First ships arrive as part of Rose Festival Fleet Week - KPTV - FOX 12

First ships arrive as part of Rose Festival Fleet Week

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Visitors headed to the waterfront Wednesday as the first arrivals came in for Rose Festival Fleet Week. (KPTV) Visitors headed to the waterfront Wednesday as the first arrivals came in for Rose Festival Fleet Week. (KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Rose Festival Fleet Week kicked off Wednesday as military ships pulled into the Portland’s waterfront.

While drivers trying to cross bridges downtown Wednesday evening may have not been thrilled with the arrivals, the incredible views of the massive ships brought out many other locals and visitors.

A total of 13 vessels will be visiting the Portland waterfront this week, including ships from the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Navy.

While the USS Portland was not among the ships docking this year, Capt. J.R. Hill said he hopes he can bring the ship home to its namesake city.

Hill said he has never been to Portland before, but he is checking out the city and its waterways and has been impressed by the people.

“Portland has been amazing. Everyone who I’ve met has been very friendly to me, and I've been wearing some civilian clothes around so they don't know I'm a captain and they treat me the same,” Hill said. “I’m impressed with the Portlandia folks and even Oregon in general.”

The USS Portland was launched in Mississippi earlier this year and will be delivered to the navy next year. Hill noted that the Portland will be his first brand new ship, a charge he is taking seriously.

“This is my first time having a brand new ship, and kind of the daunting value of it is you get a chance to do everything for the first time, and you better do it right,” he explained.

Of course, fleet week means bridge lifts, and commuters who use the Broadway, Steel and Burnside bridges should expect some delays.

The next round of ships will be arriving Thursday afternoon and they will be open for public tours.

For all the details on tours and fleet week, visit RoseFestival.org.

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