We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked the eastbound Columbia and Snake River cruise because it was a new part of the country for us. The American Song is their newest boat. We started in Lewiston, Idaho, and booked a one-day jet boat trip down the Snake River into the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. We did this through the cruise line as an add-on. Highly recommended. Saw so much fantastic scenery, ruins of mines, settlements and enterprises from the pioneer days, bald eagles, rocky mountain big horn sheep, beautiful cliffs, Indian petroglyphs, - just a neat day in a comfortable open air boat. Two stops for lunch and snacks at former ranch and farm, now operated for river travelers. Next day we boarded the Song. Very comfortable boat, with a wonderful scale - only 184 passengers. No long treks to the dining room or lounges as you might be accustomed to on the ocean ships. Very easy and pleasant if you have any mobility issues. No long waits for the elevators - hardly ever waited at all. Lovely cabin - even though we had the least expensive cabin - plenty of storage, nice balcony. Easy cruising with stops in small towns every day. At least three excursions were included at every stop, with at least one being complimentary. Fascinating going through the 8 locks and dams on the Columbia. Some long bus rides to get to the places of interest on the excursions, not too pleasant. We greatly enjoyed Multnomah Falls, Mount St Helens, and Cape Disappointment. They seemed to waste the day we got to Portland - arrived too late in the day to really see anything.
Lecturer told us about the history of Lewis and Clark, the Columbia River - she was all right, nothing special.
The entertainment on board was basically conversation with the other passengers. There was a modest musical act each at night after dinner - ranging from not too good to pretty good. I think that for quite a few passengers the main attraction of the trip was the free and unlimited wine, beer and liquor offered all day long.
Liked our cabin very much. Close to dining room, office, and disembarkation for port trip. Very quiet room. Loved our balcony.