Best time to go to Seattle

Christmas Ship Festival 2019

Whether you are on board or watching from the shore, this parade is a lovely Northwest holiday tradition

Christmas Ship Festival in Seattle 2019 - Best Time
Photo by

TIA International Photography | Seattle Parks

Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival is an excellent way to celebrate the holiday season, especially for families. The parade has been taking place since 1949, traditionally starting the day after Thanksgiving and running until December 23. Brightly decorated and glowing with thousands of lights, the Christmas ships parade through dozens of waterfront neighbourhoods around Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Choirs perform carols on board the Christmas Ship, entertaining not only passengers but also those viewing from the shore.

Christmas Ships at Lake Union Park 2019
Christmas Ships at Lake Union Park

The Christmas Ship parade departs from Lake Union Park, so it's a great watching spot to enjoy the lights and carolling for free. Fremont Cut is another good place to watch the ships passing by. Or you can take your own boat, decorate it with lights and join the parade!

Christmas Ship Festival in Seattle - Best Season 2019
Best time for Christmas Ship Festival in Seattle 2019

If you choose to ride the Christmas Ship Lead Boat, there will be plenty of entertainment onboard including Santa, sing-alongs, contests, children’s holiday craft workshops, a bar and a cafe. There will be a reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" by Santa Claus himself. All kids will receive gift bags and tons of fun during the trip. You can also ride a Christmas Ship Follow Boat to enjoy the lights from a distance.

Best time to see Christmas Ship Festival in Seattle 2019