Columbia & Snake Rivers Packing List

Packing Tips

Think practicality, active comfort, and layers. Virtually every day you’ll have opportunities for explorations, whether you are on deck as you transit locks, discovering historic places, or touring a winery. Weather and your choice of activities should be your guide for planning what to pack.

To help you prepare for your river cruise, below are some suggestions and you can also download our Columbia & Snake Rivers packing list.

Weather Along the Rivers

Some of the most dramatic climatic variations are experienced along the Columbia & Snake Rivers between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. You’ll be traveling through a range of geography—from dry high-desert and plains to temperate rainforests—and your packing will require some creative planning.

Daytime temperatures typically range between 60°F and 70°F, and you may experience a 20-degree shift in temperature from one day to the next. In late October into November it can be cooler with evening temperatures dropping to the upper 30’s.

Clothing & Layers

It's a good idea to pack several thinner layers you can easily peel off rather than one thick layer. Layers effectively allow you to make easy adjustments to varying weather and temperatures.

Our style is casual so easily layer-able shirts like polo’s, t-shirts, turtlenecks, sweaters, and sweatshirts work well, and jeans, khakis, or whatever is most comfortable for you is acceptable at any time. Temperatures can vary so pack at least one pair of shorts or convertible hiking pants for possible warm weather.

Conditions can vary dramatically, so a warm and versatile hooded rain/wind jacket, fleece, or zip-up vest, and/or casual jacket is good to have on-hand. Although unisex rain slickers are provided on board to supplement your outerwear, to guarantee the best fit, we recommend bringing your own.

Also, you may want to bring a scarf and gloves for cooler days, and a brimmed hat that protects you from the sun.


Comfortable sneakers, sturdy walking shoes, or day hikers, and a pair of warm socks are sufficient.

Other Items

Bring a bathing suit for the hot tub, a small backpack (comes in handy when exploring off the boat), and sunglasses are also a good idea.

There are several binoculars on board for your use, but you may be more comfortable bringing a pair that you are already familiar with.

Remember your camera and don’t forget to pack extra memory cards or plenty of film (you’ll likely take more photos than you ever imagined), extra batteries, or your battery charger. You may want to store your camera in a waterproof case and bring heavy-gauge resealable plastic bags as extra protection for your camera and film.

Label Your Personal Items

Putting your name on personal items is always a good idea (binoculars, camera, water bottle, hat, backpack, etc.)

Cabin Amenities

We provide each cabin with two robes, hair dryer, alarm clock, umbrellas, towels and toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, and bodywash).

We know you're as excited to sail as we are. Discover more about the geography and history of the rivers by pulling a few books of the shelf—here's our recommended Columbia & Snake Rivers reading list.