07.06 Don’t Miss the Boat

Summer Cruises Offer Something for Everyone
By Sasha Hnatkovich

We’ve all heard and seen the commercials for the Norwegian, Holland America and Royal Caribbean cruise lines ~ glamorous people on glamorous ships, departing on week-long vacations in exotic destinations. But if you’re like me and don’t have thousands of bucks to spend on all-you-can-eat buffets and shore excursions, seeing those floating cities leave the harbor is as close as we’re going to get to a cruise this summer. Or is it?

Harbor cruises run daily all summer from Boston, Newburyport, and Hyannis. So for just a short ride from the city, you can be surrounded by glorious blue water, breathing in the fresh air and feeling as though the world is your oyster.

The perfect summer escape from sweaty clubs and dark bars, cruises let you enjoy cocktails, music and dancing under starry skies and accompanied by cool sea breezes. Join Boston Harbor Cruises [BHC] for their Salsa Cruise Series, complete with a lesson for you gringos and tropical concoctions that’ll help you find your rhythm. Mass Bay Lines, also out of Boston Harbor, offers 21+ Music Cruises on Fridays and Saturdays with live DJs and dancing. Hy-Line, out of Hyannis, has the widest range of options ~ from Sunset Cocktail to Moonlight & Music cruises along the Cape Cod Canal to TGIF Karaoke and Jazz cruises in Hyannisport Harbor ~ with many featuring local live bands like 57 Heavy. However, don’t miss the biggest party of the summer when Boston’s Weekly Dig commandeers Turntables on the Hudson [TOTH] and turns them loose on Boston Harbor on July 9.

If you’re looking for something a bit…quieter, Boston has two great alternatives to the typical booze cruise. Enjoy the sunset in comfortable, casual elegance with The Charles Riverboat Company’s Sunset Cruise along the Charles River. Or, for you gastronomes out there, come aboard the Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships’ 125 foot schooner for Steak & Lobster Dinner, Sunday Brunch and Wine Tasting Sails that are offered all summer long.

Of course, one of the foremost reasons to get out to the coast is to enjoy the fresh air and see the sights, whether they be a skyline, lighthouse or simply natural beauty. While BHC and MassBay offer great whale watching and sightseeing opportunities and Hy-Line has some sweet fishing trips, I have loved Capt. John Boats’ cruises since I was little. Departing from Plymouth Harbor, their Cape Cod Whale Watches offer some of the best opportunities to see humpbacks and porpoises ~ and their Deep Sea Fishing excursions will only add to your cache of you-should-have-seen-the-one-that-got-away stories. And don’t forget the Boston Harbor Islands this summer. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary this fall, this unrivaled National Park is made up of 34 islands, 8 of which are open to the public this summer (6 accessible by ferries). Enjoy their hiking and walking trails, picnic areas, camp sites, guided tours and walks, and natural splendor and isolation.

Find your sea legs this summer and come out to the coast for partying, peace and quiet, or sightseeing. Check out the links below for more information and ticket information for local harbor, river and canal cruises.

Boston Harbor
Mass Bay Lines, Inc.:
Hy-Line Cruises:
Turntables on the Harbor:,
Charles Riverboat Company:
Liberty Fleet of Tall Ships:
Capt. John Boats:
Boston Harbor Islands:

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