By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
Mark Dec. 10 on your calendar.
Trust me. It’ll be here before you know it.
That’s the day the floating parade led by Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship serenades the Edmonds waterfront.
Every year, the Argosy Christmas Ship Festival sails to about 45 Puget Sound waterfront communities to spread holiday cheer.
It’s a party for those on surf and on turf.
The onboard choir sings a 20-minute concert broadcast to the shore, where throngs of people gather around bonfires. Boats big and small join in the jubilee.
Spots on Argosy ships fill up fast for this Pacific Northwest tradition since 1949. To get onboard, now’s the time to make reservations.
Ships depart from different ports throughout the season, which starts Nov. 29 in Kirkland and ends with the parade finale on Dec. 23.
You can catch the Dec. 10 cruise at the Edmonds port. Other cruises depart from marinas including South Lake Union Park, Leschi, Kirkland, Poulsbo, Pier 56 and Des Moines.
Choirs include Snoqualmie Valley Girls Choir, Dickens Carolers, Choir of the Sound and Rainier Youth Choir and Everett Chorale.
In the water, it goes something like this: The Christmas Ship with the choir leads the Christmas parade of boats each evening to the designated shore.
It is followed by the family-oriented Argosy Parade Boat and, on many but not all nights, the Royal Argosy Dinner Cruise, which has a three-course dinner.
A Santa rides along on the Christmas Ship and Parade Boat. These have early departure times, so you don’t have to keep the kids out late. Or stay up too late yourself.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; firstname.lastname@example.org
Holiday cruising tips
You can’t bring your peppermint latte onboard. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase on the Christmas Ship and Parade Boat. You can pre-order boxed meals at least 48 hours in advance by calling 206-623-1445.
Be on time. The ship won’t wait for you. The ramp is pulled up promptly at the scheduled departure time. Arrive with plenty of time to find parking and complete the boarding process.
Dress festive and for the weather. The Christmas Ship is a casual but festive. The indoor decks are heated. Wear flat shoes that are not smooth-soled. It can be slippery in the rain.
For more information, go to www.argosycruises.com.
Argosy Christmas Ship Festival
Opening ceremony is Nov. 29 in Kirkland. Final voyage is Dec. 23 in Kirkland. The schedule of performances is subject to change. For more information, call 206-623-1445 or go to www.argosycruises.com.
Edmonds, Dec. 10
- Music Choir of the Sound
- Performances will be 7:10 to 7:30 p.m. at Edmonds Fishing Pier and 8:20 to 8:40 p.m. at Richmond Beach.
- Christmas Ship and Parade Boat depart from Edmonds at 7, with return at 9:10 p.m.
- The Everett Chorale performs on the Christmas Ship.
- Performances: 8 to 8:20 p.m. at Seattle Tennis Club; 8:30 to 8:50 p.m. at Park Shore Retirement Home.
- Christmas Ship and Parade Boat depart from South Lake Union Park at 7 p.m., with return at 9:45 p.m.
- Christmas Ship, most cruises: $19.50 to $35.50.
- Parade Boat: $12.25 to $25.25.
- Christmas dinner cruises: $30.14 to $84.65.
No refunds or date changes are available, however tickets may be transferred to a different name or party.
For more information and reservations, go to www.argosycruises.com.
Waterways ships follow the Christmas Ship Festival parade on select cruises, Nov. 29 through Dec. 23. The cruise on a decorated Waterways yacht includes food, drinks and live music. Cost: Festive dining rates range from $31 to $55. Premium dining is $40 to $75. For more information, call 206-223-2060 or visit www.waterwayscruises.com.
Argosy Santa brunches
Santa Brunches are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. most weekends during the Christmas Ship Festival season. This is a daytime family holiday event separate from the Christmas Ship Parade. These cruises feature a buffet brunch, craft area and holiday entertainment. Adults and seniors, $45.40; ages 4 to 12, $17.35; 3 and under, free.