Public cruises aboard Portland Spirit, Willamette Star, and Crystal Dolphin typically run South (upstream) from downtown Portland on the Willamette River to the Milwaukie Basin/Lake Oswego area on the outbound leg, and back North through downtown on the return leg. Please note that cruise routes vary depending on river activity and conditions.
The Willamette (pron. will-AM-ett)River is the largest river contained entirely within the state of Oregon. Confined by the Cascades, the ancient Calapooyas and the newer elevations of the Coast Range, it gathers moisture from the East, South, and West. Flowing South to North, relatively rare for rivers, the Willamette pours into the Columbia eleven miles downstream from Portland. The river was originally called Multnomah after a residential Native American tribe. The name "Willamette" translates "green waters" and was first used to designate a place on the river's West bank just below the falls at Oregon City.
In Portland, the Willamette River averages a height of 50 feet above sea level. Portland is located 78 miles (by land) from the Pacific Ocean. To travel by way of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, the distance is 112 miles. Besides "City of Roses", Portland is known as "City of Bridges", many of which are visible to you during the cruise.