Washington is home to 3,200 miles of shoreline and over 50,000 miles of waterways connected to the Pacific Ocean, making maritime industry and trade a robust part of our economy. With a history so steeped in maritime life, it comes as no surprise that our holiday traditions reflect that. For those of you that are looking for a holiday celebration with a nautical twist, we have 5 celebrations you can enjoy from the water or land.
The Argosy Christmas Ship Festival-65 Puget Sound Communities
The Argosy Christmas Ship Festival has been sailing their Christmas ships around the Puget Sound for over 70 years! The boats are decked for the holidays with hundreds of shimmering lights and a choir of carolers singing your favorite Christmas songs. The official Christmas Ship sails to over 65 Puget Sound waterfront communities giving you several opportunities take in the merriment. There are 3 ways to participate in the festivities. You may choose to board the official Christmas Ship where there is fun for the whole family, including a craft corner, a visit from Santa, and a reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. For the 21+ crowd, there is a Follow Boat that includes rotating party themes and a full-service bar. And if you aren’t ready to commit to an evening on the water, you can enjoy the boat lights from one of the many viewing areas on-shore. The onshore events include a 20-minute broadcast of the carolers, a bonfire and tree-lighting. The boats are on the water throughout the month of December to give you plenty of time to fit it into your holiday schedule.
Holiday Parade of Lights Dinner Cruise- Lake Union and Lake Washington
Take an unforgettable Christmas Even cruise on a beautifully decorated yacht! The Christmas Eve cruise. Carolers from the Argosy tour provide the soundtrack as you take in the lights with a hot festive beverage in hand. The cruise includes a private table to enjoy a delicious dinner, a champagne toast, specialty cocktails, and a narration of the sights from the Captain.
Holiday on the Docks-Edmonds
Looking for one more way to join the boat parade on the Puget Sound? The guest moorage at the marina will be filled with boats decked out in holiday decorations. Come walk the Portwalk and take in the magical sight of twinkling lights! Holiday on the Docks is brought to you by Edmonds Yacht Club and the Port of Edmonds.!
Christmas Ships Parade-Columbia River
Located on the Columbia River, Vancouver Washington’s Christmas Ship Parade has become a holiday tradition of the northwest. Enjoy the fleet of decorated ships while strolling along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, or while enjoying a meal at one of the many waterfront restaurants. The Columbia Fleet and the Willamette Fleet parade down their respective waterfronts 8 nights in December and join together as a combined fleet for 7 nights. For an up-close look at the intricate light displays, stop by one of the Meet & Greet events at the public dock.
Lighted Boat Parade-Tacoma
Each year, boats congregate at the Point Defiance Docks to parade their lights down to Foss Waterway. Take in the views along Ruston Way and Foss Waterway where the light show is fun for all-ages!