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Autumn Adventures in the Pacific Northwest
With wild hillsides ablaze in golds and reds, autumn in the Pacific Northwest is a sight to behold. This closer-to-home destination offers geologically diverse landscapes and fascinating history. Sail in the wake of Lewis and Clark or explore remote channels teeming with sea life. Visit picturesque coastal towns. Hike meadows and lush forest trails. Along the way, our culinary program brings you the bounty of the region using some of the freshest local ingredients.
Hike island forest trails in search of wildlife, kayak verdant shorelines, and bike the waterfront of a scenic city—or cruise by Zodiac and visit a mixture of quaint and world-class museums. Options abound for indulging your interests in the Pacific Northwest. Hear the legends and learn the traditions of Native Americans and First Nations through their art or moving performances. Taste the bounty of the region. Dine on salmon straight from local waters, foraged wild mushrooms picked within 50 miles, and provisions delivered directly from farmers along our route.
Relax and settle in to life aboard as you cruise the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Your expedition ship offers the absolute best way to access all the sites, culture, and history along the river—without ever having to change hotels or wheel luggage around. We add to that the luxury of comfort with a quality of shipboard life and a philosophy of wellness designed to relax and rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit as you cruise the Pacific Northwest.
Expedition Dining—Then & Now
The Pacific Northwest is known for its incredible bounty and some of the freshest ingredients around. You can look forward to meals that celebrate the region’s world-famous flavors, like a vibrantly pink coho salmon filet, bright green coils of fiddlehead ferns, and a bottle of terroir-rich pinot noir.
See, do, and learn more by going with engaging experts who have been exploring this region for decades.
Veteran expedition leaders are the orchestrators of your experience. Many have advanced degrees and have conducted research or taught for years. They have achieved expedition leader status because they possess the skills, the experience, and the depth of knowledge necessary to continually craft the best expedition possible for our guests.
Our naturalists, passionate about the geographies they explore (and return to regularly), illuminate each facet through their enthusiasm and knowledge. Our guests consistently cite the expertise and engaging company of our staff as key reasons to repeatedly travel with us.
Every expedition aboard a ship in our National Geographic-flagged fleet offers an exclusive service—a Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor. This naturalist is specially trained to offer assistance with camera settings and the basics of composition and to help you become a better, more confident photographer.
On the Columbia River, enjoy the company and perspective of a historian who can quote extensively from the journals of Lewis and Clark. And on expeditions that sail along the coast, go with a cultural interpreter or an anthropologist who has lived among the Coast Salish peoples of the San Juan Islands.
Our wellness program embodies the belief that nature is vitalizing and that wildness, as Thoreau famously said, supplies a tonic. Wellness Specialists are fully accredited and experienced licensed massage therapists and are aboard every ship in the National Geographic-flagged fleet. They lead morning stretch class on the deck, aerobic walks ashore, kayak outings, and more.
Doesn't get better, a brilliant staff.
Making a Difference
Lindblad Expeditions supports stewardship efforts in the places we explore, and one way we do that is through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund. Traveler contributions to the LEX-NG Fund in the Pacific Northwest currently support the National Geographic Society’s Early Career Grants, which promote future leaders with novel and exploratory projects that span the fields of conservation, education, research, storytelling, and technology.
O! the Joy! Hmm, we needed to rethink that one this morning, as we woke to a rainy and blustery Astoria. What this weather did give us was a taste of historic authenticity in relation to the Corps of Discovery and their experiences here in the winter of 1805-06. Our first activity this morning was amongst the magnificent exhibits of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This world-class facility tells the story of the mighty Columbia and the treacherous results to mariners when the river shoves against the incoming tides of the Pacific Ocean. As our day progressed, we crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge to the state of Washington. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center the winds continued but the rain subsided, and we enjoyed a sun-drenched afternoon with an option to walk a forest trail down to Waikiki Beach. The sun and sand were a siren to us and we made an additional stop at the North Jetty to get a water-level view of the waves crashing against the rocks of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The day turned out anything but disappointing.
Today National Geographic Sea Bird embarked on a remarkable expedition along the Columbia River, offering our guests an immersive experience in the scenic wonders of the Pacific Northwest. We explored the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River and Draper Girls Farm before hiking at Beacon Rock and visiting the majestic Multnomah Falls. Our first stop was the WAAAM in Hood River. We explored the history of aviation and the impact of technology on transportation and the environment. Guests were exposed to vintage aircraft and automobiles on display, showcasing the ingenuity of the past in an awe-inspiring collection of craft. Following the museum visit, we headed to the nearby Draper Girls Farm, where our guests learned about the agriculture of the “Fruit Loop.” Cider tasting and sampling of local pears and apples were certainly highlights of the day. It was an immersive experience, allowing our guests to connect with nature and gain a deeper appreciation for local agriculture. After a delicious farm-to-table lunch on National Geographic Sea Bird , we set out on a hike to Beacon Rock State Park. Our guided hike led us through lush forests, and guests marveled at the breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge from the summit and the open spaces around this noteworthy volcanic plug. We spotted plenty of birds, and we experienced the region's unique ecosystem, including its flora and fauna. Later in the afternoon we made our way to Multnomah Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the Pacific Northwest. Our guests had the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll to the base of the falls, where they could feel the mist on their faces and capture the beauty of the cascading waters in photographs. It was a serene and awe-inspiring experience that allowed our guests to connect with the natural world and its wonders.
