Taking a river cruise is something you can do pretty much anywhere in the world. Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the USA all have scenic rivers that take you into the heart of the countries they traverse, making the cruise a cultural exploration as well as a relaxing vacation.
River cruises have several advantages:
- The ships are much smaller than ocean going vessels, making it possible to get into ports that the big ships can’t navigate, so when you dock much of the time you’re already close to the center of whatever town you’re visiting – no need to taxi to the attraction.
- Small ships also have a more relaxed, companionable atmosphere with less rigid dress codes and formal parties. The entertainment is less extravagant, but always lively. Often performers from the port you’re visiting will board the ship and treat you to some local musical entertainment or cultural information and demonstrations.
- You’ll be more likely to meet people and make lifelong friends among your fellow passengers in this intimate setting instead of feeling lost in a crowd.
- There are few added costs on a river cruise – shore excursions are typically included in the price as are all meals and drinks (most include beer and wine, and some include other alcoholic beverages).
- You will almost always see a new destination every day – no long days “at sea” which can get monotonous.
- Cruising a river is a lot different than cruising the ocean – the voyage is much calmer, and rough seas and seasickness are rarely part of the equation.
- It makes no difference where your cabin is located – there’s a great view on both sides of the ship. Cabins are smaller, but well designed and modern to insure your comfort and safety, and every cabin has a glorious view – there are no inside cabins on a river cruise ship.
Now you’ve explored the benefits of river cruising – take a look at the many options for cruises worldwide.
Europe is a wonderful place to enjoy a river cruise because the countries of Europe are so small you are traveling from one cultural experience to an entirely different one over a very short period of time.
- Travel the Rhine from Amsterdam through Germany and France, ending in Basel, Switzerland. You’ll view windmills, Roman ruins, medieval castles and vineyards. Shore excursions include tours of Heidelberg, Koblentz and Strasbourg. Take an excursion through the Black Forest, and don’t forget to sample some of its famous cake!
- Immerse yourself in the history of eastern Europe with a cruise on the romantic Danube. This voyage takes you from Bucharest, Romania through Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary. Along the way you’ll shop in local markets, visit an ancient fortress and cruise through the Iron Gate, a narrow gorge surrounded by immense cliffs. Hike in the Djerdap National Park for spectacular views of the river. In Kalocsa, Hungary you’ll be entertained with an organ concert at St. Joseph’s Church and a riding demonstration by Puszta horsemen. Two days in Budapest will give you time to take a cooking lesson, shop at the mega mall, Mammut or visit the Central Market where you’ll find Hungarian treasures galore.
- A cruise/tour is another option in Europe. Begin in Lisbon, Portugal where you’ll explore an ancient monastery, noted for its magnificent architecture. A luxury motorcoach will transport you to Porto, stopping for a traditional Portuguese meal in Coimbra along the way. In Porto you’ll board your ship for your cruise on the Douro River. Visit the Mateus Palace with its fabulous baroque interior and stunning gardens. Traveling along the Douro, you’ll pass through two locks on your way to Castelo Rodrigo, a 16th century village. Motorcoach to Salamanca, Spain, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a glimpse into the Middle Ages. Return to your cruise on the Douro for your return to Porto with visits to rustic villages and vineyards for some wine tasting on the way.
These are just a few examples of the scores of river cruises offered in Europe. Other river cruises along the Rhone, the Moselle, and the Seine are equally appealing. Special interest “themed” cruises focusing on historical landmarks, art appreciation, wine and culinary experiences, or Christmas markets are popular. Give us a call to explore the options further.
A truly thrilling cruise experience combines a cruise of the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador with a river cruise on the Amazon. The tour begins in Quito, Ecuador, where centuries old structures stand alongside modern buildings and trendy bistros and bars. You’ll have a walking tour here which includes a visit to one of Quito’s many chocolate factories. Besides the distinction of having the highest elevation of any capital city in the world, Quito is also known for its exquisite varieties of gourmet chocolate.
Leaving Quito, travel to Puerto Ayora for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station for a first hand look at conservation efforts in this unique part of the world. You’ll then fly to the embarkation point for your cruise of the Galapagos. Over the next five days you’ll visit seven of the Galapagos Islands with walking tours guided by expert naturalists on each island and a chance to snorkel in every location. You’ll be seeing species of birds, animals and sea creatures that exist nowhere else on earth in their carefully preserved natural environment. Imagine coming across the rare marine iguana on a walking tour or encountering a colony of Galapagos penguins! Better have your camera ready!
