Spend the Day on the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler!

As of January 1, 2023, the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler is no longer in service. We hope this community gem will return someday, but in the meantime enjoy some of the other top-rated things to do in the Columbia River Gorge!


If you’re looking for something unique and fun to do this summer, we have the perfect thing! Head down to the charming town of Cascade Locks, Oregon, and take a cruise with the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler. The Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler is one of the most popular things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon, which itself is a charming town worth visiting.

Cascade Locks sits right at the spectacular Bridge of the Gods on the banks of the Columbia River. It’s best known for the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, which offers daily and nightly cruises from May – October – but it’s also home to popular attractions like Thunder Island.

More importantly, Cascade Locks and the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler are just minutes from our luxury cabins in Washington, which are, quite simply, the best place to stay in the Gorge. Don’t let summer pass you by. Join us with the Columbia River Gorge Sternwheeler for a fun day on the water. Book your cabin getaway in Washington today!

A scenic ride up the gorge on the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler

Ride the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler

Spending an afternoon or evening aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler is a beautiful way to enjoy your time in the Columbia River Gorge. Riding this incredible boat is all about relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Columbia River Gorge.

The Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler is an authentic triple-decked paddle wheeler that offers visitors 360-degree views of the Gorge as it moves down the river. It was built in neighboring Hood River and launched in 1983, and ever since has been providing exceptional seasonal cruises up and down the stunning Columbia River.

The Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler can hold up to 232 passengers and offers an onboard galley and two full-service bars for those not taking part in a plated meal-service cruise. As the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler makes its way down the river, you’ll pass by famous sights like The Bridge of the Gods, Wind Mountain, the Bonneville Dam, and more.

The Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler offers three main cruises from May – October:  The Brunch Cruise, the Sightseeing Cruise, and the Dinner Cruise.

Brunch Cruise

On Sundays between May and October, join the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler for a delicious brunch cruise up the Columbia River. This cruise lasts two hours and features an all-you-can-eat buffet brunch with hosted Champagne and mimosas.

You’ll enjoy plenty of beautiful sights along the way and listen to the traditional narrated history of the area. It’s a fantastic way to experience the beauty of the Gorge!

Beautiful river views are one of the many great things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon

Sightseeing Cruise

The most popular cruise aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler is the Sightseeing Gorge, which is offered daily from May – October. As you travel, the captain will narrate the history and point out a variety of attractions and natural landmarks. Snacks and beverages from the bar are available for purchase.

These cruises leave on the hour from Cascade Locks and travel for an hour in one direction. You’re welcome to stay on the boat for the return trip or get off and wander around, catching the next boat (provided you don’t miss the last boat back to Cascade Locks).

Gorge-ous Dinner Cruise

For a truly romantic experience aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, take the Gorge-ous Dinner Cruise. You’ll enjoy the same narrated history and sights as the other cruises, but you’ll be treated to a sensational chef-created menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

The cruise departs at 6 pm and returns at 8 pm, and thus includes a sunset during the majority of the year. Summer sunsets happen just after returning from the cruise, and they can be enjoyed at the adjacent Marine Park.

The Bridge of the Gods, something you'll see aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler and one of the best things to do in Cascade Locks

Things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon

Cascade Locks, Oregon, is a small yet beautiful town on the banks of the mighty Columbia River. Like most river towns, the history of Cascade Locks is intimately tied to the river itself. The town is named for a small series of rapids on the river, and it was portage around these rapids that gave the town its earliest commerce, not to mention the first of the riverboats on the Columbia River.

A navigational canal and a series of locks were installed along the rapids for safer navigation in 1896, giving rise to modern-day Cascade Locks. Today, thanks to its beautiful location on the river, there are plenty of great things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon.

Aside from boarding the fantastic Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, here are a few of our favorite things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon.

  1. It may sound simple, but one of our favorite things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon, is to marvel at and walk across the Bridge of the Gods.
  2. Grab a cold pint of beer at Thunder Island Brewing, which has a great patio overlooking the Columbia River. It’s one of our favorite things to do in Cascade Locks.
  3. Bike the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail, which follows the river and traverses old-growth forest and spectacular scenery., is one of the best things to do in Cascade Locks, Oregon.
  4. One of the most popular things to do in Cascade Locks is to visit Multnomah Falls – it’s the closest city to this incredible waterfall!
  5. Learn more about Cascade Locks’ history at the local Historical Museum and Oregon Pony.

After your trip aboard the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler, head back across the stunning Bridge of the Gods to the Washington side of the river, and find your comfortable home away from home among our luxury cabins in Washington. Book your cabin getaway today!

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