The Christmas Ship Parade set sail in east Clark County on Dec. 1 and continues its run Dec. 7-21 on the Columbia and Willamette rivers. The parade will pass through Clark County on Dec. 1, Dec. 8, 11-14, and 17-21. In all, about 55 ships decorated with holiday-themed lighted displays will sail along the Columbia River, but not all boats will participate each night. About 20-30 will sail each night. Click your date of choice for that evening's route, as well as the best places to view the parade.

Route for December 1 -- Camas/Washougal Route

  • Marina Park and the Port of Camas-Washougal
    Where: 24 S. A St., Washougal.
    Tips: The park includes restrooms and picnic tables for those opting to get out of their cars for a better view of the ships. Show up early to find a parking spot. Those wanting to stay warm can head inside the Port of Camas-Washougal building, which will begin serving refreshments at 6 p.m.
  • Steamboat Landing Park
    Where: State Highway 14 and 15th Street, Washougal.
    Tips: If the weather holds up, visitors can catch views from the park's trail along Cottonwood Beach. But keep in mind that navigating the trail is difficult in the dark. For a closer look, head down to the park's floating walkway and viewpoint. It's also important to consider weather and river conditions before deciding its safe to head down to the walkway.

Restaurants with Views

  • The Puffin Cafe
    Where: 14 S. A St., Washougal, 360-335-1522.
    Tips: Washougal's Puffin Cafe is on a first-come, first-served basis, so its recommended diners show up by 5:30 p.m. to grab a seat. But if the weather is nice, earlier is better. Once inside, diners can stay warm by sitting next to the restaurant's fireplace.

Route for December 7, 14, 21 -- North Portland Harbor Route

  • Marine Park
    Where: Southeast Marine Park Way and Southeast Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers should get out of the car and walk along one of the park's trails to the waterfront. One of the best views can be had by walking up the 54-steps to the Kaiser Viewing Tower. The tower offers views of the river, as well as an education about the Kaiser Shipyard's role in World War II.

Restaurants with Views

  • Salty's on the Columbia River
    Where: 3839 N.E. Marine Drive, Portland, 503-288-4444.
    Tips: The ships depart from a boat ramp near Salty's each night, - except for Dec. 1, when the ships sail near Camas and Washougal. They highly recommend making reservations for a preferred table, but they’re not required. The parade will depart between 6:45-7 p.m. so those without reservations should begin showing up at 6 p.m. for first-come, first-served seating. The restaurant offers a heated viewing deck where diners can sip complimentary hot cocoa and wrap up in fleece blankets. Salty’s will be decked out for the holidays with sixteen life-sized nutcrackers decorated by Northwest artists and a Christmas tree.

Route for December 11, 13, 17, 20 -- I-5 Bridge Hayden Bay Route

  • Waterfront Park
    Where: 115 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: There are a limited number of parking spots with unobstructed river views available at the park. Those wanting a better view can bundle up and get views along the mostly flat, paved Waterfront Renaissance Trail.
  • Vancouver Landing at Terminal One
    Where: Just west of the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, 100 Columbia St., Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers don't get great views of the ships for very long - about 30-45 minutes as they pass the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay and turn back toward the Interstate 5 Bridge. But there are no trees or bushes to obstruct the view.
  • Marine Park
    Where: Southeast Marine Park Way and Southeast Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers should get out of the car and walk along one of the park's trails to the waterfront. One of the best views can be had by walking up the 54-steps to the Kaiser Viewing Tower. The tower offers views of the river, as well as an education about the Kaiser Shipyard's role in World War II.

