Everything you need to know about the Christmas Ship™ Festival experience
What's the difference between a Follow Boat and the Lead Boat?
The Lead Boat is the official Christmas Ship™ and leads the Christmas Ship™ Festival fleet of boats each sailing. When the Christmas Ship™ arrives at the designated parks, the choir onboard sings a 20-minute concert which is broadcast to the surrounding boats and people onshore. Santa rides along to entertain, and a cruise director will guide you through the evening and contests to win great prizes. The Christmas Ship™ has a kids’ craft area available and snacks, chowder, and beverages for purchase, or you can also pre-order boxed meals.
A Follow Boat is another fully decorated Argosy Cruises boat that follows the Christmas Ship™ along the night's cruise route. It stops with the Christmas Ship™ to hear the choir sing to those on shore as broadcast from the Lead Boat. Santa* will be onboard along with a cruise director guiding you through the evening and contests to win great prizes. The Follow Boat offers kids craft bags and has snacks and beverages onboard for purchase, or you can pre-order boxed meals.
*Santa's appearance on a Follow Boat is NOT guaranteed.
What is the Christmas Ship™ cancellation policy?
Guests who cancel 72 hours or more in advance of their departure date and time will be offered a 50% refund on the total amount paid for their booking (inclusive of taxes/fees and recommended add-ons). Cancellations less than 72 hours in advance will not be refunded. Future open credits will not be offered for any cancellations.
Tickets for Christmas Ship™ Kid Cruise are also covered by Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Cancellation Policy. In the unlikely event of artist injury or illness leading to the cancellation of an artist's appearance, Argosy will make every effort to find alternative onboard entertainment. In the event of cancellation, tickets will be refundable via the original method of purchase.
My friends and I made separate reservations, will we all be on the same boat?
If you are part of a group that has booked under separate reservations, check your confirmation letters for which vessel you are booked on (Spirit of Seattle, Goodtime II, etc). You can also call to confirm that all parties are on the same boat as there are often multiple Argosy boats in the Festival each night.
Can I bring my peppermint mocha onboard?
There is no outside food or beverages allowed onboard. There are snacks and beverages available for purchase, or you can pre-order boxed meals or chowder.
Wait! I'm running late!
Unfortunately, we can’t keep the scheduled performances and hundreds of people waiting. Please arrive with plenty of time to find parking and complete the boarding process. We pull the boarding ramp up promptly at the scheduled departure time.
How should I dress?
We recommend wearing warm, comfortable clothing and footwear (we recommend flat shoes that are not smooth-soled, stilettos are very strongly discouraged). Most guests enjoy both the indoor heated decks as well as the outdoor spaces. Please dress accordingly for both as we sail rain or shine. Festive holiday attire is always encouraged!
What kind of shoes should I wear on the Christmas Ship™ or Follow Boat?
We recommend flat shoes that are not smooth-soled. While the boats are warm and comfortable, they do rock with the waves they are floating on. If it is raining, the dock and the boat deck can be slippery. Please watch your step and be aware of rainy docks and the motion of the waves.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets will be available for pick up at your boarding location 45 minutes prior to departure. A ticket “will call” area (look for the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship tent) will be designated at your departure location. Tickets will not be mailed out.
Does the cruise ever get cancelled?
We only cancel sailings if the mayor or governor declare a state of emergency due to weather or other causes.
Is there ever more than one Santa on the dock or boat?
There will be only one Santa on board your boat. We do like to warn parents that there may occasionally be more than one Santa on the dock during the boarding times. We have often told our own children that they are Santa’s helpers who dress up and carry his messages, as he cannot be everywhere at once.
Where do I park?
A full list of our departure locations and parking options can be found on our Christmas Ship™ Departure Locations Page.