Step into the American west on a yacht cruise that encompasses human history, natural history and even time itself. The Safari Spirit, operated by our partners at American Safari Cruises, offers the Rivers of the West yacht cruise from Lewiston, Idaho to Portland, Oregon. Along the way travelers experience spectacular scenery, rich history, exquisite wines and culinary delights of Washington’s wine country. Experience the Columbia and Snake Rivers completely by jet boat, kayak, inflatable skiff and by transiting through eight mammoth dams. Cruise aboard the Taste wine from the barrel in Washington’s wine country and converse with local specialists as they relate tales of the epic Lewis and Clark Expedition. No other cruise will take you this far into the breadth and depth of the wilderness, history and culture of the American West.
Become modern-day explorers, discovering America’s extraordinary and “secret” wine regions in the spectacular setting of the Columbia River Gorge. Rivers of the West introduces exclusive wine and culinary yacht cruise adventures. Sample award-winning wine and cruise through history, witnessing the natural beauty and taste of the Pacific Northwest.
Special wine and culinary cruises include the itinerary listed above plus guest speakers, guided transportation at a minimum of five wineries (Dunham Cellars, Northstar Winery, Hedges Family Estate Winery, Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard, Maryhill Winery plus the Maryhill Museum) a brewery and brandy distillery and cave lunch ashore. Celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, birthday or just enjoy your passion for highly-rated fine wines amidst one of the USA’s most scenic backgrounds. Relax in the comfort of a luxury yacht without the worries of driving.spectacular!
Culinary and Wine cruises on the Columbia River are aboard the 12 passenger luxury yacht Safari Spirit. The luxury motor yacht Safari Spirit embodies an ambiance of refinement and relaxation all at once. An air of elegance meets and complements one’s expectations when stepping aboard, and the comfort of feeling welcome settles in with each passing moment. The 105 foot yacht carries up to 12 passengers in 6 well appointed cabins.
About the Select Wineries
Using grapes from some of the finest vineyards in the Walla Walla, Yakima and Columbia Valleys, Dunham Cellars has established an award-winning reputation for their wines. When the wineries first vintage, a 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon was released, it was deemed one of the finest wines made in Washington by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Subsequent vintages and varietals have also earned high marks with both wine writers and consumers. The winemaker shows his artistic side by creating original artworks for all of Dunham Cellars vineyard designated and special bottlings.
The winery makes its home in a rustic, remodeled World War II era airplane hangar in Walla Walla, and the future looks promising for Dunham Cellars. The family-owned winery continues to increase production and wine varietals, and has planted estate vineyards in prime locations around the Walla Walla Valley Appellation. Dunham wines include Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Trutina (a Bordeaux style blend), Three Legged Red (a red table wine), Four Legged White (a Riesling), and the “Shirley Mays” Chardonnay.
Providing a stunning backdrop, the Blue Mountains frame a valley that is home to the Northstar Winery. Producing world-class wines of exceptional character, Northstar is dedicated to the production of ultra-premium Merlot. Merlot is the best selling red grape variety in America. Merlot-based wines from Bordeaux’s Pomerol region are generally the most expensive and sought-after wines in the world. In fact, Northstar’s winemaking style is more comparable to Bordeaux’s “right bank” than to New World Merlot. Northstar’s Merlot is considered among the world’s best. Their flagship vintage is the Columbia Valley Merlot. Also made is an extremely limited amount of Walla Walla Merlot, showcasing the local area vineyards’ national and international acclaim as one of the great American wine regions.
Hedges Family Estate Winery
The Chateau is framed by the Hedges Estate Vineyard and is surrounded by a beautiful courtyard garden, which boasts a stunning view of the Red Mountain and the Yakima Valley. The Hedges Family Estate Chateau combines old-world European style with modern winemaking technology. Reminiscent of those in the Bordeaux region of France, the lower level of the Chateau houses a fully functioning winery and tasting room, while the upper level is the private residence of founders Tom and Anne-Marie Hedges. A French native, Anne-Marie Hedges influenced much of the design and creation.
Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard
Visitors to Terra Blanca’s Winery and Estate Vineyard will be greeted by a new Tuscan-style facility. Set against a backdrop of lush vineyards and rolling hills, this retreat provides an atmosphere filled with casual elegance. Adjacent to the new, spacious tasting room is a wood-fired oven and demonstration kitchen where fresh bread and other culinary creations are available for guests to enjoy with exceptional wines. Graceful arches frame an outdoor terrace perfect for relaxing in the shade while savoring a bottle of wine and taking in the spectacular view of the lower Yakima Valley. Terra Blanca built Washington State’s first underground barrel storage caves in 1997. A second cave system was completed in 2004 and, in addition to storing wine, houses an estate library and an intimate subterranean dining area where you will enjoy an included cave luncheon.
Maryhill Winery plus the Maryhill Museum
Possibly the most enjoyable part of Maryhill, from a grower’s standpoint, is the wide variety of grapes the area will support – including several difficult to grow varietals often stunted in many of the region’s other vineyards. The vineyards produce premium red wines, with special attention to Syrah and Sangiovese. Larger vineyards include blocks of Zinfandel, Viognier, Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon vines, as well as smaller sections for Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Grenache.
Chosen for it’s unique micro-climate, the winery’s grounds command a sweeping view of the Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Hood while providing the vineyards with unparalleled protection and nourishment for fully ripened harvests. Designed to draw power from the setting rather than impose itself upon it, the winery offers wine tasting amidst scenery that inspires.