Columbia and Snake Rivers Cruise on the American Empress

Frontiers and Pioneers

  • Date

    July 17 – 25, 2022 | Sun / Mon – 9 Days

  • Location

    Portland | Vancouver | Astoria | The Dalles | Richland | Clarkston | Spokane


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.”


  • Accommodations on the largest, 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 
  • Country-club casual dress, no formal wear required
  • 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

Note: A mandatory COVID 19 vaccination requirement will be in effect for all American Queen Steamboat Company itineraries beginning July 1, 2021, and thereafter.

Additional costs apply for optional excursions.

Sun, July 17: Fly to Portland, Oregon and check in to a hotel across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Mon, July 18: After breakfast in the hotel, enjoy a leisure morning before boarding the American Empress. Settle in to your stateroom and get acquainted with your lovely surroundings. Embark in the early evening. (Meal: Breakfast, Dinner)

Tue, July 19: 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. The guided hop on and hop off excursions offered in each port include admission and transportation to many area attractions. 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 20: Spend the day cruising past small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon. Grab a good a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Partake in activities offered on board and just experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers. (B,L,D)

Thu, July 21: Nature’s power and beauty surround Stevenson, Washington 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)

Fri, July 22: Welcome to the end of the overland Oregon Trail—The Dalles, Oregon, which holds a unique place in history as a jumping-off spot for pioneers, soldiers, gold miners, adventurers, gun-slingers, floozies and scallywags. Although a part of the Oregon High Desert, The Dalles enjoys a long growing season and a warm climate that supports the growing of grapes. As a result, the region is home to a wine scene unlike any other in Oregon. Visitors will enjoy the view of sweeping hills speckled with vineyards and adore shopping in the boutiques, and the historical treasures on display in the museums. (B,L,D)

Sat, July 23: Home to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s first national monument, Richland, Washington 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)

Sun, Jul 24: 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 25: Disembark in Clarkson this morning and transfer to Spokane for your flights home 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

American Empress Deck Plans


  • Category C Deluxe
    with Private Veranda
  • Double P/P – $5,549

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