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Best time of year for the Columbia/Snake River cruise?


wandb
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Need some help from those of you who have done this cruise. We are hoping to do this in 2023, but can't decide when!  I'd like to miss spring storms, or the bad wildfire season if possible. What has been your experience?  Is summer just way too hot?  Is there good color in the Fsll?  Just when is the worst of "fire season"?
Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

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We did the Empress in October 2016...no real problems and overall pretty nice. Mostly pleasant sunny days with several showery days. Astoria had to be cancelled due to gale force winds and rain. Would have preferred June/July for longer days but, weren't able to travel until October. 

 

Yes, there are times when fires and other events are more likely but, even in likely times, nothing can happen. Summer/fall tends to be "fire season" on the west coast but exactly when a fire starts can't be predicted. Like hurricanes and other natural events you just don't know at the time you book. This weeks weather can be dramatically different than next. Personally, I don't spend a lot of time trying to dodge future weather events.

 

Last August, we missed Hurricane Ida (Cat 4) in New Orleans by just a week. We were at the end of the "Mighty MIssissippi" on the Duchess and spending a couple of days in NOLA. Just the luck of the draw as the cruise was booked and paid for a year ahead of time.

You never know.

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I went in mid-Septembe 2016. I think summers can be hot in Eastern Washington, so I was trying to avoid that.  The weather overall was very pleasant.  Temperatures definitely cooled as we headed west toward the coast.  Astoria was very rainy.

 

One hitch was that we were unable to stop at The Dalles because of Native American fishing rights, so they had priority using dock.  Not sure if this happens every year, or it if just was our week.  We didn't find out until we got to the hotel before the cruise.  They added an extra day in Vancouver, WA, which did have some great historical sites.

 

Fire season would be hard to predict.  They may not have any bad fires up there, it just depends what the rains do in any given year.

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  • 4 months later...

Nov 14, 2022 Spokane to Portland Weather reported 14 F clear sunny, 0 rain. Did not mention that there was snow on the ground!!🤷‍♂️. Shocked Florida guy. Davenport hotel beautiful. Be sure to watch in room TV history programs.

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On 11/13/2022 at 8:57 PM, alohadave said:

Nov 14, 2022 Spokane to Portland Weather reported 14 F clear sunny, 0 rain. Did not mention that there was snow on the ground!!🤷‍♂️. Shocked Florida guy. Davenport hotel beautiful. Be sure to watch in room TV history programs.


Thanks, alohadave, for the weather report for the Nov. cruise!! 😁

We have booked the June 4th cruise---Spokane to Vancouver. We are really looking forward to it, and hoping the weather and smoke from fires will cooperate. 
 

Are you talking about in room history programs during the cruise?  Are they about the local area, or explorers of the area?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Off topic- please don’t take this question wrong: There are 22 day cruises overseas for a fraction of cost of American River cruises. Please convince me why I should book. I understand air flights are a problem and a pain. Is it the river cruise experience? 
thanks,

ann

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I'm not sure you can look at it simply in terms of price.  If you do, outside of travel, the European cruises are certainly a better deal.  To me, the European cruise is about seeing Europe, it's history, and keeping busy.  You feel like you need to make the most of every minute.  The American cruise is about a laid back and relaxed vacation.  I think the entertainment and lectures are better.  There are more options for dining.  You travel around the even the smallest of towns on a bus rather than walking.  The cabins are generally larger.  The crew is all American (not suggesting that's good or bad, it's just different).  The boat has to be built in America and meet more rigid requirements.  In my ideal world I'd take a European cruise to see the world and an American cruise to rest up from it.  

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Also the days when transatlantic flight costs were a minor consideration have gone. Stressful connections add to the mix. Obviously we are coming the other way. We found both American and European cruises fitted our needs but for different reasons. I think @ericosmithhas summed it up very well. I would add that European cruises they do lots of the thinking for you each day American cruises it’s much more “your agenda- do your research”. 

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  • 4 months later...
On 11/25/2022 at 6:24 PM, rtdiva said:

Off topic- please don’t take this question wrong: There are 22 day cruises overseas for a fraction of cost of American River cruises. Please convince me why I should book. I understand air flights are a problem and a pain. Is it the river cruise experience? 
thanks,

ann

 

Why choose between the two?   I have 23 day European cruise booked with Viking for September, and 14 night (B2B) on Empress for Snake and Columbia river next May.   

 

One of the biggest differences in price is an American based cruise.  More stringent with regulations, and higher paid American crew members.  Not to mention limited interior U.S. cruises to pick from (supply and demand).  

 

River cruise ships are also much smaller than Ocean cruises ships, which pack to the gills with pax, which allows them to price lower due to volume.   

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1 hour ago, island lady said:

 

Why choose between the two?   I have 23 day European cruise booked with Viking for September, and 14 night (B2B) on Empress for Snake and Columbia river next May.   

 

One of the biggest differences in price is an American based cruise.  More stringent with regulations, and higher paid American crew members.  Not to mention limited interior U.S. cruises to pick from (supply and demand).  

 

River cruise ships are also much smaller than Ocean cruises ships, which pack to the gills with pax, which allows them to price lower due to volume.   

Thanks to each of you for your take on the difference between American River cruise Vs European. Ericosmith clarified simply by say “ it’s history “  vs both history, relaxation, entertainment and lectures, additionally island lady stated supporting the U.S. economy. 
 

 Most likely American River cruises will win over European, as overseas travel has become more difficult for us aging seniors.

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  • 5 months later...

Don't forget all of this is included!

  • 1-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay with free ground transfers between hotel and vessel
  • Unlimited Guided Tours designed with your comfort in mind aboard private, deluxe motorcoaches
  • Unlimited Beverages including an extensive wine list, choice spirits, local craft beers and specialty coffees
  • Open Bars & Lounges throughout the vessel including a juice bar EVERY morning
  • Locally Sourced & regionally Inspired Cuisine from land and sea
  • Gourmet Selections of freshly prepared choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • In-room Dining Available
  • Pre-Paid Gratuities (NEW)
  • Port Taxes & Fees (NEW)
  • Unlimited WiFi
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Bicycles* and Hiking Sticks
 
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