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Originally published Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Every night, Christmas Ships ferry the merry

Argosy Christmas Ships and other holiday boat parades, through Dec. 23.

Seattle Times staff

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The Argosy Christmas Ships, a Northwest tradition for decades, spread "Ahoy to the World" holiday cheer at shoreside stops around the region nightly through Dec. 23.

Choirs on board the brightly decorated lead ship give a 20-minute performance of holiday tunes, with at least two nearshore stops nightly, including many locations with bonfires and other onshore festivities.

Rides aboard the Argosy Christmas Ship or on Argosy follow boats are available by reservation, with a variety of options and prices including dinner cruises and specially priced family nights. Ships leave from Pier 55, Leschi, Des Moines Marina, Edmonds and Kirkland. Private vessels decorated for the holidays are welcome to join in the parades.

In the holiday spirit, a portion of Christmas Ship ticket proceeds benefits The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy charities.

Befitting the Northwest's maritime heritage, many other local boating groups sponsor parades of decorated boats around the region, including the Queen City Yacht Club's Chet Gibson Memorial parade of lighted boats (this Friday and Saturday) and boat parades in Gig Harbor and La Conner, both on Saturday. (See Community Datebook listings for complete information.)

Argosy Christmas Ships schedule

Onboard performing groups listed with nightly stops:

Friday: Dickens Carolers, 8:05 p.m. at Manchester City Park, 9:15 p.m. at Olympic Sculpture Park.

Saturday: Dickens Carolers, 4:10 p.m. at Pier 66, 5:15 p.m. at Seacrest Park, 8:50 p.m. at Lowman Beach, 9:40 p.m. at Alki Beach.

Sunday: Dickens Carolers, 6 p.m. at Carkeek Park, 6:30 p.m. at Blue Ridge.

Monday: Soundwave choir, 7:30 p.m. at Winslow Waterfront Beach, 8:40 p.m. at Don Armeni Boat Ramp.

Tuesday: Everett Chorale, 7:10 p.m. at Edmonds Fishing Pier, 8:20 p.m. at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park.

Wednesday: North Kitsap Northern Lights, 7 p.m. at Poulsbo Marina, 7:45 p.m. at Keyport, 8:20 p.m. at Lemolo Beach.

Dec. 15: Dickens Carolers, 7:10 p.m. at Des Moines Beach Park, 8:10 p.m. at Dash Point.

Dec. 16: Dickens Carolers, 7:55 p.m. at Mercer Island Beach Club (private), 8:45 p.m. at Newport Yacht Club (private).

Dec. 17: Dickens Carolers, 3:55 p.m. at Kirkland Marina Park, 4:55 p.m. at Madison Park, 8:55 p.m. at Sheridan Beach Club, 9:45 p.m. at Matthews Beach Park.

Dec. 18: Dickens Carolers, 6 p.m. at Tracy Owen Station/Log Boom Park, 7 p.m. at Juanita Beach Park.

Dec. 19: Dickens Carolers, 7 p.m. at O.O. Denny Park, 8 p.m. at Laurelhurst Beach Club.

Dec. 20: Dickens Carolers, 6:45 p.m. at Carillon Point, 7:45 p.m. at Meydenbauer Bay.

Dec. 21: Dickens Carolers, 7:25 p.m. at Lake Forest Civic Club (private), 8:20 p.m. at Magnuson Park Beach.

Dec. 22: Dickens Carolers, 7:50 p.m. at Luther Burbank Park, 8:50 p.m. at Yarrow Point Beach Park.

Dec. 23: Dickens Carolers, 4 p.m. at Matthews Beach Park, 5 p.m. at Waverly Beach Park; 8:45 p.m. at Portage Bay-West Montlake Park; 9:45 p.m. at Gas Works Park Grande Finale.

Cost: Shore events free; rates vary for riding the Christmas Ship or other Argosy boats: $10-$99.

More information: 206-623-1445 or www.argosycruises.com.

Madeline McKenzie: mmckenzie@seattletimes.com

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