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Where to See Houseboats in Seattle? (Top 5 Places to Visit)

seattle houseboat tour

Have you ever dreamed of living on a houseboat? If so, Seattle might be the perfect place for you! With its rich culture, stunning views and a huge variety of houseboats, Seattle is one of the best places to explore the unique lifestyle of living on a houseboat.

In this article, we will provide an overview of houseboats in Seattle, explain the advantages of taking a guided tour, provide tips for a self-guided tour, and discuss the top 5 places to visit.

We will also cover optional activities you can enjoy while on the houseboats, dining options and accommodations nearby.

So what are you waiting for? Lets dive into the amazing world of houseboats in Seattle!

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Houseboats can be seen in Seattle along the shores of Lake Union and Portage Bay.

These houseboats are a popular tourist destination and offer great views of the city skyline.

Visitors can take a tour of the houseboats, or rent them for the day to explore the city from the water.

There are also a number of restaurants and shops in the area to explore during a visit.

Overview of Houseboats in Seattle

When it comes to unique experiences in Seattle, a tour of the citys houseboats is a must.

Located on the citys Lake Union, these houseboats offer a unique way to view Seattles skyline and scenery.

Visitors can take in the sights of these floating homes, get an up-close look at the citys lake life, and enjoy the beauty of the lake itself.

Some of the houseboats are even decorated with bright colors and intricate designs, adding to the visual appeal of the area.

Houseboats have a long history in Seattle, as they have been a mainstay since the early 1900s.

Originally, the houseboats were simply homes for people who wanted to live on the lake, and the city has since evolved to include more elaborate houseboats, such as the ones seen in Seattle today.

Some of the houseboats are even used as vacation homes, giving visitors a chance to experience the unique beauty of Seattles houseboat culture.

In addition to the unique visual appeal of the houseboats, visitors can also enjoy the many activities that the lake has to offer.

The lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming, and many of the houseboats provide a great spot to relax and take in the views.

The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, such as bald eagles, otters, and seals, and visitors can often catch glimpses of these animals from the decks of the houseboats.

To experience the best of what Seattles houseboat culture has to offer, visitors can take a guided tour or explore on their own.

Guided tours offer an up-close look at the houseboats and provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about the unique history of Seattles houseboats.

For visitors looking to explore on their own, there are several self-guided tours available, giving visitors the chance to discover the beauty of the lake and its many houseboats.

Regardless of how visitors choose to explore Seattles houseboat culture, it is sure to be a memorable and unique experience.

From the vibrant colors to the tranquil lake life, a visit to the houseboats of Seattle is sure to be a memorable experience.

Advantages of Taking a Guided Tour

seattle houseboat tour

Taking a guided tour of Seattle’s houseboats can be a great way to get the most out of your experience.

A knowledgeable guide can provide insight into the history, culture, and stories of the houseboats, providing a more enriching experience than you would get on a self-guided tour.

Additionally, guided tours can be tailored to your interests, so you can get the most out of your visit.

You can also get tips from your guide on the best places to take photos and the best times of day to visit.

And with a guided tour, you don’t need to worry about getting lost or missing any of the city’s best views.

All in all, taking a guided tour of Seattle’s houseboats is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

Self-Guided Tour Tips

When it comes to exploring the houseboats in Seattle, a self-guided tour is a great way to go. There are many houseboats located around Lake Union, so it can be difficult to know where to start. To make sure you dont miss the best spots, here are a few tips for a successful self-guided tour:

Map Out Your Route: Before you set out, be sure to map out your route and determine which houseboats you want to visit. There are many houseboats to choose from, so its important to narrow down your list in advance.

Bring a Camera: Houseboats are full of unique features and charming details, so be sure to bring a camera to capture all the beauty. Plus, youll have plenty of photos to show off to your friends and family back home.

Dont Forget the Binoculars: Many of the houseboats are located a bit farther out on the lake, so dont forget to bring a pair of binoculars if you want to get a closer look.

Wear Comfortable Shoes: Some of the houseboats are accessible by boat, while others are only accessible by land. Whichever route you take, make sure to wear comfortable shoes that you dont mind getting wet.

Be Respectful: Since the houseboats are peoples homes, its important to be respectful and keep your noise level low. Enjoy the view from the shore, but dont go traipsing through the yards or barging into the houseboats.

By following these self-guided tour tips, youll be sure to have a successful and enjoyable experience exploring the houseboats in Seattle.

These unique floating homes make for a great backdrop to your visit to the Emerald City, so get out there and explore!

Top 5 Places to Visit

seattle houseboat tour

1. The Center for Wooden Boats: This is the perfect place to start your houseboat tour, as it is one of the most popular attractions in Seattle and offers a unique perspective on Seattles floating homes. The Center for Wooden Boats is a non-profit organization that focuses on preserving the citys wooden boat history. Here, visitors can take a guided tour of the lake and get a close-up view of the houseboats, as well as enjoy a picnic or take part in educational activities.

2. Gas Works Park: Located in the heart of Seattle, Gas Works Park offers stunning views of the citys skyline. From the park, visitors can get an up-close look at the houseboats that line the lake and take in the beauty of the lake itself. This park is also a popular spot for walking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors.

3. Kirkland Marina: Kirkland Marina is located just outside of Seattle and offers stunning views of the citys skyline. The marina is home to several dozen houseboats and visitors can take a self-guided tour of the lake and explore the area on their own. The marina also offers plenty of activities, such as kayaking and paddle boarding, as well as a variety of restaurants and shops.

4. The Fremont Cut: The Fremont Cut is one of the oldest houseboat communities in Seattle and offers a unique view of the citys skyline. Here, visitors can take a self-guided tour and explore the area on their own. The Fremont Cut is also home to a variety of restaurants and shops, making it a great spot for a day trip.

5. Lake Union Park: Located in downtown Seattle, Lake Union Park is a great spot for houseboat viewing. From the park, visitors can get an up-close look at the houseboats that line the lake and take in the beauty of the lake itself. The park also offers plenty of activities, such as walking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors.

No matter where you go in Seattle, youre sure to find plenty of houseboat tours to take part in.

From the Center for Wooden Boats to Lake Union Park, there are plenty of spots to explore and get an up-close look at these unique floating homes.

So if youre looking for a unique experience in Seattle, a tour of the citys houseboats is a must-do!

Optional Activities on the Houseboats

For those who want to make their houseboat tour in Seattle even more memorable and unique, there are a number of optional activities that can be included.

From kayaking to paddleboarding, or even renting a pontoon boat, there are plenty of ways to explore the lake and its floating homes.

For those who are looking for something a bit different, renting a sailboat is also an option.

This is a great way to get a different perspective of the lake, and to get a real feel for the citys maritime culture.

If youre looking for a more relaxed experience, there are also plenty of opportunities to take a break on the houseboats and enjoy some of the many amenities available.

For example, visitors can take a break in the boats hot tub, lounge on the deck, or enjoy a cookout on the grill.

Finally, visitors can also explore the citys vibrant art scene by visiting some of the many art galleries and museums located near the lake.

From the Seattle Art Museum to the Museum of Pop Culture, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the citys culture and history.

No matter what activities you choose to include in your houseboat tour, youll be sure to have a unique and unforgettable experience.

So if youre looking for something a bit different and off the beaten path, exploring Seattles houseboats is a must-do.

Dining Options

seattle houseboat tour

When it comes to dining options while taking a tour of the houseboats in Seattle, visitors are in for a treat! There are a variety of restaurants and eateries located on or near the lake, offering a range of delicious cuisines.

From seafood to Mexican, there is something to satisfy every taste.

Many of the restaurants boast stunning views of the lake and the surrounding cityscape, making for a truly memorable experience.

