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Columbia River Eco Tours

Astoria, OR, USA
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MaritaTravels wrote a review Sep 2020
Seattle, Washington4 contributions
When making a reservation, I asked Chris if masks are required on the boat—he scoffed. I asked if, in that case, there was room to spread out—he said ‘yes of course it’s a 40’ boat.’ No, actually. How it played out: Captain Bruce gave his shpeil 3 feet from my face and 6 other random people’s faces. We were thigh to thigh on the benches and no other guests NOR Captain Bruce wore a mask. HIGHLY UNCOMFORTABLE. Where is your hand sanitizer on deck? Where is your invitation and encouragement to spread out or wear masks?? I would love to hear your rationale, Chris and Bruce. For an eco tour it was shocking how close Captain Bruce got to the sea lions and the osprey nests. Would never have signed up for this tour if I knew how the boat disturbed the sea lions for our ‘entertainment’ and how the company lacked respect for the prevention of COVID-19.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Response from christopherlloyd, Owner at Columbia River Eco Tours
Responded Sep 8, 2020
After running this business for over 10 years now and having some 6000+ extremely satisfied guests aboard, I always look forward to responding to the negative people...this makes the 7th out of thousands. The negative reviewers never tell the 'rest of the story'... In 1918 during the Spanish Flu, the medical professionals actually moved the sick outdoors into the fresh air and sunshine in order to recover. Imagine that level of common sense. Where oh where has it gone. I digress... If you'd like to wear a mask while outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine aboard my boat please do so. If you'd like to move away from others while outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine aboard my boat please do so. Sealions love the water. They jump off and back onto the docks all day long, wether we come alongside or not. No animals are harassed from my boat. I'm an Ocean Engineer/Oceanographer. Ospreys love to fly. They fly off and back onto their nest all day long, wether we come alongside or not. No birds are harassed from my boat. Bottom line...if you want to come out and have an Excellent Tour of the Lower Columbia Estuary aboard a 40' Yacht, with a maximum of 6 people aboard we'd love to have you! And conversely if you're generally a complainer and you don't think an awesome tour will help change your outlook on life, this might not be for you.
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isonicq wrote a review Jul 2020
Seattle, Washington111 contributions41 helpful votes
+1
I would probably have given this tour 4 stars pre-COVID, but times have changed, and this business has not adapted with masks, distancing, or sanitation measures. Let's start with the good. The tour was great, the captain was friendly, and we generally had a pretty good time. The captain's commentary was really interesting and he talked about the river, the history, and the various ships and locations along the river. We got to see osprey and sea lions, and also the lovely floating houses on the John Day river. Not the fault of the tour or captain, but the weather was sweltering that day, so it wasn't quite as fun as I had imagined it would be. It did cool off towards the end of the tour though. Now the bad. It was quite a pain scheduling the tour. When I called, I would maybe get 30% of my calls answered. The first two times I called, Chris was not able to schedule me as he was out on the water. Fair enough. The third time he called me back, but was still unable to schedule as we were the only couple on the tour at that time. He promised to get back to me later. Fast forward to the day before the tour. I had heard nothing and there was no answer to multiple calls throughout the day. I texted the number and Chris finally replied at 11pm saying that the tour was a go. Finally. Then the next day I received a text at 12pm (for a 4pm tour) that the tour had been cancelled as another couple had cancelled. Shortly after that another text came in saying another 2 people had booked, so we could go. What a rollercoaster. At least that was over with. Personally, I feel the scheduling would have been ok if they had some way to email a booking confirmation, instead of playing phone tag for a few days. Probably something this business can work on. On the boat, the captain did not wear a mask, nor were masks required. When I had first called I specifically asked if we would be able to socially distance on the boat, but the captain did not allow us to spread out on the bow of the boat for "safety reasons". So the five of us were all together on the top deck of the boat (captain, my party of 2, and another party of 2). I estimate we were maybe 3-4 feet away from each other at most. I expect disease transmission was somewhat mitigated by the fact we were outdoors with a breeze blowing (the boat was moving the whole time), but some people may find this situation uncomfortable in these times, given the lengthy amount of time we were close together. This is definitely something this business can take into account for these times - require masks, allow people to spread out around the boat, and assure customers of increased sanitation on the boats. Overall we did have a pleasant afternoon, and this was a nice tour of the Columbia River.
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Date of experience: July 2020
2 Helpful votes
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Response from christopherlloyd, Owner at Columbia River Eco Tours
Responded Sep 8, 2020
Once again... After running this business for over 10 years now and having some 6000+ extremely satisfied guests aboard, I always look forward to responding to the negative people...this makes the fifth of thousands. The negative reviewers never tell the 'rest of the story'... In 1918 during the Spanish Flu, the medical professionals actually moved the sick outdoors into the fresh air and sunshine in order to recover. Imagine that level of common sense. Where oh where has it gone. I digress... If you'd like to wear a mask while outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine aboard my boat please do so. If you'd like to move away from others while outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine aboard my boat please do so. What always baffles me about Negative Reviewers is the tendency to play the victim. If one is truly uncomfortable in any given situation - Do Something About It - you're not a victim! Sealions love the water. They jump off and back onto the docks all day long, wether we come alongside or not. No animals are harassed from my boat. I'm an Ocean Engineer/Oceanographer. Ospreys love to fly. They fly off and back onto their nest all day long, wether we come alongside or not. No birds are harassed from my boat. Bottom line...if you want to come out and have an Excellent Tour of the Lower Columbia Estuary aboard a 40' Yacht, with a maximum of 6 people aboard we'd love to have you! And conversely if you're generally a complainer and you don't think an awesome tour will help change your outlook on life, this might not be for you.
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Mike R wrote a review Jul 2020
5 contributions
+1
Thank you so much, Chris and Cpt. Bruce. Chris was able to squeeze us on last minute. Everyone did the social distance thing. Nice, clean boat. Bruce gave us a 3 hour history lesson with great information and insight. Can't say enough and we'll remember and repeat.
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Date of experience: July 2020
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LindsayJ wrote a review Mar 2019
6 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
We booked our tour over Valentine's Day Weekend and had the most beautiful and sunny private boat ride and guided tour with Bruce, who is beyond fabulous. He has a wealth of knowledge about the Astoria area and awesome stories about his life spent on the water. We laughed a ton and enjoyed the best sunshine day on the water and Bruce was such a treat. The boat was very comfortable and smooth and we were able to bring our own snacks and beverages. If you want a relaxing and scenic boat ride in Astoria with a wonderful guide, book a tour with Captain Bruce!
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Date of experience: February 2019
1 Helpful vote
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Hanjan1 wrote a review Sep 2018
Salt Lake City, Utah9 contributions4 helpful votes
My sister and I took the 3 hour tour today, with Captain Bruce at the helm. There was a party of 6, including us, for the tour.. We had the absolute best time.. Captain Bruce was super interesting and fun, and filled us in on all the sights we were seeing, including sea lions, eagles, floating homes, and close up contact with the shipping freighters.. I learned a lot about the ecology of the area, the settling of Astoria, as well as how the shipping works here.. it was fascinating, Captain Bruce was wonderful and glad to answer all our questions. It was worth every penny and we can't wait to do it again.. Do the tour, you won't regret it!!!
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Date of experience: September 2018
1 Helpful vote
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