Columbia River Cruise
February 23, 2017
By Kevin R. Tam, President
At Uncommon Journeys, we invite you to join us on a very special voyage of discovery which combines a journey aboard our own private vintage Streamliner train, the Great Western Limited from California to lovely Portland, where an overnight luxury hotel stay awaits you along with plenty of free time. With comfortable Pullman sleeping car accommodations, fine dining with our own chef (all meals, wines & spirits on this special train are included) and magnificent scenery, there is no finer way to travel to the City of Roses. Little touches abound: from welcome gifts and fresh flowers, to Afternoon Tea. Our guests enjoy not only vista-dome travel and Portland but sail aboard the Legacy on an epic journey in the path of Lewis & Clark, traveling by river all the way into Idaho. With extraordinary sights, historic 'ports' of call and a leisurely pace, this is possibly the ultimate Pacific Northwest holiday. Choose from four departures of our 11-day In the Path of Lewis and Clark train and riverboat tours departing June 14, July 12, and September 6, 2017.
DAY 1: Depart California Points
Depart the San Francisco Bay Area tonight aboard our special Great Western Limited over the Cascade Route of the Union Pacific Railroad. This is a rare opportunity to enjoy classic train travel at its best in the style of the 1940s with fresh flowers, white linen, comfortable Pullman sleeping cars and grand dining. Naturally all meals, wines and spirits while aboard are included in the fare. Free train travel to the San Francisco Bay Area is included today for guests needing connecting travel that reserve early. Once en route, enjoy a special welcome reception with champagne and chocolate dipped strawberries in the Vista-Dome car. All Aboard!
DAY 2: Portland, OR
This morning we travel through the Cascade Mountains and a quick ride up the Willamette Valley for an afternoon arrival in the City of Roses. We check into the grandly restored historic Hotel Multnomah where suite accommodations await for an overnight stay. Tonight is a casual welcome dinner at Portland’s most fabled restaurant, Huber’s.
DAY 3: Portland, OR
All morning to sleep in with all day to explore the City of Roses. Nearby is fabled Powell’s Book, the best and largest book store in the country, a “must see” destination just a ten minute walk from our hotel. Also worth seeing is Pioneer Square and the beautiful Rose Garden. We have left the evening at leisure for you to enjoy as you wish.
DAY 4: The SS Legacy
Situated between the sparkling waters of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, Portland has flourished throughout history with the fortunes of the great rivers. In the golden age of riverboats, sternwheelers crossed Portland’s busy waterfront while steam whistles and calliopes rang out across the water. This afternoon we board the SS Legacy where we will enjoy champagne and hors d' oeuvres before dinner, and afterwards, gather in the Victorian-style main salon for a route talk in preparation for your journey through time.
DAY 5: Columbia River Gorge
Near the Columbia River Gorge entrance, you'll slip through the locks of Bonneville Dam and embark on a private tour of the massive turbines and fish ladders at the dam's Visitor Center. Since 1938, this historic landmark has supplied hydroelectric power. Travel by motorcoach to the towering Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon. Back on board, cruise upriver through the 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.
DAY 6: Snake River Cruising
After an early morning transit of the McNary Dam, you'll arrive at the confluence of the Yakima, Columbia, and Snake Rivers. Hillsides reveal the orchards and vineyards of some of the region's 160 wineries. Learn about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and its role in World War II's Manhattan Project. View the surrounding wheat fields and pass by massive wind farm turbines atop the hills. Observe the intricacies of locking through Ice Harbor Dam, followed by the Lower Monumental Dam. Step back in time with colorful stories about pioneer hardships and triumphs.
DAY 7: Clarkston, Hells Canyon
After your final upriver locking at the Lower Granite Dam, you'll 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 jet boat for an invigorating ride into Hells Canyon. This free-flowing river, hemmed in by vertical cliffs, 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, golden eagles, and 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs. This evening marks your return downriver for a vibrant combination of Lewis and Clark history, river lore, and wine.
DAY 8: Walla Walla, WA
A visit to Fort Walla Walla offers a pioneer village, Living History presentations, a museum, and extensive galleries. Recognized internationally for its award-winning wines, turn your attention to the vibrant wine making industry that thrives in and around Walla Walla. This wine country was shaped by its desert-like conditions, rich volcanic terroir, and controlled river irrigation. Enjoy the pride of this appellation with a tour and tasting at one of the region's distinctive wineries.
DAY 9: The Dalles, OR
It's a day of culture at the Maryhill Museum and Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. With its collection of European paintings, Native artifacts, the museum's collection is housed in a castle-like chateau situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. The Discovery Center's exhibits provide a look into the area's geologic origins of volcanic upheavals and severe floods; the effects of the Ice Age; pioneer life; and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Take in the magnificent scenery traveling the Sam Hill Highway back to the SS Legacy. Transit The Dalles—another of the eight dams harnessing these mighty rivers.
DAY 10: Astoria, OR
Situated near the mouth of the Columbia River, you'll step back in time with a visit to Fort Clatsop and Astoria. Fort Clatsop National Monument 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 story telling hosted by your Legacy guides.
DAY 11: Portland, OR - Disembark
Your crew serves another excellent breakfast this morning before bidding you “adieu.” Disembark for your included transfer to the Portland airport.
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