For a truly unique dining experience, try dinner aboard one of the houseboats themselves.

Many companies offer dinner cruises, allowing you to explore the lake while enjoying a delicious meal.

This is the perfect way to end your tour of the houseboats in Seattle.

Accommodations Nearby

For those looking for a unique experience in Seattle, a tour of the citys houseboats is an unforgettable experience.

But where are the best places to view these floating homes? Fortunately, there are plenty of spots to visit and take in the scenic views of these incredible structures.

For visitors to Seattle, there are a variety of accommodations nearby the houseboats, making it easy to explore the citys lake life.

Visitors can stay in a hotel, rent a vacation home, or even book a cruise on the beautiful Lake Union.

For those looking to be close to the action, there are houseboats available for rent, allowing visitors to take in the views of the lake and the city skyline while they relax and enjoy the unique experience of living on the water.

For those who want to explore the lake on their own, there are plenty of places to visit.

From the bustling downtown area to the quieter neighborhoods, visitors can take in the sights of the city while they explore the houseboats.

The Seattle Aquarium, the Ballard Locks, and Gas Works Park are all great spots to check out and get a closer look at the citys houseboats.

For those looking for a guided tour, there are a variety of companies offering houseboat tours.

These tours will take visitors on a journey around the lake, providing an up-close look at the citys lake life and the houseboats that dot the lake.

Visitors can even take a self-guided tour and explore the lake on their own, getting a unique perspective of the city.

Whether visitors are looking for a guided tour or a self-guided tour, there are plenty of places to explore and experience the beauty of the citys houseboats.

From the bustling downtown area to the quieter neighborhoods, visitors can get an up-close look at the unique structures that make up Seattles lake life.

With a variety of accommodations nearby and plenty of places to explore, its easy to find the perfect spot to take in the beauty of the houseboats in Seattle.

Final Thoughts

From taking in the skyline of Seattle from the lake to experiencing the lake life up close, houseboats in Seattle offer something for everyone.

With a variety of guided and self-guided tours available, visitors to the Emerald City can explore these unique floating homes at their own pace.

Whether you’re looking for a unique way to view Seattle’s scenery, or just a relaxing day on the lake, the top 5 places to visit are sure to be a hit.

Plus, with optional activities, dining options, and nearby accommodations, a houseboat tour of Seattle is the perfect way to make the most of your stay in the city.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore Seattle’s houseboats today!

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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Here's Where You Can Visit The House Boat From Sleepless In Seattle

Outside of Seattle houseboat

There was plenty to love about the pop culture in the 90s , including baggy jeans, neon everything, and hilarious sitcoms like " Friends " and " Seinfeld ." There were also tons of quality tear-jerking romance films, like "Ghost" and "City of Angels," that left more than one moviegoer crying into their popcorn. Among these films, there is one that might stand above the rest. Released in 1993, "Sleepless in Seattle" was written and directed by the late and legendary Nora Ephron, who was also responsible for romantic comedy classics like "When Harry Met Sally," "Michael," and "You've Got Mail," according to her IMDb . Nominated for two Academy Awards, "Sleepless in Seattle" is a story of widowed architect Sam Baldwin — played by Tom Hanks — whose young son calls into a radio help show (those were a thing back then) to explain how his father is lonely and he wishes that he would find love, according to IMDb .  After the story attracts the attention of relationship-troubled Annie Reed, played by Meg Ryan, the two go through twists and turns until finally meeting at the top of the Empire State Building for what is sure to be the beginning of a happily ever after.

The emotional movie had us hopeful and weepy. However, it also made us incredibly envious of the amazing seaside town in Seattle where Hanks' character lived. Not to mention the incredible houseboat where he resided and where some of the film was actually shot.

A look outside of the floating home from Sleepless in Seattle

Located at 2460 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, Washington, the houseboat made famous by the film "Sleepless in Seattle" rests in a waterside town right on the banks of Lake Union. However, it's not technically a houseboat, which, according to Realogics Sotheby's International Realty , needs to have a motor or other means of actually moving. This Seattle waterfront house is actually considered a floating home, meaning it is docked for good on the water but can't be put into motion freely. Regardless, the waterfront property is a dream.

Purchased back in 1987 for a reported $550,000, the home was then sold in 2008 for a whopping $2.5 million, according to  Puget Sound Business Journal . The outside of the house is just like how you remember it from the film. The white wooden shingles of the outside walls still gleam in the Seattle sunshine, and the chocolate-colored wood of the dock is kept in pristine condition. As you envision the waves lapping against the edges of the lake, you can almost picture Tom Hanks' character sitting on the iconic bench near the end of the long dock or leaning against the railing, watching the pops of the bursting fireworks. The home is privately owned, so, unfortunately, you can't take a tour inside. However, you can still catch a glimpse of the outside of the home if you're a big fan.

The inside of the Sleepless in Seattle home has modern touches

Although the outside of the floating home made famous by "Sleepless in Seattle" is easy to spot, the inside is barely recognizable. That's because the house's interior was not used in the actual film. Those scenes were filmed on a studio set, according to King 5 Evening. In the 2018 video tour of the magnificent home, we can see how much work the owners put in to freshen up their house's look. Some walls were removed to widen the area and expand the open concept of the space. The kitchen has modern appliances and a crisp white tiled backsplash.

The large wooden staircase featured in the film is not present in the actual home. Instead, a slimmer walkway leads up to the second floor, braced with black iron handrails. More up-to-date touches include a lovely sliding black barn door that passes over the entertainment area, which includes a large television and a shelf containing precious pictures. The living room, however, still has unbeatable views of sparkling Lake Union that you can see through large framed windows. Window box bench seating allows you to watch the passing boats and wildlife from the comfort of the living area. Even if you can't look at the inside yourself, there are other ways you can experience the film's magic.

Other Sleepless in Seattle locations you can visit

Although the Lake Union houseboat is a must-see, it is also worth it to wander the docks and check out some other floating homes. In fact, if you're looking to permanently live the Seattle life, you can purchase a floating house of your own on the same strip where the movie was filmed. Located at 2040 Westlake Avenue North, this one-bedroom and one-and-a-half bathroom floating home is on the market for $599,500, according to the listing on Washington Waterfronts. It includes multiple balcony spaces plus a rooftop wrap-around porch area.

There are many other locations to visit while in town, like the famous Athenian Seafood Restaurant where Hanks and Rob Reiner talk about dating while enjoying a pint. You can still sit at the bar stools where they filmed the scene, per Curbed Seattle . There is also  Pike Place Market  and the Inn at the Market , where Reiner was filmed checking out Hanks's rear end as they prep for his venture back into the dating scene. Finally, when you're ready to wrap up your film tour, you can check out Gate N7 at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where Meg Ryan and Hanks' characters first catch each other's eyes.

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Houseboats of Seattle

As Seen On...

seattle houseboat tour

Featured Listings

seattle houseboat tour

Fairview Landing #7 // Perched on one of Lake Union’s most prestigious docks

2369 Fairview Ave E #7 Seattle, WA 98102

seattle houseboat tour

Westlake’s Hidden Gem ~ A Floating Home On Its Own Dock

2420 Westlake Ave N #3 Seattle, WA 98109

seattle houseboat tour

La Casa Flottante // End-of-dock floating home in the heart of Fremont

933 N Northlake Way, #9 Seattle, WA 98103

Floating Homes For Sale

Houseboat #9 // Designed by Graham Baba Architects in 2013, this floating home provides a nearly unmatched experience of Lake Union living across two stories, full rooftop deck, and rare full height basement. Nestled at the end of a dock and encircled by breathtaking 270* views, it enjoys both expansive south facing vistas and exclusive privacy, shielded by neighboring marinas. The great room floorplan is embraced by floor-to-ceiling fully expandable Nana doors, hand-forged steel kitchen countertops, bespoke light fixtures, and remarkable fir craftsmanship that epitomize Fremont's essence with elevated sophistication. The rooftop deck features a lush landscape of mature plantings. Two deeded garage parking. 30' deep-water moorage.

