Historic Sternwheeler to Dock in Tri-Cities
by Loretto J. Hulse
Tri-City Herald, March 7, 2010
The Sternwheeler, a replica of the ships that cruised the Columbia Gorge in the 1800s, will leave its home at the Cascade Locks and head for the Tri-Cities on April 15.
This is the first time the Portland Spirit cruise ship company has sent The Sternwheeler to the Tri-Cities.
The ship will dock overnight at The Dalles and then cruise up the Columbia River, where it will dock at Clover Island Inn in Kennewick on April 16.
"I think it will generate quite a bit of interest," said Mark Blotz, general manger of the Clover Island Inn.
"We always like traffic on the island. The Port (of Kennewick) has done some wonderful work here with the lighthouse and archway and dressing up the entrance.
"We want people to come and see what we're all about. In the five years I've been here the island's changed quite a bit -- like black and white," he said.
The ship is a 499-passenger sternwheeler patterned after the historic Bailey Gatzert, which operated on the Columbia River from the 1890s to the 1920s.
The last time the Portland Spirit sent a cruise ship to the Tri-Cities was eight years ago. That was The Willamette Star, a sister ship to The Sternwheeler.
The Sternwheeler will be in the Tri-Cities from April 16 to 25 and offer various lunch, dinner and sightseeing cruises during its stay.
Fresh Northwest cuisine will be prepared in the ship's galley.
The Sternwheeler will make a special cruise to Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River on April 21.
The one-day cruise fare costs $98 for adults and $88 for seniors and children. Group rates are available.
For reservations, dates and prices, go to portlandspirit.com or call 800-224-3901.
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