The 7 Best Cruises in Boston Harbor

The 7 Best Cruises in Boston Harbor

The Boston Harbor is one of the most historic sites in America. British Captain John Smith, the founder of Jamestown – the first English settlement in the country – discovered this harbor when he landed here in 1614. He also gave the name New England to this territory and made books and maps of the region that became the nucleus for the colonization of the Americas.

From the wharf towards the open sea are 34 landmasses that comprise the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. These islands are designated as National Parks and State Parks, of which the bigger ones are open to the public as tourists’ spots while the smaller ones became wild animals’ habitats. Common activities you can do at these islands during tourist season include hiking, sightseeing, and swimming. You can also visit the oldest lighthouse in America that turns 300 years old in 2016 or the historic Fort Warren.

There are available cruises that can take you not only to these islands, but also further into the Atlantic Ocean for whale watching and a fishing expedition. Here is a list of reputable companies that ran river and ocean cruises that will not only take you for an enriching trip but will also provide you with a delightful gastronomic adventure:

1. Boston Harbor Cruises

Founded in 1926, Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) is one of the oldest and largest cruise operators in the area. The company is now under the helm of the 3rd and 4th generation descendants of its original captain and founder. It has expanded its boating service from sightseeing and deep sea fishing voyages to commuter ferries and water taxi services.

BHC’s usual itinerary includes a visit to the retired warship USS Constitution that has been in military service for 210 years. Other stops include the historic sites of the Boston Tea Party, the Old North Church, and the oldest lighthouse in North America, the Boston Light.

BHC also offers a 3-hour Whale Watch cruise to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary where you can closely observe humpback whales, white-sided dolphins, and finback whales among others. They also offer lunch and brunch buffet cruises and a thrilling high-speed boat ride called ‘Codzilla’.

Address: 1 Long Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Phone: (617) 227-4321

2. Massachusetts Bay Lines

Another family-run maritime company, Massachusetts Bay Lines (MBL) has been sailing their fleet since 1965. They have carried more than a million passengers in more than 50 years in tourist service in the Boston Harbor. They offer reasonably priced cruises that includes complimentary drinks and snacks served on board their vessels.

MBL offers hourly Historical Harbor Tours from 12pm to 5pm everyday wherein you will be treated to the famous sights in the area such as the Boston Garden Museum, TD Garden, and Boston Light, among others. This will then be followed by their 90-minute Sensational Sunset tours, which sail from 7pm to 8:30pm. The last voyages for the day is the Starlit Cruises from 9pm to 10:30pm where you can enjoy the scenic view of the city lights in Boston Harbor under the star-filled summer skies.

MBL also has special weekend cruises during summer season that include drinks, food, music, and other entertainment. They have a calypso band every Sunday, a burlesque show every Wednesday, and a stand-up comedy and musical theatre every Thursday. They also have special holiday party cruises on New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and Labor Day.

Address: 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Phone: (617) 542-8000

3. Odyssey Boston

Odyssey Boston (OB) gives you a taste of high-end living aboard a luxury yacht. Its dinner cruises are popular among young professionals and business people for its cocktail party ambience with fine dining, a dress code, and live music. This will later on shift to a dance club atmosphere with laser lights and DJ-controlled high-energy music. Odyssey runs these cruises all-year long with their climate-controlled decks and rooftop lounge.

OB is more than a sightseeing cruise. It is a floating fine dining restaurant and bar that serves plated creations by their on-board executive chef and galley crew. Cocktails will be served upon cast off wherein you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Boston Harbor from the observation decks. You will then savor a full course dinner and party the night away later on the bar or on the dance floor. It’s a perfect voyage for romantic or friendly dates.

OB also has a more casual lunch cruise and a Sunday brunch cruise that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Brunch is served buffet style with a generous spread of meat, fish, egg dishes, salads, soups, and other delicious fares. For desserts, there are cakes, pastries, fresh fruits, and a chocolate fondue.

Address: 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Phone: (866) 307-2469

4. Come Sail Away Now

Are you looking for a unique sea adventure? Come Sail Away Now (CSAN) offers cruises aboard a traditional sailboat Tupelo Honey, wherein you can see Captain Don in action and perhaps learn a thing or two from him. You can witness or even experience how gaffs rigging and traps pulling are done to harness the power of the wind in propelling your vessel. You can enjoy both the stunning view of the Boston harbor and learning how sailboat crews navigate the boat with the use of just their wit, brute strength, and experience.

