Welcome to Portland! You are greeted at the airport and transferred to the hospitality area before boarding the S.S. Legacy in Portland, Oregon. Enjoy champagne and hors d’oeuvres before dinner, and afterwards, gather in the Victorian-style main saloon for a route talk in preparation for your journey through time.
Near the Columbia River Gorge entrance, slip through the locks of Bonneville Dam and embark on a private tour of the massive turbines and fish ladder at the dam’s Visitor Center. Since 1938, this historic landmark has supplied hydroelectric power and river navigation. Travel by motorcoach and take a moment at the towering Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon. Back on board, cruise upriver through spectacular Columbia River Gorge. At 80-miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, this river canyon cuts the only sea level route through the Cascade Mountains.
After an early morning transit of the McNary Dam, arrive at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Hillsides reveal the vineyards and some of the area's over 200 wineries. Learn about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and its role in World War II’s Manhattan Project. Glimpse the surrounding wheat fields of the Palouse — one of the nation's top wheat growing regions — and pass by massive wind farms atop riverside hills. Observe the navigational challenges and intricacies of a lock system as you transit the locks and dams of the lower Snake River. Step back in time with colorful stories about hardships and triumphs of early pioneers.
After your final upriver locking at the Lower Granite Dam, dock in Clarkston to delve into the history and culture of the Nez Perce people. Historical sites connected to the Lewis and Clark Expedition abound in this area, including Clark’s first encounter with the Nez Perce in 1805. Board a covered speed boat for an invigorating ride into Hells Canyon. This free-flowing stretch of the Snake River is hemmed in by vertical cliffs as it cuts its way through North America’s deepest river gorge at 7,993 feet. Protected as a National Recreation Area since 1975, Hells Canyon preserves a world of fascinating natural and cultural elements. Keep your eyes peeled for bighorn sheep, hawks, and 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs.
At Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, discover the region’s fascinating geologic history—from basalt flows and Ice Age floods to today’s living landscape; learn about the monumental efforts of the Manhattan Project and Hanford Engineering Works that ushered in the atomic era; and meet Baby Ems, a cast of the world’s only complete baby woolly mammoth skeleton. This afternoon, pause to soak in the sweeping views of the Red Mountain AVA while touring and tasting at award-winning Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard. Then back on board, ease into the afternoon with a relaxing massage, a visit with your captain on the Bridge, or watching the scenery change as you cruise downriver.
It’s a day of culture at the Maryhill Museum and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. With its eclectic collection of European paintings, Native artifacts, and the Queen of Romania’s personal effects, the museum’s collection is housed in a castle-like chateau situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. The Discovery Center’s interactive exhibits provide a life-sized look into the area’s volcanic upheavals and severe flooding; Ice Age; pioneers and missionaries; and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Take in the magnificent scenery traveling the Sam Hill Highway back to the S.S. Legacy. Transit The Dalles — another of the eight dams harnessing these mighty rivers.
Situated near the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria's Fort Clatsop takes you back in time. A National Monument on site is a replica of the encampment of the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the winter of 1805-1806. The fort was the Corps of Discovery’s last encampment before their return trip east to St. Louis. Visit the fascinating Columbia River Maritime Museum and take time to stroll through the quaint Victorian streets of Astoria. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner this evening, then relive the week through photos and storytelling hosted by your Legacy Leaders.
Day 8: Portland, Oregon | Disembark
Your crew serves another excellent breakfast this morning before bidding you “adieu.” Disembark for your included transfer to the Portland airport.
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.