then, this is the cruise for you. If you want to follow the path of Lewis and Clark on a luxury paddle boat down the Snake River connecting to the Columbia River, then this is the cruise for you. If you want to experience all this with Dr. S. Michael Wilcox as your educator, then this is the cruise for you. This will be our third time we are offering a paddle boat cruise. We are truly amazed at how much our passengers enjoy these relaxing cruises. Of the three cruises we have offered, this will be by far the most beautiful.

The ship is smaller than the American Queen, it is more like a wonderful boutique ship that holds about 200 passengers. There are no inside cabins, there are a few outside cabins with windows, but the vast majority of the cabins have private veranda balconies. A balcony cabin on a major cruise line is rarely used as 90% of the sailing time is out to sea with only a big ocean to view. Very little time is spent sitting on your balcony. Not so with river cruising. 100% of the time there is something to look at as you are always sailing between mountains, forests, and cities. The scenery is always changing, constantly being replaced by new scenery. We highly recommend having a cabin that opens up onto a private veranda balcony.

Witness the Precious Lands of the Pacific Northwest
Just as it Appeared to Lewis and Clark in 1805.
Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than here in the pristine Pacific Northwest, a captivating corner of America which displays an abundance of awe-inspiring, natural beauty. This special cruise is specifically tailored to maximize daytime river cruising for optimal viewing of spectacular scenery and iconic highlights such as the Columbia River Gorge. As you cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, you will bear witness to the precious land just as it appeared to Lewis and Clark in 1805 – majestic and unimaginably glorious.

Pioneering reminders range from Fort Clatsop outside Astoria, Oregon, where Lewis & Clark survived the harsh winter, to the sister cities of Clarkston, Washington, and Lewiston, Idaho. The explorers overcame the formidable Celilo Falls and currents near The Dalles, Oregon, a struggle brought to light at Rock Fort Campsite. The role of Sacajawea in the expedition’s success is interpreted at the state park in Washington’s Tri-Cities Region. At Multnomah Falls, snow melt streams plunge more than 600 feet in two tiered cascades down a sheer cliff face. Deeper than the Grand Canyon, Idaho’s Hells Canyon is a dramatic crack in the earth with raging waters. Whether you choose to take in the scenery from Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge nestled among the pines or climb the Astoria Column to view the expansive Pacific, a voyage on the Columbia and Snake Rivers will show you the world from a new perspective.

Following Lewis and Clark Down the Snake and Columbia Rivers
Sail from Clarkston All the Way to Astoria.
pacific NW Map shutterstock_325668155 (1)
Free Shore Excursions with the Ship’s Hop on Hop off Buses
One of the wonderful things included with the American Queen Steamboat Company are the free shore excursions. At every port of call they have their “Hop on Hop off” buses that leave several times an hour making stops throughout the port of call town or village. Several times an hour, the buses come by to move you to your next area that you want to experience.

They also offer what they call Premium Shore Excursions. These are the tours that leave the small port and head back to areas like Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens and more. For many of the stops along this special cruise, all you need is their “hop on hop off” buses for site seeing. Then in other ports of call we would highly recommend doing Our Premium Shore Excursions Package.

We have created our own Premium Shore Excursions Package. If you were to buy the same tours, transfers and hotel night in Portland from the ship, it would cost you over $500. Our total Premium Shore Excursions Package is only $299. You will save over $200.

Our Optional Premium Shore Excursion Package includes:

  • Tour of Spokane and transfer to the ship on day 2.
  • Full day tour to Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge, Multnomah Falls and more.
  • Lewis & Clark Expedition’s Middle Village-Station Camp, Lewis and Clark National Park, Fort Clatsop and more.
  • Full day to Mount St. Helens and a tour of Portland.
  • Hotel in Portland area.

Package Price Includes:

Our Package Price for the Lewis and Clark Expedition Paddle Boat cruise includes:

  • Deluxe hotel in Spokane Washington the night before the cruise.
  • 8 Days 7 nights cruising the Snake & Columbia Rivers on the American Empress Steamboat.
  • Category C outside stateroom w/ Deluxe Verandah.
  • All hotel taxes.
  • $179 in ship taxes and port charges.
  • Transfers from the hotel to the American Empress Steamboat.
  • All of the “Hop on Hop off” bus shore excursions in every port of call.
  • Special Guest Educator: Dr. S. Michael Wilcox – an educator on Lewis and Clark.
  • Breakfasts in the hotels and three quality meals a day on the Steamboat. We found the meal quality often exceeded those found on large cruise ships. They also include 24-hour room service.
  • Group Party on the ship with free specialty drinks like Virgin Pina Coladas and Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris.
  • Music and evening shows on the Steamboat.
  • All soft drinks are included.
  • Fun For Less Tours Staff throughout the trip.
  • Use of our “Whisper Perfect” headset receivers.
  • Not included are the ship’s Premium Shore Excursions OR Our Premium Shore Excursion Package.
  • Not included – Transfer to the Portland Airport at the end of the cruise if you do not take our Premium Shore Excursion Package.

