Queen of the West on Columbia River Cruise

Follow the rugged Lewis and Clark Trail Aboard American Cruise Lines Queen of the West.

Soft adventure and breathtaking scenery.  Add regional wine and local craft beer and I couldn’t resist. Without hesitation (and a four-day Amtrak train journey from Florida) I hopped aboard American Cruise Lines paddlewheeler, the Queen of the West in Portland, Oregon for a 7-night Columbia and Snake River cruise. First cruise for me on an American river.

The staff and crew were wonderful, the small paddlewheeler was charming and the scenery…astounding.  I brushed up on a little Lewis and Clark history and learned so much more about the Pacific Northwest as we slowly cruised towards Idaho and the Snake River.

Here’s my photo tour of the Queen of the West, interspersed with snapshots of scenery that you have to experience to believe.  I had no idea what to expect in this part of our country.

Aboard American Cruise Lines Queen of the West and an ever-changing view from my window, along the Columbia River.

Queen of the West with and an ever-changing view from my window, along the Columbia River.

Double stateroom on American Cruise Lines Queen of the West

Typical double stateroom – the door leads to private balcony.

Queen of the West in Stevenson, Washington.

After the rain, in Stevenson, Washington.

Bow Ramp on Queen of the West

The bow ramp in use somewhere in Oregon…still not sure where we were!

Sunset on the Columbia River aboard American Cruise Lines Queen of the West.

Who says all the beautiful sunsets are on the ocean?

Queen of the West Activities

Bulletin board with the day’s activities. Note: No karaoke or laser light shows.

Multnomah Falls, 611' foot roaring waterfall, 30 miles east of Portland.

Multnomah Falls, 611′ foot roaring waterfall, 30 miles east of Portland.

Queen of the West passengers at 3,800' elevation, take in the view of Mt. Saint Helens.

Queen of the West passengers at 3,800′ elevation, take in the view of Mt. Saint Helens.

Beer in Oregon

One of my favorite things – regional food and drinks. Oregon specialties are sooo good!

Banjo man

Down-home entertainment included this one-man band banjo player. Toe-tapping fun for sure.

On the Columbia River

Sunset on the Columbia River.

Balcony on Queen of the West

Cozy private balcony. Great weather to sit outside and watch the shore.

Dining Room Queen of the West

Queen of the West’s very traditional and lovely dining room.

salmon dinner

Salmon, salmon and more salmon…if you wanted it. All from the Pacific Northwest.

Queen of the West bar

Beautiful dark wood bar…and my new friend, Joyce. She’s 92 and traveling solo.

Queen of the West Lounge

Queen of the West Paddlewheel Lounge.

Library Queen of the West

The Library. One of the best spots on the ship for wifi.

Queen of the West sundeck

On the top deck, next to the enclosed Caliope Lounge.

Queen of the West buffet

There’s Joyce again, at the Oregon region cheese and preserves tasting.

sheltered deck Queen of the West

The weather-proof Calliope Lounge and “Fitness Center.” I had the elliptical machine all to myself.

Queen of the West putting

Yes, there’s even a putt-putt course.

Queen of the West Paddlewheel

Docked for the day. Notice the two horizontal smoke stacks? They can go up and down to fit under bridges.

Bridge tour

Our Captain explains the workings of the wheelhouse and navigation on the river.

Queen of the West passes Mt Hood in Oregon.

The Captain announced when we’d pass Mt. Hood so of course everyone was on deck with their cameras. The weather cooperated, too.

Snake river jet boat

Boarding our jet boat for a day excursion on the Snake River.

Buffalo Eddy petroglyph

As close as our jet boat could get to the petroglyph rock. The photo below is the close-up.

Close-up of the Buffalo Eddy petroglyph, dates back about 4,500 years.

Close-up of the Buffalo Eddy petroglyph; dates back about 4,500 years.

Eventually all good things must end and so it was time to leave the Queen of the West and head north to Spokane, Washington and catch my Amtrak train home.

Wheelhouse Queen of the West

It was a fabulous and incredibly interesting cruise aboard the Queen of the West. And yes, I did sit in several of the rocking chairs.

For more information about this cruise on the Columbia River, visit: American Cruise Lines.
Disclosure:  I was a guest of American Cruise Lines aboard the Queen of the West, but all opinions are my own.
Photo credit:  Sherry Laskin

 

Follow:
Share:

8 Comments

  1. Cocheo
    February 14, 2014 / 11:48 am

    Was that really snow in April? This looks like so much fun and the ship looks lovely. Thank you for sharing. The idea of a river cruise is very appealing.

    • Sherry Laskin
      August 11, 2014 / 9:43 pm

      Yes, there was snow in April up in the mountains in Washington State. Thanks for reading the article. Hope you’ll try an American river cruise soon!

  2. August 11, 2014 / 6:58 pm

    It looks like an amazing experience! Just curious – how does this experience compare to your river cruises in Europe?

    • Sherry Laskin
      August 11, 2014 / 9:47 pm

      Hi Lauri,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s almost like apples and oranges. Europe river ships are all modern and similar to each other in many ways but the paddle wheelers here are a throwback to another era. Even the smaller ships on the Inland Passage or Intercoastal are more like yachts than the lengthy river ships in Europe. It’s a slightly older demographic on our rivers too, I think.

      Sherry

  3. December 5, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    That looks like an amazing experience. I love the Pacific Northwest and a cruise like would take you through so many different parts of the region. The jet boat excursion sounds pretty awesome.

    • Sherry Kennedy
      December 6, 2016 / 4:55 pm

      Hi Mark, it looks like you know this area very well and I agree…it’s just beautiful in the Pacific Northwest. Sherry

  4. Sylvia
    May 8, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    Hi Sherry. My sister and I will be on the Queen of the West in late June. Do you think we would need a light jacket for that time of the year on the river?

    • Sherry Kennedy
      May 12, 2017 / 8:54 am

      Hi Sylvia,

      You should love the itinerary. But definitely bring a light jacket that you can layer underneath if needed. While the days in the high desert can be hot, nights cool down quite a bit. And as you’ll also cruise through a rain forest, temps can get cool as you near Astoria and the Pacific. Have a wonderful cruise!

      Sherry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *