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Columbia & Snake Rivers

 Lewiston to Astoria
8 nights/9 days
Safari Quest


September 26*, October 4, 12*, 20, 2006
*Starred dates are reverse direction, Astoria to Lewiston)

Day 1 Board the Safari Quest
Welcome! You will be met at the airport this afternoon, and transferred to the Safari Quest. The crew greets you with champagne and smiles, and we値l enjoy a short dinner cruise along the canyons of the Snake and Clearwater rivers. This evening a local historian joins us in the salon for an informative presentation on the area.

Day 2 Hells Canyon by Jet Boat
After breakfast this morning we値l transfer to a jet boat for an invigorating ride into Hells Canyon. Vertical cliffs carved by the river now hem in the rushing waters that we travel upon, and we値l watch some of the most dramatic scenery unfold as we jet upriver. We値l watch for big horn sheep and hawks throughout the day. After our excursion we値l cruise the Snake River, passing through our first lock and dam called Lower Granite. After dinner our Expedition Leader will provide a brief orientation to the journey.

Day 3 The Palouse Canyon
We値l pass through the Little Goose lock and dam first thing this morning then anchor at the mouth of the Palouse River. The kayaks and skiff will be lowered for an up-close exploration of the pristine and lovely Palouse canyon. Watch for hundreds of cliff swallows that nest on the canyon walls, and for Northern harriers and osprey hovering above the still waters as they hunt.

Day 4 Jet Boat to Hanford Reach National Monument
Relax this morning as we cruise to Richland, Washington, our first stop on the Columbia River. After lunch we値l step aboard a jet boat that whisks us over the only free-flowing stretch of the Columbia River, locally known as the Hanford Reach. Gaze into the clear water and see salmon holding their own against the current of the Columbia, and watch for the rare sighting of river otter in quiet eddies. Following our jet boat adventure, we値l reboard the Safari Quest and continue our westward journey on the Columbia.

Day 5 The Washington Wine Country
The fastest wine-growing region in the U.S. is in eastern Washington, and today we値l see why. With Pepper Bridge Winery and Basel Cellars on our itinerary, our 鍍aste of Washington will be most enjoyable. We値l return to the yacht after our tours and tastings, and have time to relax on board before dinner.

Day 6 Cruising the Columbia River
The vast eastern plains give way to the flanks of the Cascade Mountain Range as we cruise west today. Watch as the banks of the river go from gentle and low-lying to cliffs rising hundreds of feet high beside us. The wind and weather shifts from arid to temperate as we come closer to the Pacific Ocean. We値l stop in Hood River (the windsurfing capital of the world) this afternoon where we値l have time to browse the boutique shops or tour the local brew pub. We値l stay dockside here tonight, so take your time and enjoy the town.

Day 7 Columbia Gorge and Bonneville Dam
This morning we値l cruise through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. The outside decks provide the best views of this beautiful passage. At Bradford Island we値l step ashore for a guided tour of Bonneville Lock and Dam, the final lock on our journey. We値l visit the power station and fish ladders, learning more about how this engineering marvel fits into the local environment and community. This evening we値l anchor in a quiet channel for the night.

Day 8 Lower Columbia Cruising
The inflatable launch and kayaks will be lowered this morning for a more intimate look at the hidden channels of the Lower Columbia. Paddle in silence or pick up some binoculars and take advantage of excellent birding opportunities. Then, this afternoon we値l tour the fascinating US Coast Guard Motor Life Boat School and Lewis and Clark Discovery Center in Ilwaco before returning to the Safari Quest for our festive Farewell Dinner.

Day 9 A Fond Farewell
Your crew serves another excellent breakfast this morning before bidding you 殿dieu. At 9:00 am you値l be transferred to the Portland airport for connections home.


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