Board a modern paddle wheeler and marvel at dazzling autumn colors and the clear blue skies of Oregon and Washington. Your journey traces the epic route of Lewis and Clark, two centuries ago, as they explored America's great Columbia and Snake Rivers.

Starting at: $6,390 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Columbia River  The Palouse River and waterfall. Credit: Jason Hatfield  The <i>American Pride</i> paddle wheeler  Lewis and Clark's Fort Clatsop in Oregon  The dramatic Mount Hood  Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

In the Wake of Lewis and Clark

Cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers

9 days from $6,390

Board a modern paddle wheeler and marvel at dazzling autumn colors and the clear blue skies of Oregon and Washington. Your journey traces the epic route of Lewis and Clark, two centuries ago, as they explored America's great Columbia and Snake Rivers.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details


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Great small ship. Wonderful food! My 6th Smithsonian trip!

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.


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Save $250 per person when you book by April 17, 2020!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 


Enjoy autumn colors and clear blue skies while cruising America’s great waterways—the Columbia and Snake Rivers—from Portland to Clarkston. Explore the westernmost route of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition, which carved a pathway to the West, and take in natural beauty, museums, and historic sites that feature the best of Oregon and Washington.

Highlights Include

  • History: Reflect on Lewis and Clark’s expedition during a choice of excursions. Walk through the full-scale reconstructed Fort Clatsop, located near the mouth of the Columbia River, where the explorers hunkered down for the wet winter of 1805–1806. Or, at Cape Disappointment, stand in the same spot where expedition members beheld their first view of the Pacific Ocean and gain insight at the interpretive center. At the Nez Perce National Historic Park, hear stories of the Nez Perce people, who saved the expedition from starvation after their trek through the Bitterroot Mountains. Plus, stop at the Tamatslikt Cultural Institute for a look into the storied past of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes. 
  • Northwest Beauty: Admire dramatic landscapes, including Mt. Hood, Multnomah Falls, and the Columbia River Gorge near Portland, as well as Mount Saint Helens. Plus, enjoy an exciting jet boat ride in Hells Canyon, one of America’s deepest river canyons. Learn about the geologic causes that created this varied landscape at various educational sites throughout your voyage.
  • River Navigation: Visit the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, which chronicles the history of river navigation, then gain further perspective as you transit a series of eight locks that lift or lower your ship some 700 feet.
  • Small Ship Experience: Feel the spirit of the Golden Age of riverboats as you cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers aboard a traditional paddle wheeler, the American Pride. The ship features spacious staterooms with private balconies or picture windows, upscale amenities, and elevator access to all decks. Each voyage will also host other leading cultural and educational institutions, which will add to the excitement and energy of the experience. 

Great small ship. Wonderful food! My 6th Smithsonian trip!

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.


Day 1 — Depart Gateway Cities

Depart your gateway city for Portland, Oregon. After arrival transfer to the Red Lion on the River Hotel. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be on hand to assist with information on sightseeing, dining, and entertainment. This evening, enjoy an exclusive welcome reception and introductory briefing by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert at the hotel. (R)

Day 2 — Portland

A full buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel this morning and each day during your cruise. The early morning is at leisure so you can explore on your own. Later, transfer to the pier for embarkation on the paddle-wheeler, American Pride. Lunch will be served onboard as the ship departs from Portland. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Astoria

This morning, take a trolley or a leisurely 5-minute walk to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. You’ll meet an expert local guide for an engaging tour of the museum. Discover artifacts and learn about the dangers of navigating a river feared by even the most experienced mariners. In addition to the Maritime Museum, choose one of the following additional included excursions;

Choice #1 - Fort Clatsop Tour and Astoria Experience At Fort Clatsop: 

A Park Ranger will explain its significance and begin a personalized tour of the grounds. See live demonstrations, tour the museum and explore the exact replica of the fort where Lewis and Clark wintered in 1806. Afterward, depart through the city of Astoria on your way to the Astoria Column, a majestic tower perched high on a bluff overlooking the city and river, providing panoramic views of the landscape.

Choice #2 - Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center: 

Take a scenic tour through Astoria as we journey toward Cape Disappointment State Park. Here, a Park Ranger will guide you through the impressive Lewis and Clark Interpretive Exhibit. Situated on the cliffs 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the center commemorates the Corps of Discovery’s 1804-1806 expedition. Attend live demonstrations, an interactive film, and a variety of exhibits dedicated to Lewis and Clark. The impressive mural-sized “timeline” panels guide you through the exhibit while featuring many of the actual sketches, paintings, and photographs of the Corps members. Later, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries.

After dinner, entertainment will feature a set of songs from the Great American Songbook. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Astoria / Mount St. Helens, Washington

May 18, 1980 is a day etched into the history of the United States as the powerful eruption of Mount St. Helens drastically changed the landscape of what is now referred to as the National Volcanic Monument.

On your scenic journey to the Mount St. Helens Johnston Ridge Observatory, your local guide will provide a fascinating narrative about the eruption, how it affected the landscape, the surrounding communities, and how the ecosystem has responded naturally to the cataclysm. The Observatory itself sits on a bluff near the crater, offering spectacular views of the pumice plain and blast site. This evening you’ll enjoy live entertainment on board ship. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Cruising the Columbia River Gorge and Stevenson, Washington

A highlight of your trip to the Pacific Northwest, Multnomah Falls will leave you in awe. Journey to the majestic waterfall on a track through the thick forest. You’ll cross the impressive Bridge of the Gods, before reaching the Falls. There, you’ll have time to explore on your own and walk on the famous Benson Bridge to get the best views. Throughout your journey on the Columbia River, the ship will transit eight locks that lift it more than 700 feet. During the cruise, the onboard staff of experts will touch upon this complex lock and dam system and provide an understanding of the Bonneville Dam, which generates enough hydroelectric power to provide nearly 500,000 homes with electricity. After lunch, tour the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center and learn about life on the Gorge. In the early evening, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Travelers Corner for an informal conversation about the day’s discoveries. This evening, a local entertainer will offer guitar music and songs of the American Northwest. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Stevenson, Washington / The Dalles, Oregon

As you step ashore in Stevenson, you’ll be greeted by your guide who will take you on a short, narrated tour of the town before visiting at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Explore the various exhibits that highlight the volcanic upheavals and raging floods that created the gorge eons ago. The highlight of the visit includes a unique raptor exhibition where you’ll watch birds of prey put on an aerobatic display and learn about the protected eagles that call the gorge home. Afterward, make a visit to the Cascade Cliffs Winery for a tour of this scenic vineyard and sample a selection of their award-winning wines. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Richland / Pendleton, Oregon

After a morning arrival in Richland, depart on a scenic ride through the countryside where you’ll notice the striking contrasts in the landscape as you make your way to Pendleton. Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your expert tour guide who will take you to explore Pendleton’s former red-light district hidden in a labyrinth of underground tunnels. After a barbecue lunch, visit the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, for a look into the storied past of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla native tribes. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Clarkston / Hells Canyon, Oregon

Today take a chartered jet boat on an excursion into Hells Canyon. Discover places most boats cannot reach and witness the amazing transformation in geography from high desert to alpine forests. View ancient rock formations and pictographs while your guide provides engaging stories about the region’s history and canyon formation. Enjoy a catered luncheon at the exclusive Garden Creek Ranch before heading back to the ship. This evening, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Depart for Gateway Cities

Transfer to Spokane airport this morning to board homeward flights. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)