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Sunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River

Vancouver (Portland) to Clarkston (Spokane)

Vancouver to Clarkston - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Empress
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Discover the best of the Pacific Northwest on this 9-day voyage from Vancouver, Washington to Clarkston, Washington aboard American Empress. Sail the Columbia and Snake rivers to explore the region's stunning coast, lush rainforests, and scenic mountains. Discover incredible hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities. Delve into the region's history, from its unique geology, to the local Indigenous cultures, to the European explorers. Get a taste of the distinctive wines grown on the slopes of the surrounding hills and mountains. Explore funky port cities such as Portland, Astoria, The Dalles, and more. 
Multnomah Falls, near Portland, OregonBridge over Columbia River to Mount HoodExplore beautiful PortlandExplore the Snake River in the Pacific Northwest of the USView the stunning Columbia River GorgeSunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River
  • Explore Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies
  • Experience the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center and Bonneville Dam
  • Jet boat the Snake River through Hells Canyon
  • Discover the legacy of the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Vancouver, Washington

Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Both American Queen Voyages and local representatives will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.

Day 2: Vancouver, WA | Embark

A suburb of Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, Washington, has taken on a distinctive identity of its own. Located in an ideal spot among Mount St. Helens, the Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Coast, Vancouver boasts a newly renovated waterfront and an abundance of activities, scenic landscapes and historic attractions for all to enjoy.

Day 3: Astoria, Oregon

Astoria is known to be the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. There is no doubting the richness of the history grounded in this Columbia River town. For thousands of years, the Clatsop Tribe inhabited the lands. Today, you can climb to the top of the Astoria Column – wrapped in depictions of history – look out over the landscape toward the Pacific Ocean and watch your model wooden airplane glide through the air to its rest below.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Astoria's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
The Riverwalk
A six-mile paved walkway overlooking the beautiful Columbia River. In addition to the remarkable views, guests can explore the statues, shops, cafes, docks, and historic canneries dotting the path. Guests, who wish to, can choose to board the riverfront trolley that runs along the banks for an extra fee. The Astoria Riverwalk, also known as the Astoria River Trail, stretches the entire length of the city’s waterfront, connecting restaurants and breweries, museums, and dozens of other attractions. 

The Flavel House
As one of the best-preserved examples of Queen Anne architecture in the Northwest, the Flavel House survives today as a landmark of local and national significance. The house was built as a retirement home in 1885 for Columbia River bar pilot, Captain George Flavel, and his family. The Flavel House has been restored and furnished to portray the elegance of the Victorian period and the history of the Flavel family. 

Astoria Column
This magnificent monument stands 600 feet above sea level and gives the perfect view to Young’s Bay, the Coast Range, the Columbia River, and in the distance, even the Pacific Ocean. Ralph Budd initiated the project to celebrate Astoria’s early settlers. He hired Italian immigrant and artist Atillilio Pusterla to model a piece inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome, featuring hand-painted spiral frieze work, stretching over 500 feet if it were to be unwound.

Heritage Museum
Astoria’s Old City Hall building, a neoclassical structure designed by prominent Portland architect Emil Schacht in 1904, is home to the Historical Society’s collection and archive. Clatsop County’s rich and exciting history is featured in the museum’s permanent and changing exhibit galleries. Objects on display include a 1,000-year-old hunting implement, finely crafted 19th-century Chinook and Clatsop Indian baskets, and a sea otter pelt and beaver hat which illuminate the early history of Astoria. Logging and fishing, the two economic mainstays since 1870, are represented in collections of tools, equipment, and photographs. The stories of the many diverse ethnic groups that settled in the area are depicted in the Emigrants Gallery. A recent addition to the Heritage Museum’s exhibits and located on the second floor, is “Vice and Virtue in Clatsop County: 1890 to Prohibition.” The gallery contains a partially reconstructed saloon and illustrates Astoria’s seedy past when the town was known along the West Coast for its infamous saloons and brothels.
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Here, guests can experience interactive displays, galleries and collections representing the history of the mighty Columbia River throughout time. The museum was founded in 1962 when Rolf Klep returned to his birthplace after retiring from his art career on the East Coast. Klep was a long-time collector of maritime artifacts and he began to recruit his colleagues and friends to help establish a museum to present these collections. The museum was the first in Oregon to meet national accreditation standards and is designated the official maritime museum of Oregon. After a $6 million expansion, the museum now holds six galleries, the Great Hall, and the Lightship Columbia. Enjoy over 30,000 artifacts and 20,000 photos as you travel through this expansive maritime museum! Trail Interactive exhibit! (Admission Additional)

Day 4: Scenic River Cruising

Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner, and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising 

Day 5: Stevenson, Washington | The Dalles, Oregon

Stevenson embraces the adventurist – with hiking trails, hot springs and local wineries, a visitor is sure to find plenty to do. Opportunities for educational enlightenment abound within the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center and at Bonneville Dam. Consider a stop downtown to visit restaurants, cafés and small locally owned shops in which reside treasures of the Pacific Northwest.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Stevenson's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center  
This highly interactive museum is a favorite for many along the river. Enjoy a day of discovering the unique exhibits and artifacts that fill the museum. The mission of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is to share the story of Skamania County and the Columbia River Gorge. Make sure to visit "First People," an exhibit focusing on the history of native people of this area - the Cascade Chinook. 

