Which Boston Observation Deck is Best?

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post is a guide to the Boston’s Skywalk Observatory as well as other Boston observation decks, including the Bunker Hill Monument. 

 

 
HOW TO GET THERE:

Entering the building can be a bit confusing. Being Boston’s second tallest building at 729 feet (222 m) tall it is easily seen from the street, but you must enter the Prudential Center Mall at 800 Boylston St. to get to the lobby of the tower. 

Once in the lobby, you have to check in with security, so make sure you have a photo ID with you.

The Nearest MTBA Station is Prudential Station (Green Line E Tram) (map). Read our post on how to use the Boston T (subway). 

COST: Read more »

Holiday Events in Boston 2018

Posted by & filed under Boston.

The holidays have come to Boston!  Boston is a great place to celebrate the holidays and the city gets ready for Christmas in style.  We have put together a list of the cities best around the holidays to make your search for the perfect New England Christmas celebration easier while you are visiting Boston. 

Read more »

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Whale Watching in Boston and Gloucester

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post is about whale watching excursions from both Boston and nearby Gloucester, including an analysis of online reviews, tips on how to dress and what to expect.

 

 


TIPS FOR PLANNING A WHALE WATCHING TRIP

When Is Whale Watching Season?

Whale watching season runs from April to October with the summer months offering more scheduled outings. Early or late in the season schedule times for excursions are more limited with just one or two trips a day.

At peak times including holiday weekends, some companies have as many as 8 trips per day.

How Long Does a Tour Last?

To reach the prime locations to see whales, you will have to travel on the boat for about an hour. Then with time to visit various feeding spots and the return trip, your entire voyage will be between 3 and 4 hours long. 

What Will You See and Learn? 

You will likely see different whale species and many cruises have ‘naturalists’ on board to explain differences among species, educate you about spotting techniques and also whale behavior.

Some companies offer a whale sighting guarantee and if you don’t see any whales on your trip, you will be given some sort of compensation like a ticket for another trip.

Read the fine print and check the FAQ section before choosing which company to book. Read more »

Things to do in Boston in September

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post will cover the best things to do in Boston during the month of September and has been updated for 2018. It includes a top ten list, family-friendly, free, and evening events and activities. Whenever possible, we’ve noted when items are free of charge and kid-friendly. For more tips on popular attractions please be sure to check out our master Things to do in Boston page!

Read more »

Boston Boat Tours Reviewed

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post compares the various Boston boat tours, including harbor cruises and other watercraft rides to help you decide which option is best for you. We include prices, what you can expect as well as reviews.

 

 


SIGHTSEEING BOAT TOURS

Have you ever wanted to see the full skyline of Boston from its harbor? If so, these sightseeing cruises are a fantastic choice. These trips are usually both short and inexpensive, giving you the opportunity to discover this city from an entirely different point of view. 


BOSTON HARBOR CRUISES

They offer three sightseeing boat tours in total, each focusing on a different section of the waters of Berlin.

The Historic Boston Sightseeing Cruise (see below) is also available as part of the Boston CityPASS, a tourist discount pass.

With over 800 positive ratings on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews), you can trust that this company is reliable. Boston Harbor Cruises has an overall 4-star rating, which is a very respectable score.

In addition to their cruise services, this company also provides speed boat rides, sunset tours, whale watching trips, a water taxi and ferries to Salem and Cape Cod. See their full selection of water excursions.

Tours and Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

USS Constitution Sightseeing Boat Tour 

A 45-minute tour of Boston’s Inner Harbor, which includes the chance to tour of Old Ironsides. You will also see Bunker Hill Monument, the site of The Boston Tea Party, and the Old North Church.

  • $24.10 for Adults (ages 12-64)
  • $21.99 for Seniors (ages 65-99)
  • $19.89 for Children (ages 3-11)
  • Free for children 2 and under

Historic Boston Sightseeing Cruise 

A 90-minute tour of both the Inner and Outer Harbor.

