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5 Ways to Get Out On the Water in Seattle

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94 Reviews
5 Ways to Get Out On the Water in Seattle
While Seattle has much to offer visitors on land, there are many worthwhile experiences to be had offshore, as well. To help beef up your Emerald City itinerary, here are the best ways to get out on the water in Seattle. 

1. Go whale watching.
Thanks to its proximity to the San Juan Islands in salmon-rich Puget Sound, Seattle is a popular destination for whale watching. You’ll be able to spot gray, humpback, and minke whales, as well as orcas, sea lions, seals, porpoises, and seabirds.

2. Ride the ferry.
Washington State has one of the largest ferry systems in the United States, making it a breeze to get from Seattle to the San Juan Islands, Blake Island (the birthplace of Chief Seattle), gallery-filled Bainbridge Island, or Victoria on Canada’s Vancouver Island.

3. Embark on a whitewater rafting adventure.
Seattle’s surrounding rivers boast whitewater rapids prime for an adrenaline-fueled adventure. First-timers and families can tackle the easy waves of the Wenatchee River or Upper Skagit River, while those looking for a bigger thrill can brave the Class 3 and 4 rapids of the Sauk River. The Skykomish River, meanwhile, offers the most challenging rapids in the state.

4. Set sail.
From Lake Union to the Puget Sound, Seattle offers excellent sailing. Hop aboard a sailboat with a professional captain for a hands-on lesson, where you’ll learn the basics of navigating a small vessel. During the tutorial, soak in views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.

5. Enjoy a sightseeing harbor cruise.
Take in the Seattle skyline, including Mount Rainier and the Space Needle, during a narrated cruise through Seattle Harbor and Elliott Bay. Alternatively, see the Ballard Locks, another of the city’s top attractions, aboard an entertaining, educational tour of the ship canal.
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21 Tours and Activities | All Seattle Tours

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Day Trip from Seattle to Victoria on the Victoria Clipper

Day Trip from Seattle to Victoria on the Victoria Clipper

star-4.5
Taking a day trip from Seattle to Victoria, Canada has never been easier. Leave from downtown Seattle to Vancouver Island aboard the Victoria Clipper. The high-speed vessel takes you on a relaxing cruise through Puget Sound to Victoria’s Inner Harbor. This is a passenger-only ferry featuring comfortable seats, a duty-free gift shop, and a cafe with one-way or round-trip options available. Proper identification is needed to cross the border.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$121.00
From
$121.00

Seattle's Favorite Sightseeing and Cocktail Cruise

Seattle's Favorite Sightseeing and Cocktail Cruise

star-5
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Seattle from the water on this comfortable, 2-hour, cocktail cruise along Lake Union. Watch seaplane arrivals and departures and see landmark Seattle locations like the iconic Space Needle, Seattle Great Wheel, the Fremont Bridge, Gas Works Park, the University of Washington and much more — plus a plethora of floating homes, including the one from the popular movie ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’ Choose from a morning, midday, afternoon or evening cruise. The first round of drinks is included.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$89.00
From
$89.00

Bainbridge Island Wine and History Luxury Small-Group Day Tour with Lunch

Bainbridge Island Wine and History Luxury Small-Group Day Tour with Lunch

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Explore northwest island life on this all-inclusive history and wine tour of Bainbridge Island. After a scenic ferry ride, visit beautiful Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre (61-hectare) arboretum and garden, and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. Enjoy the included gourmet picnic or restaurant meal before exploring the rest of the island’s colorful history. Spend the afternoon visiting the island’s best wineries for tastings, included in the tour price.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$249.00
From
$249.00

Whale Watching from Friday Harbor

Whale Watching from Friday Harbor

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Get up close with the orca whales off the San Juan Islands near Seattle on this 4-hour whale-watching cruise. San Juan Island is where the southern resident killer whales live about six months out of the year, from mid-April to October. It’s also considered the best place to view orca whales.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$113.63
From
$113.63

One Hour Seattle Sightseeing Cocktail Cruise

One Hour Seattle Sightseeing Cocktail Cruise

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Step aboard a boat for a cruise on Lake Union, hosted by a skipper/bartender who will mix drinks for you between steering the ship. Traveling with a small group of just six people means you'll get tons of personalized attention and the chance to ask questions. Take in sights of Lake Union's draw bridges, seaplanes, and scenic shoreline while listening to engaging narrative and sipping drinks.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.00
From
$49.00

Seattle to Victoria Day Trip with Royal BC Museum

Seattle to Victoria Day Trip with Royal BC Museum

Skip the traffic and enjoy the sights by traveling straight from downtown Seattle to Victoria, BC on a high-speed ferry. The efficient and comfortable mode of transportation ensures busy travelers don’t waste any time in transit. Plus, you arrive in Victoria well rested rather than tired out from a drive. That way, you have ample time and energy to explore the Royal BC Museum—admission is included with the trip.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$133.77
From
$133.77

The Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Seattle

The Butchart Gardens Day Trip from Seattle

star-4.5
Experience beautiful and renowned Butchart Gardens, plus the quaint city of Victoria, British Columbia, on this all-day tour from Seattle. Enjoy a relaxing, scenic ferry ride through picturesque Puget Sound (watch for whales) en route to Victoria, one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. Explore the seemingly endless array of floral displays at Butchart Gardens, then visit some of Victoria’s best places. This tour includes all transportation and admission to Butchart Gardens.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$215.00
From
$215.00

Private Sailing Adventure on the Puget Sound

Private Sailing Adventure on the Puget Sound

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Sail the seas around Seattle on this private, 3-hour adventure to Puget Sound. Climb aboard the S/V Kingsley and set sail from the Shilshole Bay Marina with an experienced captain leading the way. Learn how to sail or simply sit back and enjoy the view. See an abundance of marine wildlife, the downtown Seattle skyline — including the iconic Space Needle — plus incredible views of the Olympic Mountains, featuring majestic Mount Rainier in the distance.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$455.13
per group
From
$455.13
per group

Private Seattle Sightseeing and Cocktail Cruise

Private Seattle Sightseeing and Cocktail Cruise

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Cruise Lake Union to see Seattle's best sights from the water while sipping your favorite cocktail on this private cruise. Enjoy personalized attention from the staff and captain for your private group as you make your way past famous sights such as the Fremont Bridge, the Space Needle, and St. Mark's Cathedral. Bring a picnic or food from a favorite restaurant to munch on while you travel. This family-friendly cruise welcomes all ages.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$499.00
per group
From
$499.00
per group

Winter Puget Sound Salmon Fishing

Winter Puget Sound Salmon Fishing

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You will have the chance to see some of the best views in the PNW from the water. You will also be fishing for some of the best fish we have in our waters, the King Salmon. You may also get the chance to see whales and other marine life
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$195.00
From
$195.00

Puget Sound Salmon Fishing

Puget Sound Salmon Fishing

Come experience the great Pacific Northwest. Ride along on a brand new locally built fishing boat with the best fishing and safety equipment to date. You'll get a chance to see view you can't see any where else. You may even get a chance to see some Killer Whales passing through the Sound.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$220.00
From
$220.00

Seattle Salmon Guided Fishing Trip

Seattle Salmon Guided Fishing Trip

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What is more uniquely Seattle than being able to fish for Salmon, Bottomfish, and Squid just minutes from downtown? Come join us as your US Coast Guard licensed Captain Paul Kim takes you out for a private trip on the scenic waters of Puget Sound. Guests will be treated to a memorable and exciting experience and have the opportunity at catching one of the hard fighting salmon that swims in our backyard. The puget sound is nestled between 2 majestic mountain ranges and on clear days, views of Mt. Rainier can be seen from our tours. If we're fortunate, we might see wildlife such as seals, harbor porpoise, various birds, and at times of the years Orca whales. All trips originate from the scenic Shilshole marina in the historic Ballard neighborhood.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$325.00
From
$325.00
Taking safety measures

Port of Tacoma and Puget Sound 2 Hour Guided Boat Tour

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Port of Tacoma and Puget Sound 2 Hour Guided Boat Tour

star-5
This is a compelling, 2 hour, professionally guided tour of the City Waterfront and Port of Tacoma! Enjoy the 12 mile long adventure and sights of bald eagles, seals, Mt. Rainier the Olympic Mountains, ships, tugboats, bridges and the wonders of the secret passage! You will be shown the splendors of the wildlife, history, ecology and adventure on Puget Sound! We travel on a very seaworthy, ex-US Navy boat that is mostly open but has a covered area. Our boats and captains are inspected and licensed by the US Coast Guard.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
Taking safety measures

 2 Hour Guided Boat Tour in Gig Harbor and Narrows Bridges

SPECIAL OFFER

2 Hour Guided Boat Tour in Gig Harbor and Narrows Bridges

star-5
This is our most popular tour that brings in all the best sights and sensations of life on Puget Sound. This is an interactive tour! Our guides and crew have the top experience and perspective in the area and we love to share it! We take-in the beauty of our quaint "Maritime City" then go boldly out onto the open waters of the Tacoma Narrows to gather views from under our two major suspension bridges, wildlife like Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, seals and cute little seabirds. Our heavy-duty, ex-navy boat has a smooth comfortable ride. Safety is our first priority. Our boats and staff are certified and licensed by the US Coast Guard. This is a fun, quality trip to remember!
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
Taking safety measures

