Columbia and Snake Rivers Cruise on the American Empress

Frontiers and Pioneers

  • Date

    July 21-29, 2019 | Sun / Mon – 9 Days

  • Location

    Portland | Vancouver | Astoria | Stevenson | The Dalles | Richmond | Clarkston | Lewiston


Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than 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 now 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 cruising along the same path of Lewis and Clark and their faithful Native American guide, Sacajawea. The journey begins with an overnight in Portland, Oregon near the Pacific. Then board the most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest, the American Empress, in nearby Vancouver, Washington to visit many historic, scenic, and enjoyable sites while sailing east toward Clarkston. And to enhance your voyage even more, each day in port a guided hop-on/hop-off excursion ashore is included.

If you are ready to check this off of your bucket list, book early as this popular cruise fills up fast!

Hear what past guests have to say about traveling with Ambassadair

“Well organized with in depth excursions. Boat was beautiful and staff outstanding!”

“Beautiful country side and river. Good food, easy pace, clean, several tours.”

“The topography of the area is so different than Indiana. It was very interesting to learn how the land area was formed. The boat cruise was great. Experiencing the boat going through the locks on the river was interesting.”


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


  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Portland, Oregon and from
  • Spokane, Washington
  • 1 night hotel accommodation
  • 7 nights shipboard accommodations on American Steamboat Company’s American Empress
  • 1 breakfast on land, all meals on ship
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Transfers, taxes and port charges

Ship’s Registry: United States


Sun, July 21: Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington. Fly to Portland, Oregonand check in to a hotel across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Mon, July 22: 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. Depart in the early evening.  (Meal: Breakfast, Dinner)

Tue, July 23: 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. (B,L,D)

Wed, July 24: 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! (B,L,D)

Thu, July 25: 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. (B,L,D)

Fri, July 26: 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 Hanford 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!(B,L,D)

Sat, July 27: 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. (B,L,D)

Sun, Jul 28: 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. (B,L,D)

Mon, Jul 29: Clarkston. Disembark, transfer to Spokane and fly to Indianapolis. (B)


American Empress

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

Deck Plans

American Empress Deck Plans


  • Category C Deluxe
    Outside with Verandah
  • Double P/P – $4,499 | WAIT LIST ONLY
  • Single – $7,799 | WAIT LIST ONLY

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