A Columbia River cruise is a great way to explore the scenic beauty, historic landmarks, and charming towns of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Columbia River cruises focus on the rugged beauty, history, culture and wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. Itineraries follow the waterway as it flows along the Washington/Oregon border, and riverboats veer north to sail a portion of the Snake River as well. The Columbia River Gorge is a much-anticipated highlight, cutting a path through the Cascade Range that's 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep. Sail through the locks of the Bonneville Dam, which has supplied hydroelectric power since the 1930s. There are many waterfalls in this area, and you'll get up-close looks at the most famous -- 620-foot-high Multnomah Falls on the Oregon side.
You can board covered jetboats for an exhilarating ride through Hells Canyon -- look for elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats and ancient petroglyphs here. In Pendleton, Oregon, you can tour the underground tunnels dug between 1870 and 1930 that once housed illicit businesses. Learn about Native American cultures at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, a living history village. You'll also visit sites associated with explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, such as Fort Clatsop National Memorial, where they spent the winter of 1805-1806.
Here are some of the top destinations and attractions that you might see on a Columbia River cruise:
Portland is a vibrant city in Oregon that is known for its eclectic culture, local cuisine, and stunning natural beauty. Highlights of a visit to Portland might include a stroll through the historic Old Town, a visit to the famous Powell's City of Books, and a hike through the nearby Columbia River Gorge.
Astoria is a historic city in Oregon that is known for its stunning Victorian architecture, charming streets, and stunning coastal scenery. Highlights of a visit to Astoria might include a tour of the Astoria Column, a visit to the historic Fort Clatsop National Memorial, and a stroll along the Astoria Riverwalk.
Mount Hood is a stunning mountain in Oregon that is a popular destination for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. Highlights of a visit to Mount Hood might include a hike to the summit, a visit to the historic Timberline Lodge, and a scenic drive along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway.
The Dalles is a charming town in Oregon that is known for its historic landmarks, including the Fort Dalles Museum and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Other highlights of a visit to The Dalles might include a stroll through the historic Old Town, a visit to the local wineries, and a hike through the nearby Deschutes River State Recreation Area.
Multnomah Falls is a stunning waterfall in Oregon that is a popular destination for hiking and sightseeing. Other highlights of a visit to Multnomah Falls might include a scenic drive along the Columbia River Highway, a visit to the nearby Bonneville Dam, and a hike through the nearby Eagle Creek Trail.
These are just a few of the many destinations and attractions that you might see on a Columbia River cruise. Whether you're interested in natural beauty, history, or local culture, the Columbia River offers a diverse range of experiences and sights to explore.
Columbia River cruises are particularly good values, because your stateroom, onboard meals and sightseeing are included in the rate that you pay upfront.
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