On my mental map, no locator pins dot Oregon. In all my years of traveling, I have never been to that Northwest Pacific state.
However, that is about to change.
In a few days, I will be headed to Portland, Oregon, to embark on a fabulous weeklong cruise aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy. Built in 1984, the S.S. Legacy joined the Un-Cruise fleet of vessels in 2013.
Appointed with period décor, the S.S. Legacy emulates the old-world charm of an early turn-of-the-century coastal steamer with carved wooden cabinetry, layer cake superstructure and stovepipe funnel.
But it also offers modern amenities galore. Staterooms contain iPod docking station, TV/DVD player, alarm clock, hair dryer and bathrobe.
A Grand Salon features a dance floor and full bar. The boat also includes a wine bar, library, hot tub, sauna, fitness equipment, yoga classes and a massage suite, which includes complimentary massage.
The Un-Cruise brochure notes that the fleet of eight ships offers journeys that are “Unrushed. Uncrowded. Unbelievable.”
“Time is precious, and what we do with it matters,” Un-Cruise owner Dan Blanchard says in the brochure.
My Heritage itinerary is named The Legacy of Discovery. Going roundtrip from Portland, the trip visits Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Clarkston, Hells Canyon, Walla Walla, the Dalles and Astoria. We will follow in the footsteps of Lewis & Clark, learn the meaning of “Where in the Sam Hill,” and meet many colorful characters. Heritage crewmembers often dress in character to make historic folks come alive.
I’ve been told the towering cliffs, bighorn sheep and 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs in Hells Canyon are astounding. Getting there also is thrilling. We will be riding a jet boat into Hells Canyon for the better part of a day, eating lunch along the way.
It’s the history I am most interested in learning and I’ve heard that Heritage journeys aboard Un-Cruise Adventures are an excellent way to do that. We will hear from guest experts and onboard legacy leaders as well as touring museums and historic sights.
For our trips away from the ship, we will be transported in a big luxury bus with plenty of seats, WiFi connection and plugs for our electronic devices. The bus will be following the ship on shore so we never have to worry about its arrival. On one small ship cruise a few years ago, a reserved bus did not show up for our shore excursion. Passengers were not very pleased about climbing a steep hill along the Mississippi River and waiting in the hot sun for a bus that never appeared. Our day’s activity also was canceled because we had no way to get there. So this follow-along bus is a great idea on the part of Un-Cruise Adventures.
A friend told me that cuisine on the S.S. Legacy is delicious, far better than might be expected from such a small ship’s galley. The trip is also all-inclusive with complimentary wine, cocktails, beer and other drinks at any time. Shore excursions are included in the price. A special gift at the end of the cruise, I’ve been told, is a disk with photos taken by the crew of our journey.
I’m so looking forward to my Un-Cruise Adventure and hope you come along for the ride. I’ll be sharing what it’s like to “Choose to Un-Cruise.”