Saturday, 24 September 2011

Lindblad Expeditions Offers Pacific Northwest Culinary Programs

Lindblad Expeditions is enhancing its culinary attributes with a program called Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey: Harvests, History and Landscapes, set to debut in 2012. A new onboard dining program features a menu dominated by local and sustainable foods in addition to a selection of wines and craft beers that have gained the region international acclaim.

Scheduled to launch next September with the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, this natural, cultural and culinary seven-day/six-night adventure will unveil a landscape millions of years in the making and a vibrant patchwork that encompasses high art, fine foods, award-winning wines along some of the route Lewis & Clark followed on their Corps of Discovery Expedition.

Highlights will include a trip to The Gorge White House, a 102-year-old working family farm that features breathtaking and panoramic views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Guests will be hosted by the farm’s owners, Jerry and Camille, multigenerational farmers who grow heritage pears, apples, berries and greens using environmentally respectful and innovative techniques. The visit will culminate with a delicious meal using farm ingredients, and served on the property’s garden patio. Guests will also tour and taste the fruit of the vines from leading Columbia Gorge wineries. The focus on Pacific Northwest viticulture will continue back onboard, where an array of award-winning regional wines will be served, specially selected by Executive Chef Gary Jenanyan (former executive chef at Robert Mondavi Winery).

The journey will begin by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. At Fort Clatsop, where the explorers hunkered down for the wet winter of 1805-06, guests can walk through the full-scale reconstructed fort. The voyage will also offer plenty of chances to enjoy the region’s trademark natural splendor, adjusting itineraries to allow for even more time to take in the majestic sights of Multnomah Falls, Crown Point and other landmarks. The package offers options ranging from hiking and kayaking adventures to Zodiac cruises in the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge or Palouse River.

Lindblad Expeditions and the Food Alliance will work together to highlight a variety of the region’s leading providers, including Country Natural Beef, a cooperative of 120 family ranches in 13 Western states; Tillamook Cheese, made up of 110 dairy farms committed to animal welfare and dating back to 1909; and Draper Valley Farms, the pioneer of Washington- and Oregon-raised fresh chicken since 1935.

The partnership is consistent with both Lindblad’s history and its mission. Each Lindblad expedition is linked to the health of the ecosystem, designed so that its passengers can enjoy the company’s destinations today and contribute to others’ enjoyment of them for years to come. And by working with Food Alliance, Lindblad is ensuring a succession of ecological responsibility, supporting those fishermen and farmers who, in turn, help to support some of the most beautiful places on earth. There will be 10 weekly departures in 2012 from Sept. 14 to Oct. 27. Rates begin at $3,990 per person based on double occupancy for a Category 1 cabin for September and October 2012 expeditions. For more information, call 800-EXPEDITION or visit www.expeditions.com.