  • $30.39 for Adults (ages 12-64)
  • $28.29 for Seniors (ages 65-99)
  • $26.19 for Children (ages 3-11)
  • Free for children 2 and under

Charles River Cruise

  • $26.95 for Adults
  • $24.95 for Seniors
  • $22.95 for Children

Things to Consider

The Charles River cruise will take you from the river to the inner harbor. The USS Constitution cruise will circle around the inner harbor, giving you a good look at the ship in question.

The Historic Boston Sightseeing Cruise goes all around the Boston Harbor, providing a great view of the city and its surrounding areas.

Boston Harbor Cruises also provides several specialty and dining cruises that we have discussed in their appropriate sections below. No matter what you want to see or how you want to see it, chances are that this company has a cruise or boat tour that will exceed your expectations. 

 


CLASSIC HARBOR LINE

This is one of the biggest and most notable cruise companies in Boston. They provide dozens of different excursions out on the water, including some sightseeing boat tours that just about anyone can enjoy. See their full selection here.

Discover either the inner harbor or the outer islands while cruising around the city in style on a yacht known as the Northern Lights.

Classic Harbor Line also provides themed cruises and tours during holidays such as Christmas and New Years Eve. Make sure to check our section on specialty boat tours for more information on their theme cruise services.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

  • One Hour Inner Harbor Cruise
    • $22 for Adults
    • $12 for Children
    • $17 for Seniors/Military

Where to Purchase Tickets

The easiest way to get tickets for these trips is to buy them online.

Reviews of Classic Harbor Line

This company has over 400 positive reviews on TripAdvisor, so it’s safe to say that they’re one of the most trustworthy tour services in the city. Sporting an overall 5-star rating, Classic Harbor Line is definitely worthy of consideration.

They only have a handful of negative ratings, and none of them appear to be suggestive of any glaring problems. Many reviewers describe the captain and crew as both professional and friendly, which is definitely nice to hear.

Things to Consider

The only sightseeing boat tour offered year round is their One Hour Inner Harbor Cruise. The Boston Harbor Island Cruise is seasonal, so it won’t be available during certain times of the year.

That being said, this company does provide other seasonal boat trips that you may want to consider as an alternative. For more information on these options, please see our Specialty Boat Tours section below.

 


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TALL SHIP AND SAILBOAT TOURS

Back in the 1600s, Boston was one of the biggest trade centers in the United States. During these times, shipments were made via Tallships – large sailboats that were capable of transporting goods and passengers across the sea.

To this day, you will still find these ships in Boston Harbor, and you can even enjoy a cruise on one of these historic boats. If this sounds like a trip that you want to experience, consider one of the following services.
 


LIBERTY FLEET OF TALL SHIPS

Travel the waters of Boston Harbor on the same kind of transportation they used hundreds of years ago. Experience the history of this city from a traditional schooner and see the skyline from an entirely different perspective. This company provides several different tour options, but their main service is a daily sail around the harbor. Their crew is both knowledgeable and experienced, offering a unique trip around Beantown. In addition to their public sailing options, they also offer charters for large groups.

Liberty Fleet has a 4-star rating and over 200 positive reviews on TripAdvisor. Although there are a few common complaints, they generally focus on issues that you will experience on any old schooner. Taking this boat out on the water is no easy task, and it isn’t necessarily going to be the most comfortable ride you’ve ever had. This experience is all about authenticity, and it would appear that most guests understood that. Positive reviews focus on the feeling of being transported back in time to the days when these ships once ruled the waterways. Needless to say, this is definitely an interesting trip out on the harbor!

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

Day Sail – Prices depend on peak/off-peak season

  • $30 to $35 for Adults
  • $19 to $24 for Children

Where to Purchase Tickets

When they are available, tickets can be purchased online. These boat tours are only offered during the summer months, so you’ll want to check and make sure that you can actually book a sailing adventure with this company before getting your heart set on Liberty Fleet.

Things to Consider

Liberty Fleet offers six daily sails which last for 1 ½ – 2 hours. Beverages and snacks are provided to passengers upon request. The captain and crew will do everything in their power to make you feel as comfortable as possible, but discovering what these trips were like for people in the 1600s is a part of the experience.

