Captain Vince Tougas
Argosy Cruises Team Member since 1991
Current Department: Vessel Operations
Hometown: Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle, Washington
Every workplace has an employee or two who seems to embody the spirit of the place through the years. For Argosy Cruises, it's not a stretch to give Captain Vince Tougas this role. While he's "only" been with the company for 25 years, Vince is a walking billboard for our "work hard and have fun doing it" mantra around here. His joy for life and for this place -- Argosy AND Puget Sound as a whole -- is infectious. As are his hand-crafted crooning tunes about enjoying life on the waterfront and cruising the lakes.
From selling beers out of ice buckets on a Husky Football cruise during his first shift with Argosy, to driving tours and assisting the winter maintenance team with painting and cabinetry work today, Vince has worked the breadth of this company, and we're all better for it.
What is your favorite Argosy vessel, and which of our tours do you enjoy the most?
Each boat has its own beauty and things that make it great. I really enjoy the close contact with customers I get while driving the Sightseer, especially during charters.
On the other hand, the Goodtime II makes me feel "captain-y."
But mostly I love the passengers!
What makes Argosy such a unique place to work?
Seattle has such a unique geography, and Argosy operates through it all. And we've got the bluest skies you've ever seen.
What other Argosy department would you job shadow for a day?
I was hired here primarily for maintenance, because I was a remodeling contractor before Argosy. Some bigger projects that I've done in the recent past were out at Tillicum, when Argosy started operating this excursion: I built the shelving and cash wrap for the Gift Shop, and also added the bar area on the other side of the longhouse.
But I've also worked behind the bar, as a deckhand, became a captain...I've even worked in the Ticket Booth! But I'd love to be one of the Vessel Operations Managers, because I enjoy working with and training people so much.
What are your favorite things to do in Seattle (besides our tours)?
Music shows! Like Bumbershoot, Folklife, the University District Street Fair, Syttende Mai in Ballard. I love to see bands playing, and to dance.
What is your favorite thing to do elsewhere in town when you are not working?
Hanging out at Golden Gardens on a nice day, with bonfires into the night and lots and lots of people. And I bring my guitar, of course.
If you could charter one of our boats, which one would it be, where would you cruise, and what would you do?
The Sightseer is just the perfect size for a small, intimate group. And the price for chartering it is good. I'd like to leave from Kirkland and cruise around in the lakes.
But for a big fantasy cruise, I'd charter the Spirit of Seattle because we'd need the capacity. We'd head out to Blake Island for a Jackson Browne concert on the Tillicum longhouse stage, and enjoy dinner out there, too. And the onboard band would be Stan Boreson!
Here's the full version of Captain Vince's song, "Let's Take a Tour."