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Santa ships set to sail again this Christmas. Here's when and where you can see them

The annual Christmas flotilla of Santa ships sets sail around the Burrard Inlet beginning Friday.
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Mike Girard gets the decorations ready on his boat at Port Moody's Reed Point Marina for the launch of the annual sailings of the Christmas Ships flotilla around Burrard Inlet.

You better watch out. You’ve no reason to cry.

The Christmas Santa ships are set to sail again, beginning Friday (Dec. 3).

While the annual flotilla of decorated pleasure boats that sail out of Port Moody’s Reed Point Marina to light up Burrard Inlet had to be a little more low-key last year because of COVID-19 public health protocols, organizer Mike Girard said he expects this year’s cruises will be more familiar, with Santa aboard one of the boats and visits being made to Saturday’s Cheer at the Pier event in Rocky Point Park, as well as a favourite stop in Belcarra’s Bedwell Bay.

Girard said the rules this year will allow boaters to have guests aboard, adding to the festive atmosphere as they’ll often break into Christmas carols, their melodious notes drifting easily over the water. He added at least dozen captains have already signed on to participate, although that can fluctuate up or down depending on their schedules and the weather.

Boaters who wish to participate can register at Indicate your name, vessel's name and length, whether it's power or sail, as well as your email address and cell phone number.

All cruises begin at around 7 p.m. Here’s where you can see the Christmas ships:

  • Friday, Dec. 3  From Reed Point Marina, the flotilla sails east toward Rocky Point Park, north to Ioco, past Admiralty Point to Cates Park, along the Dollarton shore to Grey Rock, back along Dollarton, across to Belcarra Bay then returning to Reed Point Marina
  • Saturday, Dec. 4  From Reed Point Marina, along Port Moody’s south shore past Pacific Coast Terminals to Rocky Point Pier over to Ioco, back to Rocky Point Pier for a second pass, then return to Reed Point Marina
  • Friday, Dec. 10  From Reed Point Marina west to Admiralty Point, north to Belcarra Bay then across the Inlet to Deep Cove for several passes, then along Dollarton shore to Cates Park, return to Reed Point Marina
  • Saturday, Dec. 11  From Reed Point Marina west to Admiralty Point, north to Belcarra Bay for up to three passes then back to Reed Point Marina via Cates Park and Dollarton shore
  • Friday, Dec. 17  From Reed Point Marina west to Admiralty Point, north to Jug Island, east to Bedwell Bay then north along the shoreline to Carroll Holly and Camp Howdy, back toward Bedwell Bay followed by another pass at Carroll Holly if weather permits
  • Saturday, Dec. 18  From Reed Point Marina west to Admiralty Point, north to Belcarra Bay, then east to Lone Rock, past Woodlands to Brighton Beach in Vancouver for two passes then returning to Reed Point Marina via Belcarra Bay
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