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Rivers of Adventure & Wine

7-night Columbia River cruise from Portland features hikes, kayaks, and wine

From $4,395

Rates & Dates
  • Itinerary
  • Rates and Dates
  • Ports and Places
  • Land Packages
  • Vessels
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Itinerary

Hike dramatic landscapes, kayak through canyons, sample local wines, and raft the rapids on this adventurous Snake River and Columbia River cruise.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Tour and taste at a Walla Walla winery
  • Sample local culinary delights at Walla Walla’s historic Gesa Power House Theater
  • Deschutes River rafting trip
  • Hikes at Tom McCall Nature Preserve, Multnomah Falls, Columbia Hills State Park, and Ft. Clatsop—a Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Kayak, paddle board, swim, and skiff
  • Transit six locks and tour the Bonneville Dam Visitor Center
  • Cruise through the heart of the Columbia River Gorge
  • Onboard sommelier, and natural and cultural history guides

Departure Dates & Rates

Select year and month

2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021
Nov
2021

Your day-by-day details

Roundtrip Portland

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DAY 1

Portland, OR—Embarkation
Arriving in Portland, an UnCruise representative escorts you to our hospitality suite where you can relax or explore the city. Breweries, bookstores, coffee shops, and quirkiness abound, the City of Roses doesn’t disappoint with colorful options within walking distance. When it’s time to board the Wilderness Legacy, you’ll be welcomed with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, and views of the city—a perfect start to your adventure.
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DAY 2

Astoria / Ft. Clatsop—Lewis & Clark National Historical Park
Dock in charming, Victorian downtown Astoria, then you’re off to Ft. Clatsop, the winter fort of the 1804-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Check out the exhibits and follow trails to the replica fort or take a low- /no-elevation walk from the visitor center to view replica dugout canoes. For a longer but easy hike, a one-mile trail along the Lewis and Clark River leads to an outdoor viewing area highlighting the landscape and stories described in the journals of Lewis & Clark. Hard chargers can take a 7-mile, one-way hike on the Fort to Sea Trail through forest, fields, and dunes. Whichever you opt for, everyone experiences Ft. Clatsop and beach walks. Back downtown, explore on your own, walk the waterfront trail, and/or visit the Astoria Column. Afterwards, set sail upriver and see what delectable treats your chef and crew have in store for the evening—a nibble from a local harvest, a special pairing perhaps?
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DAY 3

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area / Hood River Valley
Gateway to the gorge. Slip through the Bonneville Dam locks, then head behind the scenes at the visitor center. You’re in luck with a private tour of its massive turbines and fish ladders. Take a walk on the wild side at Multnomah Falls—the tallest in the state. Snap a few photos before your next big adventure: a guided hike in the heart of the Columbia Gorge. Set out for a trek that gets your legs going while you soak in the lush fern-filled forest—Northwest adventure at its best. Choose the low elevation option, or trek upward to a waterfall amidst towering trees. Back on board, your onboard sommelier has a “Best of Hood River Valley” wine tasting dialed in. All you have to do is take a seat in the lounge—you’re in good hands.
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DAY 4

Walla Walla, Washington
Start the day cruising the famed Wallula Gap. Today’s theme is all things Walla Walla including nibbles from visits with an olive oil maker, a local chocolatier, and makers of hand-cured meats and sauces. For lunch, try culinary delights that are truly of the area at the historic Gesa Power House Theatre. With local bites come local sips and time to stretch your legs. Tour and taste at family-owned Dunham Cellars. In historic downtown Walla Walla, visit multi-media artist Squire Broel’s studio and stroll downtown with your guides where boutique shops and over 30 tasting rooms await. Bellies full, the afternoon is perfect for easy cruising in the most unique river system in the nation. Join your guides for interpretive presentations of a land rich in history.
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DAY 5

Palouse River / Snake River
Wake up at the mouth of the Palouse River. The essentials of the day: kayaks, paddle boards, and swimsuits. Bring your binocs, too! There’s the chance of an early morning skiff outing for some great birding—hawks and herons and grebes, oh my. At the confluence of the Palouse and Snake rivers, your crew has everything set with a beach party at Lyons Ferry State Park—go for a long or short paddle and a swim. Wind up the afternoon cruising one of the most scenic stretches of the Snake River.
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DAY 6

Deschutes River
River play is on the agenda today—whichever option you pick, start with a shallow wet landing on the beach. Choose whitewater with a Deschutes rafting adventure. Class II and III+ rapids come with names like Elevator and Surf City. Rafting guides provide the gear (including optional wetsuits) and expertise; your ship’s chef provides the picnic lunch. Stick to dry land and visit Columbia Hills State Park on foot or, if weather permits, by skiff. Take a dip in a lazy section of the river, and let the sunshine dry you off after a swim. Along the river’s edge, listen to the rustle of cottonwoods. Swap stories with your shipmates over sunset cocktails and appetizers.
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DAY 7