If you are not much of a thrill seeker, the company also offers a gentler boat ride aboard a motorized vessel with their Spectacle Island Picnic Cruise. It’s a 3-hour trip with one hour sailing and two hours on land wherein you can do hiking, sightseeing, kite flying, and even swimming if the tide and climate are favorable. There is also a small museum on the island.

CSAN also offers private sailing charter and sailing lessons. They also have a motorized yacht and other boats for private functions and aquatic transportation.

Address: 1 Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA 02210, USA
Phone: (617) 828-9005

5. Spirit of Boston

The Spirit of Boston (SOB) will take you on a voyage along Boston Inner Harbor where you can see various historic sites. The cruise is not just about sightseeing though; it's a total feast for the senses. The boat’s festive atmosphere from the moment you step on board will set the tone for a leisurely ride. The enclosed decks with climate control system will keep you comfortable throughout the journey. The lively music played by the DJ on-board will put you into party mood.

The cruise gets better once you hit the buffet table starting with a gorgeous spread of salads such as organic mixed greens and Mediterranean chicken and couscous salad. Mouthwatering entrée dishes include oven-roasted salmon and tilapia, herb chicken, and twice-cooked beef short ribs. For dessert, they have pound cake, chocolate banana pudding, and assorted fruits and bars.

But the best news about SOB is the recent $2.5 million renovation they did that will make your cruise more enjoyable. With new ultra modern interiors and panoramic windows, the view inside and out becomes more spectacular. There is also a full service bar on each level and a more modern dance floor that makes partying on deck more exciting. Additional on-board activities such as tabletop games and photo booths will make your trip more memorable.

Address: 200 Seaport Blvd #75, Boston, MA 02210, USA
Phone: (866) 310-2469

6. The Boatonian

It’s the ultimate Boston party boat! The Boatonian is an enormous dance club and entertainment center on water. It sails four times a week from Thursday to Sunday, departing from Rowes Wharf at 6:30pm, then circling back an hour later to pick up more passengers, launching back to the sea, and then continuing the party until 10pm when it docks again for the night.

Each night is themed according to music genre. Throwback Thursdays is when the DJ plays the hit music of the 80s, 90s, and the 00s. You can dance once again with the beats of Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and other definitive bands of those three decades played by DJ Breeazy. Hip-hop Fridays are reserved for the music of the Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, and other rap artists played by DJs Pup Dawg, Maverick, and Vince 1. Country Cruise Saturdays are for the melodic American country standards performed by live bands such as Dalton & the Sheriffs. Finally, the Boatonian has Pride Sundays, which caters mainly to Boston’s LGBT community.

Admission tickets for the Boatonian party cruises are $22/pp on Thursdays, $30/pp on Fridays and Saturdays, and $25/pp on Sundays. Food and drinks are not inclusive.

Address: 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Phone: (617) 306-3347

7. Classic Yacht Charters by Anita

If you want to host a party in style, whether for a small intimate group or a big celebration, you can charter a boat accordingly from Classic Yachts Charter by Anita (CYCA). They have a wide selection of yachts with varying passenger capacity, which can be commissioned for corporate or private events. It includes a captain and required number of crew. The company also offers food-catering service for special occasions.

Among the yachts in CYCA’s fleet is the Majesty, which is a popular venue for weddings as it can accommodate up to 200 passengers comfortably. The Valiant is also fit for these kinds of celebrations and for company outings as well. Smaller boats like Par-Tee Time and Night Rider Yacht are ideal for family outings and small intimate parties. Then there’s the Henry Longfellow Yacht and the schooner Adirondack III for medium crowds of less than 50 people.

Address: 60 Rowes Wharf, Boston, MA 02110, USA
Phone: (617) 622-3421

That concludes our list for the best cruises in Boston Harbor. We hope that you will find the most suitable one for your planned adventure in New England.

Related Articles

This article is also popular ♪

In Boston on a Budget? Here Are 9 Cheap Things to Do in Beantown

In Boston on a Budget? Here Are 9 Cheap Things to Do in Beantown

Boston Nightlife: Your Guide to the City After Dark

Boston Nightlife: Your Guide to the City After Dark

The Best 9 Things to Do in Boston for Couples

The Best 9 Things to Do in Boston for Couples

Free Sites and Events to See and Do while in Boston

Free Sites and Events to See and Do while in Boston

Free Activities in Boston You Can't Afford to Miss

Free Activities in Boston You Can't Afford to Miss

Find articles from keywords

This article was written by:

Category list

Report about the content.

About Daring Penguin | Inquiries | Privacy policy | Terms of use

Plan and book your perfect trip with expert advice