In just one afternoon we were able to take a deep dive (figuratively) into learning about Puget Sound and the land around it. We started at the Seattle Aquarium, then walked to the nearby Pier 55 for a Harbor tour with Argosy Cruises. We enjoyed being on the water so much that we followed the tour with an excursion by public ferry to Bainbridge Island.
Argosy Harbor Cruise
We used the Seattle Pass to prebook our tour on the Argosy Harbor Cruise (purchased in advance, $209 covered admission for one adult and one child to visit five Seattle attractions). The cost of the individual 1-hour boat tour would have been $37/adult and $20/child. We took the last cruise of the day at 4:30pm, but in the summer they run later. The pier was a short 10-15 minute walk from Pike Place Market.
Local Tour Guide
Our tour guide gave an excellent overview of the history and geography of the area. Even better, he shared “off the beaten path” ideas for Seattle visitors.
Shipping in Seattle
The last part of of the tour took us to the cargo ship section of the port, where we learned a lot about the workings of one of the largest commercial ports on the west coast of the US.
Alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and souvenirs were all available at the bar inside.
We started the tour in the sunny seating on the top deck of the ship, but as we neared the Olympic Mountains, the weather cooled significantly and we moved inside.
Bainbridge Island Ferry
A more affordable option for getting out on Puget Sound is to take a public ferry. The most popular route for tourists is to head to Bainbridge Island, a village filled with shopping and restaurants just a short walk from the ferry dock. Both pedestrian and vehicles board the ferry for the 45 minute one-way trip.
Visiting Bainbridge Island
We arrived with time for dinner. There were many options for dining, including breweries, wine bars, and cafes. At Bruciato, we were given scissors to cut our artisan pizza, a new experience for me. With more time we would have gone for a hike at one of the many public parks.
Riding the Ferry
The large ferry was equipped with restrooms, a cafe/bar, and seating in chairs or at dining tables. We could move about freely both in and outdoors, and the view returning into the city was spectacular.