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: $7,340 * 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 $7,340

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


brochure iconbrochure


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

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.


See All Journeys Dispatches ››


Save $250 per person when you book by February 11, 2022!

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 one of America’s great waterways—the Columbia and Snake Rivers—from Astoria 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 the 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. And, 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. Look into the storied past of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla tribes at the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute. And spend a morning in Pendleton, Oregon, to explore the infamous underground city.
  • 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 select educational sites throughout your voyage.
  • River Navigation: Learn about 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.
  • Farm to Table: Enjoy the region’s coveted “farm-to-table” dining and culinary experiences aboard ship.
  • 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 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. See more ship information on the Tour Details page.

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

- Gail A.

My perspective on the world was transformed by this expedition.

- Jeffrey A.

2022 Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart Gateway Cities

Depart your gateway city for Portland, Oregon. After arrival transfer to the Red Lion Hotel on the River Jantzen Beach. 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. The balance of the evening is at leisure. (R)

Day 2 — Portland, Oregon

A full 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 on board as the ship departs from Portland for Astroria. This evening, a local speaker will offer a presentation on the heritage of Portland and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — Astoria, Oregon

This morning start exploring on an excursion to 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, continue to the Astoria Column, a majestic tower perched high on a bluff overlooking the city and river, providing panoramic views of the landscape. After lunch on board, you’ll depart the ship for 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 Center. 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 drinks and 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, Oregon / 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 – Bonneville Dam / Multnomah Falls

Throughout your journey on the Columbia River, you will transit eight locks, lifting the ship more than 700 feet vertically. Building upon the presentations by your onboard experts throughout the week, this excursion provides you with an in-depth understanding and appreciation for the engineering that enables the Dam to generate enough hydroelectric power to provide nearly 500,000 homes with electricity. This afternoon you’ll experience a highlight of your trip to the Pacific Northwest. Multnomah Falls is sure to leave you in awe. Disembark the ship, docked in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge, and begin your journey to the majestic waterfall. As you wind through the thick forest you will cross the impressive Bridge of the Gods, before finally reaching Multnomah Falls. Upon arrival, you will have time to explore the Falls on your own, and walk the famous Benson Bridge to get the best vantage point for your photo opportunities. In the early evening, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys 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 off the ship this morning, you’ll be greeted by members of the local visitor’s center. Your guide will give you a short narrated tour of the town before arriving at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. Here, explore the various exhibits that highlight the volcanic upheaval and raging floods that helped to create the gorge. The highlight of the center visit includes a unique raptor exhibition where we will watch birds of prey put on an aerobatic display and learn about the protected eagles that call the gorge home. Overlooking the gorge sits the Maryhill Museum of Art. Here, native American artifacts, royal memorabilia from Queen Marie of Romania, outdoor sculptures, and a permanent collection of international chess sets are on display. You will not only be treated to a one-of-a-kind permanent collection, but also a variety of featured exhibits. A shuttle will run all day between the ship and local historic and cultural points of interest. This evening celebrate native American Nez Perce heritage and traditions during an authentic tribal performance. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — Richland, Washington / 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. Early this evening get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a pre-dinner drink and lively conversation. (B,L,D) 

Day 8 — Clarkston, Washington / Hells Canyon

Later this morning, depart the ship for a Jet Boat excursion of Hells Canyon. Explore places most boats cannot reach on the river and witness the amazing transformation in geography from high desert to alpine forests. See ancient rock formations and native pictographs while your local Clarkston guide provides an interesting narrative about the region’s history and canyon formation. A stop will be made at Garden Creek Ranch for lunch. For travelers not joining the Jet Boat excursion, they can make a visit the Nez Perce National Historic Park. Led by an expert local guide, take a narrated tour of this historic park. Hear stories of the Nez Perce people, most remembered for having saved the Lewis and Clark Expedition from starvation following their journey through the Bitterroot Mountains. Marvel at preserved sites, stories, and artifacts associated with the Nez Perce tribe. This evening, gather with fellow Smithsonian Journeys Travelers for a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Depart for Gateway Cities

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

Please note that the progression of this itinerary may be subject to change without prior notice due to operational and/or navigational considerations. 

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