If after a cruise you feel the need to stretch your legs and get your heart pumping, you’re in luck. American Cruise Lines (ACL) is offering a post-cruise excursion package that allows for access to three of our most popular national parks – Yellowstone, Glacier and Grand Teton. Essentially, the package combines the best of the U.S.’s land and seas.
The journey begins with a seven-day cruise on the Columbia and Snake rivers along the Washington-Oregon border. The cruise starts on Hayden Island near Portland and continues through the gorge and into wine country in Clarkston, Washington. For some, this might be plenty of adventure within one trip, but we know plenty of Outsiders like us are always up for a trip to our national parks, too.
According to American Cruise Lines CEO Charles B. Robertson, this isn’t the company’s first trip centered around national parks. In fact, they’ve offered several day tours through various national parks as well as a one-night post-cruise package. But this latest package is the most extensive that ACL has ever created.
“This is our first real foray into land packages,” Robertson told Travel Weekly. “This is really a bolt-on package at the end, and these will be our longest packages, and the first ones that go into the national parks.”
American Cruise Line Hopes to Make National Parks More Accessible to ‘Mature Clientele’
While the cruise-excursion package is the ideal adventure for all of us outdoor enthusiasts, it also offers a friendlier approach to national parks for older audiences. The guided tours create a less intimidating atmosphere in some of the rockier and more intense portions of the national parks.
“A lot of our passengers feel that we offer the safest and most convenient way to see these very remote places that we travel to,” said Robertson. “Especially for our demographic, which tends to be a more mature clientele, the national parks are kind of intimidating. It’s rough terrain. There’s a lot of different ways to get lost hiking, for example. So, there’s a kind of comfort for our existing passengers of doing them with us,” Robertson said.
Robert also mentioned that people are willing to do more as long as they are traveling. It’s kind of a “when in Montana” sort of mentality.
“We see this real interest in exploring close to home, and once people are out of the house, they kind of want to stay out of the house and keep going,” the ACL CEO continued. “So taking a weeklong cruise and then extending it for a couple of days is more popular than ever. Especially since that’s all contained in the U.S.”
In preparation for the new program, ACL has incorporated two modern riverboats and two small cruise ships, due by the end of 2023.
“After a successful season last year, we are glad to be back and full speed ahead,” Robertson said.