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Until June 1, American Cruise Lines has announced lower prices for its Columbia and Snake rivers itineraries onboard Queen of the West, which is being joined in the region by American Pride this year. Starting at $1,975 per person, the lower price point — a first for the company — has been instituted to broaden the line’s appeal to value-seeking travelers.
“We know there is a large market that wants to experience these incredible destinations in a higher level of comfort than currently available at this price level,” said Susan Shultz, director of sales for American Cruise Lines. “Now that we have multiple ships positioned on the Columbia and Snake rivers, we are able to offer both access and comfort on a spectrum of appealing rates.”
The lower pricing has already generated strong demand. In response, American Cruise Lines is introducing a five-day Highlights of the Columbia River itinerary, as well as adding four additional departures of its eight-day Columbia and Snake rivers itinerary onboard Queen of the West.
The new Highlights of the Columbia River cruise will offer a roundtrip Columbia and Snake rivers cruise from Portland, Ore. — a first for the company. The itinerary will feature the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, Mount St. Helens and Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806. Four departures in 2016 have been added for this itinerary, with three more scheduled for 2017. The line will also be reducing the ship’s capacity to 100 passengers, which will increase the space as well as the crew-to-guest ratio.
The 120-passenger Queen of the West paddlewheeler already had a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2011, adding private balconies (about 60 percent of the accommodations have them) and turning a dozen of the smaller staterooms into single-occupancy accommodations. Rooms feature flat-screen televisions and DVD players, and the engine room and galley have had makeovers.
The ship has four lounges and an open-seating dining room; there are elevators to all decks. Guests can enjoy freshly prepared regional cuisine and local wine varietals, along with a large helping of American history as they retrace the epic path traveled by Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s.