933 N Northlake Way 9 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 3 Baths 2,486 SqFt

seattle houseboat tour

2369 Fairview Avenue E 7 Seattle , Washington

3 Beds 3 Baths 1,800 SqFt 0.052 Acres

The Queen of Lake Union // Nestled in the heart of Seattle's iconic Fremont neighborhood, and situated on one of the most serene stretches of Lake Union, "Aurora" presents 4,800sqft of tranquil and unmatched living on the water. Its signature design and spacious floorplan provide breathtaking views and living spaces seldom seen in floating properties. Every detail of craftsmanship has been meticulously considered. The main floor is an entertainer's dream with a gourmet kitchen featuring a Bertazzoni range, sunroom, formal dining area, and a cozy eating nook with panoramic views. The full-floor master suite offers unparalleled vistas, a spacious walk-in closet, and a luxurious five-piece bath. Includes year-round 32-foot moorage.

907 N Northlake Way Seattle , Washington

3 Beds 3 Baths 4,850 SqFt

Portage Bay Beach Club // Discover this exceptional property nestled on the serene shores of Portage Bay, offering views of the iconic University Bridge and Seattle Yacht Club. At its heart lies a charming floating home with a thoughtfully designed 2BR, 2BA layout on a single level. The great room is framed by panoramic windows showcasing views of Portage Bay and the University of Washington. Immerse yourself in a private beach club ambiance, complete with 50' of low-bank bulkhead waterfront, 85' deep-water moorage, grandfathered over-water coverage, ample storage, and 3-car parking. Envision idyllic afternoons in your personal oasis or thrilling sailing excursions to the San Juan Islands. Surveys and development documents available.

3206 Portage Bay Place E Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,146 SqFt 0.163 Acres

Just in time for summer! Every day feels like a vacation in this floating home on the best dock on the lake that recently had a studs-out remodel by the lake's premier floating home builder, Dyna. Bring a boat or two or three, this home has a lot of moorage with two 34’ boat slips! With three bedrooms and two offices, there’s plenty of space for working from home. After work, entertainers will love the light-filled reverse floorplan with a designer kitchen, grill deck, and expansive rooftop deck for taking in the sunset. Also, this home has two secure garage parking spots with EV charging. Plus at Mallard Cove, you own not just your home but also your slip on a pet-friendly dock. Life is better on the lake!

2600 Fairview Avenue E 11 Seattle , Washington

3 Beds 3 Baths 2,132 SqFt 0.027 Acres

Escape the city's hustle to your serene floating home on Lake Union! Enjoy peaceful waterside living with stunning open water views of sailboats, Lake Union, Gas Works Park and more. Experience in-city convenience with easy access to Seattle's recreation, arts, shopping, dining, and nightlife. Step out your door to sail, kayak, or paddleboard, or relax on your floating deck as boats drift by. Winter brings waterfowl and cozy reading as you watch raindrops dance on the water. This nautical-themed one-bed, one-bath retreat offers a city-to-lake transition or a canvas for your dream home on the water with its large float and incredible views. Come join us on the lake!

2466 Westlake Avenue N 6 Seattle , Washington

1 Beds 1 Baths 860 SqFt 0.029 Acres

Finally the sought after end of dock luxury houseboat! FullerStyle presents to you the opportunity to secure one of their stunning brand new houseboats! This 45 x 16.5' floating wonder is the latest in the sought after co-op owned community of Lake Union Landing.Both water level bedrooms are ensuite w/ AC & there is also a 1/2 bath & AC on the main level. Large living + 895 sq ft of decks includes rooftop! Fully equipped w/ high end & custom finishes + connected to city water/sewer. Stroll down the private gated & wide tree & bench lined dock boulevard like no other in the city. Steps to Burke Gilman Trail,local eateries & UW campus. In city paradise offers Seattle as you have never seen it before! 55 ft slip allows room for small runabout.

2309 N Northlake Way 8 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 3 Baths 1,075 SqFt

Newer high quality floating home on coveted Portage Bay with the full package:  View, deck, car parking, storage, boat slip, and even temporary guest moorage on their private community dock.  Beautifully designed, this home has soaring ceilings, warm wood wrapped windows, spa bathroom and sauna, recently refinished kitchen, and gorgeous spaces. This sought after dock rarely has a home that changes hands and it's pet friendly, too! Close to UW campus. Relax in your living room or on your sunny deck and take in the fantastic views of Portage Bay and out to Montlake Cut. Wake up to beautiful sunrises & step off your home for easy boating in Lake Union or Lake Washington - or out to the Sound! Absolute serene paradise and not to be missed!

2822 Boyer Avenue E 3 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 1 Baths 900 SqFt 0.023 Acres

Rare chance to own a floating home with its own dock and entry in condo ownership and no monthly HOA dues! Private setting and expansive views of Lake Union and Gasworks Park with no neighboring homes on three sides. Enjoy 4th of July fireworks and the Duck Dodge sailing race from your deck or take the spiral stairs to the rooftop. The reverse floorplan maximizes views and light and features a primary bed with lake views and a 2nd bed that doubles up as an office with murphy desk/bed. Nearly $160k spent in recent remodel. Boat moorage for small watercraft and wide walkaround decks. Pet & rental-friendly. Inspections available. Discover Westlake, Seattle's premier boating neighborhood, with ample parking and unmatched proximity to Downtown.

2420 Westlake Avenue N 3 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 2 Baths 1,200 SqFt 0.030 Acres

South facing & long adored floating cottage has large deck, dedicated parking space, & attached floating storage shed/office? Sunny water reflections dance on the vaulted ceilings of this cute home which lives proudly. Radiant wooden floors, well placed skylights, & open floorplan make this the perfect nest on the water. Located in sunniest part of Portage Bay, get excited to live on the dock known for its ping pong in the parking lot & outdoor movies. Kayak/SUP can be launched from behind house to open water or across the dock further down at boat launch area.  Recreational boat moorage for rent a few docks over and can be secured in escrow.  New sewer pump & good floatation. LARGE float can go up a level. Owner is lic real estate broker.

2818 Boyer Avenue E 3 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 1 Baths 778 SqFt

FullerStyle's state of the art & stylish "Opal" is an absolute jewel on the lake. If you are a boat or water lover then come on board & experience life on the lake in sleek comfort. Beautiful higher end & hand crafted finishes w/ large spaces & thoughtful details through out. Open floor plan is designed to take in the views, light, & reflections dancing on your ceiling off the water. Open the doors to your sunny deck w/ views of lake, city, & Space Needle. Great entertaining or relaxing spaces + it comes w/ membership to co-op owned dock which entitles you to a spacious 55 x 18 slip space for your houseboat & water toys. Tree lined dock w/ benches & wide boardwalk. Fantastic community just off Burke Gilman Trail. Shared off street parking.

2309 N Northlake Way 4 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 1 Baths 650 SqFt

Live the dream of luxury waterfront living in this newly built, state-of-the-art houseboat w/ all the modern amenities & stylish finishes you desire. FullerStyle has outdone itself again w/ this latest addition to their portfolio on the lake. Two lrg bedrooms including deck off primary w/ soaring ceilings, gorgeous bath, stacking laundry, & incredible curving wooden staircase leading you up to main floor. Open floorplan upstairs to enjoy life afloat. Beautiful kitchen & a swing up window out to the deck w/ it's own counter. Spiral staircase to access large rooftop. State of the art systems & ample tank capacities - 110 gal black, 110 gal fresh, 500 gal grey.  Ideal for anyone desiring waterfront living without sacrificing luxury & comfort.