Some have described their overnight stay on a schooner similar to camping, because you’re definitely roughing it a bit more than you would on a ship with more amenities. Even a 90-minute tour might be a bit too uncomfortable for some guests, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not this is a cruise you actually want to take.

Although it might not be as much of a tour as some of the other cruises and sailing options you’ll find in Boston, this is definitely an excellent opportunity to discover what it feels like to take a trip on a traditional tall ship. 


MASSACHUSETTS BAY LINES

Much like their competitors, this company provides several different types of cruises and tours for a variety of different customers. However, rather than just giving you a taste of what it was like to ride on a tall ship hundreds of years ago, Massachusetts Bay Lines takes their tours to the next level. Their standard sailing trip is actually a pirate adventure which includes several fun activities on the boat. Watch history come alive while on this exciting pirate ship!

Although their overall rating on TripAdvisor is 4-stars, they haven’t received any negative reviews for the pirate ship tour. There are a handful of negative comments about the service, but not enough to suggest that there are any noteworthy problems. As usual, these tall ships aren’t necessarily designed for comfort, so a lot of passengers will complain about a lack of space or comfortable seating. That being said, most guests absolutely adore the experience of being on a pirate ship!

Tours and Ticket Prices  (as of 2018)

Pirate Ship Harbor Tour

  • $35 for Adults (Ages 18 – 59)
  • $25 for Children (5-17) /Seniors (60+)/Military
  • Free for Children under 5

Where to Purchase Tickets

Tickets can be purchased online. Much like their competitors, they only offer services during the summer months, so make sure that they actually have tickets to purchase before getting too excited!

Things to Consider

Massachusetts Bay Lines do their best to give passengers a thrilling pirate adventure out on the waters of Boston Harbor. That being said, chances are that some of the stories you hear will be embellished and their manner of dress might not be period accurate. This tour is more about having fun and living life like a pirate than it is about recreating the exact experience of actual pirates hundreds of years ago. If you’re looking for a family activity that everyone can enjoy, this is a great idea. However, if you’re hoping to take a more historically accurate tour of the waterways, you may want to consider another option.
 


CLASSIC SAIL BOSTON

If you’re not interested in sailing on an old schooner or a tall ship, this company provides a service that might meet your needs. Unfortunately, they do not offer public sailing services, so you’ll have to charter their yacht for at least 2 hours to enjoy a sail on the Boston Harbor. These trips are fairly expensive, but it’s worth the price for a private excursion. Ultimately, you’re typically paying less than $100 per person for an exclusive experience on a lovely sailboat. That’s actually a pretty good deal, and they have excellent ratings to back up their prices.

Classic Sail Boston sports a flawless 5-star rating on TripAdvisor. They have yet to receive even one negative review, and that’s definitely a good sign. Comments are all extremely favorable, many of them indicating that this is a wonderful experience for families and small groups. The yacht holds up to 6 passengers, so this sailing trip is definitely more personal than what you’ll find with other services. Satisfied customers state that this is an enjoyable cruise for people of all ages.

Charter Prices (as of 2018)

Standard Charter (2 Hours): $475 for up to 6 passengers

Half-Day Charter (4 Hours): $750 for up to 6 passengers

Full-Day Charter (8 Hours): $1,200 for up to 6 passengers

How to Charter a Sailboat

If you want to charter one of these sailboats, you’ll need to call Classic Sail at 1-844-SAIL-BOS (1-844-724-5267). Alternatively, you can fill out a form on their website and wait for them to contact you.

Things to Consider

The longer you charter the boat, the more you’ll be able to experience. While a 2-hour tour will take you around the inner harbor without any hassle, an 8-hour tour will take you out to the Harbor Islands! Full-Day Charters also include a free lunch and a visit to a national park.

Although sailboat charters may be more expensive, they do provide a nice contrast to the hustle and bustle of other tours and activities in Boston. For those who can afford it, this is a great way to spend a day out on the water. Feel the breeze as it blows through your hair and fills the sails with the wind that will take you somewhere new.  

