Summer 2021 – The Whatcom Museum is excited to bring back the annual History Sunset Cruises this summer after last year’s season was canceled due to Covid-19. Partnering again with San Juan Cruises for tour operation, the weekly cruises will take place Tuesdays, July 13 – August 31, 2021, 6:30 – 8:30pm. The sailings will be offered at a reduced capacity with new protocols in place to ensure visitor safety, while still offering an enjoyable experience on Bellingham Bay.
This is the place to learn everything you need to know about the history cruises, including information about 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!
Our 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.
San Juan Cruises is following Covid safety guidelines including requiring masks indoors (except when eating or drinking), masks outdoors when six-foot distancing is not possible, contact-less check-in, increased sanitation, and more. Visit whales.com/covid-19-safety/ for a full list of safety measures. Guests are welcome to bring dinner, snacks, and beverages (non-alcoholic) onboard.
What are the dates of the History Sunset Cruises?
Tuesdays, July 13 – August 31, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Please note that the narrator lineup for each sailing rotates and is not guaranteed. Tickets remain non-transferable between dates even in the event of a narrator change.
What time does the cruise begin and end?
The cruise boards at 6:15pm, departs promptly at 6:30pm, and returns to the dock around 8:30pm.
Where can we buy tickets?
Tickets go on sale May 10, 2021. You may purchase tickets online through Eventbrite.com or in-person, Wed.-Sun., noon-5pm, at the Museum Store located at 250 Flora Street, Bellingham, WA 98225. Ticket sales end one week prior to the day of sailing and a cruise may be canceled if we do not meet minimum capacity. Cancellations will receive notification and a full refund. Tickets are otherwise non-refundable and non-transferable between dates. Walk-on tickets may be available at the dock prior to sailing, but are not guaranteed.
How much are tickets?
Whatcom Museum Member ticket: $35
Non-member ticket: $40
Children 5 and younger are free with pre-registration (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)
A group rate will not be offered this year due to capacity limitations.
Proceeds from the History Sunset Cruise 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.
Do we need to wear masks onboard?
Due to state mandate, passengers must wear masks inside the vessel when not eating or drinking and outside the vessel when they cannot maintain six feet of distance from other passengers not in their party.
What Covid-19 Safety protocols are in place?
San Juan Cruises is following Covid-safety guidelines including requiring masks indoors (except when eating or drinking), masks outdoors when six-foot distancing is not possible, contact-less check-in, increased sanitation, and more. Visit whales.com/covid-19-safety/ for a full list of safety measures.
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.
Are dogs allowed on board?
Dogs are not allowed on the History Sunset Cruises.
Is the Victoria Star boat wheelchair accessible?
The dock at the ferry terminal has a ramp to the boat that is wheelchair accessible. San Juan Cruises staff will assist wheelchairs loading onto the boat and can accommodate for seating once on board.
Can I get a refund on my History Cruise ticket?
If the Museum must cancel a sailing for not reaching minimum capacity, we will send notification and a full refund a week prior to the booked sailing. There are no refunds for purchaser cancellation or no-shows, and tickets are non-transferable between dates. History Cruises are a fundraiser for the Whatcom Museum and proceeds from ticket purchases support exhibitions and education programming on our downtown campus. If you cannot attend and would like to gift your ticket to someone else, we’re happy to change the name on your reservation; please call and let us know at 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. There is covered seating on the boat.
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 younger are free with pre-registration. Ages 6+ regular ticket pricing applies.
Still have questions? Call the Museum’s general info line, 360.778.8930 or send us an email.