1080 W Ewing Place W-08 Seattle , Washington

2 Beds 1 Baths 860 SqFt

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Testimonials

“Danny had a competent answer for every question I had or found the answer extremely quickly. He was an expert negotiator – during all parts of the transaction – and offered up creative solutions to get the home at the right price in an extremely competitive market without just throwing more money at it and waiving every contingency. His knowledge of the local market is remarkable as well as how connected he is to the community, both of owners and industry professionals. I have no doubt, an offer submitted by Danny is another mark in the ‘pro’ column when being reviewed by a seller.”

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Danny Varona Interviewed for INSIDER Magazine Article on Floating Homes in Seattle

October 3, 2023

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My Happy Buyers at 2019 Fairview Ave E

October 2, 2023

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Danny Presents: Floating Mid-Century Modern Beauty

September 18, 2023

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  • Panoramic and up-close views of the Seattle skyline and shipping port
  • Sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound
  • Full-service bar on board with cocktails, local wine and beer, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks available for purchase

seattle houseboat tour

First to Board: Upgrade your Harbor Cruise experience! Skip the line and be first to board, first to the bar, and first to pick the perfect seat. Plus, receive 15% off drinks your entire ride.

Groups of 20 or more: Purchase  group tickets (Minimum 20) on the Harbor Cruise and save

Trip Protection/Refund Policy: Receive a full refund on the value of your cruise until 48 hours before departure when you add on Trip Protection. Learn more

CityPASS® reservations:  First,  purchase CityPASS® online  for immediate mobile ticket delivery. Next,  redeem CityPASS® online  to reserve your visit date & time and receive your Harbor Cruise boarding pass.  LEARN MORE about saving 48% off a Harbor Cruise plus 4 more top Seattle attractions with Seattle CityPASS® .

seattle houseboat tour

Washington state residents: Save up to $4 on your next visit! Reservations can be made online or in person. A valid, state issued ID must be shown during boarding.

Key Attractions and Sights

Explore the city’s most engaging attractions from a unique vantage point on the water! Passengers will enjoy a blend of historical landmarks, natural beauty, and architectural marvels, all narrated with insightful commentary about their significance and history.

This cruise not only provides panoramic views of the city’s skyline but also close-ups of the bustling shipping port and serene vistas of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.

Historical Landmarks

The cruise offers unparalleled views of historical landmarks, including the iconic Space Needle and the bustling Pike Place Market. As the boat moves along, passengers can gaze up at the Space Needle, a symbol of Seattle’s innovative spirit since the 1962 World’s Fair. 

The voyage also passes by the historic waterfront, where old piers and warehouses tell the story of Seattle’s maritime past. Knowledgeable guides on board narrate the stories behind these landmarks, enriching the visual experience with historical context, making the cruise not just a scenic trip but a journey through the heart of Seattle’s heritage.

Natural Beauty

Beyond the rich history and iconic landmarks, the cruise also showcases Seattle’s stunning natural beauty, offering views of the Olympic Mountains and the expansive Puget Sound. As the boat glides through the waters, passengers are treated to a breathtaking panorama that includes lush, evergreen coastlines and the distant, snow-capped peaks of the Olympics.

The interplay of natural light, especially in the evening as the sun set, casts a magical glow over the scene, enhancing the serene experience. Wildlife sightings, such as seabirds diving for fish or the occasional seal basking on a buoy, add an element of surprise and delight.

This harmonious blend of sea, sky, and land invites passengers to fully immerse themselves in the tranquility of the Pacific Northwest.

Planning Your Visit

When planning your visit, selecting the best time for your excursion is essential for experiencing the city’s charm from its waters.

Preparing for the cruise involves some simple steps, including reservation confirmations and familiarizing yourself with boarding time to enhance your overall experience.

Best Time to Go

Choosing the ideal time to tour the arbor depends largely on your personal preferences for weather and crowd sizes.

Summer months, particularly from July through September, offer the warmest weather and are perfect for enjoying clear views of the Seattle skyline and surrounding natural beauty. However, these months also attract the largest crowds.

Spring and early fall provide a quieter experience with mild weather, though you should be prepared for occasional rain.

Winter cruises are less crowded and can offer a unique perspective of the city’s lights and misty ambiance, but it is essential to dress warmly.

Each season offers distinct charms, making any time a good time to explore the wonders of Seattle from its waters.

Ticketing Options

To optimize your experience on Seattle’s Original Harbor Cruise, various ticketing options are available to accommodate your needs and preferences.

You can choose standard tickets, which offer access to all the cruise amenities including indoor and outdoor seating, live narration, and the full-service bar.

For those looking for a more exclusive experience, the ‘First to Board’ option guarantees early boarding, allowing you to select prime seating for the best views.

Discounted group tickets are also available, making it a great option for larger parties.

Booking in advance is recommended to secure your preferred departure time and to take advantage of any advance purchase discounts.

All tickets can be conveniently purchased online and can be presented digitally or printed at home.

Preparing for the Cruise

Preparing for your cruise on Seattle’s Original Harbor Cruise involves several key steps to guarantee a smooth and enjoyable experience. First, make sure you book your tickets in advance to secure your preferred departure time. Remember to check boarding time and plan to arrive early. This will give you ample time to park and find the boarding area without stress.

Check the weather forecast and dress appropriately; layers are recommended as conditions can change quickly on the water. Finally, review the cruise’s policy on outside food and beverages, as these are not permitted on board. Instead, enjoy the full-service bar and local snacks available for purchase.

Onboard Experience

Once aboard, guests can enjoy a range of amenities designed to enhance their experience on the water. The cruise offers a full-service bar where passengers can sip on local beverages while taking in panoramic views of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains, and the expansive Puget Sound. Alongside the drink offerings, a variety of local snacks are available to complement the journey.

The vessel is equipped with both indoor seating and ample outdoor space, allowing guests to choose their preferred viewing experience. Whether nestled inside away from the elements or out on the deck breathing in the fresh sea air, every spot on the cruise offers a unique perspective of the city’s bustling waterfront and historic landmarks.

For convenience, restrooms are accessible on board, and the facilities are ADA compliant, ensuring all guests, regardless of mobility, can enjoy the cruise comfortably. The thoughtful layout and amenities of Seattle’s Original Harbor Cruise cater to families, solo travelers, and groups alike, making it a premier choice for anyone looking to explore Seattle from its beautiful waters.

Before You Disembark

As the tour approaches its conclusion, it is important to revisit the safety procedures provided at the beginning of the tour. Ensuring that you follow these guidelines closely will facilitate a smooth and secure disembarkation for all passengers.

Safety Procedures

For a safe and orderly disembarkation, please follow all crew instructions and signage when preparing to leave the vessel. Make sure you have all personal belongings with you, checking your seating area and overhead storage.

Remain seated until the crew gives the signal that it is safe to stand and move towards the exit. It’s important to keep aisles and exits clear of any obstructions to facilitate a smooth egress for all passengers.

Children should be accompanied and closely supervised to avoid any accidents. If you require special assistance, inform a crew member before the vessel docks to guarantee help is readily available.

Concluding Your Tour

After completing your tour on Seattle’s Original Harbor Cruise, make sure you collect all personal items before getting ready to disembark. As you prepare to leave, remember to check your seating area and any onboard storage compartments. This guarantees you leave nothing behind, from cameras to souvenir purchases.

Additionally, take a moment to dispose of any trash in the provided receptacles to help keep the vessel clean for future guests. If you have any questions or need assistance, the crew is available to help. They can provide directions, suggest nearby attractions, or assist with any mobility needs.