Restaurants with Views

  • McMenamins on the Columbia
    Where: 1801 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, 360-699-1521.
    Tips: McMenamins on the Columbia is on a first-come, first-served basis. They recommend that larger groups arrive a few hours early, between 4-5 p.m. The parade will be outside the restaurant for about 15 minutes. Diners will have the option of window seating, and many take advantage of the views on the restaurant's outdoor patio, which will be open and outfitted with hanging heaters to keep patrons warm.
  • Joe's Crab Shack
    Where: 101 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, 360-693-9211.
    Tips: Joe's Crab Shack only accepts reservations for parties of 8 or more. The rest of the restaurant will be open on a first-come, first-served basis. That includes seating in the lounge, which has one of the two fireplaces. Because the restaurant is tiered, the parade can be seen from any seat in the building. The restaurant will turn down its lights and music as the parade passes by each night. The ships will circle in front of Joe’s for about 15-20 minutes. Though the restaurant can quickly fill, there’s plenty of room on the partially-covered deck, where heaters will be turned on.
  • Beaches Restaurant & Bar
    Where: 1919 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, 360-699-1592.
    Tips: Those wanting reservations are out of luck – Beaches is already fully booked. But diners are welcome visit the lounge, which is open on a first-come, first-served basis. They also recommend calling in the day of, in case there’s any cancelations. Between 5:30-8 p.m. is recommend a time to show up for the parade but some patrons show up as early as 3 p.m. for the restaurant's happy hour specials. As part of each evening's entertainment, choir students from local schools will sing carols throughout the restaurant.
  • Who Song & Larry's
    Where: 111 E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, 360-695-1198.
    Tips: At Who Song & Larry’s a festive guitar player will performing Christmas carols in Spanish and English, with many of the servers will also break out into song. Most diners head out to the patio to watch the parade. Though the restaurant recommends reservations for a party of any size takes, they are not required. Diners wanting to snag a seat should try to arrive at 6 p.m. or as early as possible. If the restaurant has filled up, the cantina is open on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Quay Restaurant and Bar
    Where: 100 Columbia St., Vancouver, 360-694-8341.
    Tips: Many diners reserve months in advance to see the ships at the Quay Restaurant and Bar, this year the tables near the windows are already booked, but there’s a good view no matter where you sit. When the parade goes by they will turn off the lights and turn up the Christmas music as the ships parade will circle right in front of the restaurant for about 25 minutes. Diners will be choosing from a buffet this year, they recommend starting as early as 5:30-6 p.m., with the ships expected to arrive at 7:30-8 p.m. The lounge area will be open on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Salty's on the Columbia River
    Where: 3839 N.E. Marine Drive, Portland, 503-288-4444.
    Tips: The ships depart from a boat ramp near Salty's each night, - except for Dec. 1, when the ships sail near Camas and Washougal. They highly recommend making reservations for a preferred table, but they’re not required. The parade will depart between 6:45-7 p.m. so those without reservations should begin showing up at 6 p.m. for first-come, first-served seating. The restaurant offers a heated viewing deck where diners can sip complimentary hot cocoa and wrap up in fleece blankets. Salty’s will be decked out for the holidays with sixteen life-sized nutcrackers decorated by Northwest artists and a Christmas tree.

Route for December 12 and 19 -- Gleason Boat Ramp Marine Park Route

  • Waterfront Park
    Where: 115 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: There are a limited number of parking spots with unobstructed river views available at the park. Those wanting a better view can bundle up and get views along the mostly flat, paved Waterfront Renaissance Trail.
  • Vancouver Landing at Terminal One
    Where: Just west of the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, 100 Columbia St., Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers don't get great views of the ships for very long - about 30-45 minutes as they pass the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay and turn back toward the Interstate 5 Bridge. But there are no trees or bushes to obstruct the view.
  • Wintler Beach Community Park
    Where: 6400 Beach Drive, Vancouver.
    Tips: The best views in the park can be had by walking along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail.
  • Marine Park
    Where: Southeast Marine Park Way and Southeast Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers should get out of the car and walk along one of the park's trails to the waterfront. One of the best views can be had by walking up the 54-steps to the Kaiser Viewing Tower. The tower offers views of the river, as well as an education about the Kaiser Shipyard's role in World War II. The best views can be had on Dec. 12 and 19.