Bonneville Dam  
The Bonneville Dam is located 40 miles east of Portland, Oregon. It received its name from Captain Benjamin Bonneville - a soldier, trader, and explorer. It consists of a navigation lock (raises and lowers river traffic 60 feet), Powerhouse 1 (completed in 1938), a spillway (moves excess water and provides for downstream migration of young fish), fish ladders (for upstream migrating adult fish), and Powerhouse 2 (completed in 1983).   

Downtown Stevenson  
Make a stop in Downtown Stevenson, where you can get a slice of what Stevenson is all about. Enjoy the many antique shops, historic buildings with vintage interiors, and beautiful, abundant gardens. Visit the boutiques and shops, restaurants, cafes, and convenience stores to treat yourself to a souvenir or a taste of the fine cuisine before heading to your next stop!  

Day 6: The Dalles, Oregon

At the end of the overland Oregon Trail, The Dalles holds a unique place in history as a jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gun-slingers, floozies and scallywags. The Dalles, although a part of the Oregon High Desert, features a long growing season and a relatively warm climate that supports the growing of grapes. As a result, the region is home to a wine scene unlike any other in Oregon. Visitors will be pleased to see the rolling hills speckled with vineyards.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: The Dalles' Included Hop-On Hop-Off
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum  
Enjoy the beautiful paved walking trails, a pond, and scenic overlooks.  The Discovery Center is located in a beautiful and unique ecosystem native to the area. The multimedia, interactive museum inspires appreciation and stewardship of the natural and cultural treasures of the gorge and Wasco County.

Original Wasco County Courthouse Museum  
In 1854,  The Dalles was designated by the Territorial Legislature as the county seat of one of the largest counties ever formed in the United States. Wasco County extended from the crest of the Cascade Mountains to the Great Divide in the Rockies and encompassed 130,000 square miles. Construction began in 1858 under the supervision of Judge Orlando Humason, who was the first county judge and also the chairman of the Board of Commissioners.     

The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce  
Discover the history of this beautiful city. Learn about the many local attractions and buildings, and get a listing of the best places to grab a bite to eat, get a fine glass of wine, find a pharmacy, or do the most unique shopping.  The friendly hosts will assist you in any way possible while informing you about their hometown.
Fort Dalles Museum  
Located in the former fort's Surgeon's Quarters built in 1856, the Fort Dalles Museum opened in 1905, making it one of Oregon's oldest history museums. Take a tour of the unique collection of pioneer and military artifacts at one of the old west's most pivotal places in history. Enjoy walking on the grounds of this military fort and viewing the historic collection of wagons and antique vehicles. 

National Neon Sign Museum  
Brand new in The Dalles, the National Neon Sign Museum is a walk through the evolution of light, from the earliest of light bulb signs (1880-1920) to the introduction of neon to the United States in 1923. The museum provides a dynamic and entertaining environment that promotes an understanding and appreciation of advertising and signage and the unique role it has played in American history. 

Day 7: Richland, Washington

Step off the boat directly into a perfectly polished park, and take a short stroll to downtown shops, eateries and attractions. Incorporated in 1910, Richland remained a small agricultural community until it was acquired by the U.S. Army for the site of the Hanford Engineer Works – used to produce plutonium during World War II and the Cold War. Today, the historic B Reactor and other important historic venues are part of the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. This and many other intriguing locations are offered as part of your experience in Richland.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Richland's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
The REACH Museum (The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center): 
Learn the history and culture of this interesting river town through personal accounts and artifacts highlighting how the top-secret Manhattan Project transformed the mid- Columbia region during World War II. Discover how engineers at the Hanford Site raced to produce material for the nuclear weapons that ended the war, and see how Hanford’s nuclear legacy both threatens and helps protect this unique desert and river ecosystems today. Explore exhibits that display the giant lava flows and cataclysmic ice age floods that sculpted the river’s course. 

