A Voyage Through the Years

The story of Boston Harbor Cruises is closely entwined with the story of Boston itself. As the city has grown and developed, so have we.

For nearly a century we’ve consistently built, upgraded and modernized our fleet to meet the needs of commuters, the community and the city’s burgeoning tourist industry. Whether you are looking to escape the traffic, host an event or celebration, or just spend some time on the sparkling ocean, we have the right vessel, crew and itinerary to suit your need.

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Then and Now

In 1926 our founder Matty Hughes saw a golden opportunity on the sparkling waters of Boston’s Charles River. Fellow Bostonians needed an escape from the summer heat, so Matty started offering 30-minute river cruises for just 10 cents.

Back then Matty’s little boat left from rickety piers and tired old wharves. But as the decades passed the waterfront saw a transformation. New hotels, restaurants and businesses sprang up in the alluring vicinity of one of the most impressive and successful harbor cleanups the nation has ever seen.

Tourists and residents followed, many attracted by the rich history and natural beauty of the Harbor and its surroundings. But time doesn’t stand still and neither did BHC. Before long, we were offering everything from harbor cruises and whale watches to our thrill ride, Codzilla.  And new additions are always on the horizon.  


Four Generations of Leadership

Today our modern fleet of 53 vessels navigates the crystal-clear waters from Boston’s inner harbor to Cape Cod and the North and South Shores. BHC is the largest maritime employer in the City of Boston and captains the largest private passenger vessel fleet in the nation. But this is a business of people, not numbers. The family business spirit is alive and well, with 3rd and 4th generation Nolans overseeing every aspect of our organization. It’s a legacy we are proud to share and we hope that shows each and every time we say, “Welcome Aboard!”