Rowena Plateau / Columbia River Gorge
Lava flows, floods, and volcanic ash deposits shaped the Rowena—sheer cliffs, basalt landforms, wide-stretching plateaus. At Rowena Overlook, it’s boots-on-the-ground exploration. Opt for a 2-mile round trip hike to the crest of Tom McCall Nature Preserve. Your reward: expansive views in every direction—including the river far below. Or, choose the steeper, 3.6-mile round trip Tom McCall Point trail. On a cloudless day, your effort gaining 1,000 feet of elevation pays off with views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River GorgeOUS! Cheers to adventure, wine, and your week aboard! Wrap it up cruising through the Columbia River Gorge and popping a few corks at the Farewell Dinner.
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DAY 8

Portland – Disembark
One last fresh scone or omelet. After breakfast, disembark in Portland and transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

Passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Find your next adventure.

Or search by ship.

Rates and Dates

Fares are per person double occupancy, in USD. Triple rates are available in designated cabins (refer to deck plan); inquire for pricing details.

View fare details

Departure Dates

Select year and month to view rates

2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021
Nov
2021

Aug 07

2021

Portland to Portland
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Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Aug 14

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Aug 21

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Aug 28

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Sep 04

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Sep 11

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Sep 18

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Sep 25

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Oct 02

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Oct 09

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Oct 16

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,895
Trailblazer
$5,195
Pathfinder
$5,595
Explorer
$6,095
Jr Commodore Suite
$6,745
Owner's Suite
$8,445
Single Navigator
$6,365
Charter
$471,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Oct 23

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,395
Trailblazer
$4,695
Pathfinder
$5,095
Explorer
$5,595
Single Navigator
$5,595
Charter
$428,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Oct 30

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,395
Trailblazer
$4,695
Pathfinder
$5,095
Explorer
$5,595
Single Navigator
$5,595
Charter
$428,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Nov 06

2021

Portland to Portland
240x180_legacy.png
Wilderness Legacy

The 86-guest Legacy is ready for adventure. Four decks provide ample outside viewing opportunities and relaxing public spaces for gathering with new friends. Notable features of this one-of-a-kind ship include carved wooden cabinetry, lounge with full bar, open-seating dining room, and a spacious Owner's Suite. Want more exploration? Gear up in the Pesky Barnacle—a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure—then head to the Sea Dragon (launch pad for kayaks and paddle boards).

Specs:

  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
Cabin Options
Rate Per Person
Indicate Choice
Navigator
$4,395
Trailblazer
$4,695
Pathfinder
$5,095
Explorer
$5,595
Single Navigator
$5,595
Charter
$428,095
Port taxes/fees
$375

Ports & Places

The places you visit play a starring role throughout every journey. While this list isn’t exhaustive of every nook-and-cranny you’ll explore along the way, we’ve included descriptions of key ports and places to help you get to know the wilderness areas, landmark locations, notable regions, and coastal towns relevant to this itinerary.

Departure Dates

Select Year and Month to View Rates

2021
Aug
2021
Sep
2021
Oct
2021
Nov
2021
Photo of the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill in Astoria, Oregon (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Astoria, Oregon

Fort Astoria, located near the mouth of the Columbia River, was founded by John Jacob Astor’s fur trading company in 1811. The first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast, today Astoria has more registered historic buildings than any other city in Oregon.

Though the fur company failed three years after it began operations at Fort Astoria, in 1926 the Astor family, along with Ralph Budd, president of the Great Northern Railway, and architect Electus Litchfield, built a monument to commemorate the early history of the region. Set atop Coxcomb Hill, the Astoria Column reaches 125 feet into the sky, providing breathtaking views of the Columbia, the town, and the surrounding landscape. Restored in 1995 by Frank Preusser, the column’s internal spiral staircase climbs 168 steps to the top. On the outside, 14 murals depict important events in Oregon’s history beginning with the discovery of the Columbia River. 

Other notable historic landmarks in Astoria include the Flavel House, once the home of Captain George Flavel and his family. Built in the 1880s, the historic mansion is one of the best preserved examples of Victorian-era architecture. Astoria’s waterfront district was the site of over 30 fish canneries during the height of commercial fishing in Astoria; today all that remains are the pylons that supported the buildings. A trolley car ride features narrated tours of this historic area.