  • Seattle skyline
  • Container ships
  • Olympic Mountains and Mount Rainier **
  • Seasonal wildlife **Weather permitting.
  • Full-service bar – Sip on local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages like a margarita in the summer and hot cocoas in the winter. No outside food or beverage allowed onboard.
  • Variety of local snacks –  Purchase from a menu of delicious pre-packaged sandwiches, salads and snacks
  • Indoor seating/Outdoor space – Whether you enjoy the breeze through your hair or like to stay cozy, you have the choice of indoor seating or the spacious outdoors
  • Restrooms –  All of our vessels are equipped with gender specific, gender neutral or single stall restrooms
  • ADA accessibility –  Our crew is trained to help guests with wheelchairs, strollers, scooters, etc. to navigate our docks, vessels and facilities. For specific ADA questions, please call our office at 206.623.1445

Yes, private events and parties can be accommodated on the cruise. It offers a unique venue with stunning views, onboard amenities, and group discounts, making it an ideal choice for special occasions. Please visit Group Tickets or Private Charters for more information.

Due to our various food preparation permits, we are unable to invite pets onboard with the exception of service animals. If you bring a service animal you may be asked:

  • Is the animal required because of a disability? This is a yes or no question. You are not required to, nor can you be asked to, disclose the nature or details of the disability. If the animal is not required because of a disability, then it will not be permitted.
  • What is the nature of the work or task(s) that the animal is trained to perform? This question will not be asked if the nature of the work or task is readily apparent, such as a Seeing Eye dog. If the animal is not trained to perform specific work or tasks to assist the individual because of a disability, then it will not be permitted.

You cannot and will not be required to provide any sort of certification or documentation proving that the animal is a service or assistance animal. Nor will you be required to pay a fee to bring the animal onto an Argosy Cruises vessel.

The service or assistance animal must be housetrained, and must be kept under control at all times while on board an Argosy Cruises Vessel. Argosy may ask that a service or assistance animal be removed from the property if it is not housetrained, if it is acting out of control and no effective action is being taken to control it, or if it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. The threat of an allergic reaction is not a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

Yes, the cruise typically operates in inclement weather, adhering to safety standards. Our ships are fully enclosed and climate-controlled for your comfort. We sail rain or shine all year long. Captains may adjust routes to best manage conditions during sailing.

seattle houseboat tour

DEPARTURE INFORMATION

Your Harbor Cruise departs from  Pier 55 on the Seattle Waterfront – 1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101 .

Parking Info

Map Legend: Blue = Cruise Route 

Additional Details Cruise route is approximate and can change based on each sailing’s weather patterns, vessel traffic, and other non-predictable factors, and based on our experienced captains’ discretion. Boarding begins about 20 minutes prior to departure and onboard seating is first-come, first-served.

Purchase First to Board for first access to board, visit the bar, and find a seat. Vessel available on the day of your sailing may vary.

No outside food or drink allowed onboard.

Before you depart:

1 Book your reservations

seattle houseboat tour

2 E-pass or print at home

seattle houseboat tour

3 Board your vessel

seattle houseboat tour

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Lake Union Charters

& Adventures

1 Hour Lake UnionTour

1 Hour Lake UnionTour

Spend an hour cruising by Gas Works Park, past the floating homes and enjoy a relaxing cruise around Lake Union.

Great for a date night or a friends’ evening out on the water, Mocha   is a 26ft open boat with unobstructed views of downtown and the Space Needle.  Bring your own light snacks and drinks for this engaging night on the lake.  

Book a Tour

Emerald City Pirates | Seattle Pirate Cruise

Emerald City Pirates

Founded in 2017, we are one of Seattle’s newest and most unique attractions! As Seattle’s only full-time pirate ship cruise we offer interactive pirate-themed boat tours in Seattle on the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Lake Union from April-October. Check out pictures of our pirate ship here. When you’re ready, book our Public Pirate Cruises or Private Charters .

Latest Announcements

Emerald City Pirates 2024 Season launches in April 2024! This is the perfect time to book your private charters, team building or corporate events.

New: Check out our brand new Huskies Sailgating Cruise. Imagine cruising to your favorite Huskies game on a pirate ship (those in the parking lots will be jelly!). Limited cruises available so act fast.

With 140+ 5-star reviews from Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook, we are proud to be one of the highest rated water attractions in Seattle ! These reviews come from parents, grandparents, employees of Seattle’s largest companies, young professionals, and almost any other demographic you can imagine. Our crew thanks you!

Family Pirate Treasure Cruises & Adult Pirate Party Cruises

seattle houseboat tour

Parties & Celebrations

Celebrate birthdays and any other occasion on board Queen Anne’s Revenge!

seattle houseboat tour

Private boat charters and boat rentals on Seattle’s only pirate cruise ship.

Emerald City Pirates - Pirate Ship Seattle

Corporate Events

Emerald City Pirates gives companies an unique venue for office parties & team building activities.

SEATTLE'S #1 RATED SEA ADVENTURE

Get your pirate on, book a party.

Emerald City Pirates is perfect for Birthdays or any special occasion!

GIFT CERTIFICATE

Arghh! Give the perfect pirate gift with an Emerald City Pirates gift certificate!

VIEW GALLERY

Check out pictures of the awesome pirate adventures on these here seven seas!

EMERALD CITY PIRATES FEED

Book a charter.

Ready for an awesome Pirate adventure? Fill out the form and one of our Pirates will get back in touch with you shortly!

  • Name (that booking will be under) *
  • Organization (if personal leave blank)
  • Date of sailing * MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Type of Private Charter * Choose Type of Private Charter Conventional Private Charter Family Treasure Private Charter Huskies Sailgating Cruise
  • Family Treasure Private Charters are only available Saturdays and Sundays from May 1-October 15 before 4pm. We can accommodate weekday requests can not promise the cannon battle with the battle boat due to staffing issues.
  • Time and duration of event *
  • Preferred Date of Booking * MM slash DD slash YYYY
  • Total number of guests (up to 49) *
  • Alcohol service desired * Alcohol Service Desired Cash Bar - Pay as you go (cash/card) Open Bar - Unlimited Beer, Wine, Seltzer, & Snacks Consumption Bar - Pay one tab at the end of the cruise None *** fees apply to BYO events
  • Are you having your event catered? (Requires 2 Hour Minimum Booking) * Are you having your event catered? Yes No
  • Will this event include children under 12? * Will this event include children under 12? Yes No
  • Are you interested in adding pirate gear? * Are you interested in adding pirate gear? Pirate Hats and hooks ($6) Pirate Pack ($10) includes sword, eye patch and bandana Nope
  • Are you interested in adding the Battle Boat w/ an epic cannon battle? * Select an option Yes No
  • What is your budget for this event? * Select your budget $1200-1800 $1800-2400 $2400-3500 $3500+
  • Any Extra Details

Join us for our 4th of July Fireworks Cruise! Call or text 206-639-8689. Join us for team building, corporate and private events or book a public cruise online now!

Protect Your Trip »

The 4 best seattle boat tours.

Take in the Emerald City's top sights from the water.

The Best Seattle Boat Tours

seattle skyline from the water

Getty Images

After exploring Seattle on land, snap photos of its skyline from a boat.

There's no better way to admire the stunning Seattle waterfront than from a boat. A variety of boat tours – from kid-friendly sightseeing cruises to romantic sunset sails – allow visitors to take in all the sights while enjoying a fresh sea breeze. Relying on expert input and traveler sentiment, U.S. News compiled four of the best Seattle boat tours.

