welcome to Quality Inn portland blog“I saw three ships on Christmas Day” goes the old carol, but you’ll certainly see more than that at the 2012 Christmas Ship Parade in Portland. You’ll see up to 60 at this annual holiday spectacular. Now in its 58th year, the event runs December 7th through December 21st on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. On December 1st, six days prior to the official start of the nightly regatta, a special performance will be held at the Port of Camas-Washougal, Washington. Starting December 7th, fleets will sail both the Columbia and Willamette rivers nightly throughout the two week schedule. Operated entirely by volunteers, not every ship makes it out every night, but there are always plenty participating on any given evening.
You can enjoy spectacular views from one of many restaurants lining Portland's Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Thousands of others gather on the riverbanks to watch the fleets pass. The parade's brightly decorated boats measure between 14 to 65 feet in length. Each vessel is privately owned and comes from communities around Portland including, Salem, McMinnville, Hood River, and neighboring Vancouver, Washington. Every boat must create their own lighted holiday-themed display and pay their own expenses. Some of the ship captains have been participating for over 20 years, with several logging over 30 appearances in this holiday classic. Weather can be the only hindrance to the nightly sailings. The final determination is made one half hour before the night’s events begin. If a performance is cancelled, a notice is immediately posted on the event’s website. For more information visit christmasships.org.