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Breaking News Regarding Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler

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On Monday, October 3rd, we issued a press release to the media sharing the disheartening news that we will no longer operate the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler as of January 1, 2023. Additionally, the Locks Waterfront Grill will permanently close as of November 1, 2022.

The vessel is owned by the Port of Cascade Locks and since 2006, we have been in a long term contract to operate the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, Locks Waterfront Grill and Visitor Center in Marine Park. However, in order to operate smoothly for years to come, the vessel requires a repower (new engines, various propulsion components, control panel, etc.). Additionally, we would like to renovate the interior to better showcase the vessel’s historic beauty. We estimate a cost of approximately 3 million dollars between the repower and remodel, which must be amortized over time in order to justify the extraordinary cost. 

Unfortunately, we were not able to come to a timely agreement with the Port to renew our long term contract that would allow us to complete a repower of the vessel by 2024.

We have loved operating the Port’s historic vessel for the past 16 years. At this point, we don’t know when the Sternwheeler will operate again in the future. In the meantime, we will invest in our Portland-based experiences and all our wonderful employees in Cascade Locks will be offered employment in Portland.

Our final public cruise in the Columbia River Gorge was on October 30th. There are select cruises available to ride the Sternwheeler in Portland through December 31, 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team at 503-224-3900 or email info@portlandspirit.com. Thank you for your understanding and support.