To be honest, I am not a huge fan of the Rose Festival which started over memorial weekend. That is why there wasn’t a post announcing the start of the festival last weekend. The Rose Festival is essentially a carnival on the waterfront and a series of parades. I have a hard time getting excited about that stuff.
Fleet Week is also a part of the Rose Festival but my attitude about Fleet Week is different. I like Fleet Week. I like seeing all those ships docked along the river and touring them can be fun and informative.
Last year Fleet Week was a bit of a let down because the Navy cancelled their participation thanks to sequestration. This year, however, the Navy returns which is good news.
One of my favorite activities, and if I didn’t have to work I would be doing this with the kids, is going to Cathedral Park and watching the ships sail in.
The Navy and the other ships generally do not announce their arrival schedule so timing this can be tricky. However, there is a great website that makes this possible, Marine Traffic. Ships will arrive between June 4th and 5th. With this website you can search for ships by name and it will show you the ship’s last location. I will also use Marine Traffic to watch ships on the Columbia river in real time as they sail into Portland. Another helpful website is the Ship Report. The Ship Report lists ships that are inbound and outbound from Astoria, which is the point of entry on the Columbia River.
Between these two website you can get a general idea of when the ships will be sailing past Cathedral Park. Cathedral Park is in North Portland under the St. Johns Bridge. The easiest way to get there is to take I-5 north, take the Rosa Parks exit west and stay on Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks eventually turns into N. Willamette and N. Willamette will take you right under the bridge. Pretty simple. The park is one of my favorite’s in Portland.
Here is a list of ships that will be docked along the waterfront during Fleet Week.by