Seattle’s iconic Christmas Ship Festival to return next week. Here’s h…

The Spirit of Seattle, the official Christmas ship of Argosy Cruises, will return to the waters of Puget Sound and Lake Washington this year for the annual Christmas Ship Festival, which was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning next week, area residents can expect to see the ship sailing around the vicinity adorned with hundreds of shimmery white lights. A choir of carolers will perform for passengers on board, and their performance will be broadcast to those at select on-shore venues and those following in other Argosy Cruises boats.

Sailings will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights by Dec. 19. There will also be sailings on Dec. 23, a Wednesday, and on Christmas Eve, which is on a Thursday this year. The first sailings are scheduled for Nov. 26.

Those hoping to sail can buy a ticket for The Spirit of Seattle or one of the follow boats on the Argosy Cruises website. Tickets range in price from $37 to $57 depending on the age of the passenger and boat preference. Sailings last approximately an hour and a half and proof of vaccination against the coronavirus is required for all guests over the age of 12.  

Once on board The Spirit of Seattle, guests can take photos with Santa and attend a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The Spirit of Seattle and the follow boats will also have complete-service bars. All photo sales and 10% of all ticket sales will be donated to The Seattle Times Fund For Those In Need.

The ships will stop at 40 different waterfront community spots, like Alki Beach Park and Golden Gardens Park, throughout the weeks-long festival. On-shore venues, in addition as sailing times and departure locations, can be found here. Tickets are not required for the on-shore events.

The festival was canceled last year due to the hit the area’s tourism-dependent industries took during the height of coronavirus pandemic. While 2019 proved to be a record-breaking year for tourism in the city with 41.9 million visitors, the coronavirus crippled the industry in 2020 as less people were willing to travel.

The Christmas Ship Festival has been an annual Northwest tradition since 1949.  




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