When Clipper Vacations asked if I would like to experience their Christmas by the Sea Day Trip from Seattle to Langley on Whidbey Island, I could not say no! With my friend Brittney in tow, we planned a Saturday to set sail to the north, traveling through Elliott Bay and the beautiful Puget Sound up to Langley to experience Christmas on an island!
Upon arriving at Pier 69 on the Seattle waterfront, we were greeted by the festive Clipper Vacation staff wearing awesome Christmas light necklaces (which you can buy on the Clipper in the galley – you bet Brittney and I bought our own!) and received a special welcome bag that included a booklet on Langley with a walking map and information on all of our shopping and dining options, an explorer’s guidebook to the marine wildlife and nature visible in the Salish Sea during the cruise and a very special coin (more on that in a moment)!
Upon finding our seats, the Clipper began its journey to Langley and the galley opened. Priorities first, I ordered hot cider spiked with rum, but I think I threw off the staff when I asked, “May I order rum spiked with cider?” Brittney ordered spiked eggnog and we sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the ride. We made some new friends as we enjoyed the relaxing time on the water.
To spread cheer to the local Seattle community, a portion of the sales of Christmas by the Sea supported our choice of Clipper’s regional non-profit partners, Treehouse, Mary’s Place or SR3. We could place our coin in any one of the three banks on board to support one of the charities. All three banks looked equally full and I was very happy to see that some very worthy non-profits were going to get some Christmas love!
The captain announced that he was going to stop so we could visit some sea lions sleeping on a buoy and not long after that he announced they had spotted a humpback whale! Brittney and I immediately ran upstairs to the outer deck and we waited to catch a glimpse of the majestic giant. The captain explained that the whale had just done a deep dive and it would be a few minutes before it would return to the surface. I have been on the Clipper quite a few times and I always appreciate how much the crew wants to educate the passengers on our local marine life and their behaviors. Sure enough, we were rewarded with the humpback resurfacing four or five times before it began it’s next deep dive to feed.
We arrived at Langley and both Brittney and I fell in love with the seaside village immediately. We were greeted by festive locals dressed in their Christmas best and walked up hill to get into town from the water. For passengers who would have trouble walking up the somewhat steep hill, there was shuttle service available.
Langley, Washington is indeed a little village by the sea, founded in the 1800’s by Jacob Anthes, who built a logger bunkhouse that is still standing and is currently serving as the museum. Anthes Avenue, named after him, was our first stop on our trip as I had been looking forward to visiting Double Bluff Brewing Company!
We met owner, brewer and Switzerland-native, Daniel Thomis, who was wearing one of the best Christmas sweaters I have seen (and perfect for a brewer). We chatted with locals at the bar and I asked for a flight of all of their dark beers (porters, stouts and brown ales are my jam). Of course I loved them all and I highly recommend visiting Double Bluff Brewing when you visit Langley!
Next stop had to be some grub. Brittney and I were told the pizza at Village Pizzeria was amazing, so we made the short walk across the street and sat at the bar. We met Charlie, who we were told is the son of the owner’s of Village Pizzeria. Charlie was making sure everyone in the restaurant was happy, delivering food, beverages and smiles to all. Brittney and I ordered the Barbeque Chicken Pizza, made with Carter’s BBQ Sauce, chicken, bacon, mozzarella and Asiago cheese, red onions and cilantro. It.was.to.die.for. We only ordered a half and thank goodness we did, the half was huge – we could barely finish it! You must visit Village Pizzeria for the views and the food. I can’t wait to visit again and try something else!
We finally made our way through the downtown shops. I bought some Christmas gifts for my family the Star Store and some chocolate tea from the Chocolate Flower Farm shop (which by the way, has been featured on Martha Stewart Living, Sunset, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, Coastal Living and more!). We finished off our remaining time on the island with some mulled wine and live music at Ott & Murphy Wines before hopping back on the Clipper for the cruise home! I can’t wait to visit Langley again, we were told by one of the passengers that Langley hosts a Mystery Weekend in February – I think it’s time to plan another visit!
The Langley cruise ends on December 22, running on Saturdays and Sundays, so you still have time to book your day trip! Pricing starts at $67 per adult and $50 per child. Book your Clipper Langley Christmas Day Trip today!
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received two comped tickets for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Lesley is the founder and editor of What’s Up NW. Prior to creating WhatsUpNW.com, she was the Seattle city editor for AskMissA.com. For both publications, Lesley has covered fashion shows, openings, and local charity events. She has written numerous articles shining the light on local businesses, encouraging readers to always shop local.