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Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union

Seattle Ice Cream Cruise on Lake Union

Are you looking for something fun to do on Sunday? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We have the perfect suggestion for you — hop aboard the Seattle ice cream cruise on Lake Union!

A view of Seattle on Lake Union from the Seattle Ice Cream Tour.

A view of the city from the Seattle Ice Cream Tour.

The Seattle ice cream cruise (operated by the Seattle Ferry Service) happens every Sunday throughout the year. The cruise launches from South Lake Union Park (near the northeast corner of the Museum of History and Industry). Departures take place between 11am-5pm on the hour. There are no reservations, so show up early to make sure you’re not left behind. Tickets are $11 for adults, $7 for kids 5-13, and $2 for children under 5. They accept cash and check only.

NOTE: The price of admission on the Seattle ice cream cruise does NOT include ice cream (which is kind of lame). That means you have to pay $2-$4 for one of the treats on board (if you want them). We had ice cream sandwiches on our cruise, but the captain was really pushing their “famous” chocolate root beer floats. I guess we’ll have to try those next time. The cruise also offers tomato soup, hot chocolate, and coffee in the non-summer months.

The houseboat used in the movie 'Sleeples In Seattle' that we saw on the Seattle Ice Cream Tour.

The ‘Sleepless in Seattle’ houseboat.

The 45-minute Seattle ice cream cruise is a fun, fully narrated tour around Lake Union. Among other sights, you will see where William Boeing built his first airplane, Dale Chihuly’s Lake Union studio, Gas Works Park, and many of the houseboats on Lake Union, including the houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle.

INSIDER TIP: Since the Seattle ice cream cruise travels around Lake Union in a counter-clockwise direction, you’ll want to sit on right (starboard) side of the boat for the best views. The only time you’ll want to be on the left side is when you make the short trek down the Montlake Cut (Ivar’s Salmon House and Dale Chihuly’s studio are on the left).

A father and his two kids enjoy the Seattle Ice Cream Tour.

The boat has two levels. Most people enjoyed the tour from the second level, but the ice cream is located on the first level.

Like I mentioned, the Seattle ice cream cruise is narrated (with some funky music mixed in). The captain does a great job of keeping the tour humorous (often yelling “We have ice cream!” at passing boats), but he’s also very informative. There’s so much history on Lake Union that Tove and I didn’t know about (and we’ve lived in this area for much of our lives). It was really fun to get an even better understanding of our area.

If you can’t make the Seattle ice cream cruise on Sunday, the Seattle Ferry Service also offers an hour-long Friday brown bag lunch and Saturday lake cruise during the summer (beginning the first Friday of June and running through the first weekend in September). Tickets are a little more expensive for adults on those cruises ($15 instead of $11), but kids ride for the same price as the Sunday tour.

I’m a firm believer that there’s nothing better than being on the water. Add ice cream, cool sights and some history to the mix, and you have a winning recipe for an awesome Sunday. We recommend the Seattle ice cream cruise to tourists and locals alike. It’s a fun adventure that will send you on your way quickly, so you can run along to the next fun thing in Seattle.

Have you ever been on the Seattle ice cream cruise? What did you think of the tour? We would love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more fun things to do and see around the Puget Sound!

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