Argosy Cruises – Locks Cruise

Price: Adults from $54; kids from $25 Duration: 2 hours

Enjoy the unique experience of passing through the Ballard Locks on this two-hour, one-way cruise. As you transition from the freshwater of Lake Union to the saltwater of Puget Sound, you'll hear live narration about Seattle's history and maritime industry from an onboard guide. Along the way, you'll pass some of the Emerald City's top sights, including the Space Needle , Olympic Sculpture Park and Gas Works Park, among others. Note that the cruise is one way, meaning it ends at a different location than it starts. You'll be dropped off at Pier 54 on the Seattle waterfront or AGC Marina on Lake Union. You can choose where you'd like to depart from when you book your tickets. You can also pay extra for bus transportation back to your starting point. Reviewers applaud the onboard guides, praising their knowledge of the region and their eagerness to answer questions and point out landmarks. Travelers were also pleased with the comfortable, clean boat. Some recommended avoiding the return bus service describing it as inconvenient, and instead suggested opting for your own transportation.

Tickets start at $54 for adults and $25 for kids ages 4 to 12 (children 3 and younger ride for free). Tour schedules vary depending on date and time of year; in the summer months, you can expect tours to be offered twice a day at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Argosy Cruises also offers harbor sightseeing tours.

View & Book Tickets: Viator

Sailing Seattle – Sunset Sail

Price: Adults from $62; kids from $49 Duration: 2 hours

Head out for a two-hour sail on a custom 70-foot yacht to admire the downtown Seattle skyline as the sun sets. Described by reviewers as "peaceful" and a "must-do," this laid-back cruise does not include a guided commentary and does not follow a set route – the tour's course is dictated by wind direction and boat traffic on Elliott Bay. Visitors are allowed to bring any food or beverages they want on board (though glassware is prohibited, glass bottles are OK). The crew also recommends bringing a jacket or sweater in case it gets chilly – a suggestion echoed by reviewers. A word to the wise: Since the yachts were built for racing, bench seating is limited, and visitors might have to sit on the deck.  

Tours are offered late April through early October. The exact sailing schedule varies by the day and month. Tickets start at $62 for adults and $49 for children ages 5 to 12. The company also operates daytime sails in the waters surrounding the city, as well as a two-hour sail on Puget Sound.

View & Book Tickets: Sailing Seattle

Best Seattle Boat Tours

Courtesy of Candére Cruises

Along with familiar Seattle landmarks, you may also spot seaplanes taking off and landing on this tour from Candére Cruises.

Canderé Cruising – One Hour Sightseeing Cruise

Price: From $50 Duration: 1 hour

Board a six-person vessel for an intimate outing with Candére Cruising on its one-hour sightseeing cruise, where the captain also doubles as the bartender. On this quick trip around Lake Union, passengers will see famous sights like the Space Needle, the Fremont Bridge, a variety of boats and yachts, and may even spot seaplanes taking off and landing, all while enjoying a cocktail (or mocktail). Travelers say the trip is relaxing and lots of fun, even for locals. Another highlight is seeing the houseboat featured in "Sleepless in Seattle."

Tickets start at $50 and include one drink. The one-hour cruise is offered eight times a day, though exact availability may vary by day. Candére Cruising also offers private outings, sunset cruises and day sails on Puget Sound.

View & Book Tickets: Option 1 | Option 2 | Option 3

Seattle's Tall Ship – Seattle Harbor Sailing Tour

Price: Adults from $45; kids from $35 Duration: 2 hours

Climb aboard the Bay Lady, an 85-foot tall ship, for a family-friendly sail around the Puget Sound. Departing from Bell Harbor Marina at Pier 66, this two-hour tour promises views of the Space Needle, Smith Tower and the city skyline. If you're lucky, you may spot harbor seals, depending on the time of year. In addition to two restrooms, the boat is equipped with an onboard bar. Travelers praise the attentive, friendly crew and the beautiful boat. They also say the views of Seattle and the sound are amazing.

The company sails daily, though exact times vary by day. The sailing season runs from the end of April to the end of October. Tickets start at $45 for adults and $35 for kids ages 2 to 12. Any purchases made on board cost extra. Seattle's Tall Ship also offers a sunset sail, in addition to private charters.

View & Book Tickets: Viator | GetYourGuide

You might also be interested in:

  • The Best Seattle Tours
  • The Best Whale Watching Tours Near Seattle
  • The Best Things to Do in Seattle
  • The Best Hotels in Seattle
  • The Best Day Trips From Seattle
  • The Best Weekend Getaways From Seattle

Tags: Seattle , Tours , Vacations , Travel , Pacific Northwest Vacations , Washington State Vacations , US Vacations

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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Seattle Travel

Seattle’s 10 Best Boat Tours for Unmatched Views and Unforgettable Adventures

One of the most unique things about Seattle is its abundance of waterways. Besides its direct connection to the Pacific Ocean, Seattle is surrounded by a bounty of lakes, bays, and islands to explore via ferry, cruise, or boat tour .

With so much to explore, it can be hard to narrow down the best places and ways to see the beauty Seattle has to offer. Below is a list of 10 of the best boat tours and cruises that simultaneously allow guests to take in the views of Seattle’s waters while having a unique and fun time with family and friends.

The 10 Best Boat Tours from Seattle

Here are 10 of our favorite boat tours from Seattle:

  • Argosy Cruises : The biggest fleet in the Pacific Northwest
  • Boat Tours Seattle : Unique boats available for rental
  • Sailing Seattle : 70-foot sailboat rides with a view of downtown
  • Seattle’s Tall Ship : Going even bigger! An 85-foot boat that gives tours of Elliott Bay
  • Soundview Sunset Cruises : Morning, mid-day, and afternoon cruises of Union Bay and beyond. Soundview has tons of options for seeing Seattle from the water.
  • Emerald City Pirates : Pirate-themed cruises!
  • Waterways Cruises And Events: Dinner and drink pairing cruises and more
  • Seattle Water Tours : Seasonal ice cream cruises
  • Steamer Virginia V Cruises : Cruise aboard a historic landmark
  • Lake Union Charters & Adventures: Ride a 1926 schooner

1. Argosy Cruises

Argosy Boat in Seattle

One of the longest-running boat cruises available in the Seattle area, Argosy Cruises offers cruise tours that explore the beauty and history of the city of Seattle, complete with a full-service bar. Argosy Cruises also boasts the largest fleet in the Pacific Northwest , which in combination with their 70 years of service makes them one of the most trustworthy cruise companies in the state.

Argosy Cruises offers a 1-hour Harbor Cruise and 2-hour Locks Cruise option for passengers to choose from. Their boats can also be reserved for corporate events as well as weddings. Additionally, they also have happy hour cruises that combine the stellar views with tasty drinks and special sales for holidays like the 4th of July.

2. Boat Tours Seattle

Metlite

With a unique fleet where every boat is different, Boat Tours of Seattle i s spearheaded by a group of United States Coast Guard Captains who are dedicated to using their skills to provide some of the safest and most enjoyable experiences on the water. From 2 hour tours to overnight adventures, Boat Tours Seattle is one of the most unique boat tours available in Seattle.

Each boat has its own special features and pricing. From smaller motor boats to full-blown sail boats, passengers can pick and choose their type of tour and the setting. Boat Tours Seattle has multiple tour packages as well, including rent-by-the-hour tours, special event tours, and overnight adventures. Check out the picture above, which shows their Metlite Boat. As you can tell, it’s a pretty unique experience!

3. Sailing Seattle

Sailboat off Seattle

Featured in National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler , Trip Advisor, and more, Sailing Seattle is a sailing-themed boat tour company that allows passengers to enjoy a sailing experience without having to steer or be involved in a guided tour. Hop aboard one of their two 70-foot sailing yachts and enjoy the views without any worries. Each boat is complete with a seating area on the deck, bench seating, and restrooms that guests can utilize while they explore Elliott Bay.

