Frequently Asked Questions For The Newport Beach Boat Parade

When is the Newport Beach Boat Parade?
The Newport Beach Boat Parade takes place the third Wednesday through Sunday in the month of December. The parade is a 5 day event starting at 6 pm and lasting until sometime after 9:30 pm each night.

How many boats are in the boat parade?
The Newport Beach Boat Parade has grown to over two hundred official entrants and many more unofficial participates. It is the largest boat parade on the West Coast.

Where can I watch the boat parade?
Viewing of the boat parade is best done by being in the parade, other options include from a stationary structure in the harbor such as a private dock or from different public access areas distributed throughout the harbor.

What night of the Newport Beach Boat Parade is the best?
All nights of the Newport Beach Boat Parade are the same in terms of the parade itself. Boats and homes competing in the parade must be present and participating each night. The weekend nights of the parade will have more spectators and private boats viewing the parade.

Where does the parade start each night?
Unlike previous years 2009’s parade starting point was off Bay Island in Newport Harbor. The starting point can vary from year to year, although we expect it to start from the same location this year.

What should I wear?
We recommend wearing layers. It is much easier to take different layers off than to be under dressed for the cruise. There are large indoor areas on all of the ships but part of the fun is being out in the night air hearing the caroling and seeing the parade under the stars. Blankets are also a good idea as well as scarves. Average temperatures for the parade are from 55-62 degrees which isn’t too cold.

Are reservations required for Newport Beach Boat Parade cruises?
Reservations are required for the Newport Beach Boat Parade. Information needed will include name, address, cell phone number ideally, number in party, night and time desired, and credit card. There are typically some last minute openings even when sold out so if you check in about 15 minutes before departure you can over 90% of the time get on to that evening’s holiday cruise. If you need to cancel and give us at least 72 hours notice we will give you passes for another night or for next year’s parade. Our official policy is that reservations are non refundable. That said we will try to make things fair for everyone.

Is this a good event for kids?
I can’t think of a better holiday event for kids. Besides the actually boat parade, seeing all of the giant homes and landscapes in full décor, being on a boat in the harbor, seeing the city lights in the background along with the stars and moon makes this a perfect activity for kids. Hot chocolate and desserts in the kitchen don’t hurt either. Kids love to explore the entire ship and with several attendants onboard there are no concerns of safety. Kids seem to be extra susceptible to getting cold as they don’t notice it until they are turning blue so make sure they dress appropriately.

Where do I go to get onboard with one of the cruises in the boat parade?
There are 2 locations where you could be boarding your ship for your holiday cruise. The first is Newport Landing which is the 309 Palm Street Suite A Newport Bch 92661 address the second is Davey’s Locker which is the 400 Main Street Newport Bch 92661 address. They are located about 100 yards from each other so if you end up at one location, but are supposed to at the other not to worry. When making your reservations they will let you know the location and time of departure.

What are my options for parking during the parade?
The basic parking options for the Newport Beach Boat Parade on the Balboa Peninsula are the Balboa Pier Public Parking lot, the Newport Landing parking structure, and residential parking. One trick of sorts is to find meter parking since after 6 pm it is free. Check out our complete guide for parking during the Newport Beach Boat Parade page.

How soon should arrive before the departure of my cruise in the Newport Harbor Boat Parade?
We recommend arriving 1 hour before your scheduled departure time. For those cruises leaving at the later departure time on Friday, Saturday, & Sunday nights, we recommend a little over an hour before. Make sure to plan for congestion leading into Newport Beach as well as general congestion as people travel to holiday parties and functions.

Is the parade the same every year?
The Newport Beach Boat Parade does vary significantly from year to year once you have seen the parade once you have not seen every year’s parade. There are a couple of traditions that hold up over the years, but new themes and creative undertakings set the bar for the following year’s parade.

What happens if it rains during the parade?
It has rained during the parade maybe only 7 times over 200 parade days in the last 40 years. If it rains the parade does gone on as well as the holiday cruises. If rain is being forecasted above 70% for the evening of your cruise bring umbrella and poncho if available. There will also be poncho available in the office before boarding. The parade is during the December so it is possible to forecasts for rain, but typically it sprinkles early in the afternoon only to be very nice for the parade. If weather is in questions please call one of our offices to check on the status. The parade has only had 2 instances of being canceled. The first was due to terrible foggy conditions and the second due to severe rain and wind. Odds have it you will have to deal with being too warm before worrying about bad weather.

