Portland Spirit

Portland Spirit

The Portland Spirit is a 150′ luxury yacht with three public decks, two of which are enclosed and climate controlled. We have seating for 320 guests on the two interior decks for a plated meal cruise and capacity for 400 guests for a reception or sightseeing cruise. Portland Spirit features delicious Northwest cuisine prepared to order in our on board galley, two full service bars with a vast wine selection, baby grand piano with live performers (don’t forget our singing wait staff), a ship-wide sound system, and a marble dance floor.


Launched in 1987 by Chesapeake Shipbuilding, the ship operated on the Connecticut River during its first year. The vessel was then sold and, after a long trip including passage through the Panama Canal, operated out of Maui for four years. In 1992 the operation was purchased by Pacific Marine and moved to Honolulu. The ship’s name was changed to Stardancer and operated in Hawaii until March 1994. At that time, American Waterways, Inc. acquired Stardancer for cruise service on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers and was sailed across the Pacific Ocean.

The journey from Hawaii is a story in itself. The crew of five left Hawaii on April 1, 1994 after spending 10 days in safety preparations which included outfitting the vessel with special radios, radar and survival equipment. The boat’s lower level, the Willamette deck, was filled with over one hundred 55 gallon drums of fuel and every window was covered with steel plates. One hundred miles into the trip, the captain had a medical emergency and a helicopter was required to lift him off the vessel. The ship and remaining four crew members arrived in Portland nine days later. After a full refit, Portland Spirit began cruises in May 1994.

On January 4, 1998, Portland Spirit staff members completely offloaded the ship and prepared her for a full remodel. After sailing to Sundial Shipyard in Troutdale, the ship was completely gutted. Ceilings, walls, fixtures, everything came out. Thirty days later, the ship returned to Portland with new ceilings, walls, bars, offices, paint, phones and much more. The Portland Spirit returned to service February 7, 1998.