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The American Queen Steamboat Company will launch its newly refurbished American Empress on her maiden voyage, departing Portland, Oregon, on April 5 with a nine-day Columbia and Snake River cruise. Fares start at $3,795, including a pre-cruise hotel stay and fresh regional cuisine with complimentary wine and beer at dinner.
Complimentary shore excursions will be available in every port and include the cultural and historical landmarks that are the legacy of the region’s first settlers. Travelers with specific interests are encouraged to enjoy the variety of additional Premium Experience Excursions such as the Walla Walla Wine Trail or the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. Daily lectures will also be provided by the Riverlorian, an onboard history and culture expert.
Calls will include Astoria, Oregon, where guests will visit the 19th-century George Flavel House and tour the Clatsop County Heritage Museum. Passengers also have the option to experience the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the Cape of Disappointment overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The ship will also visit Stevenson, Wash., for a look into the geological forces that shaped the Columbia Gorge, along with a tour of the Bonneville Dam. In Dalles, Oregon, guests can browse local boutiques and the Sunshine Mills Winery, or get a taste of the life of settlers at the County Mercantile Store and learn from historic agricultural demonstrations at the Sacajawea State Park in Washington. In Clarkston, Wash., the Clarkston Heritage Museum offers insight into the story of the Nez Pearce Native American tribe who assisted Lewis and Clark’s journey.
“Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than in the pristine waterways of the Pacific Northwest,” said president and COO Ted Sykes, “and we know our guests will appreciate the scenery appearing much as it did when Louis and Clark arrived in 1805.”