Recommended Cruises In Puget Sound
Half Day Cruises
Suquamish on the Port Madison Reservation.
Tie up at the Suquamish Dock which is just north of Agate Pass and about 6 NM or 50 minutes from Shilshole. This is a floating dock for the Indian tribe and is available for guests. According to Mark Evans, the tides here can be swift so be careful when docking and have your fenders in the proper position. The dock runs N-S so try to tie up on the West side of the dock so you are shielded from the waves coming from the sound that hit the East side of the dock.
1) Eat at Sully's which has a great deck for viewing Puget Sound and Seattle with Mt. Rainier in the background. Sully's serves a great hamburger as well as fish and chips.
2) Visit the Suquamish tribal museum a few blocks from Sully's.
1) visit Fay Bainbridge Park.
2) Stop and see the town of Winslow in Eagle Harbor.
3) Go to Indianola for lunch.
1) Dock at Elliot Bay Marina. This is about a 30-40 minute cruise from Shilshole (about 5 NM). The guest moorage is towards the East end of the marina so enter from that side. Warning - the spacing is tight and much narrower than Shilshole so have your fenders ready and be on your "A" game for docking. We recommend Maggie Bluffs restaurant at the marina. You'll have a nice view of Magnolia, the cruise ship terminal, and downtown Seattle.
2) Bell Harbor Marina for easy access to downtown Seattle and Pike Market. These are great places to dock for a Mariners or Seahawks game.
1) Port of Edmonds is about 8 NM or 1 hour from Shilshole. Dock at the Port of Edmonds Marina and walk uptown to the town of Edmonds. Unique shops for nautical items. Visit the Wooden Spoon for anything you need for the kitchen.
Full Day Cruises
Blake Island State Park
1) Has a dock with shore power, but fills up early in the summer. Great mid-week or winter trip.
1) Eat at Tides Tavern, known for their fish and chips - best on the sound. Has a dock at the restaurant.
1) Nicknamed the Norway of Puget Sound, the trip to and the town itself reminds you of Norway and its fjords. The town is very clean, has a Scandinavian look and has the best shops for nautical items.
1) Tour the Naval Yard.
1) Dock at the Bremerton Marina which is close to downtown and several must-see places.
2) First, tour the USS Turner Joy warship permanently docked adjacent to the marina. Guided and self-guided tours are available.
3) The Puget Sound Navy museum is within walking distance and has free admission.
4) If you're ready for a stationary bed, the Hampton Inn has reasonable rates and is just ashore of the marina.
5) In the same block as the Hampton is Anthony's where the locals go for the inexpensive good food and drinks during happy hour. Starbucks is next-door if you are in need.
1) Indian Point - good reliable salmon fishing spot.
1) Good place for whale watching.
Hood Canal Entrance and Port Ludlow are all good areas to cruise and enjoy the scenery.
Overnight/Two Day Cruises
1) Good stop on the way to the San Juan Islands.
2) After stopping at LaConner, continue up the Swinomish channel when the weather is rough or you don't want to navigate Deception Pass or expose yourself to the Salish Sea on the way to the San Juan's.
1) This area is in the rain shadow meaning it is the most likely place to have sunshine any time of the year. So if you're needing some vitamin D, stop in Port Townsend.
Hood Canal Tour
1) Beautiful scenery, you may be the only boat for miles. Except for a naval vessel on it's way to Bangor. Keep an eye out for periscopes. They're watching you I'll bet. Fly the flag for them.
San Juan Islands trip
1) From Shilshole to Langley is a good half day. Short walk up a hill to downtown. Good overnight stay.
2) From Langley, travel up Saratoga Passage to LaConner, about another half-day cruise. Be on the lookout for Orca pods in this bay as they like to gather here to feed.
3) LaConner is a good town to visit and have lunch in. There are a few boat builders in this area if you are interested in visiting them, notably the American Tug Company.
4) Leave LaConner heading up Swinomish channel. You will end up in Padilla bay. Weave you way through the Gateway Islands (Guemes, Cypress, Sinclair) to East Sound. Travel up East Sound to the town of Rosario.
5) Overnight in Rosario. An overnight slip in the marina gives you access to the pool and spa at the Rosario resort, previously a personal mansion.
6) from Rosario, you can travel to either or both Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor. Either harbor is an easy half-day trip.
6a) Continue on to Friday Harbor for a meal at the various restaurants next to the harbor. You can stay the night to tour the San Juan island or continue on to Roche harbor on the north side of the island.
6b) Roche harbor is a popular wedding destination, a tribute to its overall appeal. You can rent scooters and "scoot coups" to tour the town and island with.
7) You have several options for the return trip. You can re-trace your route taking a slightly different course or head South-SouthWest to Victoria Island and Victoria BC. You can also travel along the West side of San Juan Island, a popular whale watching area, especially near Lime Kiln state park. How far you venture into the Strait of San Juan De Fuca will depend on the weather and your appetite for rough seas. If you don't stop, you can make it back to Shilshole in a day. If you stop in Port townsend or Victoria, plan on taking two days for the return.