Plan a Visit

Tugboat Arthur Foss at Historic Ships Wharf Christian RiddellDirections and Parking Information

Whether you are currently touring Seattle, coming for a day visit, booking a group tour, or spending the night on the tugboat Arthur Foss, the following information may help.

Tugboat Arthur Foss and Lightship No. 83 “Swiftsure” are a heritage vessels, museum ships with public programs, and platforms for public service. Step onboard the tugboat to learn about the working life of a tugboat and her crew. During special events, the timed docent-led tours of the lightship provide insight to its ongoing restoration and historical connection to America’s maritime heritage.

View upcoming events on the calendar.

Museum Ships: Visit Tugboat ARTHUR FOSS and Lightship SWIFTSURE

Donation suggested.
Dates & Times: Tugboat is open seasonally on Saturday & Sundays 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm and during special events, such as Free First Thursdays of each month.
Check the activities calendar here.
NOTE: Due to the ongoing restoration, Lightship No. 83 is currently open to public viewing during special events and from the Historic Ships Wharf only.

School and Heritage Tours

Group tours of Arthur Foss are available by appointment. A tour accommodates up to 12 people, lasts approximately 45 minutes, and involves climbing ladders. Rate of $5.00 per person.
Registrations: Contact NWS for details and scheduling.

Tugboat Storytime

Parents and children are welcome aboard the Arthur Foss to listen to sea stories and maritime picture books read aloud. Tugboat Storytime provides an engaging environment for children to enjoy maritime literature and boats.
Dates & Times: Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 11:00 am.

Chantey Sings and Maritime Concerts

These family-friendly music-filled events are held in the Lake Union Park area.
Dates & Times:  Every 2nd Friday of the month, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. See Chantey Sing and Maritme Concert pages for details.

Engineer for a Day School Program

This program teaches middle and high school students, such as Ballard Maritime Academy, about marine propulsion through direct experience aboard National Historic Landmark vessels. Ships illustrate engine innovation and showcase the Puget Sound region’s transportation history and a technology transition from the 19th to 20th centuries. Students actively ‘fire-up’ a direct-reversing diesel propulsion plant. This half or full-day field trip connects students with marine engineers and technicians, providing an opportunity to interact with these professionals outside the classroom. Contact NWS for details.

Rent the Tug for Birthday Parties and Events.

Planning an event, such as a birthday party, family reunion or informal business meeting?  Use your creativity to create a unique experience for your guests.  Visit the tug during open weekend hours to check out facilities.  $99 venue use fee per hour (two hour minimum).  Contact  NWS to discuss details.

Work Parties

Join other volunteers aboard the Arthur Foss, Lightship #83, and other vessels for hard work (at times), excellent company (most often) and good will (always).  Work Parties get you into maritime heritage and sometime grease or sawdust.  See volunteer page for details.

Tugboat Overnight Experience / Tugboat Sleepovers

Ever wanted to stay and sleep onboard a tugboat?  Experience life aboard the 1889 Arthur Foss and learn about tugboats from the inside out. Whether staying one night for an authentic Seattle experience or living aboard during a workshop class, the Arthur provides both accommodations and a slice of Puget Sound maritime history. All participants receive a tour from engine room to wheelhouse and may take advantage of standard tugboat crew amenities, including flush toilets, hot showers, heat and bed linens. View Tugboat Sleepovers / Overnights page for details and images of cabins.

$70 per night officer’s cabins ; $40 per night crew accomodations; $385 per night for full ship, 9 berths total (6 crew/3 officer cabins, all ages).  30% Discount for CWB Program Students.
Dates: June 25 to October 18 (2013 SEASON EXTENDED, but blackout dates apply) and 2014 dates to be published soon.
Registrations: Use Contact Form to inquire.

Directions and Parking Information