Restaurants with Views

  • McMenamins on the Columbia
    Where: 1801 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, 360-699-1521.
    Tips: McMenamins on the Columbia is on a first-come, first-served basis. They recommend that larger groups arrive a few hours early, between 4-5 p.m. The ships will pass the restaurant about 15 minutes after their launch time. Diners will have the option of window seating, and many take advantage of the views on the restaurant's outdoor patio, which will be open and outfitted with hanging heaters to keep patrons warm.
  • Joe's Crab Shack
    Where: 101 S.E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, 360-693-9211.
    Tips: Joe's Crab Shack only accepts reservations for parties of 8 or more. The rest of the restaurant will be open on a first-come, first-served basis. That includes seating in the lounge, which has one of the two fireplaces. Because the restaurant is tiered, the parade can be seen from any seat in the building. The restaurant will turn down its lights and music as the parade passes by each night. The ships will circle in front of Joe’s for about 15-20 minutes. Though the restaurant can quickly fill, there’s plenty of room on the partially-covered deck, where heaters will be turned on.
  • Beaches Restaurant & Bar
    Where: 1919 S.E. Columbia River Drive, Vancouver, 360-699-1592.
    Tips: Those wanting reservations are out of luck – Beaches is already fully booked. But diners are welcome visit the lounge, which is open on a first-come, first-served basis. They also recommend calling in the day of, in case there’s any cancelations. Between 5:30-8 p.m. is recommend a time to show up for the parade but some patrons show up as early as 3 p.m. for the restaurant's happy hour specials. As part of each evening's entertainment, choir students from local schools will sing carols.
  • Who Song & Larry's
    Where: 111 E. Columbia Way, Vancouver, 360-695-1198.
    Tips: At Who Song & Larry’s a festive guitar player will performing Christmas carols in Spanish and English, with many of the servers will also break out into song. Most diners head out to the patio to watch the parade. Though the restaurant recommends reservations for a party of any size takes, they are not required. Diners wanting to snag a seat should try to arrive at 6 p.m. or as early as possible. If the restaurant has filled up, the cantina is open on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The Quay Restaurant and Bar
    Where: 100 Columbia St., Vancouver, 360-694-8341.
    Tips: Many diners reserve months in advance to see the ships at the Quay Restaurant and Bar, this year the tables near the windows are already booked, but there’s a good view no matter where you sit. When the parade goes by they will turn off the lights and turn up the Christmas music as the ships parade will circle right in front of the restaurant for about 25 minutes. Diners will be choosing from a buffet this year, they recommend starting as early as 5:30-6 p.m., with the ships expected to arrive at 7:30-8 p.m. The lounge area will be open on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Salty's on the Columbia River
    Where: 3839 N.E. Marine Drive, Portland, 503-288-4444.
    Tips: The ships depart from a boat ramp near Salty's each night, - except for Dec. 1, when the ships sail near Camas and Washougal. They highly recommend making reservations for a preferred table, but they’re not required. The parade will depart between 6:45-7 p.m. so those without reservations should begin showing up at 6 p.m. for first-come, first-served seating. The restaurant offers a heated viewing deck where diners can sip complimentary hot cocoa and wrap up in fleece blankets. Salty’s will be decked out for the holidays with sixteen life-sized nutcrackers decorated by Northwest artists and a Christmas tree.

Route for December 18 -- 1-205 Bridge, 164th Ave Route

  • Wintler Beach Community Park
    Where: 6400 Beach Drive, Vancouver.
    Tips: The best views in the park can be had by walking along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail.
  • Marine Park
    Where: Southeast Marine Park Way and Southeast Columbia Way, Vancouver.
    Tips: Viewers should get out of the car and walk along one of the park's trails to the waterfront. One of the best views can be had by walking up the 54-steps to the Kaiser Viewing Tower. The tower offers views of the river, as well as an education about the Kaiser Shipyard's role in World War II.

Restaurants with Views

  • Salty's on the Columbia River
    Where: 3839 N.E. Marine Drive, Portland, 503-288-4444.
    Tips: The ships depart from a boat ramp near Salty's each night, - except for Dec. 1, when the ships sail near Camas and Washougal. They highly recommend making reservations for a preferred table, but they’re not required. The parade will depart between 6:45-7 p.m. so those without reservations should begin showing up at 6 p.m. for first-come, first-served seating. The restaurant offers a heated viewing deck where diners can sip complimentary hot cocoa and wrap up in fleece blankets. Salty’s will be decked out for the holidays with sixteen life-sized nutcrackers decorated by Northwest artists and a Christmas tree.
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