 


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SPECIALTY BOAT RIDES

If you’re looking for a more romantic experience, you may want to consider one of the specialty boat rides offered in Boston. These don’t fall under the definition of a cruise or a boat tour, but they can be quite enjoyable. The following companies do not typically make trips out into the harbor. Instead, you’ll find them located near Charles River and other small bodies of water. Anyone who wants a more quiet and personal experience will definitely prefer one of these boat rides!
 


BOSTON SWAN BOATS

Boston’s Swan Boats have been around for over 140 years, creating memories for several generations of both residents and visitors from out of town. With such a rich history, it’s clear that they’ve been providing excellent service for quite some time. Located in the Public Garden just a few blocks from Charles River, this boat ride is one of the most affordable and family-friendly activities in the city. Travel around the garden in a safe and unique vessel that is perfect for passengers both young and old!

 

 

 

Given the history of this business, it probably won’t come as too much of a surprise that they currently have a 4 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor. Swan Boats hasn’t even been given any rating lower than 3 stars, and that definitely says something about their service. A majority of passengers who have taken this boat ride enjoyed themselves quite a bit. Some have said that this is a Boston tradition, and it’s easy to see why. According to reviewers, the boat ride may not last for long, it is a peaceful adventure that you won’t soon forget.

Ticket Prices

  • $4.00 for Adults
  • $3.50 for Seniors
  • $2.50 for Children (ages 2-15)
  • Children under 2 ride free

Where to Purchase Tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the dock when you arrive. Considering how cheap it is to ride on a Swan Boat, it probably wouldn’t make sense to offer online booking. That being said, you can actually use a Boston Go Card to gain access to this activity if you’d rather avoid carrying around cash.

Things to Consider

This service is only provided during the spring and summer months, but it is available pretty much every day during those seasons. Each boat ride lasts about 15 minutes, and some have said that it can make for a nice break after walking around the gardens for a while.

Although you can’t purchase individual tickets ahead of time, they do offer reduced group pricing. If you aren’t bringing a group of people with you, it’s best to just purchase your tickets at the dock.


GONDOLA di VENEZIA

Romance is the name of the game when it comes to a gondola ride. If you’re spending time with a significant other, this is the perfect way to let them know how much you care. Each trip includes at least a 45-minute cruise along the Charles River along with some snacks for the ride. Depending on which service you get, they’ll even include roses and live music among other additional features. Experience the beauty of Boston from a unique perspective while on a gondola trip with the one that you love!

Gondola di Venezia is one of the highest rated boat tours on TripAdvisor. They currently enjoy a 5-star rating from their customers, and they have yet to receive any negative reviews. It would appear that almost everyone who hops on one of their gondolas has an excellent experience. Most of the reviews come from passengers who were treating their loved ones to a special night out, and almost all of them report that they had an amazing time.

Ticket Prices

  • Bellissimo Gondola Tour – An hour long cruise with a live musician, a dozen roses, a pair of wine glasses and sparkling cider, a basket of cheese and crackers, fresh strawberries and rich chocolate. $229 for two
  • Mezza Luna Gondola Tour – A 50-minute cruise with a live musician, a basket of cheese and crackers, strawberries and rich chocolate. $169 for two
  • Pellegrino Grande Gondola Tour – A 50-minute cruise with a basket of cheese, crackers, strawberries and chocolate, a single rose and Italian Pizzelle cookies. $139 for two
  • Il Bacio Gondola Tour – A 45-minute cruise, basket of cheese and crackers, rich chocolate and recorded classic Italian music. $99 for two

Where to Purchase Tickets

You can book any of these tours online, and you should probably do so ahead of time in order to avoid a long wait. Some of the gondola tours quickly fill up, making it difficult to obtain tickets. If you want to make plans for a romantic night out, this is one specialty boat trip you’ll want to prepare well in advance.

Things to Consider

This definitely isn’t a tour or a boat ride for families. If you’re going on vacation with your significant other or you plan on taking a break with them during your trip, this would be an excellent idea. That being said, it may be important to book your gondola ride as early as possible, as tours sell out well in advance.