How far in advance should I reserve for the parade?
It is always a good idea to reserve as far in advance as possible. That said a couple weeks for the boat parade for the Friday, Saturday, & Sunday and at least a week for the weekday dates. The parade sells out every year, but as mentioned earlier some people can't make it due to traffic, one of their party is sick, etc. and if you can wait it out you almost always can get on the your desired holiday cruise time.

Are there some good places to eat before or after the parade?
There are some great places to eat before and after the Christmas Boat Parade. The trick is finding a place that is not crowded. If you make reservations in advance then not to worry, just leave a little extra time if you are eating before your cruise as many of the dining establishments service will be a little slower during the busy times. Newport Landing Restaurant is a favorite, The Crab Cooker is another, Harborside is yet another. For a complete guide to dining during the Newport Beach Boat Parade check out our Restaurants Page.

How large are the ships that have the public come onboard to view the parade?
The cruise ships that take you in the parade are from 60-80 feet in length and can carry from 47 to 125 passengers. They all have indoor kitchens with indoor seating. Many of the ships have upstairs and downstairs outdoor seating as well. There is no real advantage to one ship over another as there is so much open area that everyone will be able to see all of the happenings in the parade. Men's and Women's wash rooms are present on all ships as well.

Are the ships in the Newport Beach Boat Parade decorated?
All of our ships that are in the parade are fully decorated. Many times our ships have been requested to be in the front of the parade as the décor challenges some the contestants.

Are their restrooms and other amenities on my holiday cruise ship?
As mentioned above restrooms for both men and women are available on every ship. Attendants are also present and available for any requests or questions.

Do I leave a gratuity with the crew after my holiday cruise?
Gratuity is always optional, but is much appreciated by the staff of your ship. How much is customary is between $2-$4 dollars or about 10-15% of your ticket price. You can hand the gratuity to any one of the staff as they will all share the gratuities combined at the end of the evening. You can also leave it in the tip box in the kitchen area. Feel free to compliment them if you feel it was deserved. By the same token if there is an issue or concern please let the attendant know immediately and if you feel there still isn't a solution request to talk with the captain. They are there to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.

Is there food and beverages onboard?
Every ship will have a full service bar onboard with all types of beverage hot and cold. Additionally they offer snacks and desserts. You are more than welcome to bring food and beverages on board as long as there is no outside alcohol, ice chests, or glass containers. The full service bar operates on a cash basis so please bring cash if you would like to purchase items.

Where do I check in at?
Check in is done at one of our two locations. When making your reservations you will be told where to check in at. Your name will be on a roll call list and you will receive your boarding passes at the time of check in. If you would like to verify your reservations you can just call and let us know the date and time of your cruise and your name. Newport Landing's Office is 309 Palm Street Suite A Newport Beach California 92661 and Davey's Locker is 400 Main Street Newport Beach California 92661. Newport Landing is right next to the car ferry and Davey's Locker is at the end of Main Street in the Balboa Pavilion (historical building).

Do you accept credit cards?
We accept all types of credit cards including MC, Visa, Amex, and Discover. We also accept cash and travelers checks.

Are the larger ships better than the smaller ships for viewing the parade or visa versus?
Are the larger ships better for viewing than the smaller ships or vice versa? The ships are really about equal. The larger ships have more space but also take more people and the smaller ships take less people but also have less space. In other words it does not matter much overall. If you have a specific preference we can do what we can to accommodate that preference.

Along with holiday party and private rental information during the Newport Beach Boat Parade, our boat parade website also has information about public cruises both during the Newport Beach Boat Parade and throughout the month of December. These general admission holiday cruises enable everyone to be "in" the famous Newport Beach Boat Parade.

What better way to view the incredible lights and experience everything the Newport Beach Boat Parade has to offer than by being onboard a ship fully decorated and in the actual boat parade.

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109th Christmas Parade

The Newport Beach Boat Parade 2017 is all about boats, Newport Harbor, and the holidays so what better way to view the parade than by boat!

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  • 400 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661

  • (949) 673-1435

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