What Is a Lewis and Clark River Cruise?

A Lewis and Clark river cruise is a cruise set along a river, or series of rivers, traveled in the past by the pair of explorers and their team when they set across America to map the land after the Louisiana Purchase. These cruises may be one-way or round-trip, and some include knowledgeable guides who can further explain the historical significance of the trip and each stop along the cruise’s path.

Lewis and Clark river cruises typically debark from Portland, Oregon, and travel east into Washington before ending at the Idaho border. They may include lengths of both the Columbus and Snake rivers and the end or mid-point is often Lewiston, Idaho, or Clarkston, Washington.

These cruises stop at multiple points along the way in cities that were important locations on the path Lewis and Clark took during their adventures. Common points for stopovers include beautiful Astoria, Oregon, and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The Maryhill Museum at the Dalles includes artifacts ranging from Native American items to sculptures from Rodin. A stopover in Clarkston, Washington, gives viewers a look at scenic Hells Canyon, which is accessible by jet boat, and the chance to take a trip to one of the actual Lewis and Clark campsites preserved nearby.