boston harbor cruise

Boston Harbor Cruise, Photo Credit: Viator

One of the best ways to see the city’s beautiful sights is on a Boston Harbor Cruise. This Boston Harbor Cruise guide includes everything you need to know including localite tips, schedule, tickets, and more! Also check out our Localite Boston Tips so that you can make the most of your trip! 

Boston Harbor Cruise: Highlights and Attractions

While Boston is an extremely walkable city, after a few days of getting your step count, sitting back on a Boston Harbor Cruise is a relaxing way to soak in the city views. Boston Harbor Cruises has a portfolio of offerings depending on your needs.

If you’re looking for a calm evening, Boston Harbor Sunset Cruises has a bit of everything. The cruise is 90 minutes and fully narrated so you can learn about the city while staring into the Boston skyline.

Localite Boston Tip: The cruise’s big finale is at the USS Constitution’s sunset ceremony and cannon salute. The cannons are fired every day at 8 AM and sunset, so you’ll witness the historic salute on this cruise!

Boston Harbor Cruise

Boston Harbor Dining Cruise, Photo Credit: City Experiences

Boston Harbor Dining Cruises offers the perfect date night experience or setting for a celebration. Upscale dining and entertainment are provided during this dinner cruise where you’ll get to see the city lights sparkle at night. These cruises last between two and three hours and include a three-course plated dinner, cocktails, and DJ entertainment.

More of an adventure-seeker? Look no further than the thrill of Codzilla, a thrilling boat ride that speeds up to 40 MPH with hairpin turns and 360-degree spins. An original soundtrack and storyline will take you on a journey through the Boston Harbor.

Boston Harbor Cruise

Codzilla, Photo Credit: City Experiences

Localite Boston Tip: You are certain to get wet on Codzilla. Free ponchos are available on board!

If nature calls, a Boston Harbor Whale Watching Tour is the perfect cruise for you. The tour heads to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary, an area known for whales, dolphins, sea birds, and other marine creatures. During the tour, New England Aquarium naturalists will share knowledge, answer your questions and explain the behaviors of whales.

Localite Boston Tip: If you are heading to the Whale Watching Toru with a group of 20 or more, you’ll qualify for the discounted group rate, but you will need an advanced reservation.

Boston Harbor Cruise: Schedule, Tickets, Discounts & More

Depending on the type of cruise you’d like to take, schedules, tickets, and prices vary. We’ve outlined the Boston Harbor cruise schedules and costs for the experiences mentioned above. Please review the calendar on the websites for specific dates and times for your cruise.

  • Boston Harbor Sunset Cruises
    • Adults: $50
    • Children: $45
    • Schedule: Cruises leave at 7 PM daily for the next few months, but be sure to check the website schedule hyperlinked above for any changes
  • Boston Harbor Dining Cruises
    • Adults: $93.42, $123.42 for a guaranteed window table
    • Children: $93.42 (ages 3-12), children under 2 are free
    • Schedule: 7 PM – 9 PM (Sundays through Tuesdays – Premier Dinner Menu) and 7 PM – 10 PM (Wednesday through Saturdays – Enhanced Premier Dinner Menu)
  • New England Aquarium Whale Watching Tour
    • Adults: $65 (Seniors are $57)
    • Children: $45 (ages 3 – 11), children under 3 are free
    • Schedule: Currently, on Weekdays at 10 AM and 12 PM, the Weekends are 10 AM, 11 AM, 12 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, 5 PM. 
  • Codzilla
    • Adults: $51
    • Children: $38 (ages 3 – 11)
    • Schedule: Codzilla runs daily beginning at 11:15 AM

Boston Harbor Cruise: FAQs

How much is a Boston Harbor Cruise?

Boston Harbor Cruises vary in price, depending on the kind of cruise you’d like to experience. Above, we’ve outlined the popular experiences and costs.

Localite Boston Tip: This weekend, my husband and I went on a Boston Harbor sight-seeing tour. Since we wanted to see a lot, we used CityPASS to get discounted tickets to a Harbor cruise. For $67 for adults, and $56 for children, you can save 47% on admission to four attractions in Boston including the Aquarium, the Museum of Science, and 2 attractions out of Boston Harbor City Cruises, Franklin Park Zoo, and Harvard Museum of Natural History. Certainly worth the price if you’re looking to do a few activities over the course of the weekend!

Is dinner included in the Boston Harbor Cruise ticket?

With the Boston Harbor Dining Cruises experience, a three-course dinner is included, with entrees like broiled salmon filet with roasted tomato vinaigrette and oven-roasted chicken breast with rosemary and thyme. You’ll also get unlimited coffee, hot tea, iced tea, and water.

Boston Harbor Cruise

Alcoholic Selections on a Boston Harbor Cruise

On other Boston Harbor cruises, like the sightseeing and sunset cruises, there are food and beverages for purchase. Our ship had alcoholic beverages like Truly, Sam Adams, Corona, Harpoon IPA, and wine and spirit selections. A stocked snack bar featured Cape Cod potato chips, cookies, candy, and crackers.

Are the Boston Harbor Islands Open?

Boston Harbor Cruise

Boston Harbor Islands, Photo Credit: Yankee Magazine

Good news! Spectacle and Georges Islands are open for visitation by park ferry this season. Click here to view ferry schedules to plan your trip to the Harbor Islands. Boats run to the island seven days a week.

How long is Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise? 

Boston Harbor Sunset Cruises are 90 minutes long and are fully narrated by expert onboard tour guides. We loved our tour guide on our cruise, Mike C., who had facts that were surprising and new to even a 10-year native of Boston like myself!

The sunset cruise provides beautiful views of historic sites, the skyline, and the Boston Harbor Islands.

What do you wear on a Boston Harbor Cruise?

If you’re heading to the Boston Harbor Dining Cruise, most guests select elegant, dressy-casual attire given the fine dining experience.

If you’re heading on the other cruises, a casual dress code is fine. That said, since you’ll be out on the water, it’d be smart to bring a jacket or sweatshirt, as it’s often cooler temperatures.

Do Boston Harbor Cruises run in the rain?

Yes! Cruises run in light rain and other moderate weather situations. That said, for the best experience, be sure to check out the weather before you book since most tickets are non-refundable.

Our visit on a Boston Harbor Cruise was fun, and certainly, a must-see when you’re in Boston. With many aquatic offerings, there’s a cruise and boating experience for everyone in your group!


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