SEATTLE — A Northwest holiday tradition set sail this weekend. Since 1949, families have celebrated the season aboard the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship.

Decked out in hundreds of shimmering lights, the boats become floating winter wonderlands. The ship sails to different waterfront communities, around 65 in total. On board, guests can indulge in food and drinks, take pictures with Santa and sing-a-long to their favorite Christmas tunes performed by a local choir.

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You can watch the Argosy Christmas Ship from the shore. (photo: KING)

You don't have to be on the water to join in the fun. A unique way to experience the Christmas Ships is from shore, which is free to attend. Beach parties are held during each sailing at waterfront communities along the route.

The Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival runs through December 23. Limited tickets are still available for the lead boat and follow boat.

Several special events are taking place this year. First, the Daytime Kid Cruise happens on December 9, complete with a performance by Recess Monkey. There's also a 21+ cruise with an ugly sweater party happening on December 21 and 22.

On December 14, Argosy's majestic Parade of Boats will convene in Lake Union. The Dickens Carolers will perform twice, first on Lake Union and again when moving westward through the Fremont Cut. Tickets for the follow boat are still available, and the viewing party will be held at Evanston Plaza from 7:30 to 9:30.

A portion of all ticket sales from the Christmas Ship Festival goes to the Seattle Times Fund for the Needy.

This story brought to you by Argosy Cruises. Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email: eveningtips@king5.com.