Will I be paired with other passengers on the boat during my tour?
Our bookings are all private tours - it's what makes us unique and provides you with the most intimate atmosphere for maximum enjoyment of your tour! Your party will not be paired with other passengers for your tour. That's true if you book just one seat or fill the whole boat with your friends and family.
What if I don't see availability on your calendar?
Portland Boat Tours is a seasonal business. We operate when the sun is out and you want to be on the Willamette River! This is typically Memorial Day through the end of September each year. If you can't find a date/time on our booking calendar, we also maintain a wait list in case there are cancellations or we are able to add additional time slots to accommodate your tour. If you are unable to find availability and have tried our wait list, might we suggest the following other local businesses:
How do I book a child's ticket for our tour?
At booking, there is a place in the booking form asking for the number and sizes of the children on the tour so that we can make sure to have the properly sized life jackets on the boat. No other ticket is required. Children under 12 are free!
I had problems booking my tour on your site. What do I do?
We're sorry you had trouble. Please contact us and we'll make sure you get properly booked as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.
I see prices listed for two hour tours, how do I book one?
For simplicity, only the 75 minute standard tours are listed under the BOOK NOW tab. If you would like to book a longer tour (a two hour, half day, or full day), please contact us to schedule it.
Do you have life jackets or do we bring our own?
We have all the life jackets to provide you with one for your tour. If you have a particularly comfortable one that you would prefer to use, you are welcomed to do so. At booking, please specify the age/size/weight of any children so we can make sure to prepare the correct size for your child. If they have their own life jacket at home, we recommend that they bring it (and practice wearing it at home before their tour).
What kind of boat are you using?
Find out more about our 1939 Chris Craft Deluxe Utility, Rosie. The boat you will be touring on was made by Chris Craft in 1939. She is a 17 foot deluxe utility model. Her name is Rosie and she is all original with her original Chris Craft Hercules Model B flat head 4 cylinder engine. You will not be disappointed with the amazing character of this antique wooden boat.
Are you licensed to do this? Is it safe?
Captain Seth Vore is a US Coast Guard Licensed Captain who takes your safety and enjoyment of the river seriously. He has been sailing the Willamette River since 1998. Captain Seth is a licensed United States Coast Guard Captain, a member of the National Association of Charterboat Operators, licensed as a charter operator with the Oregon State Marine Board, and is a member of the Columbia-Willamette chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. He also maintains First Aid and CPR certifications through the American Red Cross.
How did you get started doing this?
We got started in 2011 through a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. See our original Kickstarter project. Thank you to the 71 generous backers that allowed us to make this dream a reality!
I have a corporate event, what do you offer?
Portland Boat Tours is happy to be a part of your company picnic or other event. Standard rates of $119 per hour with a four hour minimum apply. We can be tied up and giving tours of your desired duration during your event at Willamette Park, from downtown hotels via Riverplace, etc. Contact us to find out more! Do you have a riverfront real estate showing? Contact us to show your clients the property from the water!
Do you make donations to charities?
Yes! As long as it complies with our policy: Donation Request Policy Portland Boat Tours LLC is an active part of the community and is happy to support worthy charitable causes with donations as a corporate good citizen. As a small business, we try to accommodate as many donation requests as possible each tour season but unfortunately the number of requests received far exceeds our ability to provide those tours. In order for your organization to be considered for a donation, please be aware of the following guidelines to be considered:
- All donation requests must be submitted online through our contact form. Phone requests are not accepted.
- Your organization must be located in the city of Portland, Oregon. We like to keep our donations local.
- Your organization must not have received a donation from us during the previous year. We like to spread out the love.
- Your request for a donation must be submitted during our regular season (typically Memorial Day to Labor Day). We are a seasonal small business so requests in our off-season cannot be accommodated.
- Please submit your request at least 4 weeks prior to your event for consideration.
- Your non-profit organization must have 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Please include your organization's valid Tax Exempt ID number in the contact form in order for your request to be considered.
- Recipients of donations from this program are our brand ambassadors in the community. As such, requestors should know what Portland Boat Tours is and does. For instance, requests from people who have never been on a Portland Boat Tour are unlikely to be good ambassadors and may not be considered. Please include a brief description of your experience with Portland Boat Tours and how it pertains to your organization in the request to be considered.
- Notifications are typically not sent if you are not selected for a donation. Expect a response only if you are approved and should be expecting a donation for your event. If you are approved, you can expect a response within two weeks of your request.
- You may choose to gift a tour to a cause of your choice at any time. Tell us your story! We may offer a discount on our gift certificates for you to purchase and present to your recipient organization to use as you see fit.
What are the differences in your tours?
Portland 10-Bridge Tours This is our most popular tour where you’ll experience the excitement of going under 10 of Portland’s famous bridges. Learn about the history of the Willamette River while you relax and enjoy our incredible city. Duration: 75minutes Eco Tours Leave the dock of your choice for a tour of the Willamette River system in Portland. Can we guarantee you’ll see a nesting bald eagle? No. Will we try? Absolutely. Our eco-tours explore the back side of Ross Island and the Oaks Bottom area to observe wildlife only seen from the water. Duration: 75minutes Sunset Cruises Watch the sun dip below the west hills as you enjoy the glow from the Willamette River. There’s no better time or way to experience the Portland skyline than by viewing it from the river on our classic boat. Sunset times vary and availability is always limited so book early if you have a specific date in mind. Duration: 75minutes Half or Full Day Custom Tours We’re available for half or full day custom tours too! If you have a special request, contact us today to book your tour. Popular half day tours include Willamette Falls/Oregon City or St. Johns/Multnomah Channel. See our Tours page for pricing information.
Where should I park for my tour?
Please visit our Where to Park section for the best parking for each of the docks that we serve. Some locations may require paid parking to use the lot listed. Please read all signs and postings at the parking lot you choose. We also encourage the use of transit to get to and from your tour!
Do you have any special requirements for kids?
Portland Boat Tours is a family company and is devoted to family fun on the water. Your children are welcome, encouraged, and ALWAYS FREE! Special Tips for Kids ■ Prepare your kids for their boat tour by letting them know about boating safety. They will be required to wear a life jacket for the duration of their time on the boat. Let them know ahead of time so it’s not a surprise. ■ No messy snacks. ■ Use the restroom before your tour. ■ Talk to your kids before your tour about the things they might see on the water. ■ Have them ask the captain questions.
Do you have any tips to maximize our enjoyment of the tour?
Tips for a Successful Tour ■ Show up early and leave time for parking. ■ Your time slot is reserved for you but your tour will, of course, be shorter if you show up late. ■ If you have special needs let us know in advance. We’re happy to accommodate you. ■ Remember to bring the items on the “what to bring” list. ■ Be ready to have fun!
What should I bring on my tour?
What to Bring ■ Camera ■ Beverages (Beer and wine are welcome on the boat) ■ Snacks (although we provide a small snack shop on the boat too) ■ You are welcome to bring full meals (boxed lunches, cheese plates, etc) as well ■ A windbreaker or warm sweater ■ Sunglasses ■ Sunscreen ■ Hat ■ Binoculars ■ Dramamine, wrist bands, or other seasickness medication ■ Cash (we sell concessions and souvenirs on the boat).