After returning to Quito on the eighth day of your trip, you’ll fly to Coca to begin a new phase of the adventure on the mighty Amazon River. You’ll travel by boat (and later by a dugout canoe) to your well appointed lodge on the Amazon which will be your headquarters for the next three days. You’ll walk through the jungle with knowledgeable guides to see the amazing plant life
and jungle animals that abound during the day – and again hike at night to see those that are nocturnal. Canoe the flooded rainforest rivers and walk the rainforest canopy. You’ll also have a chance to visit a local village and school to meet the people who are at home in this remarkable part of the world.
After your river trip back to Coca, you’ll fly back to Quito for your flight back home. If you were charmed by Quito on the first day of your trip, you may decide to extend your stay there for a day or two to dig deeper into its fascinating history and experience more of its unique culture, cuisine, and phenomenally scenic national parks.
Another option is a trip that begins in Lima where you’ll have a guided tour of the city concluding with an authentic Peruvian meal served in the lavish home of local residents. Fly from Lima to Cusco for a trip back in time to the 15th century. Begin in Cusco where you will explore the ancient ruins of the Sacred Valley. The next day you’ll travel to the Ollantaytambo ruins and board the 360 degree train for a scenic odyssey to Maccu Picchu. In each location you’ll have guided tours of the ruins. Maccu Picchu’s sophisticated layout and architecture is still a source of wonder to visitors and historians alike, and there are many unanswered questions about this advanced civilization. Back to Cusco for a walking tour of the city that was once the capital of the Incas.
The following day you will fly to Iquito to board your luxury vessel, the Delfin III, and begin the river cruise on the Amazon. You’ll spend three days cruising the Amazon with many opportunities for shore excursions to view wildlife, take kayak tours, and enjoy cooking demonstrations using local ingredients. Want to know how to make the iconic Pisco sour, Peru’s signature cocktail? You can learn aboard the Delfin III. For those who like to walk on the wild side, you can join a fishing excursion – fishing for piranha!
Disembarking from your cruise ship, you’ll visit the Manatee Rescue Center and return to Quito via Lima. In Quito centuries old structures stand alongside modern buildings and trendy bistros and bars. You’ll have a walking tour here which includes a visit to one of Quito’s many chocolate factories. Besides the distinction of having the highest elevation of any capital city in the world, Quito is also known for its exquisite varieties of gourmet chocolate.
After your two day tour of Quito you’ll begin the portion of your trip that takes you into the Galapagos Archipelago. Leaving Quito, travel to Puerto Ayora for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station for a first hand look at conservation efforts in this unique part of the world. You’ll then fly to the embarkation point for your cruise of the Galapagos. Over the next five days you’ll visit seven of the Galapagos Islands with walking tours guided by expert naturalists on each island and a chance to snorkel in every location. You’ll be seeing species of birds, animals and sea creatures that exist nowhere else on earth in their carefully preserved natural environment. Imagine coming across the rare marine iguana on a walking tour or encountering a colony of Galapagos penguins! Better have your camera ready!
After five days of cruising the Galapagos you’ll fly back to Quito for your return home. Imagine the photos you’ll have taken, the friends you will have made, and the experiences that you’ll remember forever.
If you prefer a more in-depth cruise of the Amazon, consider one of the many small riverboat cruises through Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil. These luxury boutique riverboats accommodate anywhere from 4 guests to 38 guests on cruises and cruise tours that range from 3 days to 16 days and hit many South American highlights like Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu and Rio.
Give the travel experts at Travel Leaders a call to begin planning your South American cruise adventure.
Taking a river cruise in Asia is the ultimate in cultural immersion. This experience will be one you will never forget because the sights you see and the people you’ll meet are so different from what we are accustomed to.
One example of the cruises available is an 11 day cruise tour beginning in Siem Reap, Cambodia and ending in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. Beginning in Siem Reap you’ll tour a 12th century temple that was once completely overgrown by the surrounding jungle. You’ll visit temples at Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom. Other attractions include the Terrace of Elephants, a thriving market, and a performance by the Cambodian Circus. On the third day after visiting the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat, you’ll transfer to your ship for the beginning of your river cruise on the Mekong River. Visit a fishing port on Tonle Lake and taste regional dishes before cruising to Kampong Tralach where oxcarts will transport you past immense rice fields to a village where silver and gold craftsmen create jewelry and other art objects. In Phnom Penh you’ll enjoy classical Khmer entertainment, visit the silver palace, and get a glimpse into the grim past of a detention center where the Khmer Rouge held and tortured prisoners during the Civil War.