The price may not be cheap, but when you consider everything you’re getting for the money, it’s actually a pretty good deal. Even the Il Bacio option includes a variety of snacks and a 45-minute trip. Treat yourself and your loved one to the experience of a lifetime with the help of Gondola di Venezia!

 


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DINING CRUISES

If you’d rather enjoy a meal while cruising around the harbor, consider one of the following services. In addition to the typical dinner cruise, you’ll also find lunch, brunch, and even Jazz cruises! There’s plenty to consider when it comes to dining cruises in Beantown.

 

 

 


SPIRIT CRUISES

This company offers dining cruises in several different cities all over the United States. They are well known for providing excellent service and fantastic meals. In addition to their lunch and dinner cruise options, they also offer holiday and specialty cruises for special occasions. One of their most popular specialty tours is a sunset dining cruise, which allows you to get a look at the skyline of Boston just as the sun goes down. Needless to say, the view is breathtaking!

The Boston branch of Spirit Cruises has received a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. A majority of their reviews are positive, but there are a few negative comments here and there. Complaints range from the food quality to the price of a ticket, but there isn’t enough evidence to suggest a recurring problem. Most guests absolutely adore their meal and their experience, so it’s possible that these were simply isolated incidents. Overall, this is an excellent and reliable service that most people will enjoy.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

Lunch Cruise

  • $57.90 for Adults
  • $34.95 for Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $72.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Dinner Cruise

  • $104.90 for Adults and Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $139.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Sunset Dinner Cruise

  • $75.90 for Adults and Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $100.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Where to Purchase Tickets

We recommend booking your tickets online to avoid any problems. The earlier you book these cruises, the better the chances are that you won’t run into any issues.

Things to Consider

In addition to the options listed above, Spirit Cruises also offers specialty Tallship dining cruises for about a week during the summer. Depending on the time of year, you’ll also find a variety of holiday cruises available to celebrate special yearly events. No matter when you choose to visit Boston, chances are that they’ll have at least one cruise available.

This company offers additional goodies like roses and wine glasses which are available to purchase alongside your tickets. Each excursion lasts between 2-3 hours, and they all include at least one meal. Considering everything you get with a standard ticket, the price is more than reasonable.

The menus you will receive on these dining cruises are far different than those you will receive from other services on this list. You might want to consider checking the menus for each cruise and choosing the one that includes a meal you will enjoy. 


ODYSSEY CRUISES

Unlike their sister company, Odyssey provides lunch, dinner and brunch cruises. They also offer specialty and holiday cruises at various times throughout the year. Their specialty options include a Starlight Dinner Cruise which is offered year-round. This boat tour is shorter than their typical excursion, lasting between 2-2 ½ hours on average. As you might expect, the ticket is also much cheaper than some of their other offerings. Although their service is very similar to what you’ll find with Spirit Cruises, there are subtle differences between the two companies.

Much like Spirit, Odyssey Cruises enjoys a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor. Most of their reviews are extremely positive, but there are a handful of negative comments. As with their sister company, the negative experiences appear to be few and far between, indicating that they are not typical of the overall service. Most passengers thoroughly enjoy their trip with this company, reporting that the food is tasty and the staff is very friendly.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

Lunch Cruise

  • $65.90 for Adults
  • $39.95 for Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $90.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Brunch Cruise

  • $72.90 for Adults
  • $43.95 for Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $97.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Dinner Cruise

  • $129.90 for Adults and Children
  • Free for children under 3
  • $169.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Starlight Dinner Cruise

  • $94.90 for Adults and Children (age 3-12)
  • Free for children under 3
  • $124.90 for a guaranteed window seat

Where to Purchase Tickets

As with their sister company, it is best to book your cruise online in order to avoid any hassle. Why worry about whether or not your seats will be available when you can just book them ahead of time?

Things to Consider

If you haven’t already noticed, the same company owns both Spirit and Odyssey Cruises. That being said, both cruise lines offer different meals and excursions, so you’ll want to compare and contrast the two in order to find the boat trip that best fits your schedule.

In addition to their typical fare, they also provide optional extras such as a bottle of wine or a bouquet of roses. If you’re in the market for a romantic evening out on the Boston Harbor, these additional upgrades are definitely worth consideration.

