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Take a Cruise!

10 Things to do in Boston Seaport District

3. Take a Cruise!

Few places boast as beautiful a harbor as Boston, and there is no place more convenient to take a cruise to see its multitudinous wonders than from the bustling Seaport District. In addition to numerous ferries that transport visitors to picturesque nearby cities including Provincetown, Salem, and others, the harbor itself offers several themed cruises that depart on a daily, if not hourly, basis. Visitors can choose from historically oriented cruises, cruises that are hosted on floating museum vessels, sunset cruises that make the most of the gorgeous scenery, as well as nighttime cruises that allow guests to enjoy the splendor of the sky.

The historically oriented Boston Harbor cruises tend to last between one hour and 90 minutes, and take a full circuit of the Boston Harbor, from the Inner Harbor to the Outer Harbor. They usually have a knowledgeable narrator on board who highlights different sites from history, as well as gorgeous lighthouses, the Harbor Islands National Park, and noteworthy structures up and down the coastline. These cruises offer visitors a thorough geographical survey of the city and its outer environs.

Other cruises make a ship a focal point of the journey. Some ships in the Harbor, such as “Old Ironsides,” are over 200 years old, and can be boarded for an in-depth tour. These tours allow guests a chance not only to explore the Inner Harbor in detail, but also spend time buffing up on their maritime history. These cruises last anywhere from forty-five minutes to ninety minutes in duration, and usually include an option for visitors to disembark at the Naval Museum.

The sunset cruises are popular among couples for the sheer romance inspired by the view of the city. These cruises usually last 90 minutes in length, and often have a cocktail or themed dining option for those guests who wish to enjoy some refreshments while they gaze at the skyline. These cruises generally run between May and September, depending on the weather conditions.

For those visitors who love to stare up at the stars without the distraction of city lights, several cruises sail out to a point where star light can be observed sans the glare of the metropolis. These cruises are usually three hours in length, and are staffed by a knowledgeable team of scientists and astronomers. In addition to providing their astronomical expertise, the hosts of the cruise are also on hand to dispense tales of how stars were used by sailors for navigation. Comfortable interior seating is available, and food and drink is available for purchase during the cruise. Depending on the specific day, the cruise will begin shortly after dark and wrap up well before midnight.

As with all cruises and ferries, visitors should check in with the operating agency on the day of the scheduled tour. Sudden changes in weather can cause a last-minute cancellation. The majority of these cruises board from the Seaport District, and have fully articulated refund policies in the case of a weather-related cancellation.

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