Cruising on Boston Harbor

A few weekends ago, Rich and I decided to take a cruise around Boston Harbor. We were in a stretch of gorgeous weather and we had a gift card for an historic Boston Sightseeing Tour by Boston Harbor Cruises. Even though we’ve lived in the Boston area for years, we often act like tourists in the city to try and see neighborhoods with new eyes. This was definitely new for us since neither of us had ever taken a cruise around Boston Harbor.

Boston Harbor
A view of Boston as seen from Boston Harbor.

Speaking of tourists, we were surrounded by them. Literally. We accidentally got in the middle of a tour group while queuing up to board the boat. It was still fun to listen to them talk about Boston and its history. The group knew way more than I did about Faneuil Hall, the North End, and the waterfront.

The view of Boston while pulling out of the harbor is something to see. The above photo is how Boston looks from the water.

During the cruise, we also got to see the back side of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Castle Island, and Spectacle Island.

I was amazed at how many boats – both commercial and non-commercial – were out on the water. The photo below is an oil tanker coming into Boston Harbor that dwarfs a passing sailboat. I was surprised that a massive oil tanker like this one came into Boston, but apparently this happens all the time. Boston Harbor is quite a busy port. Who knew?

An oil tanker enters Boston Harbor.
An oil tanker enters Boston Harbor.

Speaking of old boats, we passed the Nantucket Lightship/LV-112 docked in East Boston. Built in 1936, this boat is the largest lightship ever built in the United States. The Nantucket Lightship has been deemed a National Historic Landmark but is in need of donations for her upkeep. You can learn more about their efforts here.

The Nantucket Lightship in Boston Harbor.
The Nantucket Lightship in Boston Harbor.
The USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Memorial in Charlestown.
The USS Constitution and Bunker Hill Memorial in Charlestown.

We also passed by the USS Constitution docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard. I was able to snap a photo of her with the Bunker Hill Monument in the background. She sails once a year during her turnaround ceremony in July, but Boston Harbor Cruises does offer a USS Constitution cruise that includes disembarking for a tour of the ship. That one may be next on our list.

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