Sailing Seattle is an all-ages experience, including children and infants. Guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks as well, including alcohol. Passengers can even learn to help sail the boat by simply asking the deckhand or captain, who will then provide instructions. Each route aboard one of their yachts is unique as their routes are determined by wind direction and boat traffic that day. 

4. Seattle’s Tall Ship

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Seattle’s Tall Ship (@seattlestallship)

Offering 3 public sailing tours every day, Seattle’s Tall Ship runs all of its tours aboard the Bay Lady, an 85-foot tall sailing ship that currently resides in Elliott Bay. The ship is equipped with bathrooms, a drink and snack bar, and outdoor seating for guests. Apart from their daily tours, Seattle’s Tall Ship also has private charter tours and sunset sailing tours. 

Run by a skilled captain and crew, guests do not have to worry about steering when aboard the Bay Lady. Guests of all ages are welcome to enjoy one of their daily 2-hour tours or partake in an evening sunset tour complete with delicious drinks. The Bay Lady is available for reservation for private events for up to 6 hours at a time for events like weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, and much more.

5. Soundview Sunset Cruises

Husky Stadium at Dusk

Here’s a great choice for boating options! Want to cruise to a University of Washington football game and “sailgate” ( that’s tailgating on a sailboat )? Well, Soundview has sailgate cruises.

They have mansion cruises, morning cruises, mid-day cruises, afternoon cruises, and much more.

Home of the yacht known as Rainbird, Soundview Sunset Cruises showcases the views, landmarks, and history of Lake Union in addition to Portage Bay, Lake Washington, and Seattle Locks. Most famous for their sunset cruise views, they also have morning, mid-day, and afternoon cruises so passengers can enjoy Seattle in all of its beautiful and scenic forms.

In addition to their daily cruises, Soundview Sunset Cruises has holiday cruises, UW sailgate cruises for sporting events, and custom cruises. They even have a boat tour showcasing some of Seattle’s gorgeous mansions. Custom tours can refine their route for specific locations or special occasions. Passengers can also add things to their tour package, such as drinks.

6. Emerald City Pirates

Emerald City Pirates

One of the most unique water experiences available in Seattle comes in the form of a fully interactive pirate-themed ship. Known as the Queen Anne’s Revenge, the ship is the home of themed boat tours of the area, treasure hunts for families, and adult only parties, all complete with pirate flags and costumed crew.

Emerald City Pirates is for all ages, even babies. Dogs under 25 pounds are also allowed on board provided they are well-behaved. All tours come with snacks, water, soft drinks, beer, and cider for sale, as well as a ship store full of hats, swords, eyepatches, and more. Passengers can join tours without reservations, but for events like birthday parties or other private boat charters, it is best to make reservations ahead of time. Party cruises can be booked for either families or adults only.

7. Waterways Cruises And Events

Blue Angels

From dinner and drink pairing cruises to private events and holiday tours, Waterways Cruises And Events has a boat tour for every occasion. They regularly offer dinner cruises, weekend brunch cruises, and Sunday dinner buffet cruises. All of these cruises are complete with either a buffet or a plated dinner with roughly 2 hours of time on the water, making it a fabulous way to take in the views while spending time with friends or loved ones.

In addition to their regularly hosted tours, there is no shortage of special cruises throughout the year. Holidays like the 4th of July and Father’s Day come with special pricing, events, and food, from brunches and dinners to party cruises. They also have karaoke night cruises and drag brunches for Pride Month and miscellaneous special tasting events for breweries, chocolate and wine pairings, and spirits sampling.

If you’re looking for something to do during Seafair (held in early August), Waterways Cruises is a top option.

8. Seattle Water Tours

Ice Cream in Waffle Cones

Known for their seasonal summer ice cream cruises, Seattle Water Tours takes passengers to historic sites on Lake Union aboard the Fremont Avenue. Throughout the year they offer special event cruises for holidays, sports events, and more. Guests can book the Fremont Avenue for private charters for birthdays, weddings, corporate events, and more.

Seattle Water Tours’ Sunday Ice Cream Cruise is their most popular cruise, which runs from March through October. They also offer it on Saturdays from June to August. Each ice cream cruise is walk-ons only with no reservations or advance tickets available. Every cruise hosts up to 42 passengers and serves ice cream while showcasing local landmarks and history, such as the Boeing Company, a 100-year-old shipyard, the busiest drawbridge in the world, and more.

9. Steamer Virginia V Cruises

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Steamer Virginia V Foundation (@steamervirginiavfoundation)

As the name implies, the Steamer Virginia V Cruises is a historic boat tour aboard the Steamer Virginia V, which is a nearly 100-year-old steam-powered wooden ship. These tours simultaneously serve as a great way for passengers to explore the local area and to learn more about maritime history. It is also a great way to keep one of the most iconic historical ships of Seattle functioning for generations to experience and enjoy.

Passengers can enjoy public cruises, educational tours, and special events aboard the Steamer Virginia V for 9 months out of the whole year. Guests can rent the ship for private charters, like weddings, parties, fundraisers, corporate events, and more, either as a dockside rental or a leisure cruise. Private charters all come with a 3-hour rent time and come with tables, seating, speakers, microphone, projector, and more. Guests can then bring any cutlery, plates, food, and drink as needed for their celebration through Lake Union, Elliott Bay, or the Ballard Locks.

10. Lake Union Charters & Adventures

Lavengro Schooner

Lake Union Charters & Adventures has a number of options. There are Lake Union Cruises, private sailings, sailing battles, and even lessons. One big reason to look into Lake Union Charters? They have a 63-foot schooner named the Lavengro, which can accommodate up to 22 people. It’s beautiful and can be chartered for all kinds of sailings ranging from nights out to family events and sunset sails.

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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The Electric Boat Company Seattle

Tour Seattle by Boat – Cruise Lake Union

Tour seattle by boat.

Looking for fun activities to do in Seattle year-round, regardless of the weather? The Electric Boat Company launched a Seattle boat tour on Lake Union. Experience over 200 years of Seattle history at your own pace with our GPS-guided audio tour . We give you a tablet with our proprietary guide loaded up that will automatically play at tagged locations as you drive around Lake Union.

Your tour begins as you leave our docks with a brief history of Seattle and the events that made Lake Union what it is today. After that foundation is built, the tour takes you through the specifics that brought the area from a small logging and fishing community to a mecca for technology and innovation. You will learn about everything from the rum runners in the prohibition area that operated on the lake to Gasworks Park which the Seattle Times calls the strangest park in Seattle and potentially one of the strangest in the world. There is no shortage of stories to tell about this unique lake and the two-hour tour will take you through the highlights as you enjoy your electric boat cruise.

Just a few of the sites you’ll see on our Lake Union boat tour:

  • Gas Works Park
  • Floating Homes & Houseboats (including the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat)
  • Fishermen’s Terminal
  • Seattle Yacht Club
  • Space Needle

Rain or shine you can take in the breathtaking views of the Seattle skyline in our Standard or Luxury boats. There is no need to worry about the weather because these boats can be open or completely enclosed and heated! The Standard holds up to ten passengers and the Luxury holds up to twelve passengers.

Our Donut boats are open air and perfect for cruising around Lake Union on those beautiful Seattle days! The Donut boats hold up to six passengers.

Ready to tour Seattle by boat with The Electric Boat Company? Head to our booking page, choose a standard or luxury boat, and add on a tour for just $29 per boat!

Previous Post The Electric Boat Company Opened an Ice Cream Shop

Make a reservation now to experience Seattle from an electric boat on Lake Union.

B o o k N o w

2046 Westlake Ave N Suite 102 Seattle, WA 98109 Get Directions

SUMMER HOURS

April 1 – October 1 Mon-Sun: 11 am – 8 pm

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THE 10 BEST Seattle Boat Rides & Cruises

Boat rides & cruises in seattle.

