American Empress riverboat heads to Camas-Washougal next week

Ceremony planned for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 8, at Black Pearl on the Columbia to welcome riverboat to East Clark County

The Port of Camas-Washougal will hold a ceremony on Wednesday, June 8, to celebrate the opening of its revamped breakwater dock and the inaugural visit of the American Empress riverboat.

Festivities will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Black Pearl on the Columbia, 56 S 1st St., Washougal, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony following at 11:30 a.m.

Port commissioners approved a contract with the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) during a virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 16, bringing the American Empress sternwheeler to the region in an effort to increase tourism and provide local businesses with a much-needed boost.

AQSC will use the Port’s breakwater dock at the Parker’s Landing Marina twice a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday through November.

The Port has worked to make improvements to its breakwater dock at the request of AQSC officials, who told Port leaders in 2018 that they’d prefer the docks they use to feature Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access and a safe and reliable way for older passengers to get on and off the ship.