Category Archives: River Cruise

Columbia and Snake River Cruises Announced for 2011 and 2012

801929869_guests_kayaking_in_front_of_waterfall[1]The best way to see the majestic Columbia River Gorge is aboard a lovely 8 day/9 nights cruise expedition.   Each day passengers will experience lively discussions with their own on-board naturalist who will also accompany them on many of the shore excursions.  Shore visits range from exploring bird migration routes to exhilarating jet boat rides on the Snake River up the famous Hell’s Canyon.  Experience the Hanford National Monument, kayak the lower Columbia River or relax onboard in the yacht’s hot tub sipping an exceptional Oregon or Washington world class wine. 

 Cruises depart from Lewiston, Idaho to Portland, Oregon on Sept. 24, Oct. 08 and Nov. 19 for 2011.  Eastbound sailings depart from Portland to Lewiston,  Oct. 22 and Nov. 05, 2011 and all of these sailing dates showcase the lovely Indian Summers of the Pacific Northwest. 

 Extend your vacation for 2 nights and try Sturgeon fishing on the Snake River with a hotel stay on our North Idaho diamond, Lake Coeur d’Alene.  For information on sightseeing  and unique experiences as well as the Sturgeon fishing mini-vacation, ask for Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises.  We are your vacation specialist for the Pacific Northwest.

Columbia River Wine and Culinary Yacht Cruises

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TMI Tours invites you to enjoy  exclusive 7 night cruises on the might Columbia River this fall aboard the 12-passenger yacht,  Safari Spirit.  Explore the extraordinary wine regions of the Columbia River Gorge with guest Sommeliers, Vintners, Chefs and culinary arts specialists.  

4[1]The  Columbia River Gorge is home to some of the finest wineries in the United States.  Washington wineries are welcoming travellers from around the world to their intimate and diverse tasting rooms.  The Columbia Gorge region offers visitors a wide-range of vineyards and wineries to visit as well as a myriad of outdoor activities with801884169_gDVQS-M[1] outstanding scenery and true Pacific Northwest hospitality.   Guest aboard the intimate yacht, Safari Spirit,  will enjoy an ambiance of refinement, luxury and relaxation  while  cruising between the river ports of Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. 

801966023_gKWX8-M[1]Adventure  is just around each corner and guest will enjoy such activities as a thrilling jet-boat ride into the Snake River’s famous Hells Canyon, a personal tour of the impressive Bonneville Dam and a visit to the enchanting Maryhill Museum and Winery.   Sample hand-crafted, award-winning wines at 5 private, family-owned wineries with private tours and tastings.  On-board you will enjoy locally purchased produce and seafoods of the Pacific Northwest, prepared by expert Chefs and guest culinary hosts.

Indulge your passion for highly-rated wines and hand-crafted meals amidst one of the United States most scenic backdrops–the Columbia River Gorge.  Contact Linda Bruno or Rhonda Sand at TMI Tours & Cruises for details and availability aboard the exquisite yacht, the  Safari Spirit.   Departure dates for 2010: Oct 15, 22, 29 and Nov 05.  TMI Tours 1-800-975-7775 or info @tmitours.com

Columbia River Voyage of Discovery Cruises

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Spring brings the beginning of the cruise season for the Columbia and Snake River region in the Pacific Northwest.  Every week from April 17th through October 17th, small cruise ships navigate the locks and dams that tame the Mighty Columbia River as they usher guests deep into the Columbia River Gorge.   While most river cruises carry you past urban centers and crowded shorelines, much of the Columbia and Snake Rivers remain pristine and wild.  You can clearly see

Hells Canyon

Hells Canyon

 evidence of the great floods that carved this region thousands of years ago in the breathtakingly  beautiful Columbia River Gorge, the golden coulees and scablands, the great black pinnacles of basalt that guided explorers, Lewis & Clark.   You’ll find the past and present coexist here, from Oregon Trail wagon ruts to the modern engineering marvel of eight locks and dams.

Adventurous shore excursions entice all ages:  jet boat rides up the Snake River through Hells Canyon to view 7,000 year old Indian petroglyphs, wandering the hidden underground city built by Chinese emigrants below Pendelton as well as fascinating historical and maritime museums, lush wineries and quaint riverside towns.

