Boston Harbor
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Boston Harbor Culture & History

Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

1. Boston: Historical Sightseeing Cruise

Experience breathtaking views, refreshing sea breezes, and vividly told stories of Boston past and present, aboard this one-hour tour around Boston Harbor. Depart from Long Wharf, then Cruise past the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned US Navy war ship afloat today, marvel at the Bunker Hill Monument, and catch a glimpse of the fabled Old North End Church steeple. From expert narrators, you’ll hear heroic tales and local legends from the Revolutionary War, and learn how the harbor was transformed into one of the cleanest waterways in the country. The boat is equipped to give you the best view no matter the weather, with spacious outdoor viewing decks when the weather is fine, and indoor spaces with large windows if you want to be indoors. Onboard refreshments and snacks are also available for purchase.

Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

2. Boston: Buffet Lunch or Dinner Cruise on Boston Harbor

Admire the sights of Boston with a 2-hour lunch or 3-hour dinner cruise on Boston Harbor. Savor an extensive buffet aboard the Spirit of Boston, and visit any of the 3 climate-controlled decks to watch the city glide by. Upon arrival, receive a personal greeting and have your photo taken by the ship's photographer to capture the memory. After being seated at your private table, feast on your lunch or dinner buffet consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily. While you eat, listen to tunes from an onboard DJ. After your meal, go out on deck for panoramic city views. SAMPLE BUFFET MENU Salads Caesar Salad Romaine Lettuce | Aged Reggiano Parmesan Cheese | Herb Croutons Bow Tie Pasta Salad Scallions | English Cucumbers | Roma Tomatoes | Dill & Mustard Vinaigrette Vegetables, Potatoes, and Pasta Roasted Broccoli Florets, Creamed Corn and Cheddar Cheese Casserole, Mashed Potatoes Entrees Baked Ziti Pasta, Oven-Baked Atlantic Flounder, Filet Honey, and Sesame Chicken, Italian Beef Meatballs, Braised Beef Short Ribs Desserts Seasonal Spirit Dessert Display Please note that menu items are subject to change.

Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

3. Boston: Hop-on Hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour

Enjoy a hop-on hop-off tour aboard Boston’s charming orange and green Old Town Trolley and visit more than 100 points of interest in the city at your own pace. Enjoy the freedom to hop on or off all day and discover sights like the Boston State House, Liberty Wharf, and the Charlestown Navy Yard. Take in double-decker height views while protected from the elements. The comfortable enclosed trolleys allow you to experience elevated viewing come rain, snow, or shine. Choose between 1-day and 2-day ticket options with free unlimited re-boarding. The Boston Trolley tour covers all the major areas including downtown, Beacon Hill, Back Bay, the theater district, and the waterfront. Conductors narrate the tour, offering a fun mix of trivia and humorous stories. There are 18 stops conveniently located close to over 100 points of interest in Boston, these are: • Stop 1: New England Aquarium/Faneuil Hall Marketplace • Stop 2: Historic North End • Stop 3: USS Constitution/Charlestown Navy Yard • Stop 4: North Station/TD Bank Garden • Stop 5: Old State House * Stop 6: Beacon Hill/Antique Row • Stop 7: Cheers Bar "The Original" • Stop 8: Prudential Center/Skywalk Observatory • Stop 9: Christian Science Plaza/Symphony Hall • Stop 10: Copley Place Shopping Galleries • Stop 11: Copley Square/Trinity Church • Stop 12: Old Town Trolley Welcome Center • Stop 13: Boston State House/ Boston Common/Beacon Hill • Stop 14: Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum (discounted admission included) • Stop 15: Boston Convention center - available 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. Return shuttle leaves Stop 1 at 5:00 PM daily • Stop 16: Massport/Black Falcon Cruise Ship Terminal - this stop is part of the Seaport Loop - available 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. Return shuttle leaves stop #1 at 5:00 PM daily • Stop 17: Boston Fish Pier - available 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. Return shuttle leaves Stop #1 at 5:00 PM daily • Stop 18: South Station - available 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM. Return shuttle leaves Stop #1 at 5:00 PM daily

Boston: New England Harbor Cruise

4. Boston: New England Harbor Cruise

Boston Harbor is home to 34 islands and nearly every island has a story to tell. From its fortifications and hauntings to lighthouses and wildlife sanctuaries, the harbor is full of rich and unique history that will keep your attention throughout the trip.  Notable things to see include the Old North Church, Bunker Hill Monument, USS Cassin Young, the USS Constitution, Fort Independence, Boston's Seaport District, and Spectacle Island. The motor yacht's design was inspired by classic New England 1920s style steamships. She is one of the most comfortable and versatile cruise vessels in the Boston Harbor. She is 115-feet in length, features six bathrooms and provides ample seating throughout the ship. She is built for taking groups of people on spectacular sightseeing adventures. Thus, she is excellent for taking out groups of friends and family to see the harbor. Sit back and relax in the climate-controlled cabin or enjoy the sea breeze on the open top deck. During your harbor cruise, the captain will provide narration and the crew will be around to assist in making your trip more comfortable. Be sure to visit the fully stocked bar on the main deck to purchase refreshments.