As with their sister company, you can expect them to offer a plethora of holiday cruises. Keep a lookout for these opportunities when they arise, because tickets may sell out fast for special events.

 


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SUNSET BOAT TOURS

Have you ever seen the Boston skyline as the sun went down? Well, it’s an entirely different experience seeing it from the water! If you want to discover what this city looks like when all of the lights start turning on at night, consider a sunset boat tour or cruise from one of these fine establishments. Each trip takes place at the perfect time to enjoy some of the most beautiful views in the city.

 


CLASSIC HARBOR LINE

In addition to their daytime cruises, this company also provides sunset cruises and sailing opportunities around the Boston Harbor. Each boat trip will take you by the U.S.S. Constitution, where the sound of cannon fire signals the setting of the sun. Both services last for between 1 ½ – 2 hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the skyline as the sun goes down.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

Northern Lights Sunset Cruise  (90 minutes) 

  • $40 for Adults
  • $35 for Children (ages 6-14)
  • $32 for Military/Seniors

Adirondack III Sunset Sail  (2 hours)

  • $55 for Adults (14 and older)

Things to Consider

Although the Northern Lights Sunset Cruise is available pretty much year round, the availability of the Adirondack III Sunset Sail is far less frequent. For more information, you may want to call up Classic Harbor Line and ask them when their next sailing excursion is taking place.

These trips are not necessarily intended for families, but rather for adults who are looking for a romantic evening out on the Boston Harbor. Young children accompanied by an adult can take the Northern Sunset Cruise, but the Adirondak III only allows passengers who are 14 years or older. 


BOSTON HARBOR CRUISES

Much like their competitors, this company also provides a sunset cruise. This excursion is also roughly 90 minutes long, taking you from the inner harbor into the outer harbor to give you the greatest bang for your buck. The trip is fully narrated, so you’ll learn a lot about the area while enjoying the sights and sounds. Discover a variety of cultural landmarks and beautiful lighthouses as the sun goes down in Beantown!

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

  • $32.95 for Adults
  • $30.95 for Seniors
  • $28.95 for Children

Things to Consider

Unlike the services provided by Classic Harbor Lines, this sunset cruise welcomes audiences of all ages. If you want to take your family out on a boat tour as the sun is setting, this could be an excellent opportunity.

Unfortunately, this cruise is only available during the summer months. Depending on the time of year, you may want to consider an alternative service for sunset boat trips in Boston.


MASSACHUSETTS BAY LINES

Believe it or not, this company also offers a sunset cruise. Much like Boston Harbor Cruises, their trips are only available during the spring and summer months. This boat tour will take you past the U.S.S. Constitution, the Seaport Boston Hotel, and several other notable landmarks along the way. Discover how the city skyline shines as the sun goes down in this historic harbor.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

  • $22 Adults
  • $18 Children (ages 6-18)
  • $20 Seniors/Student (ages 6 and up with valid ID)/Military (with valid ID)
  • $10 Children under 5 

Things to Consider

Massachusetts Bay Lines also offers a Pirate Sunset Cruise on their tallships but they do not offer this option year round. That being said, you may want to keep your eyes peeled during the summer months to see whether or not tickets are available for this excursion.

This sunset boat tour is perfect for families, and it’s a lot more affordable than the alternatives offered by competitors. At 1 ½ hours in length, this company is essentially offering the same service as their competition for a far lower price. Keep that in mind before making your decision.
 


LIBERTY FLEET OF TALL SHIPS

This company provides several sailing excursions throughout the warmer months of the year, including a sunset sail around Boston Harbor. Unlike some of their competitors, this sailing trip takes place on a classic schooner so that you can experience what a boat ride was like in the earlier days of Boston’s history. Discover this city the way early Americans did while enjoying the beautiful skyline as the sun sets.

Ticket Prices (as of 2018)

  • $35-$40 for Adults
  • $24 for Children

Things to Consider

Although this is a great opportunity to experience what a classic schooner is like, it’s worth noting that customers typically don’t find them very comfortable. This is true to the form and function of an original tall ship, but some guests still won’t be happy with the excursion. Keep this in mind before purchasing any tickets.


