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How to choose the best Columbia River cruise for you

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The Columbia River cruise itineraries that we offer start in Portland/Vancouver and head west to the port town of Astoria, where you will do a 180-degree turn and head east, enjoying the beauties of the Pacific Northwest and the tranquility of river cruising. We offer many different itineraries that will stop at different port cities and parks, with different activities as well. Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the best Columbia River cruise for you!

Choose your cruise length: Most of our itineraries are very similar in length, including 7, 8, and 9-day cruises.

Choose your cruise season: When do you want to experience the Columbia River? Cruises of the Pacific Northwest are great in all three cruising seasons - spring, summer, and fall. Find out more about when you should visit the Columbia River here.

Choose your ship: We currently offer four different cruises that feature itineraries on the Columbia River. These are ordered from largest onboard occupancy to smallest.
  • American Empress - This large ship hosts up to 211 guests and was recently renovated in 2020. It offers plenty of outdoor sitting areas for travelers to engage with one another and observe the beauties of the Pacific Northwest. 
  • National Geographic Quest - This classic expedition ship can accommodate up to 100 guests and has a fitness center and a 24-hour bar with a lounge and a dining room as well. 
  • Wilderness Legacy - For its 88 passengers, this vessel is designed with the Pacific Northwest in mind. It is decorated in stately Victorian style, including a grand salon with a dance floor and a full bar, as well as many more accommodations.
  • National Geographic Sea Lion - This ship can accommodate just 62 guests for a more intimate and personalized cruising experience, and it features a library, sun deck, and lounge. Plus, its “Open Bridge” policy allows you to meet the officers.
Interested in a themed cruise? While all of our cruises feature a mix of activities and adventures, we also have wine-themed cruises. These wine-focused cruises stop in beautiful vineyards where you will learn and view firsthand how the grapes are grown, harvested, then turned into fine wine and aged. Finally, you will have the chance to taste the top wines of the Pacific Northwest. This is usually ideal for couples and older groups, although children are welcome to join as well.

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