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Sunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River

Clarkston to Vancouver

Spokane to Portland - Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Empress
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Discover the best of the Pacific Northwest on this 9-day voyage from Clarkston to Vancouver aboard American Empress. Embark on a river cruise to see that the natural world is alive here – unlike anywhere else on earth – and through historic sites and locks and dams, it flows. Sea lions sunbathe on buoys as the distant horizon unblankets the sky to reveal its snow-capped mountains between Portland and Spokane. 
Vineyard on a beautiful dayWashingtonMultnomah Falls, near Portland, OregonView the stunning Columbia River GorgeVancouverSunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River
Highlights
  • Explore Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies
  • Experience the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center and Bonneville Dam
  • Enjoy wines from local Pacific Northwest wineries
  • Enjoy tastings, pairings, and educational series with regional experts
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Spokane, 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 Steamboat Company and local representatives will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.

 

Day 2: Clarkston, WA | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
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.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Clarkston's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
Nez Perce National Historical Park  
The park was established in 1965 to tell the story of the Nez Perce people. Capturing the history and culture of the Nez Perce, it is spread over four states. Discover how the people adapted and thrived allowing them to continue to prosper today. The park commemorates the admirable contributions the Nez Perce have made to preserve the sites, artifacts, and stories. Learn the full story and the role they played in shaping the future generations in culture and tradition. Watch and explore the park's movie, museum, and trails to learn more about this interesting and innovative group of people.
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 Minutes     

Newberry Square  
Hop off at this exciting shopping opportunity in Historic Lewiston. Browse the diverse collection of small businesses in and around the revitalized Newberry Square Shopping Mall. This historic department store building now houses plenty of boutique shops. Search for the perfect souvenir or simply enjoy this bustling section of Lewiston.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 Minutes     

Nez Perce County Historical Society Museum Campus  
This museum preserves 150 years of the county's rich history through a historical campus that includes the main museum, a historic home, and an original Lewiston 1922 trolley car in its own outside shelter. The museum stands at the former site of Lewiston's first permanent building, the Luna House Hotel, built in 1863. The Luna House served as a hotel, stage stop, county courthouse and jail. The hotel was torn down in 1890 and the current Art Deco style building was constructed in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration as a county office building and was converted into the main museum in the 1970s. Later, the Historical Society changed its name to better identify itself as the institution that is preserving Nez Perce County history. Some of the museum exhibits include: The history of the Nez Perce people; Lewis & Clark meet the Nez Perce; The contributions of Chinese people to Lewiston's story; Life and recreation on the local rivers; and wine growing and agriculture in the county. The museum store has local and regional history books, souvenirs, and local handmade artisan items available for purchase. After exploring the main museum, visitors are encouraged to tour the Heritage House, whose foundation dates back to 1863 and illustrates a lovely preserved and restored Lewiston residence in a developing Western town in the early 1900s. Then check out the trolley car, with its original patina and its history shown in pictures in its windows.
Suggested Visit: 45 Minutes - 1 Hour  

Day 3: Clarkston, WA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Clarkston's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
Nez Perce National Historical Park  
The park was established in 1965 to tell the story of the Nez Perce people. Capturing the history and culture of the Nez Perce, it is spread over four states. Discover how the people adapted and thrived allowing them to continue to prosper today. The park commemorates the admirable contributions the Nez Perce have made to preserve the sites, artifacts, and stories. Learn the full story and the role they played in shaping the future generations in culture and tradition. Watch and explore the park's movie, museum, and trails to learn more about this interesting and innovative group of people.
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 Minutes     

Newberry Square  
Hop off at this exciting shopping opportunity in Historic Lewiston. Browse the diverse collection of small businesses in and around the revitalized Newberry Square Shopping Mall. This historic department store building now houses plenty of boutique shops. Search for the perfect souvenir or simply enjoy this bustling section of Lewiston.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 Minutes     