CHARLES RIVERBOAT COMPANY

If you’re looking for a cheaper option that will take you out on the Charles River instead, this company also offers a sunset cruise. This boat tour lasts for approximately 70-minutes, and it is extremely affordable. Discover the Boston Skyline from a different perspective while riding down the river and enjoying all of the popular landmarks as you float along.

Ticket Prices  (as of 2018)

  • $19.50  Adult
  • $17.00  Senior/ Student/Military
  • $12.00  Child 12 and Under
  • $5.00    Child 3 and Under

Things to Consider

This cruise will stay close to the city, so you might not get as many views of the entire skyline as you could enjoy with other services. The experience here is entirely different but still worth considering. It’s hard to beat the low prices offered by this tour company!


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COMBO PACKAGES

If you’re in the market for more than just a cruise or a boat tour, you may want to consider taking advantage of a combo package. Some tour companies in the Boston area offer a variety of different activities at a discount when you purchase them together. You can actually save a lot of money by combining several different tours and activities. This is a great way to schedule your itinerary ahead of time while getting the best possible deal on all of the attractions you want to experience.


GO BOSTON CARD

This company offers combo deals for a lot of popular destinations around the world, and they have become accepted as a reliable service. The Go Boston Card provides access to several different tours and attractions for a low price. Many of the cruises and boat tours we’ve described above are available with this pass, so you may want to consider this combo package if you are interested in any of the services on this list.

Boat Tours and Cruises Available With Go Boston Card

  • U.S.S. Constitution Sightseeing Boat Tour
  • Cape Cod Canal Cruise
  • Charles River Cruise
  • Hyannisport Harbor Cruise
  • Swan Boats of Boston

Other Popular Attractions/Activities Included With Go Boston Card

  • Fenway Park Tour
  • New England Aquarium
  • Hop-On, Hop-Off Trolley Tour
  • Museum of Science
  • Freedom Trail Walking Tour
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Salem Witch Museum
  • Paul Revere House
  • Sam Adams Brewery Tour
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center
  • JFK Presidential Library and Museum
  • Liberty Ride Bus Tour
  • Six Flags New England
  • MIT Museum

Things to Consider

The Go Boston Card is best reserved for those who plan to spend at least 3 days in Beantown. They do provide 1 and 2-day tickets, but you won’t be able to visit many of the popular locations that are offered through this combo deal unless you intend to stick around in Boston for at least a few days.

This pass is available in three different formats: All-Inclusive, Explorer and Build Your Own. The Build Your Own Pass will allow you to save up to 20% on every attraction you choose. This might be a better option for those who won’t be in town for very long, because it gives you the opportunity to pick and choose only the activities you want.

For more information on this service, make sure to check out our comparison of the various Boston Tourist Passes.


BOSTON CITYPASS

If you’re looking for a combo package that’s a bit easier to manage, the Boston CityPASS is definitely worth consideration. Although this tourist pass doesn’t include as many activities, it is a lot more affordable and lasts for 9 full days. No matter how much time you’re spending in the city, chances are that you’ll be able to partake in most of the attractions available through this combo deal.

Attractions and Tours Included with Boston CityPASS

  • New England Aquarium
  • Museum of Science
  • Skywalk Observatory
  • Boston Harbor Cruise OR Museum of Fine Arts

CityPASS Prices (as of 2018)

  • $59 for Adults
  • $47 for Children (ages 3-11)

Things to Consider

This is a much better option for those who only plan to spend a day or two in Boston. Although their competitor offers many more activities, there are so many things to do that it can be difficult to get your money’s worth. With the Boston CityPASS, you have over a week to enjoy four different attractions and/or tours at your leisure, and you save money by bundling all of them together.

The cruise in question is the Historic Sightseeing tour offered by Boston Harbor Cruises. If you’re interested in this boat tour and the additional activities included with the tourist pass, you may want to take advantage of this combo package.

For more information, read our comparison of these Boston Tourist Passes.

