Arriving in Portland, a representative will escort you to the hospitality suite where you can relax or explore the city. Breweries, bookstores, coffee shops, and quirkiness abound, the City of Roses doesn’t disappoint with colorful options within walking distance. When it’s time to board the Wilderness Discoverer, you’ll be welcomed with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and views of the city—a perfect start to your adventure cruise.
Day 2: Astoria | Ft. Clatsop | Lewis & Clark National Historical Park
Dock in charming, Victorian downtown Astoria, then you’re off to Ft. Clatsop, the winter fort of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Check out the exhibits and follow trails to the replica fort or take a low- /no-elevation walk from the visitor center to view replica dugout canoes. For a longer but easy hike, a one-mile trail along the Lewis and Clark River leads to an outdoor viewing area highlighting the landscape and stories described in the journals of Lewis & Clark. Hard chargers can take a 7-mile, one-way hike on the Fort to Sea Trail through forest, fields, and dunes. Whichever you opt for, everyone experiences Ft. Clatsop and beach walk. Back downtown, explore on your own, walk the waterfront trail, and/or visit the Astoria Column. Afterwards, set sail up river and see what delectable treats your chef and crew have in store for the evening—a nibble from a local harvest, a special pairing perhaps?
Day 3: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area | Hood River Valley
Gateway to the gorge. Slip through the Bonneville Dam locks, then head behind the scenes at the visitor center. You’re in luck with a private tour of its massive turbines and fish ladders. Take a walk on the wild side at Multnomah Falls—the tallest in the state. Snap a few photos before big adventure: a bike* and wine outing. Pedal and taste your way through the Hood River Valley accompanied by local guides. Quaint shops, bountiful orchards, boutique wineries—it’s all worth stopping for. Hop off your bike for visits with the locals and wine tastings on sunny patios. Back on the saddle again, feel the breeze in your face as you wind your way on backcountry roads through this perfectly pastoral countryside. On board, rest up from a full day with a good soak in the hot tub.
River play is on the agenda today—whichever option you pick start with a shallow wet landing on beach. Choose whitewater with a Deschutes rafting adventure. Class II and III+ rapids come with names like Elevator and Surf City. Rafting guides provide the gear (including optional wetsuits) and expertise; your ship’s chef provides the picnic lunch. Stick to dry land and hike or bike in the canyon of Deschutes River State Recreation Area. Take a dip in a lazy section of the river, and let the sunshine dry you up after a swim. Along the river’s edge, listen to the rustle of cottonwoods. Swap stories with your shipmates over sunset cocktails and appetizers.
The essentials of the day—kayaks, paddle boards, swimsuits, and hiking shoes. Bring your binocs, too (there’s great birding and views). At the only remaining waterfall formed by the ice age-era Missoula Floods, hike through the canyon to view the falls—which according to tribal legend, were born after a gallant fight with a mythic creature. Afterwards, skiff out to the kayaks and grab a paddle or go for a swim in the Palouse River Canyon. Wind up the afternoon cruising one of the most scenic stretches of the Snake River. After your final upriver locking at Lower Granite Dam, dock in Clarkston, Washington.
Kickstart the day with a hike back in time in the land of the Ice Age Floods. Once under 900 feet of water, this area is now a dramatic landscape of basalt and lava lesson in geology best learned in your favorite hiking boots. Treat yourself after a big morning to a sampling of eats and sips of the region including microbrews and spirits. Bellies full, the afternoon is perfect for easy river cruising, joining your guides for interpretive presentations of land rich in history.
Lava flows, floods, and volcanic ash deposits shaped the Rowena—sheer cliffs, basalt landforms, wide-stretching plateaus. At Rowena Overlook, it’s boots-on-the-ground exploration. Opt for 2-mile roundtrip to the crest of Tom McCall Nature Preserve. Your reward: expansive views in every direction—including the river far below. Or, choose the steeper, 3.6-mile roundtrip Tom McCall Point trail. On a cloudless day, your effort gaining 1,000 feet of elevation pays off with views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River GorgeOUS! Post-hike, fuel up. There’s time to cycle or stroll along the Twin Tunnels Trail—a pedestrian-only section of the historic Columbia River Highway, or tour a Hood River orchard and working farm (that makes a mighty fine cider).
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!