Shared Fall Colors Sunset Cruise from Gig Harbor

SPECIAL OFFER

Shared Fall Colors Sunset Cruise from Gig Harbor

This cruise takes you through the heart of Puget Sound hailing out of Gig Harbor, WA. It is the only public sunset cruise on Puget Sound with this extended duration and distance traveled, nearly 14 miles, round trip. Our cruise is available to individual travelers rather than groups only. Our vessel, "RIVIERA" is a restored, US Coast Guard certified, classic Northwest built charter boat. She and her captain and crew are steeped in Puget Sound legacy and experience. This smooth-water cruise takes us under two major suspension bridges; twice! Wildlife ranges from seagulls to Bald Eagles, seals and sea lions. Can't miss Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Mountain range unimpeded except for some clouds. You can bring-your-own snacks and drinks. This is an interactive trip where we candidly and casually interpret our surroundings, There is plenty of time on this cruise where you are left to enjoy the cruise without interruption. We will talk with you and answer your questions along the way.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.00
$50.00
$6.00 savings
From
$44.00
$50.00
$6.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Guided Seattle Sailing Adventure from Bainbridge Island

Guided Seattle Sailing Adventure from Bainbridge Island

star-5
Depending on the day, we’ll get up close to seals, explore some beautiful harbors with stunning waterfront homes, and maybe even spot whales. Or we could see a nuclear submarine, inbound container ships, or century-old schooners. You'll learn about Bainbridge Island's unique history, from having the largest shipyard for wooden vessels in the West, to the earthquake that lifted a whole section of the Island 23 feet which can still be seen today, and of being the first place from which Japanese-Americans were forcibly removed from their homes during World War II. ​
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$240.00
per group
From
$240.00
per group
Taking safety measures

Snoqualmie Whitewater Rafting (Class 3-4)

Snoqualmie Whitewater Rafting (Class 3-4)

star-5
This is our foremost offering for those who need a fast escape from the rigors of daily life in the city. The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Whitewater Rafting trip is a classic Intermediate level Western Washington whitewater run and is the closest available whitewater to downtown Seattle. Our 1/2 day Snoqualmie River rafting trip features technical whitewater runs that weave through wild wooded scenic escapes while being only 30 miles from Seattle. Add the incredible scenery of the rivers upper section, as well as a catered lunch and you have an awesome day in nature. For those of you wanting a more intimate experience in the river, try an inflatable kayak trip on the rivers lower section. The Snoqualmie has something for all! Note: The Snoqualmie River rafting section which we utilize for whitewater is located above Snoqualmie falls on what we call the "middle middle", which is the center section of the middle fork of the river, located just outside of North Bend, Washington.
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  • 5 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$95.00
From
$95.00

Seattle Dinner Cruise

Seattle Dinner Cruise

star-4.5
Enjoy an unforgettable dining experience aboard a beautiful Waterways yacht - complete with a delicious four-course dinner, friendly, attentive service, and stunning views of Seattle's lakes and city skylines.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$115.44
From
$115.44

Parasailing over The Seattle Waterfront with Parasail Seattle

Parasailing over The Seattle Waterfront with Parasail Seattle

star-5
Parasail high above the beautiful waters of The Puget Sound while enjoying breathtaking panoramic views of this PNW paradise. From your secure spot in the sky, you’ll float along over the Seattle skyline soaking in all of the magic the Emerald City has to offer. While parasailing, you may even catch a glimpse of seals, porpoises or dolphins playing in the waters below. An exhilarating trip for the adventurer in all of us!
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$129.00
From
$129.00

Private Seattle Lakefront Mansion Cruise

Private Seattle Lakefront Mansion Cruise

star-5
Revel in personalized attention and enjoy a flexible itinerary on this private Lake Union cruise. Sip a cocktail or soft drink while your guide points out the luxe waterfront mansions that line the shore. Other sights include the floating homes of all varieties, views of seaplanes taking off and landing, and an array of drawbridges, some almost 100 years old. This private tour can accommodate up to 6 passengers.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$749.00
per group
From
$749.00
per group

Bainbridge Island Wine and History - Private Luxury Day Tour with Lunch

Bainbridge Island Wine and History - Private Luxury Day Tour with Lunch

Experience Pacific Northwest island life, history, and wine on this all-inclusive private day tour of beautiful Bainbridge Island. We’ll start the day with a scenic ferry ride from Seattle followed by a leisurely tour of this island’s colorful past. In the afternoon, it’s all fun as we explore the island’s budding winery scene by visiting two local producers. The tour includes a gourmet lunch, admission fees, winery tasting fees, and pick-up at your Seattle hotel in our luxury Mercedes van.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$449.50
Price varies by group size
From
$449.50
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures