10 Awesome Things You’ll Do River Cruising with UnCruise
1. Hiking Western Oregon to Eastern Washington
It wouldn’t be an UnCruise without hiking! UnCruisers are boots-on-the-ground folks. No rubber boots needed on this adventure - lace up your hiking shoes. Right from the get-go on day one you are exploring Astoria, Oregon (including a 164-step climb up the Astoria Column that is well worth the view!). Pair that with Fort Clatsop, the winter fort of Lewis & Clark. Hard chargers can take a 7-mile, one way hike through forest, fields, and dunes. From history to waterfalls – next location offers hikes around Multnomah Falls, Oregon, with choices of low or higher elevation hikes. City walking in Walla Walla midweek, and the end of the week takes hikers through Tom McCall Nature Preserve, with sheer cliffs, basalt platforms, and wide-stretching plateaus.
2. Whitewater rafting Deschutes River
This is an adventure that you don’t get on any other UnCruise! Guides bring the rafts, optional wetsuits, and expertise – the Legacy’s chef packs your picnic lunch. Make sure to wear your waterproof sunscreen, and a hat you can tie down! Class II and III+ rapids come with names like Elevator and Surf City. The photos from this adventure ALWAYS make the best-of presentation at the end of the week!
3. Six locks and the Bonneville Dam
Locks allow boat traffic to move through waterways that change from higher to lower elevations in a smooth way (save the exciting dips and plunges for the whitewater rafters!). The Panama Canal is the most world-famous example of this type of engineering – you can see that with us on UnVeiled Wonders – Costa Rica & Panama – but on this cruise you will traverse six locks over the course of the week. It’s a fascinating process!
4. Wine Tasting
This is, after all, the Rivers of Adventure & Wine. Walla Walla, Washington is your destination for wine this week. We will head out together to Dunham Cellars, which has a quirky tasting room inside a World War II hangar decorated with art painted by the founding wine maker, Eric Dunham, as well as sparkling white lights and a Christmas Tree of wine bottles that is 15 feet tall! (lots of photos in front of that beauty!) There are over 30 tasting rooms in Walla Walla, with many of them in easy walking distance of each other. Learn the ins and outs of the region, or just relax on an outdoor patio and enjoy a glass with your new friends.
5. Lewis & Clark expedition
Follow in the footsteps and canoes of Lewis & Clark. The explorers traveled along this river in their long search for the Pacific Ocean. We hike in the same places, traveling through climates and geology that are very different from the western side of the Cascade Mountains to the eastern and back again. Check out the terrain, wildlife, and plants and how they change dramatically. Explore Fort Clatsop, the winter fort of Lewis & Clark after they reached the Pacific. There are exhibits and rangers, replica dugout canoes, and descriptions of the journals that they left behind. Explore the Fort to Sea trail.
6. Foodie’s delight
The food on an UnCruise is always amazing. Local, fresh, farm and sea to table. This region offers amazing wines, of course, and our sommelier on board will explore them all with you. Alongside the vineyards, the region boasts orchards of fruits and nuts. And who can forget Walla Walla sweet onions? In Walla Walla, we lunch in the historic Gesa Powerhouse Theatre. Along with the chef’s luncheon and wines, we bring together tastes here with an olive oil maker, a local chocolatier, and makers of hand-cured meats and sauces. Local treats onboard include local coffees and brews as well.
7. Kayaking on the Palouse River
Kayaking is also key to an UnCruise Adventure. Whether it’s with spray skirts in Alaska or warm water kayaking in swimsuits in Hawaii or Costa Rica, it’s a must on many adventurers’ lists. We’ve got you. All our kayaks are tandem, so bring your cabinmate or a new friend and explore the river scene.
8. E-bike tour on historic twin tunnels highway
This is another exclusive for the Rivers of Adventure & Wine – on no other itinerary do we offer an e-bike tour. The 4.25 mile Twin Tunnels Trail is a paved historic highway (long since retired from use by cars) along the Columbia Gorge. Helmets provided for safety, of course! Your guide will tell you about the history of the highway and the Gorge, as well as pointing out the temporary waterfalls and photo-opportunity overlooks. This tour is offered late in the season when rafting the Deschutes is no longer available.
9. Beach party at Lyons Ferry State Park
Our guides and our guests love a good beach party. You might think that sort of thing is only for the tropics, but no! Rivers of Adventure & Wine features a beach day in a lazy bend of the Palouse River. These are great for choice. Hike, swim, kayak, paddle board – choose your own adventure. Picnic lunch on shore. Snooze under the cottonwoods after swiping your second dessert (hey, we won’t tell!).
10. Never EVER boring
This is NOT your grandparents’ river cruise. Many river cruises are about passively watching the lovely scenery go by. So not us. Our guests would be bored to death after one day of that! No, our river cruise is for go-getters. Activity every day, including several that are exclusive to this destination. If you stop with Alaska, you are missing out.