Nez Perce County Historical Society Museum Campus  
This museum preserves 150 years of the county's rich history through a historical campus that includes the main museum, a historic home, and an original Lewiston 1922 trolley car in its own outside shelter. The museum stands at the former site of Lewiston's first permanent building, the Luna House Hotel, built in 1863. The Luna House served as a hotel, stage stop, county courthouse and jail. The hotel was torn down in 1890 and the current Art Deco style building was constructed in 1937 by the Works Progress Administration as a county office building and was converted into the main museum in the 1970s. Later, the Historical Society changed its name to better identify itself as the institution that is preserving Nez Perce County history. Some of the museum exhibits include: The history of the Nez Perce people; Lewis & Clark meet the Nez Perce; The contributions of Chinese people to Lewiston's story; Life and recreation on the local rivers; and wine growing and agriculture in the county. The museum store has local and regional history books, souvenirs, and local handmade artisan items available for purchase. After exploring the main museum, visitors are encouraged to tour the Heritage House, whose foundation dates back to 1863 and illustrates a lovely preserved and restored Lewiston residence in a developing Western town in the early 1900s. Then check out the trolley car, with its original patina and its history shown in pictures in its windows.
Suggested Visit: 45 Minutes - 1 Hour  

Day 4: Richland, WA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Step off the boat into a perfectly polished park, and take a short stroll to downtown Richland’s shops, eateries, and attractions. Or venture to Walla Walla, where around every bend is an iconic winery, unforgettable view, or epic adventure. With more than 120 wineries and 2,800 acres of grapes, Walla Walla is recognized among the finest wine regions in the nation. These robust, exceptional flavors come with a refreshingly relaxed come-as-you-are attitude. Incorporated in 1910, Richland remained a small agricultural community until the U.S. Army purchased 640 square miles of land – half the size of Rhode Island – during World War II, evicting the 300 residents of Richland as well as those of the now-vanished towns of White Bluffs and Hanford. The army turned it into a bedroom community for workers at its Manhattan Project facility who produced plutonium during World War II and the Cold War. The population increased from 300 in July and August 1943 to 25,000 by the end of World War II in August 1945. All land and buildings were owned by the government. Everything necessary was provided, from free bus service to lightbulbs, and trees were planted in people’s yards by the government. Housing was assigned to residents and token rent was collected; families were assigned to single-family homes or duplexes; single people were placed in apartments or barracks. The prefabricated duplexes and single-family homes are all that survive today. With the end of the war, the Hanford workers’ camp closed, and many workers moved away.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Richland's Included Hop-On Hop-Off
The REACH Museum (The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center):  
In the year 2000, President Clinton established the 196,000-acre Hanford Reach National Monument, recognizing the historical, ecological, and scientific importance of the last free-flowing section of the mighty Columbia River. 

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. 


 

Day 5: The Dalles, Oregon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Known as the end of the Oregon Trail, The Dalles holds a unique place in history as the gateway to the Inland Empire. The Dalles was the jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gunslingers, floozies and scallywags, who loaded their wagons onto rafts or barges and floated down the Columbia to the mouth of the Willamette River, then upriver to Oregon City. The Barlow Trail was constructed later to permit an overland crossing. The Dalles was also the site of Fort Dalles. Established in 1850 to protect immigrants after the Whitman Massacre, it was the only military post between the Pacific Coast and Wyoming. The only building left of Fort Dalles is the Surgeon’s Quarters, which has been incorporated into the Fort Dalles Museum. Fort Dalles Museum features a collection of military artifacts, household goods and old medical equipment. Recreation in The Dalles includes windsurfing, camping and fishing. Anglers can try for walleye and sturgeon in the Columbia River. Although part of the Oregon High Desert, the area features a long growing season and a relatively warm climate that supports the growing of grapes. The Dalles is Oregon wine country’s new frontier and home to a wine scene with ballooning production. Visitors will be pleased to see the surrounding landscape is like a watercolor painting, the many greens of ripe orchards and vines blending into verdant, tree-lined hillsides. Mount Hood overlooks the Cascades and the shield they provide against the persistent rain the Willamette Valley has grown so accustomed to.