Leaving Cambodia, you’ll visit the thriving city of Chou Doc, Viet Nam and continue to Sa Dec and Vinh Long where smaller boats await to take you through canals and past the verdant orchards of the Vietnamese countryside. Tour brick and pottery factories in Cai Be before cruising overnight to Ho Chi Minh City.
Spending two days moored in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly known as Saigon), you’ll tour a bee farm and travel by sampan through mangrove lined canals. In the city you’ll have a full day tour of palaces, churches and government buildings ending at the Vietnamese Museum of History. A comfortable motorcoach will take you to the Cu Chi tunnels, a massive labyrinth used as a military installation during the Viet Nam War. Chinese influence is evident in the Cholon district where you’ll have lunch before the conclusion of this amazing trip.
Another popular Asian river cruise is the exceptional 8 day cruise on the longest river in China, the Yangtze River, aboard the luxury ship, the Yangtze Explorer. The Explorer is the only Yangtze cruise ship that is part of the award winning Sanctuary Retreat group. With only 62 cabins and a maximum capacity of 124 guests, you will experience the ultimate in customer service and staff expertise. Onboard activities like lessons in Chinese calligraphy and Chinese cooking are educational and fun for every age group. Daily afternoon “tea time” gives guests the chance to relax and compare notes with fellow passengers.
This cruise begins in Chongqing and terminates in Jiujiang after 8 days of experiencing gorgeous landscapes, historical sites dating back over 2,000 years, authentic cultural entertainment, and excellent cuisine. You may want to arrive in Chongqing a day or two before embarkation so you can visit the Dazu Grottoes which are home to thousands of Buddhist statues and carvings created in the Tang and Song dynasties. Once onboard the Explorer, make sure to take in the sunset view of the Chaotianmen harbor as you leave the port.
The next few days will be filled with adventures. Visit the world’s largest artificial cave, constructed to house a nuclear facility, but never used in that capacity. You’ll sail through several scenic gorges with a chance to hike up the Shennv Heaven Path which offers dramatic views of the river. Your evening entertainment includes a performance of the Feng Yan San Guo Show which focuses on the history of the Three Kingdoms Period. The ship will pass through the Three Gorges Ship Locks, a series of five locks – the largest lock system in the world.
Several fascinating shore excursions are offered on the voyage. Visit the Tribe of Three Gorges and Interception Memorial Park for amazing opportunities for spectacular photographs and a chance to meet with the Tuija minority people who live in nearby villages. In Jingzhou, stroll along the Ancient Wall and visit the Jingzhou Museum where silk and Chinese lacquer exhibits and swords of ancient kings are among over 100,000 other historical relics. In Yueyang climb the Yueyang Tower or visit the carefully preserved village of Zhangguying, looking almost exactly as it did 500 years ago. This was the home of Zhang Guyan, a master of the art of Feng Shui.
Your last full day aboard the Explorer will give you the opportunity to tour Wuhan. Visit the Yellow Crane Tower with its fascinating antique architecture and the Hubei Provincial Museum which houses amazing artifacts recovered from the 2,400 year old tomb of Marquis Yi. In the evening you’ll be treated to a performance aboard the Zhiyinhao ship, featuring anecdotes and historical information about sailors and port life 100 years ago.
You’ll arrive in Jiujiang the following morning to conclude this amazing river journey.
A river cruise in Asia will open your eyes to eastern traditions and history thousands of years old. The emphasis on physical and mental well-being and strength is inspirational to all those who are exposed to the grace and simplicity of these ancient cultures. Take a small step out of your comfort zone and consider an Asian river cruise for your next vacation. Our experienced agents are at your service.
Most people traveling to Africa do so because they want to see Africa’s amazing species of wildlife in their natural environment rather than in a zoo. Many of these animals are endangered, and a growing number of visitors are interested in conservation efforts to restore the animal population to a healthy level.
Make the most of your trip to Africa by choosing a rail and river safari offered by the luxury tour company, Ambercrombie and Kent. This twelve day, small group tour begins in Cape Town, where you will tour the old city, ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain to enjoy the glorious view of the seaside cliffs, and visit the site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment.
