American Empress to arrive in Camas-Washougal later in day

Passengers take 'hop-on, hop-off' bus to Washougal sites, downtown Camas

American Queen Voyages (AQV) has adjusted the docking schedule for its East Clark County tours, moving the arrival time of its American Empress riverboat from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The change went into effect on Saturday, Aug. 13.

“The main purpose behind that was (they wanted to) adjust to customer demand,” Port of Camas-Washougal business development manager Derek Jaeger said during a commissioners meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17. “The customers love our community, (but they) like cruising the river, so they want to see more time on the river versus sitting here idle the entire day.”

The Empress has visited Camas and Washougal once per week, alternating Wednesdays and Saturdays, since June. It departs from the Parker’s Landing Marina dock at 11 p.m. on Wednesdays (pushed back from 9:30 p.m.) and 5 p.m. on Saturdays through November.

“We also did adjust on the tail end — on (Wednesdays), they stay a little bit later,” Jaeger said. “They’re doing some shifting around within the time frames. Like any new service, they always adjust (based on) customer demand and market situation.”

AQV’s weeklong American Empress voyage on the Columbia River starts in Vancouver and includes an overnight pre-boarding stay at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. The boat then embarks for Astoria, Oregon, before circling back with stops in Stevenson, Washington; The Dalles, Oregon; Richland, Washington; and Clarkston, Washington.   

After disembarking from the American Empress, tourists walk to The Black Pearl event center’s parking lot, where they board a “hop-on, hop-off” bus bound for Washougal’s Two Rivers Heritage Museum, Pendleton Woolen Mills and Cottonwood Beach before it heads to downtown Camas’ shopping district.