History Cruise

NOTE: Our Final 2016 Cruise on August 30th has been sold out!  Many thanks to San Juan Cruises, Brian Griffin, Doug Starcher, and our patrons for making this a successful season.  Be sure to watch for next year’s cruises. If you would like to be added to our e-mail notification list for this and other Museum events, please sign up on our homepage.

OUR POPULAR HISTORY SUNSET CRUISE sails into its 33rd year, and we have some exciting new changes! This year the Whatcom Museum is partnering with San Juan Cruises to offer our summer cruises. We’ll be hosting cruises on a new day of the week too—Tuesday nights.

This is the place to learn everything you need to know about the history cruises, including new information on location, times, and parking.

About the cruise
The tour takes a close-up view of parks, businesses, industry, and neighborhoods from Bellingham Bay. It travels down waterways, sailing past historic points of interest, shipyards, and fishing activities, as well as work boats, pleasure boats, freighters, and tugboats in the harbor. Harbor seals and water birds are regularly seen—it’s a memorable evening!

San Juan CruisesOur history cruises are narrated by either Brian Griffin or Doug Starcher, local historians who tie their knowledge of local history with up-to-date facts about bay activities. Their narrative of history, trivia, and current events makes cruise guests feel like they are becoming experts on their community, and gives new understanding of the place they live in, or are visiting.

Guests travel aboard the 100-foot Victoria Star, which leaves from the Bellingham Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven. The boat has indoor and outdoor seating on two levels, an on-board snack bar, and a full bar with a selection of Northwest beers, wines, and cocktails. Restrooms are available on board. Guests can bring their own picnic dinner, snacks, and beverages (non-alcoholic) for a picnic-style dinner while cruising.

What are the dates of the Sunset History Cruise? The cruise departs every TUESDAY beginning July 12th and ending August 30th: July 12, 19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.

What time does the cruise begin and end? The cruise boards at 6:15 pm, departs promptly at 6:30 pm, and returns to the dock around 8:30 pm.

Where can we buy tickets? Tickets go on sale June 1, 2016. You may purchase tickets through Brown Paper Tickets, by calling 800/838.3006 ext. 1, or in-person, Wed.-Sun., noon-5pm, at the Museum Store located at 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. Ticket sales end at noon on the day of sailing. Walk-on tickets may be available at the dock prior to sailing, but are not guaranteed.

How much are tickets? Whatcom Museum member ticket: $30; Non-member ticket: $35; Groups of 8+ per/person: $28; Children 5 and under free (Please let us know if children 5 years old or younger are boarding with you when you purchase tickets as we need to include them in the head count) Proceeds benefit Whatcom Museum exhibitions and educational programs.

Where is the boat located? San Juan Cruises is located at Bellingham Cruise Terminal / Alaska Ferry Terminal in Fairhaven, Bellingham, WA 98225. Map & Driving Instructions. Parking is available on the street, or in a lot in front of the terminal building. The Port of Bellingham charges $0.50/hour for parking in the large lot with numbered spaces about 30 yards in front of the terminal building. Overnight parking is $6/day. There is free parking for up to 2 hours in front of the terminal.

Can we bring food? Yes you may bring dinner/snacks/beverages but may not bring your own alcohol. Beer, wine, and cocktails sold on board only. Snacks are also available for purchase at the snack bar on board.

Can I get a refund on my History Cruise ticket? No refunds, sorry. If you would like to change the name on a ticket, please call and let us know, 360.778.8930.

Can I change my reservation date? Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate reservation changes.

What if it is raining? The cruise will depart rain or shine.

Will we be able to hear the history narrator if we sit inside? Yes, there are speakers throughout the boat.

Are children allowed? Of course! Ages 5 and under are free. Ages 6+ regular ticket pricing applies.

Still have questions? Call the Museum’s general info line, 360.778.8930 or send us an email.