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Cruises to Boston

Boston (Photo:Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

About Boston

Boston is a big city, but it doesn't feel that way when you're walking around -- and make no mistake, this is one of those cities perfect to explore on foot. (If you're not a walker, join a trolley or amphibious vehicle tour.) In 20 minutes, you can stroll from the Common (Boston's Central Park) down to the waterfront and pass major historical attractions, shops and food purveyors along the way.

Boston is, perhaps, America's most glamorous historic city, dating back more than 350 years. The city was founded in 1630 by colonists led by John Winthrop, and it gets its name from an English village. The events that led to the American Revolution, including the infamous arguments over the tax on tea that led to the Boston Tea Party in 1773, started there. During the protest, three British ships were raided by colonists dressed as Native Americans who dumped tea into the harbor. In 1775, Paul Revere helped spread the word that the British were coming. The next day, the "shot heard round the world" was fired, signaling the start of the American Revolution.

These days, Boston, also dubbed "Beantown" (the moniker is another colonial-era legacy, referring to a time when baked beans made with molasses were a Boston specialty), has a European feel, in part because of its many ancient buildings and cozy ambiance. But, it is not a city museum by any stretch. As an area home to major educational institutions, including Harvard, MIT and Boston College, a big student population also contributes a fresh, edgy feel.

The "locals" are part of Boston's charm. Just keep in mind they tend to come in two categories: friendly and grouchy. (There are even restaurants that specialize in surly waitresses.)

This is a big sports town, and the Red Sox and the Patriots are king. A conversation on either will bring emotional discourse. Sure, there's lots of American history, especially on the Freedom Trail. (Just follow the red lines down the sidewalk.) But if television history is more your style, visit the bar that was the model for "Cheers." If you're a movie buff, there are numerous filming locations throughout Boston. Tours are available where you can visit the backdrops for "Good Will Hunting," Legally Blonde," "The Departed," "The Social Network," "American Hustle," "Boston Legal" and many more.

As a visitor, you also shouldn't overlook the city's many museums. Boston has great shopping both for those who want to spend big bucks and for those looking for "bah-gans." And if you're a foodie, you can find everything from haute cuisine to Fenway Franks. If you order "chowda," it will be the creamy kind. (Don't even ask for tomato-based.)

  • More about Boston

  • Why go to Boston?

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Zaandam
Zaandam Cabins

7 Night
Canada & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Zaandam
Zaandam Cabins

7 Night
Canada & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Zaandam
Zaandam Cabins

9 Night
The Atlantic CoastDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 1, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Norwegian Pearl
Norwegian Pearl

7 Night
Bermuda - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Virgin Voyages

7 Night
Boston To San Juan CruiseDetails

1,438 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Royal Caribbean International
Oct 30, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

12 Night
Greenland & Iceland CruiseDetails

2,387 Reviews
Leaving:Reykjavik
Cruise Line:Celebrity Cruises
Aug 18, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Canada & New England - OtherDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Canada & New England - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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14 Night
The Atlantic CoastDetails

185 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Oct 8, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Bermuda - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Newfoundland & New England DiscoveryDetails

529 Reviews
Leaving:Montreal
Cruise Line:Holland America Line
Sep 3, 2023
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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7 Night
Canada & New England - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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Cruise Critic Favorite

7 Night
Canada & New England - OtherDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Oct 7, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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4 Night
Bermuda - BostonDetails

2,335 Reviews
Leaving:Boston
Cruise Line:Norwegian Cruise Line
Nov 11, 2022
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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10 Night
Canada / New England CruiseDetails

2,663 Reviews
Leaving:Quebec City
Cruise Line:Princess Cruises
No prices currently available for this sailing.
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More about Boston

Why go to Boston?

Pros:

Sports fans, history lovers, foodies and shopping enthusiasts will find plenty of each in Beantown.

Cons:

Cruise season in Boston aligns with tourist season; leave ample time to get around the city.

Bottom Line:

Boston is walkable if you know where you're going; otherwise, consider a tour option.

Boston Cruise Port Facilities?

The Raymond L. Flynn Black Falcon Cruise Terminal, a former World War I military warehouse, is located at 1 Black Falcon Avenue on the South Boston waterfront. There are three berths: the Main Terminal, Terminal 2 and 88 Black Falcon. There aren't many amenities, even at the main cruise terminal, so you'll want to head straight into the city. There are plenty of ways to access the heart of Boston, and some museums and restaurants are as close as a 10-minute walk away. Taxis and trolley tours are readily available. For those feeling a bit spry, it's a pleasant half-hour walk to the city via Northern Avenue, partly along the Harborwalk and over the Northern Avenue pedestrian bridge. You can also take Summer Street as an alternative (though less scenic) route to the Boston T (subway) at South Station. Water taxi service is also available.

Good to Know?

If you're thinking about renting a car, don't. Even though The Big Dig -- the city's notoriously lengthy and super-involved road construction project -- is over, one-way streets and aggressive driving are a formula for unnecessary stress. Visitors should stick to public transportation, ridesharing or their own two feet.

Getting Around?

By Bus: Silver Line Buses SL2 (daily) and SL3 (weekdays only) leave the Black Falcon Terminal every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends with connections to the Boston T's Red Line at South Station. Additionally, SL1 (which runs every 10 to 12 minutes between Logan Airport and South Station) makes a stop at Silver Line Way, about 10 minutes on foot from the cruise terminal. Just pay the driver.

By Subway: Once in the heart of downtown, mass transit including buses and "the T" (the affectionate name for the Boston subway system) are a breeze.

By Shuttle: Most cruise lines operate a shuttle bus (cost varies) to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market. Inquire onboard.

By Tour: Visitors can also catch narrated trolley tours. For something different, try a Duck Tour, offered in an amphibious vehicle.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

There are ATMs and banks throughout the city. A Bank of America is located on Congress Street; a 15-minute walk from the cruise terminal.

Language?

They speak English in Boston, but with slight variation. Yes, you will encounter folks who "pahk the cah," and if something is "wicked" in Boston, that's a good thing.


Boston Cruise Reviews
Always fun going to Boston. The port is about 25 minutes walk to downtown were all the fun is :). Read More
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annedav
Easy transportation via bus, subway or taxi to multiple sites in Boston.Read More
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Peterseremet
Stayed in Boston for 2 days before our cruise and 2 days after and really enjoyed the city. So much history came to life that never interested me in school. Recommend highly to anyone with the opportunity at least duRead More
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marksrjm
Great visit - 4th of July fireworks were awesomeRead More
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ThelmLou

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