A Snake River cruise offers a look at some of America's unspoiled natural lands in the context of a small ship adventure. These cruises take you right through some of the areas commonly traveled by early pioneers, and let you retrace part of Lewis and Clark's journey. The scenery in this area is majestic, with tall mountains and evergreen forests. You're also likely to pass several orchards on your tour. Touring the Snake River offers something for all interests.
The cruise itinerary is usually 7 nights and also includes the Columbia River. The ports visited on these cruises include Portland, Multnomah, Pendleton, Walla Walla, and Astoria. Some extended trips might even take in Mt. Ranier or Mt. St. Helen's. A river cruise, especially in this area, is ideal for several types of people. It's more practical, as passengers don't have to obtain passports required for visiting foreign ports. Those within a reasonable distance might opt to drive to Portland rather than flying. The ships are much smaller, and offer activities centered around the unique historical and natural attractions. This can be ideal for those who want peace and quiet over numerous nightlife, shopping, and dining options.
Your cruise will take you through areas explored by Lewis and Clark and also traveled by pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Pendleton has a number of interesting historic treasures. The Tamástslikt Cultural Institute honors the local native tribes and even has a cultural village. There are also a series of tunnels dug by railroad employees that can be visited. Some of the area's canyons and gorges have Indian petroglyphs that date back thousands of years. Walla Walla offers fun historic tours. The Columbia River Maritime Museum and Fort Clatsop in Astoria both offer Lewis and Clark-related exhibits.
The area has some beautiful scenery, highlighted by the local mountain ranges and forests. Hell's Canyon is the deepest canyon on the continent and is also a prime spot for wildlife viewing. Bighorn sheep and elk are frequently seen. One of the sights that you'll probably get to see are the Dalles, the spot where pioneers traveling west started the last leg of the journey by raft. Summer cruises typically offer excursions to Mt. Ranier and Mt. St. Helen's. Mt. St. Helen's has an observatory that gives visitors a look at what's still going on with the volcano today. This site really gives visitors a look at what the power of nature is capable of
One thing that you'll like about a Snake River cruise is that the activities are specialized for the cruise itinerary. You'll be treated to knowledgeable guest lecturers who will tell you about the fascinating history of the area. Some of the lecturers may include area biologists and geologists. Organized shore excursions highlight the best historic sites and also allow passengers to enjoy a good lunch. One of the advantages of an excursion is knowing you'll be able to get into the sites of your choice easily.