page contents Google



PORTLAND SPIRIT (image courtesy

(image courtesy

Portland, a destination of natural beauty and grand vistas.

You see it every time you fly in from anywhere else.

But some things still get overlooked.

While every great city has a river, if you live there long enough it disappears.

Think of the Fremont Bridge as a modern freeway spanning the old freeway, except the old one’s not gone. River life remains a vibrant vein running through Portland culture.

More than an obstacle, it’s an adventure.

What happens when Portland rivers come to life in new ways?

Ships Ahoy happens.

History explains the importance of water travel in early America. The short version sails from Columbus, to the Mayflower, to every ship at Ellis Island. With few connecting roads, developing coastal cities used the ocean to move around.

Today the East Coast Inland Passage still looks like a great trip.

Early settlers in the Midwest didn’t have an ocean to navigate. Instead, they used rivers. America loved rivers then, and still do. Mark Twain knew his audience when he let Huck Finn raft the Mississippi.

That story speaks to deeper issuess, but baby boomers still dream of floating from Chicago to New Orleans on their raft. The Love Boat magic on the Big Muddy?

Portland baby boomers find twice the excitement on the Willamette River and the Columbia River. Launch a boat in Portland and motor all the way to the Pacific Ocean, or paddle your canoe to sites of Lewis and Clark’s journey of discovery.

If you love river excitement, Portland is it. But if you love getting on the water without fear of being stranded or tipping a canoe, you’re still in the right place. Take a Portland Spirit cruise on the Explorer.

For a calmer time, book a dinner cruise. After a taste of that fun, you’re ready for the new reality show Ships Ahoy.

See Portland through the eyes of river people. From Ross Island to the Columbia Gorge, Ships Ahoy gives a working view. Smart tourists will use the show to plan their trips. Seasoned ocean travelers will come to Oregon for the beauty; Mississippi cruisers will come to compare views.

Portland feels best when changing normal routines into facinating detail. It’s part of the appeal.

You think you know the rivers Ships Ahoy shares with a greater audience? You’ll learn more.

Be a good boomer and get ready to tune in.

(image courtesy

(image courtesy


About David Gillaspie
%d bloggers like this: