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Columbia River Cruises

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The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest, and with its 485 miles of scenic beauty and rich cultural history, it is one of America's most popular rivers. While on a Columbia River cruise you will explore small river towns and come to appreciate the beauties of the green Pacific Northwest. You can also expect to take walks, bike, swim, and even kayak if the weather allows. Most of our cruises will start in the city of Portland, Oregon, and often will finish by taking the Snake River from Richland to Lewiston, Idaho. Our itineraries usually go west first to the mouth of the river and stop in the port town of Astoria before heading back upriver. Much of the river landscape is paradise for photographers, bird-watchers, and other nature enthusiasts thanks to its rich ecosystem that attracts visitors from around the world. Contact our travel specialists to start planning your ideal trip today!
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7 Best Columbia River Cruises for 2023-2024

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Top 6 Recommended Columbia River Ships for 2023-2024

Ship NameMax PassengersFromSummary
National Geographic Sea Bird62$5880The Sea Bird, sister ship of the Sea Lion, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to its small size, yet it comfortably accommodates 62 …
Wilderness Adventurer60$3900Wilderness Adventurer is an expedition ship capable of nimble exploration through nature's most dramatic hideaways. Offering her 60 passengers an …
American Empress211$3509The American Empress is an authentic paddle wheel river boat cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Proudly serving as the largest overnight …
National Geographic Quest100$6430The National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art expedition ship accommodating 100 guests in 5 different categories of fully equipped cabins. It …
Wilderness Legacy88$4800Embark on this refurbished 88-small ship, the Legacy. Emulating an earlyl victorian steamer, this charming vessel carries guests on small ship …
National Geographic Sea Lion62$5880The Sea Lion, sister ship of the Sea Bird, can reach places inaccessible to larger ships due to its small size, yet it comfortably accommodates 62 …

Columbia River Travel Guide

What to pack for a Columbia River Cruise

When packing for Columbia River cruise vacation, it's important to consider the right clothing to bring. Whether you are planning to be more active or to unwind, the right items can make a difference when it comes to enjoying your time outdoors and indoors. Here are some tips to keep in mind, but as a basic recommendation, think layers, mix and match, and keep it simple:
  • Long and short sleeve options, and a thin layer to go under your jeans. 
  • A lightweight jacket and warm sweatshirt.
  • A raincoat for humid days.
  • Comfortable hiking socks.
  • Walking or hiking shoes.
  • Avoid cotton and opt for wicking or wool fabrics that dry faster.
  • Fancy clothes and dress shoes are not necessary.
  • Small backpack.
  • Sunglasses.

FAQs: Columbia River Cruises

How much does a Columbia River cruise cost?

Columbia River cruises range from $1,400 to $6,100 per person, but the average price for a 7-9 day itinerary is between $4,000-5,000 per person.

What boats cruise the Columbia River?

We feature four of the best vessels cruising the Columbia River - the American Empress, National Geographic Quest, National Geographic Sea Lion, and Wilderness Legacy. Each of these ships is unique, featuring its own atmosphere and appointments onboard, but no matter which you choose you can expect comfortable and spacious accommodations, great food, and exciting itineraries.

What will I do on a Columbia River cruise?

Columbia River cruises are ideal for active travelers willing to get their heart rate up to experience all of the exciting daily activities like biking, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, whitewater rafting, and wildlife viewing. You can also enjoy more relaxed wine tasting and hikes.

What are the top destinations on a Columbia River cruise?

Your Columbia River cruise will take you to some of the top destinations in the Pacific Northwest, including Vancouver, Astoria, Clarkston, The Dalles, the Columbia River Gorge, Walla Walla, and Portland.

Are river cruises good for kids?

River cruises in general are ideal for adult travelers, and Columbia River cruises are best suited to active adults who are looking for a nature-based adventure in the Pacific Northwest. Older teens who like the outdoors may enjoy our Columbia River cruises, but they are not good for younger teens or children. 

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