Portland is a river town, largely defined by the Willamette and Columbia, which divide the city into east and west, and form its northern border, respectively. Portland boat tours offer a unique perspective on the city and region.
Know Before You Go
All details are subject to change, so please contact tour operators for the latest information.
Portland Boat Tours
The Portland Spirit
Tours onboard the Portland Spirit let guests soak in the sights of the Portland cityscape along the Willamette River while a veteran sea captain narrates the trip. Portland Spirit tours include downtown sightseeing cruises serving brunch, lunch or dinner; Early Escape Concert Cruises with a live local band every Thursday afternoon, July-September; a Flashback Dance Cruise every Saturday night; and holiday and other special event cruises. The Portland Spirit’s sister ship, the Explorer, provides high-speed river tours of 10 famous Portland bridges, from the St. Johns to the Sellwood Bridge.
Willamette Jet Boats
For a thrilling ride, Willamette Jet Boats will show all the sights, with an open-cabin, 130-person boat that gives passengers a distinct view of Bridgetown. The two-hour tour departs from the dock near OMSI and takes passengers past downtown bridges, wildlife and houseboats on the way to majestic Willamette Falls. The one-hour tour heads north to show off the city’s shipyards, waterfront and more bridges. Offered Tuesdays only, the Columbia River & Lunch tour explores the mighty Columbia with a stop for lunch at a floating restaurant.
Want to work — and drink — while you cruise? BrewBarge’s human-powered paddle boats seat up to 14 people for 1.5-hour tours down the Willamette River from Riverplace Marina in downtown Portland. The trips are BYOB, but beer is available for purchase at the BrewStop, where you’ll check-in for the tour.
Portland Electric Boat Company
Always wished you could pilot a boat yourself? Portland Electric Boat Company at RiverPlace Marina makes it easy. If you can drive a golf cart (and are 21+), you can pilot their zero-emission boats. The vessels seat 10 people and include rainproof enclosures for inclement days. Bring your own food, drink and tunes for a self-guided river tour; there’s also the option to hire a captain.
Sail in style with Scovare Expeditions, whose fleet includes a 50-foot cutter, 40-foot sailboat and 25-foot sloop, as well as a power pontoon boat. In addition to public and private tours, Scovare also offers lessons for aspiring sailors.
Columbia River Gorge Boat Tours
Bigfoot Explorer Jetboat Cruise
Discover the history and lore behind Bigfoot while aboard the Explorer for Portland Spirit’s scenic Bigfoot Explorer Jetboat Cruise. This 120-mile journey takes you from downtown Portland, through the port of Portland, into the epic Columbia River Gorge and through the locks at Bonneville Dam, with a stop for lunch in Cascade Locks.
Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler Cruises
Also under the Portland Spirit umbrella, the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler provides dinner, brunch and sightseeing tours departing from Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge. From the triple-deck paddle-wheel vessel, you can check out sights like the Bridge of the Gods, Bonneville Dam, native American fishing platforms, windsurfers and kiteboarders.
Portland Boat Tour Operators
- BrewGroup PDX
- Portland Electric Boat Company
- Portland Spirt Cruises & Events
- Scovare Expeditions
- Willamette Jetboat Excursions
Portland City Tours
Great for first-time visitors, city tours offer a comprehensive experience highlighting the best that Portland has to offer.
Portland Walking Tours
These tours let you experience a street-level view of supremely walkable Portland.
Portland Bike Tours
Bike tours let you see Portland like a local, rolling through neighborhoods along this cycling-friendly city’s many bike paths, trails and lanes.
Portland Food Tours
Get a taste of Portland on a variety of food tours focused on specific ingredients, venues or neighborhoods.
Portland Beer Tours
Explore “Beervana” with the help of local expert tour guides on these Portland beer tours.
Wine Tours Near Portland
Removed Portland Walking Tours due to closure. [IW 12/29/20] Let someone else do the driving while you enjoy wine tasting and vineyard views.
Columbia River Gorge Tours
Explore the waterfalls of the national scenic area just east of Portland with a guide and driver.
Mount Hood Tours from Portland
Explore Oregon’s highest peak, located 90 minutes from Portland, with these tour operators.
Portland Boat Tours
See Portland and the region from the water on boat tours that traverse the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
Portland Cannabis Tours
Take a cannabis tour to help orient you, take you to top spots and provide a safe way to consume.
Portland Outdoor Adventure Tours
Explore the great outdoors in and around Portland with these tour operators.
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