Portland, OR. This December will mark the 65th launch of the Christmas Ships Parade season. Parades on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers will last for 15 nights beginning on Thursday, December 5th through Sunday, December 22nd. There are seven nights where the fleet with be combined. Please click the links below to see the schedules for more details:

Columbia Fleet Schedule and Willamette Fleet Schedule

Making waves in downtown Portland near the Riverplace Marina in 2018.

Christmas Ships in St. Helens at the Columbia View Park in 2018

Christmas Ships on the Willamette near the Riverplace Marina in 2018.

The boats, 14 to 65 feet long, are brightly lit for the holiday season. Up to 60 holiday boats are expected to make up the two fleets. As in previous years, there will be two “Meet & Greet” events at the public dock near Tom McCall Waterfront Park (Riverplace area). The first Meet & Greet will be from 8 pm until 10 pm on Saturday, December 21st, immediately following the parade run to Lake Oswego. The second Meet & Greet will be from 2 pm until 4:30 pm on Sunday, December 22nd, before the last run down to the St. Johns Bridge (Cathedral Park). This year, the nonprofit Christmas Ships Parade Organization is partnering with William Temple House. During each of the Meet & Greet events, William Temple House will have representatives collecting new kids’ winter coats. (Children come in all shapes and sizes, so any new warm coat from children’s small up through adult XXL would be appreciated.)

From the nonprofit Christmas Ships Parade:

The privately-owned vessels come from Portland, Vancouver, McMinnville, Salem and Hood River areas.  Some of the owners of the ships have been part of the Christmas tradition for more than 30 years with many being part of the Christmas Ship fleet for over 20 years.  Each skipper is responsible for their own expenses, including fuel and insurance for their vessels over the two weeks. This can run into the hundreds of dollars, which in itself is a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm the Christmas Ship skippers bring to the organization and the community. The organization accepts donations to help cover the cost of maintaining, managing and promoting the organization, but none of these donations go to the skippers, their crews, or their boats. Christmas Ships, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization, with no paid staff or officers, just a large group of friendly individual volunteers/skippers who give back to the community they love.

A full schedule for the Columbia and Willamette fleets, as well as a link for donations, can be found at www.christmasships.org.  For Skipper interviews or other requests, send us a note through the Christmas Ship contact page.

From William Temple House:

William Temple House is a nonprofit social service agency located in NW Portland that supports people in need, especially those who are affected by two major concerns in our area: extremely high rates of mental illness and the affordable housing crisis. Their services include affordable access to mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families; a healthy food pantry; hygiene items; new clothing for children; dental and vision care; and energy assistance so that families don’t have to choose between paying rent or basic living expenses. William Temple House has been making a difference in the lives of Portlanders for 54 years.