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The still water of the Palouse River

Columbia and Snake Rivers: Food, Wine, and History

Fall Season - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Sea Bird
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Explore the Columbia and Snake Rivers on this 8-day river cruise. Discover the history, geology, excellent food and wine, and the sheer beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Travel through the region as early explorers, settlers, and natives by the waterways that stretch far inland from the Pacific Ocean.
Scenic LandscapeDugout Canoe at Fort ClatsopFort ClatsopBonneville DamThe still water of the Palouse River
Highlights
  • Trek up the iconic Beacon Rock, Columbia River
  • Zodiac or kayak the Palouse River and visit the cascading falls
  • Jet boat the Snake River through Hells Canyon
  • Explore the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge
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.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Portland, Oregon | Embark

In the late afternoon, embark your ship and cruise the lower part of the Willamette River, passing under the many bridges and through the center of picturesque Portland, before reaching the Columbia River.

Day 2: Astoria

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin your journey by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. At Fort Clatsop, where the explorers hunkered down for the wet winter of 1805-1806, walk through the full-scale reconstructed fort. Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which chronicles the history of river navigation and this port town. In the afternoon you can choose to visit Cape Disappointment or Zodiac and kayak in the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge, conditions permitting.

Day 3: Cruising | Hood River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Immerse yourself in natural and man-made marvels as you explore the scenic Columbia and pass through Bonneville Lock and Dam. Take a steaming cup of coffee to the bow where the naturalists offer honest perspectives on the controversial history of dams along the river. In the afternoon, make a stop at neck-craning Multnomah Falls before an optional hike of iconic Beacon Rock, a basalt column towering 848 feet above the Columbia River. Later, enjoy a private cultural and culinary event at a museum.

Day 4: Cruising the Gorge

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you'll spend the day cruising through some of the most scenic and geologically interesting stretches of the Columbia River and the Columbia Plateau. The geologists provide a fascinating insight into the glacial floods that sculpted the landscape 13,000 years ago, as the food and wine expert illustrates the expression of such unique terrain through its tastes and tannins. Relive the historic tales of the Corps of Discovery through the eyes of a historian as you sail by important landmarks. Or unwind with a massage in preparation for an exciting day ahead.

Day 5: Walla Walla, Washington

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive through some of the most fertile agricultural areas in the nation, with bright, rolling green and purple fields of sprouting wheat, asparagus, and famous Walla Walla sweet onions. Wine lovers can spend the day on a taste exploration of this world-renowned area, including a private vineyard tour and a downtown wine walk. Or opt to visit museums, including the Whitman Mission, a standout National Historic Site where friction between Native Americans and white missionaries erupted into an event that reverberates in the culture today.

Day 6: Exploring the Palouse River

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The still water of the Palouse River is the perfect mirror for the surrounding basalt cliffs as you set off on the Zodiac and kayak adventures. Visit Palouse Falls, where waters plunge 200 feet into a churning pool. These falls and the surrounding canyon with its towering cliffs, cavernous holes in the earth, and winding water routes are part of geologically unique channeled scablands created by ancient floods. Afterward, sail up the Snake River, enjoying a taste of local specialties.

Day 7: Clarkston

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you find ourselves at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, more than 450 miles from the sea. Travel by comfortable jet boat into the spectacular, 125-mile Hells Canyon, North America’s deepest river gorge, mostly inaccessible by road. Observe remnants of the Nez Perce tribe, including ancestral horsetails along the hillsides and petroglyphs on rock formations. In the evening you are joined by a Nez Perce storyteller, and a local winemaker hosts the final tasting as you toast an unforgettable journey before a special final dinner.

Day 8: Clarkston, Washington | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for connecting flights home. Choose to fly from nearby Lewiston, Idaho, or travel through the picturesque landscapes of the Palouse to Spokane, Washington, two hours away.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Sea Bird

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Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,268

Please confirm embark/disembark locations before reserving flights, as this itinerary operates in reverse on alternating departures.
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 1 and Category 1 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 1 Single
Main Deck Cabins #300-305. Conveniently positioned between the dining room and lounge, these cabins feature two lower single beds, a writing desk and a large window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabins.
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Cat 2
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 2 and Category 2 Single Cabin.
Select a Date
Cat 2 Single
Bridge Deck cabins #100-104 and Upper Deck cabins #200-212, 215. These well-located cabins include two lower single beds, outside access and a window.
Sea Bird & Sea Lion's Category 3 Cabins.
Select a Date
Cat 3
Bridge Deck cabins #105, 106 - These cabins include two lower single beds. Upper Deck cabins #214, 216, 217, 219 - These cabins include two lower single beds that can convert to a double bed and a pullout single bed for a third person. All cabins include a small table, two chairs, and two windows. Cabin doors open to the outside.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available but is subject to availability.
Kids under age 18 save $500 per person

Rubber boots are not included on your cruise; please supply your own. Rubber, waterproof boots that are mid-calf or higher, with a strong, ridged non-skid sole (essential for wet landings) are highly recommended.  Click  here for information about rubber boots rental.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Assistance by the onboard National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits aboard the ship. We are also pleased to offer a selection of super premium wines and liquors that are available for purchase.
  • Complimentary Starlink-enabled Wi-Fi internet is available to all guests aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, enabling email, messaging, and social media.
  • Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
  • Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
  • Guidance and company of leading expedition staff
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
  • Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic  where available
  • Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
  • 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces 
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Crew gratuities
  • Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)
  • We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels
  • Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers (except when indicated as included)
  • Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees 
  • Enhanced and premium Wi-Fi plans, which may enable video chat, web browsing, and streaming (connectivity permitting)
  • Embarkation airport transfer in Portland.

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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