My anniversary gift to my husband this August was a pre-determined date night activity for each month, so that we get time to ourselves the year after having Jackson. December’s was the Sausalito Lighted Boat Parade & Fireworks. It seemed like something different, and I thought it would be romantic, so I bought tickets to the Frieda B Schooner and decided to be a part of the parade on the water.
Let’s start with the Frieda B. The boat is nice - it’s an 80 ft. Schooner and has the accommodations needed for a couple hour boat ride. There are a few galleys, one just for hanging out, one with a restroom. There was a pretty extensive cash bar on board, although it was pretty expensive. They provided blankets to keep warm, which was nice - you’re on the ocean, and it’s cold…so even layering, it’s going to get chilly. Seating was at a premium, so if you go, make sure to get there early, or you may not have a place to sit at all.
Getting there early is a huge key, especially if you’re going on the night of this event. Parking is very limited in the area and there were hundreds of people downtown. My husband ended up just making his own makeshift parking spot so that we wouldn’t miss the boat and we figured that if we got a ticket, we’d deal with it. Luckily, we didn’t.
The crew on the boat was pretty awesome. The captain was clear and welcoming, the staff was very attentive. They run like a well-oiled machine. The boat took off a bit late because the crew was waiting for a big party, but they were too late so the boat left without them. The Schooner would sail out past the parade line, and then sail in-line with the parade to the judging area - essentially we’d pass all of the lit boats.
The parade itself, was…a bit disappointing. There were a few boats who really put an effort into their decor with lights strung up to the mast, Christmas music blasting, even Santa made an appearance on a boat or two. However, a lot of boats just had one string of lights around the bow or one lit decoration. It was fun seeing the boats going by and everyone was cheerful, but the visuals weren’t as impressive as I’d hoped. The fireworks show at the end was pretty cool, the water lit up with each explosion and all the boats from the parade stuck around in the cove to watch them. It was about an hour and a half total.
Overall, I’d recommend the Frieda B, but I wouldn’t recommend the light parade unless you live really close by.