Another important structure still in use today is the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The 4.1-mile-long bridge spans one of the widest parts of the lower Columbia River and enables Highway 101 to cross from Washington to Oregon. Completed in 1966, the bridge replaced a ferry system that transported people from state to state. After its completion, the bridge was humorously called “The Bridge to Nowhere” or “Hatfield’s Folly”—many skeptics thought it would be of little or no use since no major town sits on the Washington side of the span. It was a toll bridge until 1993, when the debt associated with the bridge’s construction was paid off 2 years ahead of schedule and the toll was abolished.

While the fur trade and canning industry have gone to the wayside, many international ships pass by Astoria today. These vessels cross the treacherous Columbia River bar aided by a bar pilot and then continue upriver to the ports of Portland, Vancouver, Longview, or Kalama.

Crown Point and the Vista House, overlooking the Columbia River (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Columbia River

While the Columbia River and its tributaries had already been an epicenter of culture and trade for thousands of years, many European and American explorers sought the mouth of this great river of the West for years without success. James Cook, John Meares, and George Vancouver all searched for and missed it. In 1792, a U.S. fur trader and merchant sea captain, Robert Gray, became the first non-native man to sail a vessel into the river. He named it for his ship—the Columbia Rediviva. Ongoing exploration was accelerated as a result of Gray’s discovery, aided by the 1803 Louisiana Purchase.

Lewis & Clark, Wilson Price Hunt and the Astorians, the Hudson’s Bay Company, missionaries like the Whitmans and the Spaldings, Benjamin Bonneville, and Peter Skeen Odgen all helped discover and open up the Pacific Northwest by way of the mighty Columbia. What first started out as a small smattering of explorers and traders would eventually become a flood, as thousands of Oregon Trail settlers came west seeking a new start.

The fourth largest river in the U.S. by volume and the largest in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia flows over 1,200 miles from its source in the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Today, the main river has 14 dams, 11 in the U.S. and three in Canada as well as a number of navigational locks as far up as Lewiston to aid barges and boats in transit.

Photo of a sign reading "Entering Historic Columbia River Highway -- Oregon Scenic Byway" (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

The dramatic walls of the Columbia River Gorge expose the tremendous geologic history of the region as they rise up to over 4,000 feet where they meet Larch Mountain. The region’s fiery origins, owing to the volcanic Cascade Mountains, left layer after layer of molten lava—also known as flood basalts—creating the land mass that is now Washington and Oregon. These layers can be seen along the steep walls of the gorge.

Later, floods of water further eroded and carved the land into its rugged, present-day beauty. At the end of the last ice age about 15,000 years ago, ice dams repeatedly broke, allowing enormous floodwaters originating near Missoula, Montana, to scour a path down the Columbia River corridor. Rushing water up to 1,000 feet high traveled at speeds close to 100 miles per hour. Ripping and tearing at the sides of the river valley and removing huge quantities of rock, gravel, and debris, floodwaters deposited this material in the Walla Walla and Willamette Valleys as they slowed in speed. This deposited material, called loess, is the reason these two areas are so agriculturally rich.

People have called this region home for over 13,000 years, drawn to the fertile land and water that provided abundant resources; cedar and fir, salmon and steelhead, beaver, and big game. The only sea-level passage through the Cascade Mountains, the Columbia was the route for intrepid pioneers and explorers who ventured westward, and today it is vital for the transport of goods and generation of power.

UnCruise guests rafting the Deschutes River (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Deschutes River

A major tributary of the Columbia River, the headwaters of the Deschutes River stream from Little Lava Lake in central Oregon. Twisting through high desert and naturally “painted” canyons as deep as 2,200 feet, the river journeys 252 miles to meet the Columbia. Though Lewis & Clark hoped to name it Clark River, it was appropriately dubbed the “Riviere des Chutes” or “River of the Falls” by French traders for a large falls where it met the Columbia. Oregon Trail pioneers found the falls a major obstacle on their long trip west, and ruts from wagons can still be seen in the bluffs above the confluence today. The lower Deschutes was named an Oregon Scenic Waterway in the 1970s.

Photo of Multnomah Falls in Multnomah County, Oregon

Multnomah Falls

Just a short distance from Portland, Oregon’s Multnomah Falls drops 620 feet in three thunderous steps; one drop is 9 feet, one 542 feet, and one 69 feet. It’s officially regarded as the tallest falls in Oregon. A number of sources claim that Multnomah Falls is also the second-highest year-round waterfall in the United States. Beginning in the Larch Mountains from a spring, Multnomah Creek travels toward the falls collecting snowmelt and rainwater along the way. During unusually cold weather the waterfalls have been known to freeze, turning the plummeting water into a majestic icicle, and creating a playground for daring ice climbers.

