Christmas Ships Parade is getting ready to set sail for the 69th year

Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.
Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.

The parade is free and there are many great viewing opportunities along the route

The Christmas Ships Parade will launch Friday (Dec. 1) and will run for 13 different nights through the month of December.  See the full schedule and parade route details at  

Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.
Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.

The Christmas Ships Parade is a 100 percent, volunteer run 501(c)3 nonprofit featuring boats beautifully decorated with illuminated displays parading at night on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.  The Parade is designed to bring joy, build community, celebrate the season, creating cherished memories. The parade is free and there are many great viewing opportunities along the route.  As well, there are many restaurants, hotels and businesses with wonderful views.  Check the details for each route on our webpage for suggestions. 

  • What: The Christmas Ships Parade provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the season! Gather your family, friends, coworkers and head to the riverfront! This one-of-a-kind event offers a unique experience (and great backdrop for photos!)   
  • Who: The Christmas Ships Parade and YOU!  Over 60 decorated, illuminated boats will parade for you and your community
  • Why: There is no better way to celebrate the season than with Christmas Ships Parade 
  • When: 13 nights In December – for complete dates and details visit:
  • Where: On the Columbia And Willamette Rivers
    • Weeknights launching from RiverPlace Marina on the Willamette and from the Gleason Boat Ramp on the Columbia.
    • Weekends vary as we visit North Portland Harbor, Camas, St Helens, Columbia City, Woodland, the Multnomah Channel, Lake Oswego and areas in between. 
  • Check the schedule for the specific parade routes
  • Meet & Greets: Open house style events on December 16, 8-10pm and December 17, 2-4:30pm both at the RiverPlace Public Docks.  Come join us and meet the fleet!  Please bring a new unwrapped toy for the toy drive!
  • Tickets: There are NO tickets required to watch the Parade.  The Christmas Ships Parade does not offer rides on the boats.
  • Donate: If you are interested in helping, consider donating!  All contributions help offset the expenses involved in running our nonprofit organization.  Go to to donate. 
Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.
Photo courtesy Christmas Ships, Inc.

Fun facts about the Christmas Ships Parade:

  • The Christmas Ships Parade started in 1954 and is the longest continuously operating illuminated boat parade in the US 
  • During a typical year, the Parade travels approximately 345 nautical miles
  • The Parade passes over 80 miles of shoreline each season
  • Boats in the Parade range between 14 and 65 feet and include motor and sail boats
  • All Christmas Shippers are volunteer and receive no reimbursement, paying for all their own expenses
  • The Christmas Ships Parade partners each year with Columbia River Fire & Rescue and Portland Fire Toy and Joy Makers to collect toys for kids
  • Each Christmas Shipper designs their own display and many fabricate them using a variety of materials
  • The Parade is a designated Oregon Heritage Tradition, one of only 27 in the state!
  • The Christmas Shippers love to interact with you!  If you are watching us, let us know! (The best way is on FB – if you are on shore, we can’t always hear you from the boats) 
  • The Christmas Ships Parade is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, not subsidized by or an agency of any city, county or other municipal entity 
  • The Christmas Ships Parade is happy to bring festive joy to your holiday season!

Social Media

Twitter @ChristmasShips
Facebook christmasship.parade
Instagram christmasships

Christmas Ships, Inc. is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 comprised of dedicated humans.  We value the individual uniqueness inherent to humanity.

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