Courtesy of Argosy
Find it: 1101 Alaskan Way, Pier 55
Get your bearings by starting with a scenic Harbor Cruise, a one-hour boat ride narrated by the captain and crew. This is the easiest, most accessible of Argosy’s boat tours, and it loops around Elliott Bay. Learn about the city while you enjoy the breeze coming off the salt water and panoramic views of the downtown skyline and the mountains.
“Once you get on a boat and it backs out, the engine rumbling, it’s a totally different view,” says Tim Ratcliffe, Argosy’s director of island and marine operations. “You see the city in a different light as you see it from a distance. It’s kind of a quick game-changer. Give yourself a few to get away.”
For Ratcliffe, getting his feet off the dirt and onto a boat is like taking a vacation from downtown Seattle. So, whenever he’s on a tour, he always tries to stay outside to enjoy the scenery.
“That’s relaxing to me, getting those long, pretty views on a sunny day,” says Ratcliffe. “I always get lost in the mountain views. Views of Mount Rainier, the Brothers or Mount Baker on a clear morning. What really draws me is that I can look out at the Olympics, and I know where Chief Sealth had a camp. Where Vancouver came through. Those views are exactly the same as they had.”
Pro tip: Washington state residents receive a discount on cruise tickets.