Boston to Salem 1-Way and Round Trip Ferry Tickets

5. Boston to Salem 1-Way and Round Trip Ferry Tickets

Spend more time sightseeing and less time traveling with a fast ferry ticket to Salem from Boston, or vice versa. Available as a 1-way or round-trip option, the hassle free journey takes a relaxing hour each way. Hop aboard at Boston’s Long Wharf, and in less than an hour you’ll be museum hopping and sampling the specialties of local chefs in Salem’s quaint neighborhoods. Discover unique boutiques for shopping and more. If you are staying in Salem but want to explore Boston, the fast ferry can speed you to Beantown in no time. Upon arrival, take a cruise along the Charles River, see all the monuments from the birth of America, or go for a walk on Boston Common. Forget the hassle of driving, finding a parking place, and driving back after a long day sightseeing and shopping. Let the ferry take the frustration out of your day. This service is seasonal and operates from May to October. Departure Times (schedule subject to change) May 14–October 31 2022 Round trip daily Boston-Salem-Boston: • From Boston: 9:30 AM, 11:45 AM • From Salem: 4:00 PM One way daily: • From Boston: 9:30 AM, 11:45 AM, 2:30 PM, 5:30 PM • From Salem: 7:00 AM, 10:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 4:00 PM June 23–October 31 2022 - extra ferries are as follows: One way: • From Boston: 8:30 PM only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays• From Salem: 7:00 PM only on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays

Boston Harbor: Gourmet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise

6. Boston Harbor: Gourmet Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner Cruise

Experience an elegant dining cruise on the Boston Harbor aboard the luxury cruising vessel, Odyssey. Your voyage begins with being welcomed aboard by the captain and crew. The ship's photographer will take a picture to capture the memory.  After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch buffet or 3-course lunch or dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal, dance to the live music or relax on one of three climate-controlled decks as you enjoy the scenery of the Boston skyline. SAMPLE LUNCH & DINNER MENU Starters (choice of one): Watermelon & Baby Arugula Salad Hornblower Signature Seafood Chowder (Dinner, Wed-Sat only) Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail (Dinner, Wed-Sat only, available for additional price) Seafood Tower (Dinner, Wed-Sat only, available for additional price) Main Course (choice of one): Root Vegetable Fricassee Broiled Salmon Filet with roasted tomato vinaigrette Oven-Roasted Chicken Breast with rosemary & thyme Braised Beef Short Ribs with Fresno Pepper Demi Glaze (Dinner, Wed-Sat only) Choice of Dessert:(choice of one): Signature Chocolate Cake Mixed Fruit with Strawberries New York Style Cheesecake SAMPLE BRUNCH BUFFET MENU Early Risers: Breakfast Pastries Scrambled Eggs Breakfast Meats Breakfast Potatoes French Toast Late Risers: Kale Quinoa Salad Green Goddess Pasta Salad Ceasar Salad Oven-Roasted Whitefish Kid’s Station (Chicken Tenders/French Fries) Hand Carved Strip Loin Hand Carved Oven-Roasted Turkey Desserts: Odyssey Signature Dessert Station (Cakes, Brownies, Seasons Fruits) Menu items are subject to change.