National Geographic Sea Bird was abuzz with anticipation for the day’s adventures from the moment Expedition Leader Anna Kayes made her morning announcement. Following breakfast, guests and staff poured into the lounge to enjoy Historian Doug Crispin’s presentation on the historic Columbia River Highway. Crispin wove a compelling narrative, complete with century-old, hand-painted slides from the roadmaster during the 1920s. Thereafter, we filed off the ship and into The Dalles. A coach awaited at the city’s dock, and we were taken to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. At the center, guests ventured around the ground’s native pollinator garden and through its museum halls. We were even treated to an impromptu falconry display when the center’s raptor rehabilitator displayed and fielded questions about a red-tailed hawk. For lunch, we visited Crag Rat Hut, an amazing venue in the foothills of Mt. Hood. We dined on an amazing, locally-sourced lunch featuring foraged mushroom polenta and brined pork cheeks. This lunch is always a hit, and indeed, it was today. With full bellies, we headed for Mosier, Oregon, where walks along the scenic highway were the main attraction of the afternoon. From a naturalist’s perspective, this was a real treat. We witnessed two red-breasted sapsuckers boring holes into a tree. Upon vacating, the holes were drained by Anna’s hummingbirds. We departed our hikes, and after a brief stop at the Rowena Crest Overlook, we were bound for The Dalles to board National Geographic Sea Bird once more.
Greetings from National Geographic Sea Bird ! Today was a day filled with breathtaking encounters with nature as we explored the enchanting Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge. My name is Paul Anderson, and I'm thrilled to share our remarkable adventures. Our day began with an unforgettable Zodiac excursion through the Umatilla National Wildlife Refuge. The air was alive with the sights and sounds of thousands of birds in their natural habitat. Mallards, geese, and snow geese filled the skies, creating a captivating mosaic of wings and colors. We were also treated to awe-inspiring sightings of eagles and golden eagles, majestic symbols of the wild. The refuge was a tapestry of life and motion, a reminder of the delicate balance of nature. As we glided through the waterways, we were immersed in the sights and sounds of this vital sanctuary. After this incredible wildlife encounter, we ventured to Crow Butte for a hike. The butte offered panoramic views of the Columbia River and the surrounding landscapes, a testament to the geological and ecological diversity of the region. The sense of solitude and natural beauty served as a fitting conclusion to our day of exploration. As the sun set and we returned to National Geographic Sea Bird , the memories of our encounters with the wild lingered in our hearts. It's days like this that remind me how much I love this job, as it allows me to share these incredible moments with fellow explorers like you. Tomorrow holds new adventures as we continue our journey on National Geographic Sea Bird . Stay tuned for more extraordinary experiences and discoveries!
Greetings from National Geographic Sea Bird ! Today, we embarked on an invigorating journey into the heart of nature as we explored the breathtaking Palouse Falls and ventured into the wild beauty of the Palouse River. Our day began with a visit to Palouse Falls, a magnificent natural wonder. The falls tumbled over rocky cliffs, sending a misty spray into the crisp morning air. The rugged terrain and the backdrop of autumn's colors made for a captivating start to our day. Afterward, we boarded Zodiacs and ventured about two miles up the mouth of the Palouse River. The river, flanked by golden fields and bordered by lush vegetation, was teeming with life. We spotted a variety of bird species going about their daily routines, glimpsed coyotes on the prowl, and even observed graceful deer as they grazed near the riverbanks. This immersive experience allowed us to connect with the untamed beauty of the region. As the day progressed, we set a course down the river, navigating through the locks on our way to The Dalles. The journey offered moments of serenity and adventure as we continued to embrace the incredible landscapes and wildlife of the Columbia River Gorge region. As the sun dipped below the horizon, we couldn't help but reflect on the day's adventures. A chilly morning at Palouse Falls, the serene moments on the Palouse River, and our onward journey on National Geographic Sea Bird left us with lasting memories of natural wonders and the power of the river. Tomorrow holds new horizons as we continue our voyage on National Geographic Sea Bird . Stay tuned for more exciting explorations and remarkable moments!
Exploring the Pacific Northwest reveals great natural beauty, and yet it features modern incredible feats of human engineering—an imposing system of locks and large-span bridges. To explore it by ship offers a chance to marvel at both.