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Portland, Oregon Water activities

Our most recommended Portland, Oregon Water activities

Portland: 2.5 Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown

1. Portland: 2.5 Hour Dinner Cruise Through Downtown

Try out the best way to dine in Portland on the Willamette River enhanced by dazzling city sights and lights. You'll enjoy an evening featuring a 2.5 hour cruise, Northwest cuisine (locally sourced and prepared fresh on board), live piano music and narration of the sights on the outer decks. Partake in freshly baked bread, house salad, your choice of entrée (poultry, beef, seafood or vegetarian) and New York cheesecake dessert. After dinner, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s skyline lit up at night. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River, then pass by the impressive Steel Bridge. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the onboard narration. 

Portland: 2 Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown

2. Portland: 2 Hour Lunch Cruise Through Downtown

Hop onboard the vessel and be escorted to your private table. Start off with some freshly baked bread, followed by your choice of entrée (poultry, beef, seafood, or vegetarian). Salad and dessert options are available for additional purchase on board. After lunch, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s impressive skyline. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River to Milwaukie and back through Downtown Portland under several bridges. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the historical narration on the outer decks.

Portland: 2 Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown

3. Portland: 2 Hour Champagne Brunch Cruise Through Downtown

Hop onboard the vessel and be escorted to your private table. Start off with a refreshing glass of champagne, sparkling cider, or an orange juice. Then enjoy a delicious plated brunch made up of breakfast and lunch favorites, accompanied by a dessert buffet. After brunch, head out onto the observation deck to admire the city’s impressive skyline. Cruise along the scenic Willamette River, then pass by the Steel Bridge. Along the way, learn about the landmarks from the onboard narration while sipping on more champagne.

Portland: Columbia Gorge and Bigfoot Jetboat Adventure

4. Portland: Columbia Gorge and Bigfoot Jetboat Adventure

Discover the landmarks for which the Northwest is famous, while listening to live and recorded narration about the history of the Columbia Gorge and Bigfoot's presence in the Northwest. Depending on what type of passenger you are on this sightseeing tour, the sights themselves aren't necessarily the main attraction. Sure, the Bigfoot Explorer buzzes you past the Gorge's greatest hits, like Multnomah Falls, and Beacon Rock, but the objective isn't just to admire the landscape. It's to hunt for the elusive man-ape along a corridor that's historically been rife with sightings. This fun and informative, fully-narrated cruise will have you at the edge of your seat as you learn about Portland, the Columbia Gorge, and most importantly, Bigfoot.

Portland: Heart of Portland Sightseeing Cruise

5. Portland: Heart of Portland Sightseeing Cruise

Board the Portland Spirit and embark on a tour of Portland and the Willamette River from an entirely new perspective. Learn about the area, people and bridges from the historical narration, played on all three levels. You may sit indoors in the climate-controlled areas or outside in the open air. Take in the views of the Portland and Milwaukie waterfronts with a full-service bar and bistro menu available for purchase. The cruise will head south on the Willamette River to Milwaukie and then back to the dock.

Bend: Half-Day Cascade Lakes Kayak Tour

6. Bend: Half-Day Cascade Lakes Kayak Tour

Experience a tandem kayak lake tour and enjoy the best mountainous views in Central Oregon. Meet your local guide in the heart of Bend, Oregon. Along with the rest of your group, make your way out of town and up into the Cascade mountain lakes where your kayaking adventure begins. Receive a lesson on kayaking safety measures before climbing into your tandem sit-on-top kayak.  Navigate your way through little-known caves, bays, and wetlands with the help of your naturalist guide. Keep a look out for the otters, mink, osprey and eagles that inhabit this area, and bring a camera for the best mountain views in Central Oregon. After around 2 hours of paddling and admiring your surroundings, you'll have time for a quick dip in the lakes to cool off. Prior to leaving, take in the views of mountains Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Paulina Peak. You’ll then head back to your kayaking starting point and be driven back to Bend.

Bend: Half-Day Brews & Views Canoe Tour on the Cascade Lakes

7. Bend: Half-Day Brews & Views Canoe Tour on the Cascade Lakes

Take in the stunning views of the Cascades Lakes while sampling some of Oregon’s most celebrated artisanal beverages. After getting all geared up, you’ll head off towards the lake with your naturalist guide and get to paddling through the pristine mountain waters. Gaze out across the crystal-clear lake, situated on the foot of snow-capped peaks. All the while, taste delicious local craft beers while learning about their production. Your guide will highlight the hidden spots on these beautiful lakes that might not initially meet the eye. You will spend over 2 hours on the water exploring areas accessible exclusively by boat, including fingers, coves, bays, and wetlands created by ancient volcanic activity and erosion. You can even pop into the lake for a dip if you get too toasty. After your excursion, you’ll be transferred back to the meeting point in Bend, having soaked up some of Oregon’s foremost natural beauty.

From Portland: Columbia River Gorge Sightseeing Cruise

8. From Portland: Columbia River Gorge Sightseeing Cruise

Discover the lower Columbia River Gorge from the water on a jet boat cruise from Portland. Travel at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour as you journey along the Willamette River and the mighty Columbia River toward Multnomah Falls. Board your explorer cruise from a private dock in Portland and set out on your outdoor adventure. Feel the rush as you travel along the water in an open-air boat, reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Marvel at views of the city and surrounding countryside from the water as you make your way to Multnomah Falls. Enjoy sights like Cape Horn, Crown Point, Rooster Rock, Mount Hood, and much more, with a live guide narrating your journey. Your adventure cruise comes to an end back where it began, at the dock on the Willamette River.

Frequently asked questions about Portland, Oregon

What top attractions are a must-see in Portland, Oregon?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon?

The best day trips and excursions from Portland, Oregon are:

Cannon Beach

Other Sightseeing Options in Portland, Oregon

Want to discover all there is to do in Portland, Oregon? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Portland, Oregon

What an incredible experience, to say the least. The customer service was lovely. The food was delicious. Beautiful live music. Beautiful views from your table and the opportunity to stand on the top deck to watch the sights. Neil was an amazing server as well, thanks so much

Trip was amazing! Pictures online seem unreal till you are actually sailing yourself and see the view for yourself amazing

Great customer service, good food, and nice boat ride to see Portland from a different view.

Amazing waitstaff and crew. Beautiful view and good food. Would absolutely recommend

Very helpful crew: help my mom (on wheelchair) get on and off the ramp.