Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Monday, October 5, 2020

Cruising the Columbia River

  Taking a cruise vacation doesn’t have to mean traveling far from home; you can explore some of America’s most beautiful and historic rivers by cruise ship. That includes the Columbia River, the largest in the Pacific Northwest, essential to the region’s culture and economy for hundreds of years.

 Most week-long Columbia River cruises sail a portion of the Snake River, too. Together, the two rivers create a 500-mile waterway from Clarkston, Washington, to Astoria, Oregon. The superb scenery incudes the sunny, rolling hills of eastern Washington, the spectacularly eroded walls of the Columbia River Gorge, brooding Mount St. Helens, and the verdant green slopes leading to the Pacific Ocean.

 Many explorers have sailed the Columbia; the best-known are Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their Corps of Discovery Expedition. They mapped the river in late 1805 and early 1806 as part of their exploration of the Louisiana Purchase. Your cruise ship journey will be much more comfortable than theirs, but you’ll feel the excitement of exploration all the same.

 Highlights of a Columbia River cruise include Hells Canyon, a rugged and beautiful wilderness area. The canyon is best seen on a boat tour; watch for ancient pictographs, abandoned mines, and magnificent wildlife such as elk, mule deer and big horn sheep.

 The Columbia River Gorge was formed by the slow, patient progress of water and ice cutting through the Cascade Mountains. This stunning area has numerous waterfalls – Multnomah Falls, which plunges 620 feet, is the most famous. As you pass through the 80-mile gorge, you’ll transition from dry grasslands in the east to temperate rainforest in the west (one reason to pack clothing you can easily layer).

 Fort Clatsop is where the Lewis and Clark expedition spent the winter of 1805 (although the current building is a reconstruction built in 2006). You can learn about how the expedition built the original fort and survived a very harsh winter. In fact, the rest of the country was certain that the entire expedition had perished in the Pacific Northwest, so their return to St. Louis in September 1806 caused a sensation.

 Many Columbia River cruises include a pre- or post-cruise overnight stay in Portland, Oregon, as well as port calls in Astoria, at the western end of the river; The Dalles, the last stop on the Oregon Trail; and Pendleton, known for its historic wool trade.

 For more information about cruising the Columbia and other great American rivers, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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