Almost monthly, fun, educational, and free tours of the Marine Terminal in Port of Olympia are available for interested parties. From the downtown Olympia location, these tours are designed to give residents and visitors the chance to learn how the international shipping terminal in Thurston County works.

As part of the tour, you can watch the different stages of operations for log cargo. The tour also addresses the connection between Thurston County and the global trade network. Probably one of the most interesting aspects of the tour is having the opportunity to see the massive operational equipment used, including the mobile harbor crane.

Port of OlympiaAt the conclusion of the tour, you will walk away with knowledge of several things like the value that ports offer communities from an economical perspective, how a working waterfront actually works, and global trade. Enhancing the tour are a number of stories pertaining to the Real Estate Development program, Port’s Swantown Marina & Boatworks, and the Olympia Regional Airport.

To gain a better understanding of how the Port of Olympia works, as well as the incredible value that it provides, you will need to make a reservation for this tour. Although people of all ages are welcomed, including children, anyone over the age of 17 must provide a photo ID because of Federal regulations mandated by the Marine Terminal.

For this walking tour, you start in the Olympics Room at the post office located on Columbia Street NW. Once the tour begins, you and others will spend approximately two hours making your way around the Port of Olympia with a qualified guide. Because this is an outdoor tour, comfortable clothing and shoes are highly recommended. This tour is also wheelchair and stroller accessible, making it a great adventure for the entire family.

Although most people taking the Port of Olympia tour anticipate seeing large vessels, there is no way to guarantee that a ship will actually be in port. For 2016, the following schedule for this tour applies:

• April 20 – 10:00 am
• May 18 – 10:00 am
• June 15 – 1:00 pm
• July 19 – 1:00 pm
• August 18 – 10:00 am
• September 20 – 2:00 pm
• October 12 – 10:00 am

In addition to groups consisting of family and friends, the Port of Olympia offers scheduled tours for various organizations and schools. Because reservations for group tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis, it is important to book this tour with the Port of Olympia as early as possible. The Port of Olympia also offers bus transportation, which is funded by Thurston County.