The annual flotilla of Argosy ships sails Nov. 25-Dec. 23.

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Northwesterners love boating. And holiday traditions. Put the two together and what do you get? The Argosy Christmas Ships, which ply Puget Sound, Lake Washington and Lake Union. This year, they set sail at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, from South Lake Union, and sail nearly every night of the week through Dec. 23, when the ships depart from Kirkland City Dock and visit Portage Bay and Gas Works Park.

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Reserve a spot on a light-bedecked Argosy ship and settle in to hear live music on board during the cruises, which last nearly three hours. Or join the floating parade with your own decorated boat; registration is now open for the second annual Parade of Boats, to be held on Dec. 16.

You don’t have to be on the water to join in. You can greet the ships at one of the many beaches they visit along the way — some locales offer bonfires. You can hear the music piped from the ships on shore.

From Shilshole to Dash Point, Kirkland to Pier 55, the ships visit many waterfront communities; tickets start at $17, and prices vary by boat and date. Info: 888-623-1445 or

SeattleTimes staff