Known as the City of Roses for the thousands of rose bushes that once lined the city streets, Portland is the largest city in Oregon and one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest.
The area was initially settled to support local fishing, lumber and agriculture industries; however, progressive urban planning policies and a burgeoning counterculture scene in the 70s and 80s dramatically changed Portland’s landscape and outlook, both physically and culturally. It’s now one of the most vibrant, happening cities in all of America.
Tourists are drawn to the animated waterfront area, where art galleries, cafes, parklands, museums and a whole host of quirky small businesses thrive in beautifully restored red brick buildings.
Portland is also a nature lover’s paradise. The city is home to Forest Park, the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, and lies in the shadow of Mount Hood, an imposing snow-capped volcano surrounded by glaciers and picturesque pine forests.
The Port of Portland cruise terminal is located where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers meet in North Portland, just across the river from Vancouver, Washington. Although located in an industrial area, the port is skirted by lush wetlands to the south and parklands to the north.
The Port of Portland is a major commercial port primarily designed for container ships with little in the way of amenities for cruise passengers. For this reason, many cruise lines choose to transport passengers directly from the pier to the nearby Embassy Suites Airport Hotel for disembarking, where the facilities are much more amenable.
Facilities at the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel include:
- Baggage storage
- Restaurant and bar
- Convenience store
- Business centre
- Pool and gym
- Local area transportation
- Regular shuttles to the Port of Portland pier.
How To Get Around
Travel throughout Portland is simple and affordable. The city benefits from the most extensive light-rail and streetcar system in the country which, combined with the train and bus networks and the flat, walkable terrain, ensures most landmarks and places of interests are easy to get to.
Travel times from the Embassy Suites Airport Hotel:
- It is a 3 minute journey to Portland International Airport.
- It is a 12 minute journey to downtown Portland
- It is a 14 minute journey to Vancouver, Washington.
- It is a 46 minute journey to downtown Portland (with services every 15 minutes).
- Currency - The currency in Portland is the United States dollar (USD). Coins come in in 1¢, 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢ and USD$1 denominations. Notes are printed in USD$1, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50, and USD$100 denominations.
- Time Zone – Portland uses uses Pacific Standard Time (EST), which is eight hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight savings applies between March and October – in this time the city is only seven hours behind UTC.
- Weather – Portland has a temperate oceanic climate, experiencing warm, dry summers and mild, damp winters. The city is warmest in August with an average temperature of 18.1 degrees Celsius and coldest in December with an average temperature of 4.7 degrees Celsius.
- Old Port - Located in Portland’s busy wharf area, Old Port is an exciting cultural precinct bustling with shopping boutiques, pubs, breweries and restaurants in the 19th century brick buildings and local artist stalls on the streets. There is plenty of fresh caught local seafood on offer, either in the restaurants or directly from the fishmongers. The precinct is most spectacular at night, when romantically flickering gas lanterns light the streets.
- Institute of Contemporary Art - Housed within the magnificent Porteous Building at Maine College of Art, Portland’s Institute of Contemporary Art is a forward thinking art gallery that showcases the work of the local region’s established and emerging contemporary artists.
- Fort Williams Park - Sprawling over 90 glorious acres, Fort Williams Park is a panoramic picnic and leisure spot just outside of the city that is favoured by locals and tourists. The rolling lawns are ideal for picnics and sports on the weekend, and those with an interest in history will enjoy exploring the ruins of Fort Williams including the WW2 bunkers and gun emplacements.
- International Museum of Cryptozoology - Located downtown near the more reputable Portland Museum of Art, The International Museum of Cryptozoology is a local attraction that captures the quirky heart of this eccentric city. The museum houses the world’s only collection dedicated to ‘cryptids’ – animals that traditional science does not recognise, such as the yeti, Mothman and the Casco Bay Monster.