Aboard American Empress: Visiting Stevenson, Washington

ABOARD THE AMERICAN EMPRESS—On Wednesday many of the cruisers on the Columbia River Gorge met Janet. Actually she was much more under the river than on it. Our Victorian-style paddle wheeler docked at a rather rustic-looking Washington town named Stevenson. Once more on the free hop-off, hop-on bus, we stopped at the Bonneville Lock and Dam, the same complex we had passed through on Tuesday. Some cruisers proceeded along the top to overlook the locks. We joined …

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Aboard American Empress: Tuesday on the Columbia River

ABOARD AMERICAN EMPRESS–Tuesday on the Columbia River – Throughout our third day today, our paddlewheeler was followed by a great white ghost. The snowy pyramid form of Mount Hood seemed to be always hovering in the back yards of all the forests and towns on the Oregon side while we progressed smoothly along the river. Many cruisers arose at 6 then made their way to the top-deck River Grill for “Locks and Lox,” a special breakfast to …

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Aboard the American Empress: We wake to fog in Astoria

ABOARD THE AMERICAN EMPRESS-Monday night on the Columbia River—Our morning curtains opened to nothing but bright fog today. Allegedly our boat had arrived at the historic town of Astoria, Oregon, where the river meets the ocean in a never-ending contest of wind and waves. The paddle wheeler was quiet and safe, but we couldn’t see a thing through the haze. After breakfast, sunny details quickly began to emerge through the atmosphere, and we boarded one of the …

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Aboard the American Empress: We begin our trip in Portland

ABOARD AMERICAN EMPRESS-Sunday night on the Columbia River – My wife and I flew into Portland, Oregon yesterday and taxied across the river ($40) to reach a hotel in Vancouver, Washington. Our first night of the American Empress experience was actually a recently refurbished Hilton, which served as a sort of land-based rallying point for cruisers and some crew members. The Empress herself was already resting at a nearby dock, her paddle wheels immobile for the time …

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Rolling on the River-Preparing for a cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Sara and I are not precisely sure what to expect on our upcoming cruise. My wife and I are veterans of many an ocean voyage. Either she or I or both of us can count as many as 60, covering nearly all parts of the globe and always far from our home in the U.S.A. But this one will be different — a river cruise, and one not one flowing in an exotic location like the Danube, …

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Adventure Savings Offered On Un-Cruise Adventures’ New Heritage Adventure cruises in southeast Alaska and Columbia & Snake Rivers

Un-Cruise Adventures presents a window of opportunity for savings on Heritage Adventure cruises on a new itinerary in Alaska and on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Travelers booked aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy by December 20, 2013 receive an adventure savings up to $700 per couple on 2014 voyages. Launched in August 2013, the replica coastal steamer S.S. Legacy sails back through history bringing alive the stories and characters from Alaska’s Gold Rush of ’98 and the …

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Un-Cruise Adventures christens S.S. Legacy and launches Heritage Adventures

On Thursday, August 8, 2013 Un-Cruise Adventures officially christened its newest vessel, the 88-guest S.S. Legacy, in a dockside celebration near company headquarters in Seattle, Washington.  The replica coastal steamer is the eighth vessel in the adventure cruise line’s fleet. The S.S. Legacy sails Heritage Adventures taking guests back in time to the 1890s and early 1900s to explore history of the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and early explorers along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The …

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Riverboats for cruising the Columbia and Snake

For nearly three years, I have been wondering about the loss of a favorite cruise vessel, the Spirit of ’98. In August, she will be back. Cruise West, the company that owned Spirit, ended its touring days in 2010, and I feared that the ship, which needed some renovation, was lost as well. I should have known better. Serviceable vessels get reborn. Newly refurbished, re-named, and operated by Un-Cruise Adventures, the 88-passenger S.S. Legacy now sports a …

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