The following day you’ll visit a vineyard at the base of Table Mountain and enjoy a wine tasting as well as lunch featuring local produce. Your journey begins that evening as you board a beautifully restored train that winds through the gentle hillsides of the Cape wine country. The accommodations on this luxury train will put you in mind of the Orient Express but with all the modern conveniences. The service, amenities and world class cuisine are unparalleled. You’ll travel to an authentic Victorian Village before encountering the desert wilderness of the Great Karoo desert region. The trip continues through Kimberley, home of the Diamond Mine Museum, and traverses the gold fields of Highveld and Witwatersrand, arriving in Pretoria the morning of your sixth day.
On your way to Johannesburg, you’ll see Vilakazi Street where both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu once resided. Take the rest of the day to tour Johannesburg or relax in your opulent accommodations at the Fairlawn Boutique Hotel and Spa. The following day you’ll fly to Victoria Falls and enjoy a private walking tour on the Zimbabwean side of this iconic natural wonder. Here you’ll have a chance to bike through the town to admire the magnificent scenery, or visit a local village to visit with its residents. Or you may choose to view the fantastic Ndau collection studio and meet the artisans who create this line of precious jewelry. That evening the “safari part” of your trip begins, as you travel to Kasane to board the five star Zambezi Queen riverboat.
The next two days you’ll cruise the Chobe River through the Chobe National Park, home to the largest concentration of elephants in Africa. On this leg of your journey you’ll have an opportunity to fish the river or take smaller boats to more remote areas of the river for more chances to view and photograph all the wildlife that make their homes there. You’ll see baboons, water buffalo, lions, giraffes and hippos that all gather at the river as the sun sets. You’re sure to spot any number of rare birds as over 400 different species live in the park. Alligators and crocodiles sun themselves on the banks (or pretend to be logs and lie in wait for a thirsty victim to happen along). You’ll have a front row seat from your perch on the deck of the Queen.
The next day you’ll fly to the Okavango Delta, a part of the immense Moremi Game Reserve where you’ll begin the land portion of your safari. Your afternoon game drive through the “Predator Capital of the World” offers you a chance to see The Big Five, which you can celebrate when you return to the Sanctuary Chief’s Camp for the evening. The word “camp” conjures up images of lumpy cots, smelly outhouses and hordes of mosquitoes. The Sanctuary group of “camps” offers outstanding accommodations and service with the traveler’s comfort and safety their first priority. The chef prepared meals are spectacular, featuring local cuisine, especially when preceded by “Sundowners” and “bitings” (evening cocktails and snacks served at sunset). What a way to cap off this exciting day!
On the final day of this amazing trip you’ll go on game drives early in the morning and again in the evening, the times of day when you’ll most likely spot game. You can opt for a tour in a dugout canoe (mokoro) to get up close and personal with the animals you want to photograph – your knowledgeable guide knows where they are most likely to be found.
Let our travel experts help you plan a rail and river safari to Africa. You won’t regret the decision.
Anyone interested in ancient history will definitely be thrilled by a river cruise on the Nile River in Egypt. The second longest river in the world, it has been the very heart of civilization in the region for centuries. The lure of ancient pyramids and monuments and the mysteries surrounding their construction and purpose bring scholars and tourists alike to ponder these Egyptian marvels.
One way to visit and learn about Egypt’s amazing history is on a cruise of the Nile. Viking Cruise Line offers a 12 day luxury cruise/tour beginning and ending in Cairo. Viking’s four recently constructed riverboats accommodate fewer than 100 guests and offer the ultimate in comfort and amenities. You’ll begin with three days in the vibrant city of Cairo with a day trip to the Great Pyramids at Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, as well as the Great Sphinx. If you’d like to ride a camel, this will be your chance to do it! The next day you’ll be exploring the fabulous Museum of Antiquities in Cairo which houses the collection of artifacts found in King Tut’s tomb. Visit Khan-el-Kahlili, the famous bazaar where you can find almost anything.
You’ll fly from Cairo to Luxor where you’ll board your cruise ship for the next seven nights. The Egyptologist accompanying the tour will give you fascinating details of the history and lifestyle of the citizens of this ancient city, as shore excursions to the Temples of Luxor and Karnak provide a glimpse into the past. If you’re an early riser, enjoy a balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of the desert landscape and Luxor’s temples and monuments. Excursions to the west bank will take you to the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, where Viking guests have exclusive access to the tomb of Queen Nefertari. Learn about the special purpose of these royal tombs, designed to ease the way of these leaders into the afterlife.
