Cruise Local with American Cruise Lines on Columbia & Snake Rivers

American Cruise Lines river cruise season for 2022 on the Columbia and Snake rivers is in full swing. Their Columbia river season began in April, with the opening of a new cruise dock in Kalama, WA, built in partnership with the Port of Kalama. 

The small ship river cruise line began cruising the Pacific Northwest in 2010 and continues to expand their presence.

American Cruise Lines have 4 riverboats exploring the Columbia and Snake Rivers this year, cruising between Hayden Island in Portland, OR and Clarkston, WA. In addition, American Cruise Lines plans to add a 5th riverboat to the Pacific Northwest region in 2023.

Reflections on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
Reflections on the Columbia river at mid-day.

Columbia and Snake River Cruises

While most Columbia and Snake river cruises are 7-nights/8-days, this year American Cruise Lines offers 3 different itineraries on the Columbia & Snake:

  • Classic 8-Day Columbia & Snake Rivers cruise
  • An 11-Day Northwest Pioneers cruise 
  • A 5-Day Highlights of the Columbia River cruise (roundtrip from Portland, OR).

Guests cruising American’s Columbia & Snake Rivers can step back in time and retrace the epic route of Lewis and Clark, with a choice of modern-style American riverboats or classic red paddlewheelers.

Reconstructed covered wagon sits on the actual wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail.
Reconstructed covered wagon sits on the actual wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail.

The cruise line’s small river ships, unique cruising experiences and amazing vistas attract more and more guests to the Pacific Northwest every year. There are also pre- and post-cruise packages to extend your vacation. 

Packages may include complimentary hotel stays, a Jet Boat ride on the Snake River and Flight-Seeing tours over the canyon and beyond.

Visit Nearby National Parks After Your Cruise

New for 2022, American created their National Parks Post-Cruise Packages. These follow select Columbia & Snake Rivers cruises that end in Clarkston, WA.

The new National Parks packages include 3 or 7-night guided explorations through several of the country’s most beautiful national parks: Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton.

Throughout the region, guests experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest and its extraordinarily diverse landscapes—from mountains and desert canyons to towering basalt cliffs and distant snow-capped mountains.

A Columbia River cruise yields all sorts of unexpected wonders, including Mt. Hood on a clear day.
Cruising the Columbia River yields all sorts of unexpected wonders, including Mt. Hood on a clear day.

All cruises offer daily shore excursions led by local experts and knowledgable guides.

Whether you choose a day tour or not, take time to go off on your own and explore the towns and local sites. Learn about the region’s history, culture, ecology, and geography. Stop for a glass of regional wine or a cold local brew. 

From a fun afternoon at a Columba River winery to a visit to Mount St. Helens or an active kayaking or hiking adventure, guests are immersed in the culture and beauty of the region each day of their cruise.

A visit to Mount St. Helens on a Columbia river cruise

American Cruise Lines’ riverboats and small coastal ships have the largest staterooms in the industry with nearly all having private balconies. There are no inside staterooms, so everyone has access to fresh air and ever-changing views of the river.

As you’d expect on a luxury river cruise, American’s ships feature indoor and outdoor lounges, elegant dining rooms, casual outdoor cafes, and spacious top decks with open-air and shaded seating. There’s even an exercise area.

What Ports are Included on a Columbia and Snake River Cruise?

Riverboats cruising the Columbia and Snake rivers this year are American Song, American Harmony, American Pride and American West.

Port stops along the 8-Day Columbia & Snake Rivers cruises include:

  • Embarkation at Hayden Island/Portland, OR
  • Astoria, OR
  • Kalama, WA
  • A day cruising the Columbia River Gorge/Stevenson, WA
  • The Dalles/Hood River, OR
  • Pendleton, OR/Richland, WA
  • A day Jet boat cruising on the Snake River
  • Clarkston, WA.

American Cruise Lines’ operate a total of 15 ships, all accommodating only 100-190 passengers, cruising more than 35 itineraries in 34 states.

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