The waterfront of Portland, Oregon (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon straddles the Willamette River in northwestern Oregon, near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Once a campground and traditional hunting and fishing site of Native Chinook, Portland was first inhabited by settlers in 1829 and incorporated in 1851. It was an early terminus for Oregon Trail pioneers and the flow of gold rush immigrants. Today it has become an important West Coast port and Oregon’s largest city with a population of more than 650,000. Portland is the second-largest exporter of grain in North America (Vancouver, B.C. is first), shipping one-third of all U.S. wheat. Other exports include lumber and aluminum, and Portland is one of the largest auto ports on the West Coast due to being one and one-half days closer to Japan than San Francisco.

A city of many nicknames, Portland is best known as the “City of Roses” (a nod to its popular Rose Festival held every June) and “City of Bridges” for its 14 unique auto bridges (some built by world-famous engineers and 8 listed on the National Historic Register.) Then there’s “Stumptown” (from the days when early builders left tree stumps in the middle of the city) and “Puddletown” (referring to an 1852 Oregonian editorial stating it was not appropriate for women to raise their skirts to avoid all the puddles and they should stay home when it rained!) Things have certainly changed.

This clean and friendly riverside city is often awarded the “Greenest City in America” and ranks among the world’s top 10 greenest cities. Home to an array of artists and arts organizations, in 2006 it was named the 10th best Big City Arts Destination in the U.S. There is much to enjoy with its wonderful blend of historic and eclectic sites. The Portland Saturday Market provides a bazaar-like environment reflecting the many cultures of the area, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park is popular for scenic riverside strolls or jogs. The city offers myriad attractions from visiting museums to perusing Powell’s City of Books; at one city block long and three stories high, it’s the largest independent bookstore in the U.S. and requires a map to guide you through.

The Rowena Plateau overlooking the Columbia River (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Rowena Plateau

Known as the “Memaloose Castle” in the early 20th century, the basalt cliffs of Rowena Plateau tower hundreds of feet above the Columbia River. The Missoula Floods are credited with creating this high basalt mesa on the east side of the gorge. The floods stripped the plateau clean, leaving it a blank slate for nearby Mount St. Helens to make its mark. Over thousands of years, wind-blown volcanic ash settled on the plateau several feet deep and eroded into mounds. Today, they are called “biscuit mounds” and provide fertile ground for wildflowers. The plateau has many notable features including the 600-foot-high cliffs of Rowena Crest and Tom McCall Preserve. Managed by the Nature Conservancy, the preserve occupies 231 acres of the plateau, preserving rare plant populations and resident wildlife including Oregon’s state bird, the western meadowlark. 

Kayakers on the Palouse River (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Palouse River

The Palouse River flows 167 miles from the Hoodoo Mountains in north-central Idaho, southwest into Washington State near the town of Palouse, then westward across Whitman County and the rolling hills of the Columbia Basin. Four miles upstream of its confluence with the Snake River, the Palouse passes through a narrow cataract and tumbles almost 200 feet to the pool below in a massive waterfall.

From there, the Palouse travels through a winding canyon carved by ice-age floods, flowing into the Snake at Lyons Ferry State Park. Lewis & Clark and their Corps of Discovery met with members of the Palouse (Palus) tribe nearby in the winter of 1805. The park was named for the Lyons family, who for many years operated a private ferry across the Snake River.

The shores of the Snake River, taken from onboard an UnCruise Adventures vessel (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Snake River

For Lewis & Clark, the Snake River was an area of almost continual rapids and waterfalls. The largest tributary of the Columbia, the Snake begins its long course in Wyoming. During the time of exploration by non-Natives, the river was given many names. The river’s final, lasting name was given somewhat in error; the hand gestures made by the Shoshone when asked the river’s name actually described the action of fish swimming upstream, not the motion of slithering reptiles.

The Snake winds through ranch land, some of the largest family-owned apple orchards, and untouched open spaces including several areas that were set aside as wildlife refuges by the Corps of Engineers. Many small scenic parks dot the shoreline and certain stretches of the river offer excellent wildlife viewing, including sightings of the rare white pelican near Ice Harbor Dam, and osprey, golden eagles, and numerous species of hawk along the cliffs, bluffs, and shorelines. Though today, numerous dams and locks produce hydroelectric energy and ensure faster, safer travel for vessels of all types, the 10-mile section along Hells Canyon is designated a “Wild and Scenic” river.

