Portland Boat Tours

See Portland and the region from the water on boat tours that traverse the Willamette and Columbia rivers.

3 min read

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.

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.

BrewBarge

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.

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Portland Electric Boat Company

Always wished you could pilot a boat yourself? Portland Electric Boat Companyat 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.

Scovare Expeditions

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

Portland Tour Options