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By Scott Roberto / July 18, 12:00 AM
10 Top Options for Enjoying Boston by Water

Set sail and enjoy these unique opportunities to experience both historic Boston Harbor and the scenic Charles River

Photo: Derek Kouyoumjian

Super Duck Tours 

The amphibious vehicles used by this tour operator spend 45 minutes on land visiting Boston’s waterfront landmarks before splashing down into Boston Harbor for another 45 minutes of cruising the Hub’s storied waterway. A Super Duck Tour gives passengers a unique view of the Old North Church, the USS Constitution and more.  

Charlestown Navy Yard, 877-34-DUCKS, bostonsupertours.com

Karma Crew Yacht Charters

Between the Tequila & Taco Tuesday excursions, Saturday mornings’ Aussie-themed G’Day Mate Coffee Cruises and Oysters & Craft Brews on Sundays, Karma Crew’s vintage 1948 motor yacht Full Moon is the hottest spot at sea.

Fan Pier, Rowes Wharf and Charlestown Navy Yard, 617-982-2767, karmacrewyachtcharters.com

Boston Harbor Mini Speed Boats

Cruise through Boston Harbor—led  by a knowledgeable guide—on one of these sleek vessels. After a quick training session, you’ll be off on a tour of everything from the JFK Library to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

India Wharf Marina, 617-725-0900, bostonminispeedboats.com

Revels Boston Harbor Cruise and Sings

This sunset cruise hosted by Revels—purveyors of folk music from all over the world—is a raucous sing-a-long full of traditional songs and sea chanteys. The next one takes place July 19 from 7–9 p.m.

60 Rowes Wharf, 617-972-8300, revels.org

Boston Harbor Islands

Hop on a ferry from Long Wharf to Georges or Spectacle islands, two of the many hidden gems of this 20-years-young park system. From there, explore hiking trails, beaches and historic sites, or catch a connecting ferry to the other islands, including Little Brewster Island, the home of 300-year-old Boston Light, the country’s oldest lighthouse.

66 Long Wharf, 617-227-4321, bostonharborislands.org

Classic Harbor Line

Take a harbor cruise on the schooner Adirondack III or the new-to-Boston, 1920s-style motor yacht Northern Lights for a stylish and breathtaking experience.

60 Rowes Wharf, 617-951-0020, boston-sailing.com

Boston Pedal Boats

Get some exercise while taking in the picturesque Charles River by renting one of these self-powered, state-of-the-art Nauticraft cruisers that seat up to four riders.

Charles River Esplanade, 617-876-2800, bostonpedalboats.com

Architecture Cruises 

This tour highlighting iconic architectural treasures like the Prudential Tower and the Custom House starts on the Charles River before continuing to the harbor.

CambridgeSide Galleria, Cambridge, 617-621-3001, charlesriverboat.com

New England Aquarium Whale Watch

Watch some of the largest creatures on earth cavort in their natural habitat. This cruise to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary offers glimpses of humpback, minke, finback and, if you’re lucky, rare North Atlantic right whales.

Central Wharf, 617-973-5206, neaq.org

Charles River Canoe & Kayak

Rent a canoe, kayak, rowboat or stand-up paddleboard at four area locations, or take a guided kayak tour from the Cambridge outpost for an expert’s take on the sights along Boston’s waterways.

Boston: 1071 Soldiers Field Road, 617-965-5110; Cambridge: Kendall Square, 617-965-5110; other locations, paddleboston.com

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