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Sunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River

Northwest Pioneers Cruise

Portland - Clarkston - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard American Jazz
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Embark on a 12-day Northwest Pioneers cruise aboard the luxurious American Jazz and uncover the untamed beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Cruise from Portland with Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens as your backdrop. Discover Astoria's historic charm and Kalama's Mount St. Helens insight. Cruise the Columbia River Gorge for waterfalls and Hood River's local delights. Experience pioneer life in The Dalles, Richland's landscapes, and Pendleton's cowboy culture, and Clarkston invites you to explore Hells Canyon.
Beautiful river!Looking into the gorgeExplore beautiful PortlandBridge over Columbia River to Mount HoodSunrise at Crown Point, Columbia River Gorge, OregonSunrise over Crown Point at Columbia River
Highlights
  • Explore Astoria, the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies
  • Enjoy the grand landscape of the Cascade Mountains from Kalama
  • Marvel at the natural wonders of the Columbia River Gorge
  • Uncover the charm of Hood River and its artisan delights
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Portland, Oregon

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive in Portland and settle into your hotel, located right at the ship’s dock for a seamless boarding process. Situated between the waters of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, the area's history is forever entwined with the fortunes of these great rivers.

Each Columbia and Snake Rivers itinerary comes with a Hotel Stay, providing you with a seamless way to board the ship and explore the local area. 

Day 2: Embark in Portland | Cruising the Columbia River

On the morning of the cruise, meet in the hotel lobby after breakfast and we will transport you to the ship to begin your cruise. All luggage will be brought directly from the hotel and placed in your stateroom aboard the ship.

Board the ship and enjoy a day with Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens as your backdrop as we cruise to the mouth of the West’s most famous river.

In the golden age of riverboats, sternwheelers crossed the waterfront while steam whistles and calliopes rang out across the water. With its sparkling rivers, stately evergreens, and mild climate, you will understand why this area was noted as exceptional by explorer Meriwether Lewis. Enjoy the scenery in the company of fellow guests in one of the spacious lounges or on the sun deck.

Day 3: Astoria, OR

Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. Colorful Victorian homes adorn the hillside that climbs steeply up from the river, earning it the nickname “The Little San Francisco.”  Explore this remarkable town on your own or choose from a collection of well-curated excursions. 

Step into history on a guided exploration of the National Park Service replica of Fort Clatsop, the 1805-06 winter camp of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Board a local red trolley to ride along the picturesque waterfront or savor the perspective from a bluff high above the city at the picturesque Astoria Column. Peruse the town’s quaint shops, galleries, wineries, and brew pubs. Or simply stroll off the ship to the nearby acclaimed Columbia River Maritime Museum.

Columbia River Maritime Museum - Complimentary Excursion
Experience the Columbia River Maritime Museum on a self-guided excursion. The Columbia River Maritime Museum is the official maritime museum of the state of Oregon and also prides itself as being one of the finest maritime museums on the West Coast. 

Astoria Local Loop - Complimentary Excursion
Explore downtown Astoria on your own aboard this convenient shuttle which makes several stops on a continuous loop throughout the day including:
- Downtown Astoria - for shopping and exploring
- Heritage Museum - featuring Clatsop County’s rich and exciting history in permanent and changing exhibit galleries
- Astoria Column - a tower overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River, from which you can enjoy the majestic views of the countryside from the land
- Flavel House Museum - once the home of Captain George Flavel, this 1885 Queen Anne home features original Eastlake-influenced woodwork, period furnishings, and exotic hardwood

Day 4: Kalama, WA

From our convenient new dock at Kalama, Washington, enjoy the grand landscape of the Cascade Mountains scenic drive to view the remnants of nearby Mount St. Helens. A local guide enhances your understanding and shares the story of the volcano’s 1980 eruption and its impact on the environment and the lives of those in the area. Just off the ship dock, enjoy an expansive city park, unique local artwork throughout an impressive adjacent hotel, and an interesting interpretive center. Or venture out to a nearby family vineyard for an afternoon of wine tasting.

Mount St. Helens Experience - Complimentary
May 18, 1980, is a day etched into the history of the United States, as the powerful eruption of Mount St. Helens drastically changed the landscape of what is now referred to as the National Volcanic Monument. On your scenic journey to Mount St. Helens, learn about the eruption, how it affected the landscape and surrounding communities, and how the environment has responded naturally to the disturbance. Admire spectacular views of the pumice plain and blast site.

Port of Kalama Interpretive Center- Complimentary Excursion
Just a short walk from the ship, explore this new facility that celebrates Kalama’s unique place in Pacific Northwest history as a transportation and commercial hub and is designed to replicate a traditional waterfront warehouse of the 1800s. Exhibits track Kalama’s first inhabitants, the Cowlitz Tribe, and the settlers that followed over the next hundred years, including renowned Oregon Trail writer Ezra Meeker. Displays illustrate how Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system, impacting the area both culturally and economically.

