Perhaps we are not completely trapped this holiday season??? What if there was a Christmas miracle that allowed you to escape your home in a safe and special sort of way? Duffy Electric Boats to the rescue! There are six of these tricked-out little rides docked right at the Kirkland Marina decorated with holiday lights so you can be part of your very own lighted holiday boat parade. Bah-humbug to the pandemic, THIS we can do-grab your family and masks and go. It's a one-hour ride for $149 plus insurance/tax and your household has a boat all to yourselves. You are your own captain (or you can pay extra for one) and since they are electric, powered by 16 golf cart batteries, they are quiet and zero-emission. You don't even need a boater's license since your max speed will be 7mph. This special 1hr rental with holiday pricing is available through January 3rd.
When I asked my kids if they would like to do a holiday boat ride on our own Duffy boat, you would have thought I asked them if they'd like to go to the Caribbean. "All of us?! On a boat ride? Where? When? This Saturday!!?" they shrieked. We don't get out much anymore so putting on our big coats and holiday cheer and hopping in the car together for a mile ride to the marina for a new adventure was quite the novel experience. We checked in at the tent on the south end of Marina Park and headed to the dock where the masked staff welcomed us and told us some super simple instructions about how to operate the boat. The minimum rental age is 21. Each boat has a different color holiday-themed light trim and when it was time to go, we all launched off in a straight line to follow the lead yacht with blue lights. My kids were not sad to discover a sealed container of iced holiday cookies that await the guests of each Duffy boat. The clear canvas sides of the 21' vessel zip up or down and there's even a little heater which keeps the adorable holiday-themed interior quite comfortable. Onward! Our mini-parade headed south past Carillon's fabulous light display and continued on into Cozy Cove where we could oooh-and-ahhh at the homes and their displays also. Staff is there to catch your boat and tie it up when you dock in the same area where you started.
If you haven't heard of Duffy Boats, it's an interesting story how Marshall "Duffy" Duffield designed the Duffy boats over 45 years ago and they became an integral part of the lifestyle in his city of Newport Beach, CA where he also later became mayor. The City of Kirkland did an RFP back in 2019 for tourism at the marina, which sparked hoteliers Troy Longwith (former GM of our Heathman) and Tanner Eriksen, who lives in Newport, to pitch the Duffy idea for Kirkland. And so here we are, and the Kirkland Duffies have seen many marriage proposals, memorials, and even a wedding! There are different themed boats too- Seahawks, Cougs, and Huskies are all represented in these cleverly named boats such as Duff'n Hawks, Duff'n Around, Duff'n Good Times, to name a few. The Duff'n Hawks boat was featured twice on the intro to Sunday Night Football on NBC and features the work of street artist Kelsey Montague, who is known for her collaboration with Taylor Swift and the Wings of Nashville. I appreciate that Troy and Tanner have an enthusiasm for Kirkland and also that they bring their hotel expertise to their Duffy boats. There are four scheduled bookings for each Duffy in an evening, and the boats are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected between each session. They also use a cold-fogging solution that is similar to the one hotels use to keep their guests extra safe.
So, are YOU going to "Do the Duffy?" (<-- weird watching pre-COVID videos sometimes, right?) You can book your Winterfest Light Cruise online here or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 425-588-1716. Enjoy!