Boston: Italian Food Tour with Pizza, Meats, Cheese, & Bread

7. Boston: Italian Food Tour with Pizza, Meats, Cheese, & Bread

Your North End experience begins at the lifeblood of Boston, the Boston Harbor. Walk through a scenic waterfront park, with views of the harbor, East Boston and the historic wharfs lining Atlantic Ave. Make your way to the heart of the North End, with views of some of the most historic sites and properties in the neighborhood, some dating back to the late 1600s and early 1700s. Delicious food is never far away in the North End. Your guide will introduce you to a small, hidden Italian bakery serving up fresh bread daily. Break bread with your fellow travelers and let the carbs give you the energy to continue your adventure! A proper Italian salumeria is next, and you’ll have a chance to enjoy Italian meats and cheeses at their finest and freshest.  Next up, take in the energy of the North End’s busiest corridor, Hanover Street. It’s time for a mid-tour break with your guide at a traditional Italian café. Here, you will have a chance to enjoy your choice of a classic cappuccino, espresso, or tea. Let the caffeine kick in as you go back in time into North End history. You’ll hear stories about some of the most influential events that have happened in Boston, including Paul Revere’s midnight ride. Make your way to the Old North Church and step inside the hallowed walls. To this day, North Enders still attend this church, which is famous for its role in the Revolution.  After church, dive deeper into the local side of the North End. A taste of pizza awaits at a neighborhood favorite and the stories are endless. Cap off the North End food experience with samples of the best of the best Italian pastries along the backstreets of this delicious neighborhood. Hopefully, there will be a chance to meet and chat with the area’s top bakers if you catch them at a quiet moment.  After the tour, you’ll surely be ready to make a dinner reservation. Consult with your guide for the best recommendations and you will be set up for an amazing time in Boston.

Downtown Boston Harbor Weekend Cruise with Brunch

8. Downtown Boston Harbor Weekend Cruise with Brunch

Weekends are a time for relaxing and getting your days started the right way. Join a Mimosa and Bloody Mary Cruise aboard the elegant Northern Lights to jump start your relaxation mode. While aboard, choose from a variety of mimosas and bloody Mary's. Enjoy the gourmet brunch buffet and select a cozy seat aboard the Northern Lights as you cruise around Boston Harbor to capture panoramic views of Boston. This is the perfect event for groups looking to entertain guests from out of town. You can see the sites without giving up a relaxing weekend. Small bridal parties can be accommodated and next day wedding parties. The Brunch Cruise offers the perfect event for individuals or a group looking to celebrate and relax. Also, see historic sites along the harbor such as: the harbor islands (Castle Island, Deer Island, Spectacle Island, Long Island, Lovells Island, Georges Island) Independence Fort, Bunker Hill Monument, USS Cassin Young, USS Constitution, Old North Church, Boston’s Seaport District with historic Fishing Markets and Boston’s incredible skyline.  The brunch menu includes pastries, granola, yoghurt, smoked salmon, bagels, fruit, scrambled eggs, potato hash, bacon, ham, salad, and dessert.

Boston and the Freedom Trail from New York: Day Trip

9. Boston and the Freedom Trail from New York: Day Trip

Depart New York along the Eastern Coast through Connecticut to Massachusetts and to its capital, Boston. Your first stop is the city of Cambridge where will find one of the most famous and most prestigious universities in the world: Harvard. The tour starts with a walk in Harvard Yard; the oldest academic ground in America. See Widener library, then rub the shoe of John Harvard for good luck. Continue to a panoramic tour passing by City Hall, MIT and Cambridge College. Then cross the Charles River and arrive in the center of the intellectual capital of the country. Visit Copley Square, home to beautiful Trinity church. Next up is a walk along the Freedom Trail through Boston Common Park. Break for lunch at Quincy Market, and try the world famous Clam Chowder or a lobster roll. After lunch, visit the site of the famous Tea Party and the navy ship Constitution. In the late afternoon, depart southwest for an evening arrival in New York.

Boston Harbor: Sunset Party Cruise with Live DJs

10. Boston Harbor: Sunset Party Cruise with Live DJs

Hop aboard the Sir Winston, a luxurious yacht docked behind the historic Boston Harbor Hotel, for a lovely evening of live music and drinks. Enjoy a sunset cruise filled with amazing views of the city skyline as the sun sets and provides beautiful colors that create the perfect atmosphere. Dance to the upbeat music played live by a DJ on one of the largest and most spacious rooftop decks in Boston. Alternatively, sit back on the deck below, which is a quieter lounge with couch seating and outside access. Take in the club-like vibes and purchase your own drinks from one of the two full bars open on deck. Get lost in the music as you float along the harbor in the company of your friends.

Frequently asked questions about Boston Harbor Culture & History

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What people are saying about Boston Harbor

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 819 reviews

A very relaxing way to learn some Boston history. If you want windy and the best overall view try to be close to first in line and go to the top deck. The views on the middle deck are still good but some are obstructed.

A guide was Ghost, he was very knowledgeable about the Boston & kept us laughing. I couldn't find the name of the touring company on the app, so had to have helps from staff at booth.

Best weather of the year! Had a great waiter! Food was good and plentiful! Higgins was extremely attentive to our needs going above and beyond! Planning on returning next year!

Sully was great, it felt like a friend with lots of insight showing us around.

Trip was fantastic. Salem was lovely. Staff on ferry were very helpful.