Boston Sunset Cruise Guide

On a go to to Boston Harbor during the 1988 presidential marketing campaign, Vice-President George H.W. Bush known as the city’s waters the dirtiest in America and a “harbor of disgrace.” But Boston Harbor, which had been fouled for decades by pollution, was already on the road to turning into a stunningly successful environmental story. The $4.5 billion cleanup effort that had stemmed from a 1985 lawsuit formally got here to an end in 2019. The outcome? Some of the cleanest city waters within the nation, which in the present day beckon boaters and other recreationists. No trip to Boston could be complete without a while on the water, be it the city’s harbor or its famed river, the Charles (one other cleanup success story). One memorable method to do this is to ebook a Boston sunset cruise, which adds the romance of pastel skies and twinkling city lights to the water vista. Quite a few cruise operators offer sunset outings; listed here are a couple of favorites to get you started.

Notes: Prices embrace surcharges and charges and have been rounded to the very best dollar. Schedules and prices are subject to alter, so verify with the tour operator earlier than planning your Boston sunset cruise.


The Boston skyline at day’s end | E-book a Boston Sunset Cruise

f0rtytw0/Flickr/Artistic Commons


cruises v&a waterfrontFounded in 1926 with a single boat that provided vacationer excursions for 10 cents, Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) is at this time the grand dame of the city’s waterfront. Its fleet of nearly 60 vessels — the largest of its form within the nation — includes MBTA boats, charter boats, ferries, water taxis, and plenty of sightseeing cruises. For those looking to take within the Boston skyline at sunset, BHC has a 90-minute narrated cruise departing from Long Wharf each night from Might to early September, before shifting to Thursday via Sunday until mid-September. On the spherical-journey from the interior harbor to the islands and lighthouses past, passengers also get to see the USS Structure firing her cannon and reducing the flag to mark the end of the day. Plus, BHC adds a grownup choice to the combination with its 21-and-up cocktail sunset cruises — featuring beer, wine, cocktails, light snacks, and music — which sail Thursday by way of Sunday from May to September. (Boston sunset cruise price: $35; reductions for youths and seniors. Sunset cocktail cruise: $45.)

Boston Harbor Cruises | Book a Boston Sunset Cruise

Via the Boston Harbor Cruises website


As any customer to London or Paris is aware of, a significant urban river can open up complete new ways to have a look at a city. To sight-see from the Charles River, which runs between Boston and Cambridge, the identify to know is the Charles Riverboat Firm. Its fleet of five boats contains three variations on its namesake vessel: the traditional riverboats Henry Longfellow and Charles I, plus the charming paddlewheeler, the Lexington. Each day from late Might till early September, 70-minute sunset cruises depart at 5:30 and 7 p.m. from the Lechmere Canal Park, close to the CambridgeSide mall. (For a bit more nighttime drama, there’s also a twilight cruise that departs at 8:30.) Music and a full-service bar round out the expertise. Word: Tickets can be found on-line two weeks in advance, and early buy is really useful for these widespread tours. (Boston sunset cruise fee: $22; reductions for teenagers, college students, seniors, and navy.)

Charles Riverboat Co. | E book a Boston Sunset Cruise

Charles Riverboat Company/Fb

Traditional HARBOR LINE

Whether you fancy your self an outdated salt or an higher-cruster, Classic Harbor Line has the journey for you. From Rowes Wharf it operates two classically styled vessels: the 80-foot Adirondack III, impressed by an 1890s pilot schooner, and the 110-foot motor yacht Northern Lights, which recalls luxurious transportation of the flip of the century. Both ply the harbor on sunset cruises (working season and dates vary by boat) that provide up-shut views of such landmarks as Fort Independence and the USS Constitution. The tour schedule is packed with a variety of different choices, too, reminiscent of a Sunday evening jazz cruise, a champagne twilight cruise, and a twilight sail. (Boston sunset cruise charges: $Forty five for the Northern Lights, ninety minutes, and $sixty two for the Adirondack III, two hours; reductions for youths, seniors, and military.)


A two-decade-plus veteran of Boston Harbor day sailing, the Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships is devoted to holding alive the romance of the Age of Sail. Each the majestic flagship, the 125-foot Liberty Clipper, and its little sister, the 62-foot Liberty Star, are nineteenth-century gaff-rigged schooner designs built with trendy know-how. From mid-May into October, these graceful tall ships sail from Central Wharf, subsequent to the brand new England Aquarium, on quite a lot of cruises (together with the Clipper’s lively “Rum and Revelry” sail, for grownups only, on choose Saturday evenings). A sunset sail lasts between 90 minutes and two hours, and the route can differ by wind path: toward the outer harbor and the Boston Harbor Islands, or towards East Boston, with views of the Charlestown Navy Yard and the North Finish alongside the way in which. (Boston sunset cruise charge: $51; reductions for teenagers.)

The Liberty Fleet flagship, the Liberty Clipper | E book a Boston Sunset Cruise

By way of Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships on Facebook


We get something of a swashbuckling vibe from this operator, whose fleet includes a replica sq.-rigged tall ship, the Formidable, that Mass Bay Lines dubs its “pirate ship.” And indeed the Formidable’s daytime harbor cruises are sprinkled with tales of pirates and privateers, sea chanteys, and a cannon firing. Narrated sunset cruises range from two hours on the Formidable to ninety minutes aboard one of the motor vessels (working season and dates vary by boat). Amongst other highlights of the Mass Bay Strains schedule are moonlight cruises and a weekly “Thirsty Thursday” cruise spotlighting the beers of regional brewers. (Boston sunset cruise rates: $Fifty three for the Formidable and $26 for a motor vessel; discounts for youths, students, seniors, and navy.)


Dinner and a sunset — what could possibly be better? For a memorable sightseeing feast, try the dinner cruise offered aboard the Spirit of Boston, a sleek multideck cruise ship that docks on the Seaport World Trade Center. The cruise, which is recurrently supplied in two-hour and three-hour versions, options a buffet meal, cash bar, and DJ, dancing, and games. For a extra formal dining expertise, try the equally impressive Odyssey, parked behind the Boston Harbor Lodge: Owned by the identical company because the Spirit of Boston, it serves up two- and three-hour outings with three-course plated meals. (Dinner cruise charges: Beginning at $100/two hours and $125/three hours on the Spirit of Boston; beginning at $112/two hours and $144/three hours on the Odyssey.)

Boston Mild on Little Brewster Island | E book a Boston Sunset Cruise

Asten/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have you ever been on a Boston sunset cruise? Let us know!