At the port of Qena you’ll visit the Temple of Hathor with its remarkably preserved hieroglyphics. In Esna you’ll find the Temple of Khnum with its massive columns and complex, beautiful stone carvings. The market at Esna is one of the oldest in the region. Originally used as a market for slaves and animals, it is now known for local crafts and especially for bridal supplies.
Your next port is the city of Aswan, the location of the world’s largest embankment dam. You can take a shore excursion that includes the dam, the large central market and a cruise of the port on a felucca (wooden sailboat). Visit the imposing temple of Ramses II built to honor his beloved Queen Nefertari, carefully reconstructed and moved to this new location to protect it from flooding. The optional light show at Philae Temple is a thrilling tribute to the legendary gods Osiris and Isis – the next day you’ll visit Isis’ Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll be invited to the home of a local Nubian family to experience life in their village, and at Kom Ombo hear the stories of Haroeris and Sobek, the Sky God and theCrocodile God.
The last full day of your cruise will take you past verdant fields and sandy dunes to Edfu. Here you will visit the temple of the God of Light, Horus, with its massive wall depicting his iconic falcon head. The ship’s chef will be shopping at the Edfu market, and you can join him to select items for the evening meal. The ship then returns to Luxor where you will catch your flight back to Cairo for an evening to recuperate or to catch up on what you may have missed when you first arrived.
This Nile River cruise definitely checks all the boxes – exotic destinations, fascinating history and artifacts, almost universally great weather, excellent accommodations and dining experiences, and a chance to meet and mingle with travelers from all over the world who share this adventure with you. Speak with one of our knowledgeable agents to get started on plans for a Nile River cruise.
Think about river cruising in the United States and only one river comes to mind – the mighty Mississippi! From its headwaters in northern Minnesota to the mouth in the Gulf of Mexico, the history and importance of this river is incomparable. There are lots of ways to cruise the Mississippi – there are any number of day trips on riverboats out of cities and towns along the Mississippi – Stillwater, Memphis, St. Louis and New Orleans are just a few of the places where you can get a taste of river cruising on day trips or evening dinner cruises. However, to really experience all the Mississippi has to offer, take a 15 day cruise aboard a luxury Viking riverboat to explore the entire length of the river.
The new Viking Mississippi, built in 2022, has been designed specifically for cruises on the river. Every cabin is an outside cabin with a veranda to ensure panoramic views for every guest. Viking’s reputation for excellent customer service and attention to detail is the gold standard in the cruise industry. So what can you expect on a 15 day Mississippi River Cruise?
- Beginning in St. Paul, Minnesota, you’ll cruise through Red Wing Minnesota, La Crosse, Wisconsin, and Decorah, Iowa with included shore excursions in each location. The National Eagle Center is an excellent place to learn about the history and protection of eagles. Take an optional tour in Decorah, Iowa to visit the Norwegian Heritage Museum, one of the local breweries, or ride along the scenic bike trails that parallel the river.
- On to Dubuque, Iowa, and step back into the “Steamboat Era” in this remarkable town that typifies river towns before the Civil War. Visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium and learn the history of people who lived and worked on America’s busy rivers. Voted one of America’s greatest Main Streets, Dubuque’s restored mid-19th century Cable Car Square houses local art galleries, craft shops, jewelers, as well as breweries, and trendy pubs.
- In the Quad Cities (where the Rock River in Illinois meets the Mississippi in Iowa) you’ll have all kinds of choices for shore excursions. You’re smack dab in the middle of “America’s Breadbasket” and one choice is to visit the John Deere Pavilion to learn about past and present farming techniques. You can visit a family farm, opt to tour one of several museums, kayak on the Rock River, or bike along the Great River Road.
- Excursions in Burlington, Iowa, include a tour of the first military fort in the Louisiana Territory, Old Fort Madison, or a visit to historic Nauvoo, a restored community of the Mission of the Church of Latter Day Saints, looking much as it did in the early 1880’s.
- The seventh day of your cruise is bound to be one of the highlights of the trip. In Hannibal, Missouri, you’ll step back into Tom Sawyer’s world, whitewashed fence and all, with tours of seven museum properties, all located within two blocks of each other. The original paintings by Norman Rockwell illustrating Tom and Huck’s adventures are housed here in the Museum Gallery.
