American Empress Columbia & Snake Rivers

Frontiers & Pioneers


July 22-30, 2018


Sun / Mon - 9 Days

“OCIAN IN VIEW! O! THE JOY!” These are the original words, and spelling of “ocean,” William Clark scrawled in his journal on November 7, 1805. One could hardly blame him for forgetting his spelling lessons in all the excitement as he and his team arrived at the Pacific Ocean for the first time. Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than here in the pristine Pacific Northwest where the Columbia and Snake Rivers wind through gentle hills, impressive mountains, vertical canyons and fertile fields. The land appears in 2016 just as it did to William Lewis and Meriwether Clark in 1805 – majestic, unspoiled and unimaginably glorious. Experience the same sense of excitement and wonder as your cruise along the same path of Lewis and Clark and their faithful Native American guide, Sacajawea. Your journey begins in Portland, Oregon near the Pacific, the objective of Lewis and Clark’s expeditionary party, the Corps of Discovery. You’ll visit many historic, scenic and enjoyable sites along your Columbia and Snake Rivers voyage and you sail east toward Clarkston. Carefully chosen daily shore excursions are included. Your riverboat for this once-in-a-lifetime cruise is the American Empress, the largest and most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest. All staterooms feature a balcony or picture window with dramatic scenery, and dining onboard features regional cuisine prepared with a contemporary flair.


Sun, July 22: Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington. Fly to Portland, Oregon and check in to a hotel across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Mon, July 23: Vancouver. After breakfast in the hotel, spend the morning in Vancouver on your own before boarding the American Empress. Settle in to your spacious stateroom and depart in the early evening. (Meal: Breakfast)

Tue, July 24: Astoria. Situated near the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies. This small, pioneer city holds a wealth of history. Stroll along the shops and cafes lining the Riverwalk, visit the George Flavel House for a peek at the 19th-century life of a millionaire, discover the Native American culture of Clatsop County at the Heritage Museum or enjoy the views from the top of the Astoria Column more than 600 feet above the water.

Wed, July 25: Stevenson, Washington. Nature’s power and beauty surround Stevenson, and you can learn about the geological forces that shaped this area at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. A tour of the Bonneville Dam will reveal the unique challenges of building this power plant with a minimal impact to wildlife – the answer is fish ladders to help salmon swim upstream!
Thurs, July 26: The Dalles. Welcome to the end of the Oregon Trail. Shoppers will adore the boutiques and oenophiles will enjoy Sunshine Mills Winery, inventors of Copa Di Vino (“wine by the glass”). The Fort Dalles Museum and the Original Courthouse Museum put early pioneer life on display.

Fri, July 27: Tri-Cities (Richland), Washington. Home to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s first national monument, Richland is a city dedicated to preserving its unique history, culture and landscape. At the Handford Reach National Monument you will witness a diverse landscape of sweeping vistas and towering bluffs, blended with an abundance of wildlife. Although they are dismantled, remnants of WWII and the Cold War such as plutonium reactors can still be seen dotted along the river. Today’s included tour takes you to The Reach, an interpretive center whose goal is centered around becoming a reflection of the people of the region as well as of the elements and geology of the Hanford Reach National Monument. Learn about the local Native American culture, Lewis and Clark and the history of the area including the Northern Pacific Railroad and more!

Sat, July 28: Tri-Cities/Sacajawea State Park. In 1805, Lewis and Clark and their Native American guide camped here, an event immortalized at Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center. This sacred site reveals the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition through the experiences of Sacajawea. Venture into the Country Mercantile Store, part of a working farm with agricultural demonstrations.

Sun, Jul 29: Clarkston. Experience the twin communities of Clarkston, Washington and Lewiston, Idaho, located along the Snake River. Nez Perce National Historical Park tells the story of the Nez Perce Native American tribe who assisted Lewis and Clark and still reside in the area today. The tribe’s traditional lands at the time of Lewis and Clark covered parts of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. William Clark was the first Euro-American to meet any of the tribe. The name “Nez Perce” means “pierced nose” and was given to the tribe by late 18th-century French-Canadian fur traders.

Mon, Jul 30: Clarkston. Disembark, transfer to Spokane and fly to Indianapolis.


Steamboat American Empress
The largest and most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest, the American Empress offers luxury cruising and gracious service. Highlights: all staterooms feature balconies or picture windows • regional Pacific Northwest cuisine served onboard • complimentary wine and beer with dinner • complimentary cappuccino, espresso, bottled water and soft drinks throughout the voyage • daily lectures by the Riverlorian, an onboard history and culture expert • complimentary shore excursions in every port; optional premium excursions available.

American Empress Columbia & Snake Rivers Pricing

Per Person*

Category E Verandah

Category C Deluxe Verandah

Category B Verandah

Double P/P








Ambassadair Trip No. 7275

American Empress / © American Queen Steamboat Company

Highlights Include

  • The largest and most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest
  • Daily included excursions in every port
  • Regional Pacific Northwest cuisine creatively prepared
  • Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
  • Complimentary coffee drinks, bottled water and soft drinks
  • Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, an onboard historian
  • Professional showboat-style entertainment and dancing nightly
  • Country-club casual dress, no formal wear required
  • Gracious service from a friendly, English-speaking staff
  • 1 night in Vancouver, Washington (near Portland, Oregon)

Package Includes

  • R/T commercial air from Indianapolis to Portland, Oregon & from Spokane, Washington
  • 1 night hotel accommodation
  • 7 nights shipboard accommodations on the American Empress
  • 1 breakfast on land, all meals on ship
  • Shore excursions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Taxes and port charges