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Columbia River Cruise

This is a diversion from the blue water thrust of this forum section. We just finished a seven-day cruise on the Columbia from Portland to Clarkston, WA, then all the way back to Astoria, OR before returning to Portland. Vessel was the Columbia Queen, which is not a paddle-wheeler, operated by Majestic Tours. Only 150 passengers, which is quite a change from 1800 or so. No casino, no jewelry store, good entertainment nightly. Very good food (might say too good, because my blood sugar level is off the charts).

Shore excursions are included in the price. Three motor coaches shadowed the ship and were waiting when we arrived. There was a jet boat excursion on the Snake River out of Clarkston on which we saw a group of big-horn sheep picking their way through the rocks along the shoreline.

Passed through eight locks twice, going and coming, which was quite an experience.

Most of the passengers we talked to were cruise regulars, having done all or most of the big-boat cruises we read about here. They thought that the trip was a little pricey when compared to the big-boat cruises(we paid about $4000 for two, for the cheapest room), but agreed that it was worth it, considering that the costs of operation were spread over fewer passengers.

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