Christmas Boat Parades – Schedule & Safety Tips

Experience the holiday spirit with lights gleaming off rippled water and enchanting music coming from beautifully decorated vessels at premier Christmas boat parades this winter season.  Spectators on the water must follow all boating rules and regulations.  You should consider arriving at your destination early and staying a little later to avoid any possible boat insurance claims for accidents or damage caused while in the rush of others.  Boaters watching the parade need to keep their lights on to avoid collisions. Also be cautious not to exceed the maximum capacity of your vessel, not only is this a safety concern but it could void your boat insurance coverage.

Spend an evening with family and friends where boats adorned with decorations stimulate imaginations and captivate senses in the following events:

Newport Beach in Southern California hosts one of the largest Christmas boat parades in the United States, setting their harbor ablaze for 5 consecutive nights.  The 105th Annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade begins December 18th and starts off Bay Island at 6:30 pm and finishes at the same location at 9:00 pm each evening.  Noted as “one of the top ten holiday happenings in the nation” by the New York Times, this spectacular display features multi-million dollar yachts, boats, canoes, and kayaks with richly decorated animated scenes, costumed carolers, and dazzling arrays of holiday lights and music.  Some boat owners spend over $50,000 to decorate their vessels for this truly magical event.

The Mission Bay Christmas Boat Parade of Lights is a highly anticipated celebration in the San Diego community featuring more than 100 vibrantly decorated vessels for the annual holiday season.   This parade occurs on December 14th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and begins at Quivira Basin.  Spectators can view it best from Crown Point, the east side of Vacation Island, or the west side of Fiesta Island.  It ends with an amazing firework display and the lighting of the SeaWorld Skytower Tree of Lights.

Florida offers over 75 fantastic Christmas boating parades, from Pensacola to Key West.  Fort Lauderdale hosts one of the greatest shows on water with its Winterfest Boat Parade on December 14th at 6:30 pm.  Over 200 boats start in the downtown area and travel 12 miles east on the New River and then north on the Intracoastal to Lake Santa Barbara in Pompano Beach.

If you plan to participate in a boat parade this holiday season, you should avoid alcohol if you are the captain of the boat, and ensure plenty of life jackets are readily available on board and that the running lights on your boat work well.  It is important you maintain 2-3 boat lengths between vessels while also keeping a safe distance from shore.  If you plan to travel to a new area for parade participation, refer to your boat insurance policy for any coverage concerns.  Also ensure your boat insurance covers transit prior to departing on your magical boat parade adventure.

If you have any questions about your yacht insurance coverage call the specialists at Global Marine Insurance at (800) 748-0224 for a complimentary consultation.

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