Day 5: Cruising the Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is a spectacular river canyon cutting through the Cascade Mountain Range with amazing natural contrasts of rainforest and desert, sea-level passage, and alpine meadows. As the largest federally protected National Scenic Area in the United States, the Gorge boasts stunning waterfalls, basalt cliffs, lakes, streams, rivers, and fields of wildflowers.

In the 1800's, Lewis & Clark traveled down the scenic Columbia River Gorge on their journey westward, with the Oregon Trail pioneers following soon after. Today, the area offers a variety of history museums and art centers, fine dining, theaters, wineries, and many recreational opportunities, as well as some of the most impressive landscapes in the world.

Day 6: Stevenson, WA

From the comfort of your private balcony, admire the magnificent bluffs of the Columbia River Gorge, covered in deep green forest and framed by picturesque hillsides that quickly ascend toward the sky. Windsurfers and kiteboarders adorn the landscape as they drift across the broad, shining river. 

Nearby attractions offer a day of diverse options. Stand in awe of the glorious Multnomah Falls as it tumbles 620 feet off mountains and down into the river. Visit the Bonneville Dam visitor’s center to ponder the wonders of hydroelectricity and explore the intriguing exhibits of the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum. Discover the village of Stevenson, easily accessible from our dock, offering small-town charm and a unique Northwest flair. Or simply, sit on deck with a beverage and admire the grandeur of nature.

Multnomah Falls - Complimentary Excursion
Plummeting 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the second-highest year-round waterfall in the nation. Experience the sights and sounds of this magnificent waterfall, fed by rain, snowmelt, and underground springs on Larch Mountain.
Admire the falls from the Visitor Center or take a short hike to Benson Bridge, one of the most photographed pieces of architecture in Oregon, to feel its misty spray and get a great photo.
Multnomah Falls also offers one of the best places in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area to view the basalt rock formations exposed by Ice Age Floods.

Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center - Complimentary Excursion
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center, which showcases the area's unique history and cultural diversity. From the Native American tribes that inhabited the gorge to the expedition of Lewis and Clark and 19th-century loggers, learn of the bountiful life on the gorge as you explore this amazing museum.

Day 7: Hood River, OR

Located in the center of the Columbia River Gorge, the beautiful town of Hood River draws its name from the river that drains from Mount Hood into the Columbia River. The town’s old trading post was most famous as the terminus of the Mount Hood Railroad, where timber and produce would be transferred to ships and sent downriver. 

Today, this charming community offers blocks of delights from shops featuring local artisan products to some of the Pacific Northwest's best wineries and breweries. During your stay here, enjoy a guided kayaking excursion through the Gorge, visit a local winery or explore The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum.

Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum - Complimentary Excursion
The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum is dedicated to the preservation of all means of transportation. Enjoy viewing the cars, planes, motorcycles, military vehicles, and more, which are housed in this 3.5-acre indoor hangar. Rather than just refinishing the outside surface, engines are rebuilt so all are operable, resulting in one of the largest collections of antique planes and cars that are still in working condition.

Day 8: The Dalles, OR

The Dalles, the last stop on the historic Oregon Trail, nestles along the Columbia River with a beautiful view of both Mount Hood and Mount Adams, each towering more than 11,000 feet above your cruise ship. To the pioneers of the 1800s, this rugged terrain was treacherous, but to today's visitors, it is fascinating.   

Venture ashore on your own to explore the historic downtown, steps from the ship, featuring fascinating museums, intimate cafes, local pubs, and a collection of historic murals that embellish the streetscape. Or enjoy guided excursions to learn about the area’s rich history, view a unique art collection in a magnificent building perched on a bluff above the river, or spend an afternoon with expert sommeliers enjoying the bounty of the fertile Columbia Valley.

Columbia Gorge Discovery Center - Complimentary Excursion
As you step off the ship, you will be greeted by members of the local visitor’s center who are dressed in period clothing from the pinnacle days of riverboating. Our guide will meet us at the ship for a short narrated tour of the town before arriving at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center.
Explore the various exhibits that describe the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that helped to create the gorge. The highlight of the center visit includes a unique raptor exhibition where we watch birds of prey put on an aerobatic display and learn about the protected eagles that call the gorge home.

Neon Sign Museum - Complimentary Excursion
Imagine a simpler time. From streets that were fan faired with smaltz and glass-beaded signs to windows dazzled from the glow of full storefront neon, America was booming. The National Neon Sign Museum captures the vibrant history, craftsmanship, and culture that shaped America as seen through the evolution of pre-electric vintage signage and advertising. From the turn of the century through the 1960s, The National Neon Sign Museum displays early ephemera, scientific equipment, industry machinery, and spectacular examples of pre-electric and full storefront neon signs. View, explore, and engage with signage and advertising from the turn of the century through the 1960s.