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 6: Stevenson, WA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestled between the Columbia River to the south, and the mountains and basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge to the north, Stevenson offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of larger ports. The area has been home to Native American settlements for thousands of years. Their villages were focal points for commerce and social gatherings as they came to trade and fish along the riverbanks. Later, in 1843, the Oregon Trail brought the first of a great wave of settlers; pioneers portaged around the Cascade Rapids on their way to the Willamette Valley.

Some of these pioneers chose to stay. The Stevenson family from Missouri, who settled in the Gorge in the 1800s, founded the town. Under the auspices of the Stevenson Land Company, George Stevenson established the town along the lower flat near the river and expanded the original dock to serve the daily arrivals of sternwheelers. Stevenson still embraces the adventurist – with hiking trails, hot springs and local wineries, there is plenty to see and do. Take a stroll along Stevenson’s riverfront where giant fish wheels once plied the Columbia River’s waters for salmon. Witness colorful kiteboarders’ sails, as they jump and twist on the Columbia’s swells. Watch the ducks, geese and other waterfowl nesting at Rock Creek Cove. Browse through the small, locally owned gift shops, antique stores and art galleries in which reside treasures of the Pacific Northwest. And visit the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center to explore Native American legends, petroglyphs and artifacts telling the story of the Gorge.

 

Day 7: Stevenson, WA | Camas/Washougal, WA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestled between the Columbia River to the south, and the mountains and basalt cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge to the north, Stevenson offers a respite from the hustle and bustle of larger ports. The area has been home to Native American settlements for thousands of years. Their villages were focal points for commerce and social gatherings as they came to trade and fish along the riverbanks. Later, in 1843, the Oregon Trail brought the first of a great wave of settlers; pioneers portaged around the Cascade Rapids on their way to the Willamette Valley.

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). Bonneville Dam can produce 1,227,000 kilowatts of electricity when needed, and moving over 10 million tons of cargo through its lock annually. 

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!  

Camas and Washougal are located side-by-side on the banks of the Columbia River. Part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, this community serves as the “Gateway to the Gorge.” A highlight to a visit here is a drive through the Columbia River Gorge, the largest national scenic area in the United States. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the Gorge stretches for more than 80 miles as the Columbia River winds westward through the Cascade Range, forming the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south.



 

Day 8: Astoria, OR

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Surrounded by forests, boasting three rivers and situated a stone’s throw away from the Pacific, Astoria is a picturesque port city with Victorian-era homes etched into hills overlooking the Columbia River. Astoria is known to be the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, inhabited for thousands of years by the Clatsop Tribe.  Astoria has a rich history that reflects the many influences the town has had from people and cultures around the world. Many of its current residents are descendants from early settlers, many of whom were Chinese and played a significant role in Astoria’s history especially in the canneries, railroads, and the jetties at the Columbia River. The Garden of Surging Waves is a beautiful park that celebrates and honors Astoria’s relationship with China over the years. The Astoria Riverwalk is the lifeblood of the city and the best way to get a feel for the city spirit. Perhaps start your exploration at the Port of Astoria with hundreds of ships from all over the world. Walk under the 4.1-mile-long Astoria-Megler Bridge, enjoy the spectacular views of the river, check out the Maritime Memorial, visit one of the many nearby shipwrecks, learn about life on the Columbia at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and enjoy the lounging sea lions on the docks at 36th Street. Alternatively, 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. 

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 9: Vancouver, WA | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you. 

Ship/Hotel

American Empress

American Empress3
river grill bar
Astoria Dining Room

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Early Booking Savings
Book by January 1, 2023, and enjoy up to 20% Early Booking Savings on select 2023 cabin categories.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Contact us for more details.
 
Applies to all departures

Advance Payment Savings
Pay-in-full at the time of reservation and receive an additional 5% Advance Payment Bonus Savings, combinable with All-Inclusive Fares and Early Booking Bonus savings. Available on all voyages when booked and paid in full 120 days or more prior to sailing.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Valid on new bookings only. Savings may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures

Per person starting at
$3,099
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 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 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 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 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.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Beverages
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel
  • Open Bars and Lounges
  • All-Day In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Unlimited Included Expedition Adventures by Zodiac or Kayak (For Expedition Cruises Only)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Port Fees
  • 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.
  • Mandatory Gratuities

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