  • Fishing Charters & Tours
  • Boat Rentals
  • Kayaking & Canoeing
  • Dolphin & Whale Watching
  • Stand-Up Paddleboarding
  • Scuba & Snorkeling
  • Water Sports
  • Parasailing & Paragliding
  • River Rafting & Tubing
  • Surfing, Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
  • Speed Boats Tours
  • Swim with Dolphins
  • Waterskiing & Jetskiing
  • Up to 1 hour
  • 1 to 4 hours
  • 4 hours to 1 day
  • 5.0 of 5 bubbles
  • 4.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 3.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • 2.0 of 5 bubbles & up
  • Space Needle
  • Candere Cruising
  • Washington State Ferries
  • Mount Rainier
  • Likely to Sell Out
  • Special Offers
  • The ranking of tours, activities, and experiences available on Tripadvisor is determined by several factors including the revenue generated by Tripadvisor from these bookings, the frequency of user clicks, and the volume and quality of customer reviews. Occasionally, newly listed offerings may be prioritized and appear higher in the list. The specific placement of these new listings may vary.

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What travelers are saying.

Heather H

COMMENTS

  1. Tour

    The Seattle Floating Homes Association is pleased to announce that we will have an in person Floating Homes tour on Sunday, September 7th, 2025. If you have any questions about the tour, or would be like to be added to our mailing list to be notified when tickets go on sale, please email us at [email protected].

  2. Where to See Houseboats in Seattle? (Top 5 Places to Visit)

    2. Gas Works Park: Located in the heart of Seattle, Gas Works Park offers stunning views of the citys skyline. From the park, visitors can get an up-close look at the houseboats that line the lake and take in the beauty of the lake itself. This park is also a popular spot for walking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors.

  3. Here's Where You Can Visit The House Boat From Sleepless In Seattle

    In fact, if you're looking to permanently live the Seattle life, you can purchase a floating house of your own on the same strip where the movie was filmed. Located at 2040 Westlake Avenue North, this one-bedroom and one-and-a-half bathroom floating home is on the market for $599,500, according to the listing on Washington Waterfronts.

  4. Seattle Afloat: Seattle Houseboats & Floating Homes

    With over two decades of serving the water based community, Seattle Afloat is well known for successes. Whether on the lake with Seattle houseboats and Seattle floating homes or on land with Seattle waterfront homes, we are your absolute advocate for all things waterfront and waterside around the Puget Sound. More info: call/text 206-850-8841

  5. Seattle Ballard Locks, Gas Works Park, and Houseboats Tour 2024

    Meeting point. Macrina Bakery & Cafe. 2408 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA. Open in Google Maps. Look for me inside the bakery with a Seattle Under the Radar Tours sign. Street parking around the meet up spot is limited to 2 hours (the tour is 3 hours) and nearby garages and lots are very expensive.

  6. 2024 Seattle Houseboat & Neighborhood Walking Tour

    Fremont. Stop: 70 minutes. See details. You'll end at. 3423 Fremont Ave N. 3423 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA. This tour ends in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Guests can catch the bus back into downtown with their guide or choose to explore Fremont more on their own. See address & details.

  7. Seattle Boat Tours & Events

    Argosy Cruises offers fun, narrated sightseeing boat tours of Seattle around Elliott Bay and Lake Union. Private charters & events available! Skip to main content. Parking & Directions (888) 623-1445; Sightseeing Cruises. Harbor Cruise. First to Board; Locks Cruise. Transportation Tips; Summer Views Cruise;

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    Overview Video Tour Gallery Floor Plans Why Fremont. Scroll. The Queen of Lake Union . The Queen of Lake Union. In the heart of Fremont, Seattle's Aurora houseboat offers 4,800 square feet of unparalleled life on Lake Union. The signature craftsman design and spacious floor plan offer uncompromising views and living spaces rarely, if ever, seen ...

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    email: [email protected] | phone: 206 323-3489 | mail: 2329 Fairview Avenue East Seattle WA 98102. Header Photo Credit: Chiara Carcano. Since 1962 the FHA has sought to protect, preserve, and promote the vitality of Seattle's historic floating homes community through education, advocacy, environmental stewardship, and ...

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    Climb aboard the Rainbird, our classic yacht located on Lake Union. We will cruise Seattle's lakes and waterways—taking in waterfront views of beautiful Lake Union along with its views of Seattle's architecture, beautiful skyline, and floating-home community. Further afield, we'll cruise Portage Bay, Lake Washington, Seattle Locks, and ...

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    The Seattle Locks Cruise offers a detailed, narrated journey through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, providing a unique perspective on over a century of the city's maritime history. This one-way tour showcases three distinct Seattle neighborhoods, immersing passengers in the vibrant cultures and scenic landscapes from the water's edge.

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    Your Harbor Cruise departs from Pier 55 on the Seattle Waterfront - 1101 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101. Additional Details Cruise route is approximate and can change based on each sailing's weather patterns, vessel traffic, and other non-predictable factors, and based on our experienced captains' discretion.

  15. 1 Hour Lake UnionTour

    From $200 Spend an hour cruising by Gas Works Park, past the floating homes and enjoy a relaxing cruise around Lake Union. Great for a date night or a friends' evening out on the water, Mocha is a 26ft open boat with unobstructed views of downtown and the Space Needle. Bring your own light snacks and drinks for this engaging night on the lake. Book a Tour

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    What's it like to live on a houseboat in Seattle?! ️ We created an app to help you save up to 80% on international flights! Try it risk free ️ https://f...

  17. Emerald City Pirates

    Emerald City Pirates. Founded in 2017, we are one of Seattle's newest and most unique attractions! As Seattle's only full-time pirate ship cruise we offer interactive pirate-themed boat tours in Seattle on the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Lake Union from April-October. Check out pictures of our pirate ship here.

  18. Argosy Cruises

    Tours and Tickets by Argosy Cruises - Seattle Waterfront. 2023. Seattle Locks Cruise. 91. City Tours. 2 hours. This one-way cruise starts & ends at 2 different central Seattle locations. Choose to depart from Pier 54 or from AGC Marina…. Free cancellation.

  19. The 4 Best Seattle Boat Tours

    Tour schedules vary depending on date and time of year; in the summer months, you can expect tours to be offered twice a day at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Argosy Cruises also offers harbor sightseeing tours.

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    The 10 Best Boat Tours from Seattle. Here are 10 of our favorite boat tours from Seattle: Argosy Cruises: The biggest fleet in the Pacific Northwest. Boat Tours Seattle: Unique boats available for rental. Sailing Seattle: 70-foot sailboat rides with a view of downtown. Seattle's Tall Ship: Going even bigger!

  21. Tour Seattle by Boat

    Make a reservation now to experience Seattle from an electric boat on Lake Union. BookNow. ADDRESS. 2046 Westlake Ave N. Suite 102. Seattle, WA 98109. Get Directions. SUMMER HOURS. April 1 - October 1.

  22. All about Seattle Waterfront Boat Tours

    The boat trips and tours from here range from 1-hour harbor cruises to overnight excursions in some of the world's most beautiful waters. Want to smell the breath of a whale or taste the liquor (juice) of a live oyster? Your Seattle Waterfront adventure starts here. Take your pick of departure points anywhere between Pier 50 and Pier 70.

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    Boat Tours & Water Sports. 1. Seattle Harbor Cruise. See some of Seattle's most famous landmarks from the water during this guided harbor cruise that has been running since …. 2. Evening Colors Sunset Sail Tour in Seattle. Sailing aboard Seattle's premier tall ship is the best way to see our city from the water.

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