Day 9: Richland, WA

Richland sits at the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia Rivers. Our ship docks are just steps away from scenic waterfront walking trails, unique shops, and local wineries. Enjoy a variety of guided excursions to area parks and museums, including the REACH Museum where you can discover Eastern Washington’s rich landscape and history, from the Ice Age to the Atomic Age. Admire the beauty of the Columbia and Snake River confluence at Sacajawea State Park and explore the grounds where the Corps of Discovery camped in October 1805 amidst a thriving community of Native Americans. 

Sacajawea Interpretive Center - Complimentary Excursion
Explore this fascinating destination, located at the very place where the Lewis and Clark Expedition camped for two nights, amidst a thriving community of Native Americans. Learn about the activities that took place at the site through interactive exhibits about the Corps of Discovery and Sacagawea, a woman known for helping the Lewis and Clark Expedition Team. Stroll the green, tree-shaded grounds, and read the seven-story circle installations by internationally known artist Maya Lin.

Day 10: Pendleton, OR

Best known for its beautiful countryside, legendary rodeo, fine woolens, and leather craftsmanship, Pendleton is a place where the heyday of the American Cowboy, as well as the best of Western tradition and heritage lives on. Join our local guides on a lively look into Pendleton's infamous and entertaining past. Explore the network of underground tunnels created a century ago for illicit activities and learn about the rich culture of the area’s indigenous tribes at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute.   

Day 11: Clarkston, WA

On your way to Clarkston, cruise the legendary Snake River. Watch the remote wilderness and canyon hillsides glide by in ever-changing scenic panoramas. Admire the steep hillsides, dotted with white pelicans, osprey, bald eagles, cormorants, blue herons, and more. 

Nestled in a handsome valley surrounded by steep hillsides, Clarkston embellishes the shoreline along the Snake River at the river’s confluence with the Clearwater River. Named for William Clark of the historic Lewis and Clark Expedition, Clarkston’s origin dates back to the late 1890s, tracing its roots to the Nez Perce, the Native American tribe that originally inhabited the valley. Venture to Hells Canyon for a boat ride, through the deepest canyon in North America, and let your senses run as wild as the landscapes of grand mountain peaks and vast reaches of remote wilderness.

Day 12: Clarkston, WA | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast on board and treat yourself to a narrated ariel adventure over Hells Canyon. As you transport to the airport to begin your journey home, reflect upon your amazing adventure and the memories and friendships made along the way.

Ship/Hotel

American Jazz

American Jazz
American Jazz Lounge
American Jazz Skylounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,630 2-3 travelers
Single Private Balcony
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Single
250 sq. ft., dedicated Single staterooms are perfect for solo travelers, featuring spacious layouts with private balconies, premium bathroom amenities, hairdryers, Keurig coffee brewers, ample storage, complimentary Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, DVD players, and individual climate control.
AAR
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AAR
275 sq. ft. of living space, the AAR staterooms on the main deck offer complete comfort, with a full-size bathroom, large picture window, furnished private balcony, spacious sitting area, individual climate control, Keurig coffee brewer, ample storage, complimentary Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, and a DVD player.
AAL
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AAL
300 sq. ft. of living space, AAL staterooms on the second deck offer plush seating, full-size bathrooms, and furnished private balconies providing outstanding views. Amenities include individual climate control, Keurig coffee brewers, ample storage space, toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, and a DVD player.
AAC
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AAC
At 316 sq. ft., these AAC staterooms are conveniently located on the third deck. Featuring floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, private balconies, a sitting area, a desk, full-size bathrooms, individual climate control, Keurig coffee brewers, ample storage, toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, and a DVD player.
AAM
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AAM
At 350 sq. ft., these spacious staterooms feature commanding views of the passing river landscapes, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with a private balcony, individual climate control systems, in-room Keurig coffee brewers, ample storage, an array of toiletries, complimentary Wi-Fi, Satellite TV, and a DVD player.
Veranda Suite
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Veranda Suite
405 sq. ft. of relaxing space in each Veranda Suite guests are treated to a fruit and cheese plate upon arrival, a complimentary bottle of premium champagne, full-size bathrooms, a large living area, a fully stocked mini-refrigerator, and a private balcony with nightly "suite treats".
Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite
645 sq. ft. of space in each Owner’s Suite offers the finest accommodations featuring a full-size bathroom, separate bedroom and living area, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, and an expansive private balcony for serene moments or breakfast with a riverbank sunrise.
Grand Suite
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Grand Suite
The 650 sq. ft. Grand Suite features panoramic views, a fruit and cheese plate on arrival, and complimentary premium champagne. It includes a private balcony, lavish bedroom, and separate living room. The bathroom has double sinks and plush robes, with an in-suite mini-refrigerator stocked with juices, water, and wines. Nightly "suite treats" are also provided.
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Snacks
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Onboard gratuities
  • Port charges and fees
  • Complimentary cocktail parties
  • Dining service
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Signature shore excursion - Should be reserved in advance due to limited availability.

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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!
Justin Chappelle

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