Fun For Less Tours OPTIONAL Premium Shore Excursion Package

  • 1 additional night hotel in Portland Oregon.
  • Full day tour of Spokane down to Clarkston and your Steamboat.
  • Full day tour to Mt Hood, Timberline Lodge, the Fruit Loop, Bonneville Dam, the old scenic highway and Multnomah Falls.
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition tour to Middle Village – Station Camp, Cape Disappointment – Lewis and Clark National Park and Fort Clatsop.
  • Full Day tour to Mount St. Helens. We will make many picturesque stops including the ability to see the full blast zone. We also plan on doing a tour of Portland at the end of the day before going to our hotel.
  • All with Dr. S. Michael Wilcox and our Fun For Less Tours Staff.

OVER $500 worth of Premium Shore Excursions and Hotel for only $299

Package Price: $4,199*

*Per person cash discount price, based on double occupancy.
Does not include airfare, tips or optional premium shore excursion package.
Airfare pricing will be announced around September 2017 once airfare opens up.

Day 1: June 17: Spokane, WA
We depart our home and travel to Spokane, WA. Overnight in a deluxe hotel.
Day 2: June 18: Spokane 
For those doing our optional Premium Shore Excursion package we will do a half day city tour of Spokane, Washington along with a visit to Bing Crosby’s childhood home.
For those not doing our optional Premium Tour package, this afternoon the cruise line will provide a shuttle to the American Empress, where we will be staying the next 7 nights.
Day 3: June 19: Clarkston, WA
Nestled at the union of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers in southeast Washington, Clarkston is the gateway to North America’s deepest gorge, Hells Canyon. The picturesque vistas, year-round mild climates, and a deep history make this scenic inland port a more-than-desirable stop! Spend the day following the footsteps of the historic Lewis and Clark journey – where the city received its name. This incredible city is filled with artifacts and stories that depict the journeys of famous explorers. Enjoy your included “Hop on-Hop off” Tour.
Day 4: June 20: Tri Cities (Richland), WA
Richland is located at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia Rivers. The town has become an important hub for produce and local food and products. Visitors can enjoy the scenic beauty of this stunning and unique river-town. Spend the day exploring the many attractions and shops that line the streets of the city. Richland is weaved with history and filled with a culture that is unlike other northwest cities. Experience a place that thrives on the community and utilizes the support from each other to sustain a strong, intertwined city. Enjoy your included “Hop on-Hop off” Tour.
Day 5: June 21: Scenic River Cruising 
Enjoy a relaxing day cruising the Columbia River. We will also hold a get-together and hear from S. Michael Wilcox.
Day 6: June 22: Dallas, OR
Known as the end of the Oregon Trail, The Dalles has long been a destination point for pioneers and adventurers alike. Located on the south bank of the Columbia River between Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams, the city’s rich history dates back thousands of years to the Native American trading which took place right on the banks of the river. Explore the history that weaves through the town at every stop, discover the art that lines each of the streets, and taste the culinary expertise at some of the town’s most popular cuisine restaurants! Enjoy your included “Hop On-Hop Off” Tour.
Day 7: June 23: Stevenson, WA
On the banks of the scenic Columbia River, the city of Stevenson is your launch pad to the Washington side of the Gorge. A stroll along the Rock Cove pathway or the Columbia River waterfront is a great way to take in surroundings. Downtown Stevenson is home to unique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. Stevenson is in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Explore the eastern entrance to Mount St. Helens or the spectacular Lewis River Valley. Enjoy your included “Hop On-Hop Off” Tour.
Our Optional Premium Shore Excursion package includes a full day tour to Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge, Multnomah Falls and more.
Day 8: June 24: Astoria, WA
Astoria is known to be the oldest American Settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. For thousands of years, Clatsop Indians inhabited the lands that are now known as Astoria. In 1805, Lewis and Clark led their expedition through the town and spent the winter at Fort Clatsop. In 1813, a British warship sailed into the Columbia River, gaining possession of the city and holding control until 1818, when they finally agreed to a joint occupation of the land. The British did not fully leave Astoria until 1846. There is no doubting the rich history has deep roots grounded in this Columbia River town. When the history combines with the scenery, the harmony will surely bring you back for more! Enjoy your included “Hop On-Hop Off” Tour.
Our Optional Premium Shore Excursion package includes Lewis & Clark Expeditions Middle Village-Station Camp, Lewis and Clark National Park, Fort Clatsop and more.
Day 9: June 25: Fly Home
This morning we will disembark in Vancouver, WA and transfer to the Portland airport to fly home.  For those passengers who purchased the Optional Premium Shore Excursion package we will have a tour today that includes Mount St. Helens and a tour of Portland area.  For those who did the Premium Shore Excursion package you will also overnight one more night in a hotel in Portland.
Optional Premium Shore Excursion Package Passengers stay 1 day longer:
Day 10: June 26: All those who did the Premium Shore Excursion Package will transfer to the Portland airport today to fly home.