 


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Where to Store Your Luggage in Boston

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post includes information about several options for storing luggage during your trip to Boston. We tell you all about the popular and convenient trend in luggage storage, where companies partner with secure local shops, restaurants, and hotels who serve as storage locations. We also list storage options in South Station. Note that there is no storage at Logan Airport.

 

TIP:  For budget travelers, it is worth considering purchasing a tourist pass. Tourist passes help you save money by packaging attractions together for one flat price. In some cases, you can save up to 50% of the cost you would normally pay to see many of the top Boston attractions. To learn more, check out our post comparing the different Boston Tourist Attraction Passes.

 


 

LUGGAGE STORAGE (THE SHARING ECONOMY)

The companies listed below employ a similar system to Airbnb, but for luggage. They find convenient locations for travelers, such as souvenir and gift shops or convenience stores, even restaurants or coffee houses, who have the capacity and the security to hold and secure your luggage. They also open early and close late giving you the most flexibility in terms of when you need to store your luggage. 

Fees vary as do the number of hours you can store for. Some charge per hour, while some charge a flat fee for a 24-hour period, regardless of whether you store for 3 hours or all 24 hours. Read more »

famous bar in Beacon Hill

Where is the Cheers Bar in Boston?

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post is about Cheers, the famous Boston bar, its background, where to find it (there are 2 locations), and some tips on what to eat.

 

 


BACKGROUND

The bar, which opened in 1969 and was originally named the Bull and Finch, had been a quiet, low profile, local watering-hole until it was discovered by Hollywood in 1981 and premiered in 1982 as the bar Cheers for the TV show of the same name. The show ran for 11 seasons and made the bar the most famous bar in Boston, maybe in all of the United States.   Read more »

How to Use the Boston Subway

The T: Boston’s Subway

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post covers the Boston subway system (known as the T), including a subway map, tips on choosing the right train line, fares and travel cards. Stations are conveniently located throughout the city (we even start most of our free walking tours at a station).

 

 


BOSTON SUBWAY MAP

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Boston Havard square

Harvard University Tour | Self Guided

Posted by & filed under Boston.

This post covers how to tour Harvard University, including our pay-what-you-wish tour, a tour guided by students, as well as a self-guided option. Harvard University is the oldest college in the United States (1636).  Eight U.S. presidents attended Harvard University and the name is known worldwide.  

 

WHERE IS HARVARD?

Harvard University is located in the City of Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston. It’s located approximately 4 miles (6.5 km) away from the Boston Commons (or 15 min on the subway).

Regardless of how you decide to get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to Harvard Square.

 

Where is Harvard University

 

Be sure to read our how-to guide on riding the Boston T (subway).

TIP: If you are considering purchasing a hop-on-hop-off trolley ticket, be aware that Old Town Trolley has a stop for Harvard University.

 


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GUIDED HARVARD WALKING TOURS

To start with, our 2-hour, pay-what-you-like tour not only covers Harvard University but also the surrounding area of Cambridge. Below us, you can read about a shorter tour led by current Harvard students.


FREE TOURS BY FOOT

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve. Groups of 6 or more must contact us before booking.

Where: At the Cambridge Tourism Information Booth in Harvard Square (map).

Cost: This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Tour distance is approximately 1 mile (1.6K)

When: 

  • Jan. to Feb.: No Tours
  • March to April:  Saturdays and Sundays 10 am
  • May to June 20 Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays 10 am
  • June 20th to Labor Day: Everyday 10 am
  • Sept. to Oct:  Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays 10 am
  • Nov. to Dec.  Saturdays and Sundays 10 am

 


Hahvahad Tours (that’s phonetically spelled) 

This company offers 70-min tours several times each day that are led by current Harvard students. Be led by enthusiastic ambassadors of the university. Tours are inexpensive, light-hearted, but are limited to the university grounds, so you won’t see much of Cambridge. 

 

 

Tours run daily at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm and 1 pm.  

$12/adults | $8.50/students, seniors and children (Free with the Go Boston tourist discount card)

Book your tour here.

 


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SELF-GUIDED TOUR OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY AND CAMBRIDGE

Click here for a larger interactive map.

Harvard University Tour Map Read more »