Blog

The Tillicum Village Experience a Seattle Argosy Cruise

Its time to take to the sea. Join other passengers on a Seattle Argosy Cruise. There are many cruises to choose from to cover all interests. Spending the day at the waterfront is a joy in itself and getting to cruise to the many historical areas near Seattle can be fun for the whole family. One cruise goes to Blake Island where passengers can participate in the Tillicum Excursion.

 

What Is The Tillicum Excursion

 

The Tillicum Excursion is the best way to learn more about the Native American culture that thriving on Blake Island. It is a simple forty-minute ride from the port in Seattle to Blake Island. While on the island passengers will learn more about the history of the island and have the opportunity to explore hundreds of acres of land. It is a small cruise that can be completed in an afternoon. It only takes around four hours to sail and explore. While traveling to Blake Island there is plenty of sights to see. The beauty of Seattle and the island is something to marvel at while waiting out the forty-minute journey. There will be plenty of information given on the boat ride to the island about the animals that are native to the area and the history of the land.

 

Tillicum Village was first made for tourists. This village was a creation back in 1961. It was intended to bring entertainment for tourists who were interested in learning more about the tribe that lived on the island. The Saquamish tribe used the island as an ancestral gathering ground. The Tillicum Village now provides an experience to learn about food, art, and the culture that was created
there.

 

Chief Seattle

 

With the tribe living on the island, there have been many generations that passed down traditions. It is a wonderful area for learning more about a native tribe and how their culture has changed. Many people tell stories of the fact Seattle was named for one of the chiefs on the island. They say that Seattle was named from Chief Seattle.

 

Getting to the Island

 

The first experience on the island is traditionally a mug of steamed clams. This warm treat is something that holds tradition because everyone is supposed to eat the clams then crush their shells along the pathway. This helps to keep the clamshell path ready for the next visitor. The clams are usually accompanied by nectar, as well. This is simply the first appetizer of the night.

 

There is a longhouse where visitors will sit. The building is always filled with the fantastic smell of cooked salmon skewers by cedar stakes over an alder wood fire. For those that love to watch their food being prepared this is the perfect area. The salmon is cooked in open wood fires at the front of the building and visitors pass by them as they find their seats in the dining room.

 

Once seated visitors have the opportunity to try a variety of foods. Served in a buffet style the foods are always changing and evolving. There is always the staple of the cooked salmon usually joined by wild grain harvest rice, a salad, and much more. The updated menu is found on the website for the Seattle Argosy Cruise line.

 

There is an ever-changing menu available. With the dinner being served buffet style there is the ability to try a little bit of everything. Plus any food that someone likes is always available for seconds. While it can be hard to try to save room for dessert. Many people like to grab their dessert plate just before the storytelling begins.

 

A main staple of the trip is the storytelling of the village dancers. The atmosphere of the building is what brings this performance to life. During dinner, the dancers will give a performance that combines storytelling and dancing to share some of the island’s history. As the years have gone by the performance has changed. There is both live performances and some videos to watch. There is a lot more information packed into the performance after the Burke Museum paired with Tillicum Village. Making the entire visit even more interesting for those that love learning about the history of an area.

 

After the show, the dancers stick around to meet the visitors. They even allow people to take photos with them and their masks. If there are any questions about the performance this is the perfect time to ask. Plus everyone loves a compliment if the performance was enjoyable. Once dinner is done visitors can take time learning about the island first hand.

 

Some prefer to soak up the sun on the beach. Lounging is a great idea after the wonderfully decadent meal. Others like to take to the island and start hiking. Among the trees on the island are totem poles and traditional paintings. Some dancers allow their carved masks to be displayed, as well.

 

Overall, visitors have about forty-five minutes to hike, relax, or even buy artwork from the gift gallery before they set sail again. Some people enjoy the island so much they prefer not to be rushed during their visit. There are sometimes extended cruises that can be booked to allow for more time spent on the island. Pay attention when booking to see how long the cruise will stay on the island.

 

Traveling Back to Seattle

 

Everyone is always sad to leave Tillicum Village. It is a much different experience than some of the cruises available. However, the ride back is just as enjoyable as the ride to the island. The tour guide will tell more stories about the history of the area. Visitors can enjoy the stories as they relax from their excursion on the island.

 

Enjoying a long cruise is not for everyone. Sometimes it is nice to take a short day trip to somewhere new. The Tillicum Excursion is the perfect afternoon for anyone looking to have a great dinner and enjoy the feel of a cruise without spending more than a few hours away. The spectacular site of the traditional open fire pits cooking fish is a site to see and there is so much rich history to be
learned about Seattle.