Columbia River vineyard

Columbia River vineyard

Throughout these cruises, the Pacific Northwest’s pioneer history is brought to life with a special series of excursions, guest speakers, narrations and on-board presentations by historians and exloration leaders.  More than just sightseeing, these cruises incorporate American music, culture, cuisine and local history into a total travel experience.  The small ships that cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers are intimate and family oriented, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Touch, breathe and experience first-hand the unique history of the Columbia River Gorge .  Contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours & Cruises at 1-800-975-7775 or email info@tmitours.com for more information on these and other cruises in the Pacific Northwest.

Adventure Cruises through the British Columbia Coastal Rainforest

BC coast

The central coast of British Columbia presents the perfect backdrop for adventure cruises and wildlife viewing.  This Canadian coast is a land of fjords between towering mountains, lush islands, spectacular waterfalls and great river estuaries.  The largest intact area of temperate rainforest left in North American lies along thisspirit bear coast  known as the Great Bear Rainforest and it is home to hundreds of species of wildlife as well as a very rare species of bear.  Rich salmon streams weave through the valley bottoms and provide food for magnificent creatures such as orcas, eagles, wolves, black and grizzly bears.  This is the sole habitat of the white Kermode Bear or “Spirit” bear which is a unique species of black bear with a white coat.

totemThis is also home to the First Nations tribes: Heiltsuk, Kitasoo Xai’xais, Haisla, Gitga’at and Henaaksiala.  Everywhere along this coast is evidence of their civilization.  Fish traps, bark-stripped trees, longhouses and totems all remain giving testimony to a way of life tuned to nature.  Visits to their modern villages, talking with tribal elders and local residents and enjoying their ancient art traditions are all culturally enriching.

For an intimate cruise experience, TMI Tours & Cruises recommends a  vacation aboard the Maple Leaf Schooner.  She sails from Sidney, B.C., Canada  along the entire length of the Great Bear Rainforest twice in Spring, once in Summer and twice in Fall.  This classic 92 foot, 5-sail schooner  was completelymaple leaf restored between 1980-1986 and offers all modern conveiniences while still maintaining  her old-world charm.   Sailing with a crew of 5, a guest list of 8 and a fabulous chef, this vacation will feel like you are aboard your own private yacht.   Entertainment will be provided by local scientists, naturalists and of course, the inhabitants of this precious piece of land and ocean.

Contact Linda or Rhonda at TMI Tours & Cruises for a full itinerary, brochure or dates of sailing aboard this majestic tall ship, the Maple Leaf Schooner.  1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Great Discounts on American River Cruises for 2010

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One of the best ways to experience the culture and history that made American great is to explore her inland waterways.  The most famous  river on the west coast of the United States is known as the Mighty Columbia, the gateway to the Pacific Ocean.  Imagine the thrill of the Lewis & Clark expedition in 1805 when they made their way down the Columbia River and established Ft. Clatsop at the edge of that ocean.  Today, small  luxury cruiseships make this same voyage roundtrip from the fascinating city of Portland, Oregon.  Weekly departures begin in May, continue through October and by planning in advance, you can save up to $1200.00 per cabin for bookings by December 11, 2009.

Small ship cruising has become increasingly popular over the past few years providing guests with a more intimate experience onboard and off.    Shore excursion visit quaint museums,  family-owned wineries, historic forts and native american villages and are included in the price of the cruise for every passenger.kayak   Passengers are also encouraged to participate in a jet-boat trip into Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River or to explore the shoreline via kayak or zodiaks and enjoy the pristine beauty of these rivers up close.

Discounts are offered on all cruises for 2010 but bookings must be confirmed and under deposit by December 11, 2009  for you to qualify and bookings paid in full will get the highest discounts.  Call Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours for full details and to reserve your week long journey through the Columbia River Gorge. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

Explore Inland Waterways of the Pacific Northwest

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The inland waterways of the Pacific Northwest remain pristine and untamed with  wild-west history and old-world charm.  Cruising the channels of the San Juan and Gulf Islands has belonged to ferries, private yachts and the brave few adventurers in personal watercraft.  With the addition of Cruisewest’s  small ship, the Spirit of Endeavour, anyone can enjoy these scenic waterways and quaint seaports in yacht-like comfort. The more adventurous can take to the kayaks and inflatable watercraft launched from the cruiseship to explore this untamed wilderness up close.