Sacajawea State Park:  
Sacajawea State Park is a 284-acre day-use park operated by the state of Washington and located at the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers where Lewis and Clark arrived on October 16, 1805. An excellent interpretive center and museum features interactive displays that tell the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition through the experiences of Sacajawea, the young Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the expedition. It is also the site of one of seven “confluence” installations designed by noted artist Maya Lin for the 2005 Lewis and Clark bicentennial.  

Franklin County Historical Society and Museum: 
From the moment you enter the Franklin County Historical Museum you will be treated with true historical hospitality! Whether you choose to enjoy our collection of artifacts and information at your own pace or receive a personalized tour from one of our gracious tour guides, you will not be disappointed as you stroll through the history of our area. Marvel at the stunning architecture of the original Carnegie Library built in 1911 that proudly houses our museum. The lofty ceilings and beautifully restored ornate dark wood trim create an authentic period atmosphere. 

Day 8: Clarkston, Washington

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 – on the Snake River. Picturesque vistas, year-round mild climates and a deep history make this scenic inland port a desirable stop. Spend the day enjoying Clarkston, Washington and neighboring Lewiston, Idaho while tracing the legacy of the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark – for whom the cities are named.

Day 9: Clarkston, Washington | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Nestled at the union of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, Clarkston was settled in 1862 by Robert Bracken and was officially incorporated in 1902. Before becoming an official town the area was known by various names, including Jawbone Flats, Lewiston, and Concord – after the city in Massachusetts. The name Clarkston honors the legacy of William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition fame. Directly east across the Snake River is Lewiston, Idaho, the larger and older of the two towns, named for Meriwether Lewis. Their expedition passed westbound by canoe in October 1805; neither Lewis nor Clark ever visited the Clarkston side of the river. Eastbound, they returned in early May 1806. Spend the day tracing their historic journey. The spirit of adventure, picturesque vistas, year-round mild temperatures and a deep history make this scenic inland port a desirable stop to learn the rich cultural heritage of the region and its first people, the legendary Nimiipuu. 

Clarkston also offers something for American Queen Voyage guests who appreciate being closer to the water’s edge. Here you can explore the rugged beauty of nearby Hells Canyon – North America’s deepest gorge – aboard a guided jet boat or rafting charter. Washington State wines are renowned as some of the most captivating and irresistible wines in the world. From Clarkston discover the Lewis-Clark Valley wine region, home to the award-winning Basalt Cellars Winery and Parejas Cellars. This small port offers more than a few adventures, and delicious wines, to fall in love with. 


American Empress

American Empress3
river grill bar
Astoria Dining Room

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
American Empress Single outside
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Single Outside Stateroom With Veranda (SO)
160 sq. ft. 1 cabin located on the Frontier Deck. Single bed Full bathroom with shower, Private veranda, Interior access.
American Empress Veranda Stateroom
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Veranda Staterooms (E)
150 sq. ft. 12 cabins located on the Vista Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Semi-private veranda, Interior and exterior access.
American Empress  Outside Stateroom
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Outside Staterooms With Window (D)
180 sq. ft. 7 cabins located on the Explore Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Interior access.
American Empress Deluxe Veranda
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Deluxe Veranda Staterooms (C)
180 sq. ft. 75 cabins located on the Discovery and Frontier Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Private veranda, Interior access.
American Empress Superior Veranda
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Superior Veranda Staterooms (B)
210-250 sq. ft. 9 cabins located on the Vista, Discovery and Frontier Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Sitting area, Private veranda, Interior access, Stateroom 403 features a semi-private veranda.
American Empress Suites with veranda
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Suites With Veranda (A)
310 sq. ft. 6 cabins located on the Vista Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Sitting area with sofa, Semi-private veranda, Interior and exterior access.
American Empress Luxury Suite
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Luxury Suites With Veranda (LS)
410 sq. ft. 2 cabins located on the Discovery and Frontier Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Sitting area with sofa, Private veranda, Interior access Commodore Services, including a River Butler.


PLEASE NOTE: All fares, itineraries, special interest series, entertainment, shore excursions and other voyage attributes are subject to change without notice, and we reserve the right to not honor any published prices that we determine were erroneous due to printing, electronic or clerical error. 
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Open Bars & Lounges throughout the vessel including a juice bar every morning
  • In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Locally Sourced & regionally Inspired Cuisine from land and sea
  • Gourmet Selections of freshly prepared choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited Beverages including an extensive wine list, choice spirits, local craft beers and specialty coffees
  • Unlimited Guided Tours designed with your comfort in mind aboard private, deluxe motorcoaches
  • 1-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay with free ground transfers between hotel and vessel
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Optional Premium Shore Excursions - highly recommend booking these in advance. If interested, ask us for a detailed list of premium excursions for your cruise as these vary depending on your departure date.
  • Transfers to and from the airport



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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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