‘Fleet Week’ ships arrive, downtown bridges go up

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — It may look peaceful now, but come next week, the Willamette River will be bumping with ten massive ships, free for the public to explore.

Fleet Week, the Rose Festival’s homage to Portland’s history as a port city and celebration of the armed forces, begins Tuesday.

Royal Canadian Navy ship the HCMS Oriole on the Portland waterfront for Fleet Week.
Royal Canadian Navy ship the HCMS Oriole on the Portland waterfront for Fleet Week.

It’s the first year the event is back in full swing after Federal Budget Cuts reduced the event to one Canadian ship – and it’s the Canadians who will kick things off.

Ships will include a river patrol boat, Coast Guard ships and two Navy ship, but the first to arrive will be the Royal Canadian Navy’s Oriole.

“Portland is a great maritime city here on the west coast and we’ve got a long history here,” said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Charlie Brown.

Public tours of the ships are free and will be offered on a first come, first serve basis, starting Thursday.

Tour times for each ship are different.

The Coast Guard Cutter Alert and the Coast Guard Cutter Cuttyhunk will be open for tours on Thursday, June 5, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m; Friday, June 6, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 7, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 8, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

However, the Coast Guard Cutter Alert will have limited tours Saturday (9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.) and Sunday (9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.) due to special events.

Because of all the ships coming through, some of city’s bridges will need to be lifted throughout the week.

“We’ve been working very hard and closely with all of the city officials to make sure the planning, the security and everything is coordinated as well as possible and the least impact to the community,” said Brown.

Bridge Lifts Tuesday June 3, 4:00 p.m.
• Broadway Bridge
• Burnside Bridge
• Steel Bridge
Bridge Lifts Wednesday June 4, 3:00 p.m.
• Steel Bridge
• Burnside Bridge

Bridge Lifts Thursday June 5 (afternoon)
• Broadway Bridge
• Steel Bridge

Additional information about  Fleet Week and the Rose Festival can be found at www.rosefestival.org.

WATCH: Oregon Coast Pageant Queens ride into Portland with the Royal Canadian Navy

Visitors are asked to wear close-toed shoes and reminded that Canadian law applies on all Canadian military vessels.

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