A line of wine glasses at a wine-tasting on a bar in Walla Walla, Washington (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Walla Walla, Washington

Sunny and fertile, this area is often called Washington’s breadbasket. Soils deposited by ice-age floods, combined with irrigation from the Columbia, Snake, and Walla Walla Rivers, contribute to the area's high production of wheat, alfalfa, corn, asparagus, potatoes, the famous Walla Walla sweet onion, and wine grapes.

Historically, the Walla Walla and Cayuse people occupied northern Oregon and southeastern Washington territory for centuries before the first non-native arrival and the Oregon Trail migration. Living in transportable longhouses, they were nomadic hunter/gatherers who moved among the rivers and high plateaus thriving off the fertile, abundant land. First encountering the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805, Chief Yellepit famously welcomed the party with open arms, trading gifts and goods and inviting them to stay.

Following traders, the first white settlers were missionaries sent to bring Christianity to the Cayuse and Walla Walla natives indigenous to the valley. Well known among the missionaries were Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, who established a mission at Waiilatpu among the Cayuse living in the area. An early stopping place for pioneers, the mission became a point of contention for the Cayuse. Travelers brought diseases with them that devastated the populations of local natives. The resulting deaths were thought to be the fault of the Whitmans and led to the massacre of the two missionaries and 11 other settlers. This resulted in the Cayuse wars, which concluded with treaty negotiations including the establishment of the reservation system and the natives losing their land.

This opened the area for homesteading, and Fort Walla Walla was established in its present day location in 1856. The agricultural richness of this beautiful valley established this area of great importance. At one point Walla Walla was the largest community in Washington territory and was set to be the state capitol.

Vineyards along the Columbia River (photos of the UnCruise Adventures Columbia River cruise, Rivers of Adventure & Wine)

Washington Wine Country

In 1825, the first wine grapes were planted in Washington State near Fort Vancouver. Since 1983, Washington has become the largest wine-producing state in the U.S. second only to California. With over 550 wineries producing more than twenty varietals, it is no wonder the region has gained international attention.

This $2.4 billion enterprise is divided into two distinct regions: Eastern and Western. Washington Wine Country has nine officially recognized appellations, only one of which is located west of the Cascade Mountain Range, and it produces about one percent of the state’s wines. Washington wines are sold in all 50 states as well as in 40 different countries.

In 2002, 2003 and 2005, Washington state wineries received a perfect 100-point score, an acclaim that only a few wines in the world have ever won.

Extend Your Experience

Photo of the Hotel Rose exterior in Portland, Oregon

HOTEL STAY

PORTLAND – HOTEL ROSE
2020 RATES: From $230

Resplendently modern, the Hotel Rose is a perfect example of Portland’s chic, cheeky, and fun style. Across from Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Willamette riverfront, the Rose is centrally located for discovering the city’s charm and attractions.

Summary

Package includes:

Stopover package at Hotel Rose includes meet and greet service at the airport, transfer from the airport to hotel, metro or river view accommodations, taxes, and service fees.

Vessels for this Itinerary

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Wilderness Legacy

The one-of-a-kind Wilderness Legacy—or “whale whisperer” as many will tell you—is the fastest in the fleet. Capable of 15 knots, she sails to the farthest reaches spinning yarns of adventure along the way. Like the crew and guests having the time of their lives, she hums with each new opportunity. It’s no wonder that for many of the crew (and office folk), she’s a first love that never fades. And, a welcoming hub for souls looking for adventure.

Onboard Features: Sea Dragon (the launch pad for adventure); kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, hiking poles; two on-deck hot tubs; fitness equipment and yoga mats; piano; DVD and book library; wine bar; and elevator (with access to three of the four public decks).

Cabin Features: TV/DVD player; hair dryer, bathrobes, conditioning shampoo, body wash; binoculars; reusable water bottles; in-room safe deposit box

Destinations: Columbia & Snake Rivers, Pacific Northwest

 

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  • 86 guests
  • 43 cabins
  • 34-35 crew members
  • 192 feet in length
  • 40 feet wide
  • Cruising speed of 11 knots
  • Registered in United States
  • 2.5:1 Guest-to-crew ratio
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103-104, 319-320
Fixed double bed; view window; private bath with shower

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105-111, 206-210, 303-308, 311-318
Fixed queen, double, or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

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211-214
Queen or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower

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101-102, 201-202, 309-310
Queen, fixed queen, or twin beds; view window; private bath with shower (trundle available for triple)

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301-302
Fixed queen bed; refrigerator; wrap-around view windows; private bath with shower

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300 sq. foot entertainment and sitting area with wet bar, refrigerator, media center; 300 sq. foot master bedroom with king bed; view windows; private bath with Jacuzzi tub and shower (sofa bed for triple/quad)