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Portland Oregon Cruise Port: Tips, Attractions and Weather

Lan Su Chinese Garden; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Lan Su Chinese Garden; credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

Portland, Oregon, is a major riverboat cruise port because it is the starting point for many cruises up the Columbia and Snake rivers.

Red Lion Hotel on the River, which is north of the city, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park in the city are common embarkation points for many of these river cruises.

Cruise lines that use Portland as an embarkation point include American Cruise Lines, Lindblad Expeditions, UnCruise Adventures and American Queen Steamboat Company.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Portland is so big that it has many points of interest for anyone who spends a few extra days there before taking a riverboat cruise.

Red Lion Hotel on the River is on Hayden Island in the middle of the Columbia River. It doesn’t have easy access to walking attractions. So anyone who stays at that hotel before a cruise will need to take a taxi or excursion bus to get to nearby attractions and shore excursions.

But Tom McCall Waterfront Park is in the city and on a narrow and lengthy park that lies along the Columbia River. One of its main attractions is the Waterfront Park Trail for anyone with a little extra time and energy on their hands.

Pioneer Courthouse Square at 701 SW 6th Avenue is another seven tenths of a mile from the waterfront park, but this time it is southwest of the park. Pioneer is an open-space urban park with shops, restaurants and more than 300 annual events.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St., is seven tenths of a mile northwest of the waterfront park. It is a walled Chinese garden that encloses a full city block by Chinatown. General admission tickets are $12.95.

Washington Park, 4033 SW Canyon Road, has several major attractions including the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum and the Portland Children’s Museum.


Portland Oregon temperatures
© 2021 Scott S. Bateman

Summer is clearly the best time to take a riverboat cruise out of Portland.

Average daytime temperatures in July and August are about 81 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. Nighttime temperatures drop into the upper 50s.

Summer also is the dry season for Portland. The city averages less than one inch of rain in July and August and only about four days with rain each month.

September also has a good combination of warm temperatures and low risk of rain along with changing tree colors. May is cooler than September and has a higher risk of rain.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
September 23, 2021

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