A Guide North of Boston’s Seasonal Adventures at Sea

A Guide North of Boston’s Seasonal Adventures at Sea

April 4, 2024

As winter loosens its grip and nature begins to stir, there’s a palpable sense of excitement in the air across the North of Boston region. Springtime here isn’t just a season; it’s a celebration of renewal, marked by the return of boats in our local waters offering endless maritime adventure opportunities. From the majestic sights of whale watching to the carefree cruises of our local charter boats and luxurious yacht excursions to educational sails aboard our historic schooners, there’s plenty of fun to be had on the water this spring and summer North of Boston.



Whale Watching Adventures

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of spring in North of Boston is the return of whale watching season. As the waters warm and marine life migrates back to the coast, visitors have the opportunity to embark on thrilling excursions with some of the region’s most renowned whale watching companies.

7 Seas Whale Watch
Set sail with 7 Seas Whale Watch and experience the awe-inspiring sight of our local whales frolicking in their natural habitat. Since 1983 7 Seas Whale Watch has offered unforgettable encounters with these magnificent creatures, providing insights into their behavior and conservation efforts. Their whale-watching tours to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary run daily from mid-April to mid-October and are designed to educate, inspire and provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the fragile marine environment. 7 Seas Whale Watch is a local family business, boasting three generations of career captains that have worked from the same dock for more than 7 decades. Now booking for trips beginning Saturday, April 20th.

Cape Ann Whale Watch
Join Cape Ann Whale Watch for an immersive journey into the world of whales, where every excursion is an opportunity for discovery and wonder, with sightings guaranteed! With spacious decks and panoramic views, they provide the perfect vantage point for observing these majestic creatures up close. Watch whales aboard the Hurricane II, the largest, fastest whale watch vessel in Massachusetts, North of Boston. Now booking for trips beginning Saturday, April 27th.


Harbor Cruises and Charter Excursions

In addition to whale watching, springtime in North of Boston offers the perfect opportunity to explore the region’s picturesque harbors and coastline aboard our luxurious yachts and party boats. Choose from a wide selection of public cruises and private charter options where you can make memories at sea that will last a lifetime!

Beauport Cruiselines
Other delightful adventures at sea include rides aboard Beauport Cruiselines which offers lobster bake cruises, sunset dinner cruises, and more! A highlight of your tour of Cape Ann, you will be immersed in the beautiful scenery, calm seas, classic New England scenery, and views of historic Gloucester Harbor, America’s oldest port.

Cape Ann Cruises
Cape Ann Cruises is another luxurious option to relish in the beauty and history of coastal Gloucester and beyond aboard their 46-passenger We Jack yacht which offers public cruises, private charters, and fishing charters.

Charles River Boat Company
If it’s views of Boston Harbor you’re after check out Charles River Boat Company for the city’s only boat company specializing in public and private cruises on the Charles River and Boston Harbor. Sit back, relax, and join us onboard for an unforgettable experience and the best views in the city! The Charles River Boat Company offers educational and entertaining Sightseeing Tours, Architecture Tours featuring spectacular views of Boston’s iconic and historic buildings, relaxing and scenic Cocktail & Sunset Tours, group tours, and more! Join them for a Mother’s Day Mimosa Cruise on Sunday, May 12th or book your favorite tour for the upcoming season,  opening May 24th.

Essex River Cruises
Essex River Cruises offers a unique perspective on springtime in North of Boston, with leisurely cruises along the tranquil Essex River. As you glide past scenic marshlands and historic landmarks, keep an eye out for ospreys, herons, and other wildlife that call this picturesque region home. Essex River Cruises offers scenic, relaxing, and educational public cruises as well as clambakes, corporate outings, and specialty cruises in partnership with local breweries and restaurants. Now booking for public cruises beginning May 12th.

Mahi Cruises
Located in Pickering Wharf in downtown Salem, Mahi Cruises offers a variety of daily harbor cruises and sunset cruises, as well as a fun summer music series, and fall foliage, and haunted happening cruises too! Looking to host a party on the water? Mahi Cruises offers three different vessels for private events including Rud, a tug boat, perfect for a rustic, intimate celebration; The Finback, a 50-foot sightseeing vessel, that offers a picturesque setting; and the Hannah Glover, which boasts two spacious decks and a capacity of up to 150 passengers, promises an unforgettable party!Now booking for cruises beginning Friday, May 10th.


Historic Sailing Excursions

For an authentic and educational North of Boston adventure at sea, don’t miss the chance to explore the region’s local waters aboard traditional schooners and historic sailing vessels. Whether you’re helping to hoist the sails or simply relaxing on deck, a cruise on our local schooners offers a serene and unforgettable maritime experience.

Schooner Adventure
Step aboard the historic Schooner Adventure and embark on a journey through time as you sail the waters of gorgeous Gloucester Harbor. The Schooner Adventure 1926 dory-fishing schooner and is a national treasure that is an icon of the American fisheries and as a floating classroom for maritime history and environmental education programs. With its towering masts and billowing sails, this majestic vessel offers a taste of seafaring nostalgia, complete with breathtaking views of the coastline and abundant wildlife.

Maritime Heritage Charters / Schooner Ardelle
Join Maritime Heritage Charters for a sail on an authentic, traditionally built, Gloucester Schooner out of Gloucester’s historic working waterfront. Their vessels include the Schooners Ardelle & Isabella and their friendly and knowledgeable crew delight in sharing our region’s rich fishing, shipbuilding, and maritime heritage with their passengers. Maritime Heritage Charters offers 2-hour public sails aboard the Schooner Ardelle around scenic Gloucester Harbor daily throughout their sailing season from May-October (Columbus Day Weekend), as well as private charters and a variety of special event sails including their music or history sails!

Schooner Fame of Salem
Discover the seafaring heritage of Salem aboard the Schooner Fame, a replica of a traditional 1812 privateer. With its classic design and expert crew, the Fame offers an authentic sailing experience that transports visitors back to the golden age of maritime exploration. End your day in Salem on one of their relaxing Sunset Sails with a beverage in hand, feeling the calm ocean breeze, and witnessing truly spectacular scenery! As twilight spreads across the waters of Salem Sound, the only interruption is the roar of their sunset signature cannon. Whether you’re a visitor to Salem, a local, a history buff, or a sailing enthusiast, you don’t want to miss this amazing experience.

Schooner Thomas E Lannon
Set sail with the Schooner Thomas E Lannon and explore the scenic splendor of Gloucester Harbor under the billowing sails of this iconic vessel. Whether you’re taking in the sights from the deck or lending a hand with the rigging, a cruise on the Lannon is sure to be a highlight of your springtime adventure. See lighthouses, castles, scenic beaches, and magnificent waterfront homes. Get a taste of what it was like to sail on a fishing schooner a hundred years ago. Breathe the clean salt air and feel the wind as it fills the schooner’s sails. Beginning in early May Schooner Thomas E Lannon offers public sails on weekends and starting in late June, they begin to offer daily public sails, as well as offering private charters and group trips throughout the season!

Don’t miss your chance to explore our gorgeous coastline this season with a trip aboard one of North of Boston’s many vessels!