Seattle Christmas Ships: A Winter Wonderland of Nautical Light
Each winter, the festive Seattle Christmas Ships glide across Puget Sound, bringing holiday cheer to those who line the shores and docks. From mid-December to early January, Seattle Christmas Ships visit dozens of locations throughout the region, carrying choirs and holiday music to entertain crowds. It's a tradition that dates back to 1949, when Stan Sayres and his crew famously lit up the sky with their Christmas Spirit boat.
Today, the Seattle Christmas Ships have grown into one of the region's most beloved holiday traditions. People come from all over the world to witness the lights and music aboard these special vessels. With light displays, decorations, and performances, the Seattle Christmas Ships create a unique nautical holiday experience that's sure to delight all ages. Keep reading to learn more about this treasured Seattle tradition.
A Look Back at the History of the Seattle Christmas Ships
The first Seattle Christmas Ship was created by Stan Sayres in 1949. Sayres was a famous hydroplane racer who had an affinity for boats and lights, and he wanted to bring some holiday cheer to the waters of Puget Sound. He decorated his boat with 2,000 feet of Christmas lights and sailed around the Sound, delighting locals with his festive display.
Sayres' display attracted attention from all around the region, and before long, others began to join in the festivities. Over the years, the Seattle Christmas Ships tradition has grown to include dozens of ships and thousands of lights. Each year, volunteers transform their boats into floating works of art, decorating them with lights, garlands, and even Santa Clauses!
Where to See the Seattle Christmas Ships
The Seattle Christmas Ships take off from their homeport of Elliott Bay Marina in late November and spend the next five weeks traveling around Puget Sound. They visit dozens of ports and marinas throughout the area, treating visitors to an unforgettable holiday experience.
The ships are known for stopping at many popular locations throughout the region, including Lake Union Park, Alki Beach in West Seattle, Kirkland Marina Park, and Juanita Beach Park. They also stop at various waterfront restaurants and pubs to provide festive entertainment for patrons. Some of the popular spots they visit include The Crab Pot and Anthony’s Bell Street Diner in Seattle, and the Blue Max Charhouse and Salty’s on Alki.
What You'll See on the Christmas Ships
When you visit the Seattle Christmas Ships, you'll have the chance to see some truly amazing decorations and light displays. The boats each feature a giant illuminated Christmas tree, and some also feature a life-sized Santa or reindeer. It's a truly magical sight that will make you feel like you're in a winter wonderland!
Onboard the ships, you can enjoy festive music performances from local choirs, as well as other holiday-themed activities. The boats also offer up snacks and hot beverages to guests, so you can stay warm and cozy while taking in the sights. It's a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit!
An Unforgettable Celebration
If you're looking for an unforgettable way to celebrate the holidays, be sure to check out the Seattle Christmas Ships. Whether you're visiting for the first time or it's a yearly tradition, the Seattle Christmas Ships will provide you with a unique and memorable holiday experience. So bundle up and head down to the waterfront to enjoy this treasured Seattle tradition!
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