20445
Oregon/Washington
Columbia and Snake Rivers: History and Harvest by Small Ship
Learn about history, nature, photography and sustainable cuisine alongside experts as you follow in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, sailing the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20445RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
5,195
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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8 days
7 nights
19 meals
7 B 5 L 7 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive Spokane, Check-in, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Spokane, WA
D
Red Lion River Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Check-in. From 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table – location can be found on signage in the lobby – to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private meeting space at the hotel, we’ll have a buffet welcome dinner with our fellow Road Scholars. Coffee, tea, soft drinks and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Unless specified otherwise, land transportation will be provided primarily by motorcoach, thereby necessitating going up/down a few steps when boarding/getting off. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events on your own, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow Road Scholars. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of the many activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the full day ahead. Be sure to prepare for check-out and embarkation tomorrow.

DAY
2
Spokane, Clarkston, Embark National Geographic Sea Bird
Columbia and Snake Rivers
B,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile; sidewalks and paved paths. Driving about 110 miles; approximately 2.5 hours.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a breakfast buffet including items such as an egg dish, breakfast meats, breads and potatoes, a variety of hot and cold cereals, fresh fruit, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: With our Study Leader, enjoy a walking field trip through downtown Spokane, Riverside Park, and to view Spokane Falls. Throughout the field trip, our study leader will discuss the geology and the early history of Spokane. We’ll return to the hotel on foot and check out of the hotel. We'll store our luggage until after lunch.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We will meet a predetermined time and place for rendezvous and transfer to the ship.

Afternoon: We’ll transfer via motorcoach from Spokane to Clarkston while enjoying a historical narrative from our Study Leader en route. Upon arrival in Clarkston, we will embark on the National Geographic Sea Bird and attend a ship safety briefing and orientation.

Dinner: Each evening aboard the ship, unassigned seating will make for easy mingling and informal dining. Menu will emphasize local fare and our Study Leader will host one table.

Evening: Each evening will include a review of the next day’s activities, a presentation by ship or Road Scholar staff, and/or, depending on the day’s activities, some time to relax and rest.

DAY
3
Clarkston, Hells Canyon, Snake River Cruising
Columbia and Snake Rivers
B,L,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Getting on/off ship and jet boats. Jet boat ride will be a minimum of 2 hours.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: In Clarkston, we’ll find ourselves at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers, more than 450 miles from the sea. Today, we’ll get off the Sea Bird and board comfortable jet boats up the Snake River into one of North America’s most scenic spots, spectacular Hells Canyon. Onboard naturalists will provide commentary about the area as we travel.

Lunch: En route during the jet boat ride to Hells Canyon, we’ll make a stop to have a picnic lunch on shore.

Afternoon: Afterwards, we’ll continue our jet boat ride to Hells Canyon for some more excellent scenery before returning to the ship. Once aboard the ship, we’ll begin sailing down the Snake River, the longest tributary of the Columbia River. Rugged mountains divided by rolling plains make up the Snake River Plain created by a volcanic hotspot which now lies underneath Yellowstone National Park, the headwaters of the Snake River. The canyons and ridges along the middle and lower Snake were created by Ice Age floods. By the time Lewis and Clark crossed the Rockies and sighted the Snake River, the Nez Perce and Shoshone were the most powerful people in the region. While on board, we’ll learn from our Road Scholar Study Leader about the travels of Lewis and Clark in this area.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Spend the evening with fellow participants discussing the day's activities.

DAY
4
Palouse River & Falls by Kayak & Zodiac
Columbia and Snake Rivers
B,L,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Getting in/out of kayaks and Zodiacs; assistance provided as needed. Distance kayaked depends on personal preference.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The still water of the Palouse River is the perfect mirror for the surrounding basalt cliffs as we will set off on kayaks and our Zodiac watercraft. During our exploration, we’ll visit Palouse Falls where cascading waters plunge into pools below. Ship and Road Scholar staff will lead Zodiac and kayak groups.

