The Best Options to get your Event or Group on Seattle’s waters

Seattle is well-known for its beautiful location nestled in the Puget Sound. Many people think of water when they think of Seattle, whether it’s for a cruise, ferries, houseboats, or enjoying a stroll on the waterfront piers. 

However, incorporating this unique feature into your corporate event can provide some logistical challenges.  We’ve made it easy for you to explore Seattle’s water with a list our top picks that are tried and true. These ensure smooth sailing through planning to event day.

Here are the 4 best group excursions on Seattle’s waters:

  1. Chartered Sailboats
  2. Leisure Cruises
  3. Electric Boats
  4. Book a Waterfront Venue

Let’s dive in (figuratively, at least for now)…

Option 1: Chartered Sailboats

Let the gentle breeze carry you across the Puget Sound. Sailboat excursions offer a serene and sophisticated setting for intimate gatherings or corporate events on Seattle’s waters. There are several charter packages available, some for as short as 2-hours, which would be a great break during a multi-day conference, a fun team building event, or scheduled at sunset for the perfect ending to your meeting day.  Whether it’s a sunset cocktail cruise or a full-day sailing adventure, a sailboat excursion promises an unforgettable experience on the water. 

Pro tip: This is ideal for smaller groups from about 3 to 40 guests; and peak months are typically April through September.

Seattle sailboat waterfront event planning Mount Rainier

Option 2: Leisure Cruises

For larger groups or those seeking a more relaxed ambiance, leisure cruises provide the perfect blend of comfort and luxury. Charter a yacht or private boat and indulge in gourmet cuisine, live entertainment, and personalized service. A leisure cruise offers a great setting for socializing and enjoying the sights of Seattle’s waterfront. This can be purely fun and social, or include a guided tour to learn interesting facts about Seattle history and marine life.

Pro tip: These vessels have indoor space, allowing you to host this excursion rain or shine which is always something to consider when event planning in the Pacific Northwest.

Leisure Cruise on Lake Washington for Seattle Event Planners

Seattle private charter yacht

Option 3: Electric Boats (Duffy Boats)

Duffy boats are small electric-powered boats, and great for a casual and memorable outing. You can captain your own boat (captain’s hat included if you’d like). These vessels are easy to maneuver and ideal for exploring Seattle’s intricate network of waterways. 

Gather your friends and colleagues and embark on a self-guided tour of Lake Union.  We have provided catered lunches and to-go charcuterie on the boats, or more casual picnic-style lunches and buckets of beer.

Most operators have a 2-hour minimum and each boat holds up to 12 adventurers, but we recommend 10 for a more comfortable ride.  You can do a fun scavenger hunt on the water or a GPS-activated tour on an iPad.  If you can’t tell already, this is one of our favorite options on the list!

Pro tip:  These are a great year-round option to get on the water. In colder months they add clear panel walls and heaters.  This is also the best option to get up close to waterfront icons like the famous Sleepless in Seattle houseboat.

Seattle electric boat rental for group excursions DMC ideas

Option 4:  Book a Waterfront Venue

We understand that your program schedule may be packed full and does not allow time to get out on a sailboat or cruise.  Good news – you can still bring the wow factor and elevate your event with a waterfront venue. Treat your attendees to breathtaking sunsets, fresh seafood, and the unmistakable ambiance of Seattle’s waterfront.

Some of our favorite waterfront venues are the Seattle Aquarium, Bell Harbor International Conference Center, The Edgewater Hotel, and Hyatt Regency Lake Washington. Please reach out to our team if you’d like help in learning which venue is the best fit for you.  From chic waterfront restaurants to stylish event spaces with panoramic views, Seattle offers a variety of venues that capitalize on its maritime heritage. 

Pro tip: Remember that Seattle is surrounded by several bodies of water, so don’t forget to check out Elliott Bay, Lake Washington, and Lake Union for more venue options.


Seattle Aquarium Pier Event

Ready to “Dive In” to planning your Seattle event?

Seattle’s maritime culture offers endless opportunities to enhance your event or group gathering. Whether you opt for a serene sailboat excursion, a luxurious leisure cruise, an adventurous electric boat expedition, incorporating Seattle’s waters into your event promises an unforgettable experience. So, set sail, explore the Puget Sound, and let the beauty of Seattle’s waters leave a lasting impression on your event attendees.

Contact us today to get the planning process started.

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