Fleet Week starts Wednesday and will bring ships from the United States Navy, the Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Navy to the waterfront of downtown Portland.
Wednesday is the official start of Fleet Week for the Rose Festival. It is one of the most popular events of the week and a rare chance to tour active Navy and Coast Guard ships.
Nine massive ships will be anchored near the Portland waterfront.
"These ships are doing the nations work, deploying overseas routinely and the sailors work very hard," Commander Charlie Brown with the U.S. Navy said.
Tours of the Coast Guard ships will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday and tours of the naval vessels will start on Friday.
"We're bringing some excellent search and rescue capabilities," Lt. Lucas Elder with the Coast Guard said. "You'll see motor life boats, vessels that are designed to flip over in the surf and then right themselves and also bail out all of the water that they've taken on."
It's free to check out these remarkable ships, but if last year is any indication, you're going to run into long lines. Organizers said the best time to avoid lines is the morning hours.
Security this week will be tighter on the water and land nearby. Everyone boarding for a tour will have to go through metal detectors.
"We bring these ships into ports all around the world, and part of our mission is to make sure these ships are safe, our crew is safe and the ships themselves are safe," Brown said.
Even if you're not heading to the waterfront, you could run into delays as the ships travel down the river. The Broadway and Steel Bridge will have to be raised for the large ships as they come in and go out. Delays there could be up to 30 minutes.
The Burnside Bridge will be lifted as well, but delays will be minimal. Tri-met is also expecting delays starting tomorrow as the boats head through town.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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