- St. Louis is your next stop, with an extensive tour of the city’s architecture, historic buildings and Gateway Arch National Park. You can also opt for a tour of the famous Anheuser Busch Brewery or the National Blues Museum.
- On Day Nine, you’ll have a chance to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Watching the landscape change from farmland to forest, hilly bluffs to low lying sandbars, you’ll appreciate the diversity of birds, plants, and animals that depend on the river. You can attend a lecture or cooking class aboard the ship – or just recline on a deck chair with a good book. You’ll need to rest up – you hit Memphis tomorrow!
- Memphis! Some of America’s greatest musicians and songwriters are memorialized here on Beale Street where you can experience the unique blend of blues, country, and rock and roll. Your tour of Elvis’ home, Graceland, is included, and you’ll have the option to tour the National Civil Rights Museum or the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum.
- After another well-deserved day of R&R on the river, you’ll arrive in Vicksburg, the site of the most important battle of the Civil War. Visit the military park or take a walking tour of the historic downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.
- The next day of your cruise will be spent in Natchez. Again you’ll have a chance to view some of the elegant southern homes and opt for an evening spent enjoying classical music and typical southern cuisine as guests in one of the mansions. On your last day aboard ship you’ll visit the bayous of Baton, Rouge, Louisiana – Cajun Country! Viking’s exclusive access to the Rural Life Museum at Louisiana State University brings to life the diverse Cajun people with music and dance performances, samples of Cajun cuisine, and exhibits and demonstrations by various artisans and laborers. Get out into the bayous with boat rides into the Louisiana swamps for viewing alligators, otters, bald eagles, reptiles and native plants. The next morning you’ll arrive at the port of New Orleans for the conclusion of your trip.
Of course not everyone has 15 days for a river cruise, and there are other options available. You can cruise the southern route from New Orleans to Memphis or the northern route from St. Louis to St. Paul in 8 days. The shore excursions on these cruises are similar to those offered on the 15 day cruise, and you’ll definitely have a chance to experience the power and beauty of America’s most famous river.
Want some extra time to experience the remarkable cuisine, lively entertainment venues, and historic sites in New Orleans? Call Travel Leaders to add a few days to this All-American cruise experience.
An entirely different cruise experience is available with American Cruise Lines on their riverboats cruising the rivers of the Pacific Northwest. These modern small ships offer some of the largest cabins in the cruise industry as well as superb customer service, excellent cuisine and entertainment, and knowledgeable experts to offer insight into the history and geography of the areas you’ll be visiting.
One option is an 8 day cruise beginning at Hayden Island, Washington, which sits between Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon on the Columbia River. The island’s animal population includes several endangered species including painted turtles, bald eagles, and pileated woodpeckers. From the island you’ll cruise the Columbia downriver to Astoria, OR and Kalama, WA. Astoria boasts a maritime museum and a series of state parks chronicling the journey of Lewis and Clark. The port of Kalama is the stepping off point for tours of Mt. St. Helens, a volcano that erupted in 1980, changing the landscape and lives of local residents forever. Other tours in this port include a winery tour and wine tasting and a walking tour along the Columbia.
The next day will be a delight for photographers. You’ll pass through the locks of the Bonneville Dam and visit the Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center. Multnomah Falls, the second highest year-round waterfall in the USA, is on the itinerary at the end of a walk through dense forestland. Opt for a visit to a “moonshine” operation and pick up some tips for making unusual cocktails.
The end of the Oregon Trail is The Dalles, located between Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Here you’ll be treated to a tour of a winery overlooking the Gorge and admission to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Take this opportunity to paddle a kayak along a small river for a closer view of birds, fish and otters that make the river their home. In Pendleton, OR you can visit the Sacagawea Interpretive Center and enjoy a hands-on history lesson or discover the REACH Museum in Richland, WA which explores the history of western Washington from the Ice Age to the present day. Here you join the Snake River where you’ll have the next day to relax and enjoy the amenities of your cruise ship as you enjoy viewing and photographing all the wildlife along the shoreline. Mountain goats, otters, deer, coyotes and all kinds of birds abound in this pristine wilderness. Your cruise ends the following day in Clarkson, WA. Optional post-cruise adventures in Clarkson include a flightseeing trip over Hells Canyon, or a jet boat exploration of the canyon. If you want to extend your vacation even further, you can opt for a 7 day land package that will take you to Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Parks with deluxe accommodations in all locations.
If you’d like to experience river cruising in the Pacific Northwest, contact Travel Leaders for more information.