spirit of endeavourSeattle, Washington is a beautiful city to begin any vacation from and it is easily accessible from anywhere in the world.  Known as the Emerald City because of it’s lush green landscape, this lumber-town turned metropolis is famous for the Space Needle and Pike’s Place Market (home of the flying fish).  After a day to explore Vancouver, British Columbia, the cruise takes passengers through the British Columbia Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park.  Surrounded by lush evergreen forests and snowcapped peaks, this 60 miles of breathtaking coastline has enought bays, coves, nooks and crannies to delight even the most demanding of adventurers.  Returning with a stop in Nanaimo where passengers are greeted by traditionally dressed Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the afternoon willsan juans be via the remote waterways and quiet coves of the Gulf Islands. You won’t want to miss High Tea served in the Palm Room at the historic Empress Hotel located waterfront in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia. Known as the “Garden City” for it’s famous 55-acre landmark, Buchart Gardens, this quaint capitol offers delightful shopping and browsing opportunities. The last two stops take in Friday Harbor of the San Juan Islands where you can explore Puget Sound up close, and then Port Townsend known for it’s late 19th-century architecture.
desolation soundWith tempting discounts on 2010 cruises purchased by December 11, 2009, TMI Tours invities you to escape to the Pacific Northwest Coast. This is truly a voyage of contrasts–rich in wildlife, culture and scenery. Contact Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours for cruise dates and availability. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmiours.com

History Comes Alive on Columbia River Cruises

columbia gorge

At TMI Tours of Coeur dAlene, we are always looking for great family vacation ideas.  A cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers offers all the ingredients for a great American family vacation.  To this day, there’s no better way to discover America than by its inland waterways.  More than just sightseeing, these cruises incorporate American cruisewest 1music, culture, cuisine and local history into a total travel experience.  The small-ships that cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers are intimate and family oriented, creating memories that will last a life time.

While most river cruises take you past urban centers and crowded shorelines, much of the Columbia and Snake Rivers remain pristine and wild.  You can clearly see evidence of the great floods that carved this region creating the breathtakingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge from the bow of a AAKJ001074Cruisewest vessel.  Adventures beckon daily with jet boats trips up Hells Canyon to view 7,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs or tours beneath wild and wooly Pendleton, Oregon where Chinese emigrants once carried out their daily lives underground.  Visits to fascinating museums or Lewis & Clark landmarks like Fort Clatsop will bring American history alive for adults and children alike.  You’ll find the past and present coexist here, from Oregon Trail wagon ruts to the engineering marvel of the eight locks and dams that tame this mighty river.

Air travel to Portland, Oregon is easy from almost anywhere in the world and with great discounts being offered on cruise cabins that are booked before December 11th, now is the perfect time to plan a family vacation for the Spring/Summer of 2010.  Call Linda or Rhonda at TMI Tours & Cruises in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at 1-800-975-7775 or send us an email at info@tmitours.com.  Scenery- History- Native American Culture- Adventure…you’ll find it all on a cruise of the Columbia and Snake River Region.

A Columbia River Cruise for the Fall

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TMI Tours & Cruises is excited about several of the fall Columbia River cruise itineraries being offered in 2009. One of these great upcoming cruises is an exclusive wine and culinary adventure that offers you the opportunity to sample award-winning wines and cruise through history on the Columbia River, witnessing the natural beauty and tastes of the Pacific Northwest.

9 Night / 10 Day Itinerary – Lewiston, Idaho to Astoria, Oregon
October 16-25, 2009

Here are a few of the many exciting adventures that await you on this exciting cruise:

• Hells Canyon by Jet Boat. After breakfast this morning we’ll transfer to a jet boat for an invigorating ride into Hells Canyon. Vertical cliffs carved by the river now hem in the rushing waters that we travel upon, and we’ll watch some of the most dramatic scenery unfold as we jet upriver. We’ll watch for big horn sheep and hawks throughout the day. After our excursion we’ll cruise the Snake River, passing through our first lock and dam called Lower Granite. After dinner our Expedition Leader will provide a brief orientation to the journey.
• The Washington Wine Country. Travel by executive coach to Walla Walla. Tour an unusual winery located in an historic 1915 Frenchtown schoolhouse. Join your wine “scholar” on a private tour and tasting of prized reserve wines such as an Estate Syrah. A short distance away is another unique destination winery known for their ultra-premium Merlot wines. Upon returning to the yacht, relax on deck as we cruise along the rolling Columbia River. Enjoy the hot tub, read a book, or join the Captain on the bridge to watch the sunset as we cruise into the Snake River portion of our adventure.
• Exploring the Maryhill Museum and Maryhill Winery. Relax and enjoy a stretch of wilderness along the river which is home to northern harriers, cliff swallows, osprey, mule deer and coyotes. After transiting The Dalles Lock and Dam, we’ll anchor and visit Maryhill Museum followed by a visit to the Maryhill Winery. The museum’s collections are housed in a castle-like chateau situated on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. The museum offers an eclectic collection of Native arts, European paintings and the Queen of Romania’s personal effects. Our winery visit will include a tasting from a special tasting list. Back onboard, we’ll make our way through the John Day Lock and Dam. Continue reading

Cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Summer 2009

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Summer is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest and Cruise West’s remarkable ship, the “Spirit of ’98″, is making her weekly voyages on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Having driven the highways along the Columbia River Gorge, I can attest to the dramatic, awe-inspiring scenery that opens in front of you. But to really get a feel for the pulse of life along this waterway and to experience the immensity of the Columbia River Gorge, there is nothing like seeing it from the surface of the river it’s self.

With it’s old fashioned smokestacks and victorian-style decor, the Spirit of ’98 resembles the steamships that once plied the rivers of North America. Adorned with ornate, carved wooden cabinety, floral upholstery, a Grand Salon and a full bar exuding Old-World charm, you will feel you are being transported aboard an early 20th century steamer. But this small ship offers all modern amenities and convienences including private bath in all cabins and email, internet and phone service on-board.

The weekly departures sail out of Portland, Oregon on the Willamette River which runs right through this west coast city. The following morning will find the ship entering the locks of the Bonneville Dam, a 1938 historic landmark with a fascinating visitors center.

This cruise will visit some unique and historic sights as well as transit 7 dams on its journey inland from the Pacific Ocean to the confluence of the Snake River.

  • Pendleton, Oregon: Visit the underground tunnels dug by Chinese immigrants in the late 1800′s connecting their saloons, bordellos and opium dens.  Visit the Pendleton Woolen Mills where native blankets are still woven.  The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute houses the 10,000 year history of the Umtilla, Cayuse and Walla Walla native tribes.
  • Hells Canyon: Enjoy a jet boat ride up the wild and scenic Snake River,  deep into the canyon filled with wildlife and ancient indian  petroglyphs.jet-boat-snake
  • Walla Walla, Washington: Enjoy a day filled with great food, art, shopping and wine-tasting at two  very unique Washington wineries.
  • Mt. St. Helens: Journey to the site of the 1980 volcanic eruption that levelled 230 square miles of forest.  View the crater left after the moutain blew 1,300 feet from its top and see how the area’s still trying to renew itself.

columbia-gorgeThe Columbia River scenery is dramatic and diverse with lush evergreen forests, cascading waterfalls, orchards, vineyards and stark basalt cliffs. Only Cruise West can get you so close, you’ll feel the spray of the falls on your face. Call Rhonda or Linda at TMI Tours to check available cabins and dates for a great adventure on the Mighty Columbia River. 1-800-975-7775 or info@tmitours.com

River Voyage of Discovery Cruises: Apr 3-May 1 and Sept 18-Oct 16

This 8 day journey along the Columbia and Snake Rivers combines scenic river history and unexpected cultural expeditions. Learn about the proud Nez Perce tribe and their way of life, past and present, along the Snake River. Combine that with an exhilarating jet-boat ride deep into Hells Canyon, the deepest river gorge in North America.

Your small ship will navigate 8 sets of locks and dams, changing a total of 738 feet of elevation within 470 miles. Pioneer history will come alive as you visit the Ft. Walla Walla Museum which houses over 35,000 artifacts, dioramas, and a real-life pioneer village. See the personal effects of the Queen of Romania as well as European paintings and Native arts at the unusual Maryhill Museum. Visit Ft. Clatsop and experience what life must have been like for the famous Lewis & Clark expedition during the winter of 1806. Learn about this region’s geographical and navigational history at the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center and the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Cruise in the wake of history and enjoy stories of courage and discovery that await you around every scenic bend.