Boston Harbor Cruise

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Offering a unique view of the city and a great story of her history, the Boston Harbor USS Constitution Cruise is a great way to get to know the world’s oldest afloat commissioned naval vessel and the Harbor and city she calls home.

About the Constitution

The USS Constitution was first launched on 21 October 1797. In the over 200 years since that moment, she has led a very full and productive life as a naval vessel and museum ship in the city of Boston with an entire museum dedicated to her life and accomplishments. Let’s just hit on some of the high points:

Originally commissioned for service by President George Washington through the Naval Act of 1794, Constitution was named after the document which founded the United States and is the single oldest naval vessel still afloat in the world. Nicknamed “Old Ironsides,” she is a wooden, three-mast heavy frigate that saw action in three separate wars including the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Literally travelling the world and undergoing several restorations in order to do so, Constitution was first decommissioned and towed to Charlestown Navy Yard on 21 September 1897, just shy of her 100th birthday, old and severely broken. After celebrating her centennial, Constitution sat in the yard unattended to for a long time.

This is because, although the United States’ Congress authorized the restoration of Constitution as early as 1900, no real progress was made until the 1920s. At that time, new effort was put into showcasing the already record-breaking ship. New reconstruction efforts were carried out and she was finally able to set sail again in March of 1930. This began a three year tour of the country and its major ports, earning her recommission on 1 January of the following year. Upon returning to Boston in 1934, Constitution has served as a museum ship at Charlestown ever since undergoing major reconstructions again in 1995 and 2007.

Main Attraction

Boston Harbor Cruise’s USS Constitution Cruise is a 45-minute tour that uses “Old Ironsides” and the Charlestown Navy Yard as an important backdrop to tell the tale of the city. Sailing in a loop around Boston Harbor, the cruise touches upon the deep history of Constitution as well as the history that took place in her hometown of Boston. The cruise ship passes by the site of The Boston Tea Party as well as the Bunker Hill Monument and Old North Church as part of its comprehensive look at the city’s revolutionary past. After the cruise, visitors have the option of touring the ship itself along with the nearby naval museum.

Running from the end of March through the end of November, the USS Constitution Cruise leaves every hour, on the hour. Rates for the cruise are divided among Adults (18+), Children (3-17), and Seniors (65+). Tickets include the opportunity to tour the Constitution herself as well as other vessels on display in the navy yard. A docent-led tour of the Constitution is part of the ticket price with new tours every half hour, but the vessel is only open Tuesdays through Sundays. The naval museum, located near the ship yard, is a separate entity from the Constitution and cruise and simply asks for a donation-based entry fee.

Why It’s a Must-See

For a new look at the city of Boston and for anyone who loves old ships, the harbor cruise with the USS Constitution is hard to match. With great views, unmatched history, and a fantastic backdrop, this is a great way to spend the day in Charlestown.

Where to Buy It

There are a number of ways you can enjoy admission to this attraction.

Pay Full Price and purchase a ticket from Boston Harbor Cruise either online or in person.

Save up to 20% online at Smart Destinations. If you add more than one attraction to the cart, you will get an automatic savings of up to 20%. It’s called Make Your Own Pass.

Purchase a Tourist pass. The Boston Harbor Cruise is available on the Go Boston Card.