Planning a family-friendly vacation in Boston doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, especially if a substantial portion of your itinerary focuses on enjoying the many nature-based attractions in and around the city. Since no matter where you go in Boston, you’re never too far from a body of water, it’s fitting that one of the most popular activities in the area consists of hopping on a boat and taking a scenic tour of the region’s sights, many with deep historic ties.
The go-to company for a trip along the Charles River and Boston Harbor is the Charles Riverboat Company, which was founded in 1990 by Captain Russell Cushman. Intent on helping others appreciate the waterways to the fullest, Cushman had riverboats constructed capable of completing scenic cruises while also allowing passage under nine low bridges interspersed along the Charles.
Now a hugely popular cruise outlet, the company offers several very affordable trips each day, during the regular season from May until October. For the general price of $13 (adults), $10 (seniors), or $6 (children), riders can choose from tours of the Charles River or Boston Harbor, in addition to group tours, which include discounted fares for parties of 20 to 200 individuals, and special events, such as the U.S.S. Constitution Turn Around Cruise on the Fourth of July.
Daily sunset cruises at 6pm and 7:30pm, from June through August, feature the extra touch of cocktails at a full bar. Children are welcome on the trips, as well, but tickets must be purchased a week in advance.
Visit Charles Riverboat Company online to learn more about one of the biggest and most memorable bargains for vacationers in Boston. As the 60- to 75-minute cruises depart from Canal Park, mere feet from the entrance of East Cambridge’s CambridgeSide Galleria, it’s easy to extend a river tour into a day of shopping and/or dining at the mall’s numerous stores and eateries.
The company has even partnered with the mall and the world-famous restaurant the Cheesecake Factory to make special lunch and shopping packages available for tour participants. These currently include lunch and a cruise for $29.75 per person (includes one entrée, non-alcoholic beverage, and a cheesecake dessert) and savings coupons for various stores.
Canal Park at CambridgeSide Galleria: 100 CambridgeSide Place, Cambridge, 617-621-3001