Since the very beginning of the Rose Festival back in 1907, visiting ships and other fleet-related elements (like submarines) have been making their way to Portland’s waterfront. The City of Portland is known to be a favorite port of call for military (and non-military) visitors — and citizens enjoy making these visitors welcome! One of the purposes of Fleet Week has always been to celebrate and thank the active and reserve military personnel and all veterans. The Portland Rose Festival is extremely fortunate to be one of a few U.S. Ports of Call for a courtesy visit from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy. Their arrival commemorates a relationship with the Navy that has lasted more than 100 years, and over 80 years of visiting Portland during the Rose Festival. It is a significant commitment by the Navy to make the Rose Festival Fleet Week one of the premier Fleet Week events in the country.
U.S. Navy Fleet Weeks bring the Navy and sea services – and our service men and women – to the communities that support them. During Fleet Weeks, the public learns about the capability, importance, and value of today’s United States Navy. As part of Fleet Weeks, the general public gets the rare opportunity to visit and tour U.S. Navy ships, meet our Sailors, and learn more about the Navy first-hand. In order to improve security and maximize citizen awareness and understanding of the U.S. Navy in general during Portland Rose Festival Fleet Week, the Navy will no longer facilitate general-public ship rides. The Navy will instead facilitate ‘ship riders’ as a prioritized, invitation-only program focused on educating key community-sector leaders in local business, government and education who have not had prior exposure to Naval surface operations. Military recruiting and Fleet Week supporters are also included in this program. Stay tuned for more information on details, dates, times and locations for public ship tours!
2019 Visiting Ships
United States Navy
Ship names not available
United States Coast Guard
USCGC Bluebell (WLI 313)
USCGC Steadfast (WMEC 623)
USCGC Swordfish (WPB 87358)
Royal Canadian Navy
HMCS Nanaimo (MM702)
HMCS Edmonton (MM703
Ship tours are limited and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Tour times will vary for each ship.
Wednesday, June 5: Between 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 6: Between 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Monday, June 10: Between 7:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Times approximate depending on river conditions
SPECIAL NOTE: Although these vessels are not ADA accessible, you can still enjoy the ships during Fleet Week. Check in at the tent at the front of the tour line, and ask for a dockside tour. You’ll meet with a service person who can tell you all about the ships, and life at sea — right from the safety of the seawall. For the best experience, please arrive prior to 2:00 p.m. — and don’t forget to bring your government issued ID.
NOTE: Visitors may be subject to personal search. No bags, strollers or wheelchairs will be allowed onboard. There will NOT be any ‘holding area’ for personal items. Visitors MUST be able to maneuver onboard the ships, including climbing narrow ladders.