Discover the warm charm and stunning wilderness of the Pacific Northwest
Venture into the natural and human history of the Pacific Northwest—and discover its modern charms and formidable culinary scene as well. Your ship will be your home for an unforgettable journey and will feel like home in no time, as the community camaraderie kindles over local wines in the lounge or lingering on the ship’s bow, appreciating the views. You’ll explore by Zodiac, stroll forests and historical sites, kayak, and visit out-of-the-way art galleries and museums—all in the company of an attentive and fun expedition team who are your experienced guides in discovering the best of Pacific Northwest travel.
Book by May 31, 2021 to receive a $500 air credit per person on select departures. Valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers, or extensions. Call for details.
Book by May 31, 2021 to have the solo premium waived on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
Book by May 31, 2021 to receive a $500 air credit per person on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Credit will be deducted from cabin fare prior to any additional applicable savings. Call for details.
Book now and waive the solo premium on solo cabins on select departures. Valid for new bookings only on select departures, subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers. Call for details.
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.
Doesn't get better, a brilliant staff.
Explore with top expedition teams
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.
Video chroniclers accompany every expedition and shoot vivid HD footage—with no recycled footage ever—to provide you with a professionally edited and completely authentic memento of your expedition. Working during the day and editing into the night, they have your video ready for preview prior to—and available to purchase at—disembarkation.
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.
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.
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.
This morning we cruised through the San Juan Archipelago then stopped on the eastern side of Sucia Island for an afternoon of hiking and kayaking. Fog cleared early in the day leading to a beautiful sunny day of exploring the island above and below water.
As is often the case in Astoria, the sky is leaden. As
Geographic Sea Lion
approaches town, a handful of freighters riding high in
the water are at anchor awaiting their cargo. California sea lions bark as they
jostle for space on channel markers. We spot a plethora of gulls amid their
typically raucous behavior. A few harbor seals show their heads above the
surface of the river.
This morning’s adventure begins with a visit to Washington state’s Waikiki
Beach, where we enjoy a sandy stroll and views of the rock-rugged coast. The
water is calm and a few of us dip our toes in the brine. Unlike the weather at
the more famous Waikiki Beach, it is cool here with patches of blue above. We
continue to the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center, which has exceptional
exhibits addressing many aspects of the expedition. Outside, we look out from the
top of the cliff, over the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Columbia River.
The infamous “bar” is uncharacteristically calm. A few Brandt’s and
double-crested cormorants remain on the rocks as their breeding season has just
about come to an end. There are plenty of gulls, including one Heermann’s gull,
one of the most attractive of the gull species in this region.
We are off again after lunch. Fort Clatsop, a National Park Service
site, was the winter headquarters for the Corps of Discovery between the years
of 1805 and 1806. Sitka spruce and western hemlock trees dominate this
temperate rain forest - a radical contrast to the arid shrub-steppe region of
eastern Washington. It was a wet and dismal time for the Lewis and Clark
expedition. The members suffered from colds and resorted to eating elk meat
that was often well past it’s prime. On the ride back to town, we pass by a
herd of Roosevelt elk.
At the Coast Guard pier in Astoria, we visit the extraordinary Columbia
River Maritime Museum. Before walking through the exhibits, a docent leads us
through a short course in Coast Guard rescue operations. Fascinating! The
lightship Columbia, tied up to the dock adjacent to the museum, is a part of
the experience. Anchored outside of the mouth of the Columbia River, this ship
was a beacon for incoming ships. Duty on board was not always pleasant, as the
lightship was especially susceptible to ocean motion and the crew lived in
After the museum, we choose from a smorgasbord of options. There is
time to explore the interesting downtown shops, take a walking tour or come
directly back to the ship. During cocktail hour, we enjoy looking back at our
adventure as we watch the world premiere of our very own “Road Scholar Group
Slide Show.” Shared memories bind us together with laughter and applause. A
fitting end to a fabulous adventure.
Today began with an early departure from the ship to board buses that would take us eastward through the gorge from Vancouver, Washington, past the Bonneville Dam Lock. Fog and clouds hung overhead as we traveled along Highway 84, through the Columbia River Gorge with its steep walls of basalt and lava rising steeply above us. Across the river, we saw evidence of ancient lava flows, the climate drying as we drove through the Cascades to the eastern side of Oregon.
The sun broke through and pushed back the fog, yielding a beautiful day and landscape of layers of basalt and lava benches. Each of the naturalists shared fascinating and fun facts about the geology, history, American Indian culture, agriculture and local stories along the way. We learned about the Appaloosa horses, fire recovery, Walla Walla sweet onions, the ongoing controversy about the dams, geology, and many tidbits of local information that brought the region to life as we drove along. Our wellness specialist taught people how to give themselves massages and how to massage others and stretch while seated, and our photography instructor taught us various techniques with our iphones and shared tips for making better pictures.
We traveled through the Horse Heaven Hills with their basalt anticlines and stopped at Walla Walla for an amazing buffet lunch at The Great Steak Company before driving on to the historic site of the Whitman Massacre. Marcus Whitman, a missionary, had established a mission and was trying to convert the Cayuse Indians. The natives in turn became sick with diseases brought by settlers and then believed that the missionary was trying to poison or sicken them.
On November 30, 1847, the Cayuse struck back, attacking the mission and killing Marcus, his wife Narcissa and their young daughter, along with ten others. This marked a yearlong war with the Cayuse that ultimately ended in the defeat of the tribes. The site stands today as a reminder of that fateful event in history. We then boarded our busses and continued along into the Palouse Prairie, an agricultural region of rolling hills of wheat, legumes, hay and barley.
The hills are actually ancient ripples from the massive mudflows created in the Missoula Flood and other successive floods that occurred millions of years ago. Huge amounts of sediment were dumped here when the ancient floodwaters could not all fit through the Wallula
Gap to the west, and
this caused a huge backwash lake that filled the region east of the gap with deep layers of mud and clay sediment. Today, the fertile supports a large amount of wheat and barley being grown here. After winding through valleys and up and over these rounded hills, we arrived in Lewiston at our hotels, and after a brief refresher we met for our hearty and delicious dinner in Lewiston at the Mystic Café.
Our first full day en route aboard
National Geographic Sea Lion
and one full of activities around the Columbia River Gorge. Near Hood River, most of us visited the Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum, then took in a little time to explore town. Others went to the Draper Girls Family Farm, sampling fresh fruit and their excellent fresh-pressed pear cider. For the afternoon the whole group of explorers went to spectacular Multnomah Falls, then stopped by the Bonneville Fish Hatchery, including adult white sturgeon and rainbow trout ponds, in a beautiful park-like setting. We returned to
National Geographic Sea Lion
just in time for cocktail hour and began our voyage down the Columbia towards Astoria, Oregon with sublime evening light on the cliffs of the lower gorge.
It was another gorgeous day to explore along the Columbia River as travelers disembarked at the top of The Rowena lookout on the old Columbia River Gorge scenic highway.
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.