Lunch: Aboard the ship, we’ll enjoy a buffet meal with soft drinks, coffee, tea and water included.

Afternoon: We’ll join our study leader and ship experts for an afternoon lecture.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Re-cap the day’s events and discuss the areas we will be visiting tomorrow.

DAY
5
The Dalles, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, Maryhill Museum
The Dalles, OR
B,L,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Walking a minimum of 1 mile throughout the day on sidewalks and paved trails as well as through museums. Physical demands of independent afternoon activities will be dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: We will take a motorcoach ride to visit the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center where we will learn from our Study Leader about the natural history of the Gorge as we explore the museum’s exhibits. Afterwards, you may choose from a variety or independent activities such as a hike or bicycle ride along historic Highway 30, or an opportunity to explore The Dalles. We’ll then rendezvous at a predetermined time and place for transfer back to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: From the ship, we’ll then take a motorcoach to explore the Maryhill Museum to view its extensive and eclectic collection of native baskets, Rodin sculptures, and other fascinating exhibits. Our Study Leader will provide an introduction upon arrival before allotting time for independent exploration. Afterwards, we will stop at Maryhill Winery, which began producing wines in 2001 and offers many red and white wines for tasting. We’ll then return to the ship for a cocktail hour to recap the day's experiences.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Hood River, Local Farm, Columbia River Gorge
Columbia and Snake Rivers
B,L,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Each of today's hikes range from 1.5 to 3 miles with inclines of 200-400 feet; dirt paths. Driving about 60 miles throughout the day.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, we’ll have a light breakfast.

Morning: We'll head to the Hood River Valley via motorcoach to visit a local farm and taste freshly picked fruit from an area famous for its quality fruit. As we travel to the farm, enjoy spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. On site, staff of the farm will show us around and offer commentary illuminating some of their practices and techniques. We will then return to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Arriving by motorcoach, we’ll have the opportunity to explore more of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge with fresh perspectives on such highlights as Beacon Rock, the core of an ancient volcano and a Lewis and Clark campsite; Multnomah Falls, a roaring 611 foot waterfall; and Crown Point, whose Vista House built in 1916 sits atop a historic point important to the settling of the Pacific Northwest. Staff will accompany the group for each of the stops and provide commentary. Return to the ship.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Recap the day’s events and discuss the areas we will be visiting tomorrow.

DAY
7
Astoria, Fort Clatsop, Maritime Museum, Cape Disappointment
Astoria, OR
B,L,D
National Geographic Sea Bird

Activity note: Some walking at the fort; dirt, bark and gravel paths. Getting in/out of boats; kayaking distances dependent on personal preference. Driving about 30 miles throughout the day; aboard motorcoach for approximately 1 hour total.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: We will approach the end of our Westward journey as Lewis and Clark did, by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. After transferring via motorcoach to Fort Clatsop where the explorers hunkered down for the wet winter of 1805-1806, we'll walk through the full-scale reconstructed fort. While here, on site staff will provide commentary throughout the field trip teaching us about Lewis and Clark’s time at the fort. Next, we’ll transfer via motorcoach to arrive for a self-led visit at the Columbia River Maritime Museum, which chronicles the history of river navigation and this port town. We’ll then drive back to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Our last field trip of the day will take us to Cape Disappointment State Park, the first place that Lewis & Clark saw the Pacific Ocean. You may choose between taking a Zodiac or a kayak to view the dramatic shore and the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge from the water, conditions permitting.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, we’ll enjoy our farewell dinner together as we discuss the highlights of our journey with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out, disembarkation and departures in the morning.

DAY
8
Portland – OR, Disembark, Program Concludes
Portland, OR
B

Activity note: Disembarkation at 8:30 a.m. Transfer to the airport is included in program cost.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: We will disembark the ship and transfer to the airport. An additional transfer to the airport will be offered at 10:30 a.m. from the Portland Marriott Waterfront hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!