Argosy Cruises Team Member in 1962, 1990-2002, and 2004 to present
Built by: Sherman Boat Works, Co., Long Beach, California
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
If you are a regular #MeetUsMonday reader, you may have noticed that one particular Argosy vessel shows up in our interviews more than any other. And that special boat is none other than our Sightseer.
The Sightseer features an enclosed lower deck with an open upper sun deck. She is recommended for 75-150 guests, with more passengers being a better fit for our warmer and drier months in Seattle. She's an excellent boat for small groups and parties who are looking for a vessel with character, history, and great views with lots of open air.
As beloved as the Sightseer is in Argosy circles, she's had quite an off and on again history in the company. In the summer of 1962, the Holiday was purchased by Seattle Harbor Cruises to help the tour company prepare for the rush of World's Fair tourists...that never materialized. The Holiday was then sold to Gray Line tours, who renamed her the Sightseer and started using her for their Locks Cruises.
In 1990, Gray Line sold their water tour franchise in Seattle to Seattle Harbor Tours and the Sightseer returned to the company. From that year through 2002 (Seattle Harbor Tours became Argosy Cruises in 1994), the Sightseer brought passengers on our Locks Cruises, before entering retirement in 2002.
But that retirement was short-lived. In 1998, King County Metro began a pilot program to provide water taxi service from West Seattle to the Seattle waterfront. A different vessel was used to start the project, but in 2004 the Sightseer was brought back into service for this Elliott Bay route. This partnership between Argosy Cruises and King County Metro continued through the end of 2010 when Metro started plans to use their own boats and staff instead.
No worries for our steel girl, though. The Sightseer made yet another pivot to become Argosy's Lake Washington Cruise boat living out at the end of the Kirkland City Dock. She cruised up and down the coast of Lake Washington from 2011 through 2014 as our main Lake Washington Cruise vessel.
In 2015 she exchanged her Eastside locale with the Lady Mary, and made her home once again on the waterfront at Pier 55. These days the Sightseer spends her time bringing smaller corporate groups out on Brews & Bites charters (Jenga on a boat, anyone?), and stepping up to host Harbor Cruise passengers on busy sunny afternoons.
Oh yes, and there was that one time she was a concert venue for an EndSession with the Silversun Pickups!
Fun Fact: The author spent each of her three years as crew at Argosy working Elliott Bay Water Taxi shifts, and got to know many downtown Seattle commuters during her time on the Sightseer.