Port of Boston is the oldest continuously operating port in the Western Hemisphere and its cruise terminal welcomes nearly half a million passengers annually. The facility is called Raymond L. Flynn Black Falcon Cruise Terminal after the 440ft (134m) long Norwegian merchant ship Black Falcon that caught fire in 1953. The cruise port is 10 min walking distance from the trendiest area of the city – South Boston Waterfront neighbourhood. A further 5 min walking and you will find yourself in Downtown Boston. Logan International Airport is 10 min away by car, only 5km (3 miles) away. Taking a ferry to the cruise terminal would be even quicker and a lot more pleasant. Getting to and from your ship by public transport is also quite easy, the local buses – Silver Line Bus - stop right outside the terminal. Just don’t forget to prepare exact change for the bus ticket. There are also plenty of taxis and even an indoor parking space. The harbour is lovely, with cafes and restaurants with plenty of outdoor space.
The local currency is the American dollar (USD). All major credit cards are accepted everywhere. There are ATMs everywhere as well and exchanging money is very easy, however the rates at home in UK seem to be better than in the States, so do some research prior to travelling. There are a few currency exchange shops in Downtown Boston. Make sure you check the market rate and ask if there would be any commission charges. Although the prices of goods and services may seem low, bear in mind that tax is normally added at the till and it’s 6.75% in Boston for meals and alcoholic beverages. If you use your cards to draw cash from an ATM, make sure you have notified your bank you would be spending time abroad and you are aware of any transaction fees.
Opening hours and bank holidays. Opening times are quite generous in Boston. Some grocery stores are open 24/7. The shopping malls are open 9 am to 8 pm, banks and post offices would be open 9 am until 5 pm, and some of them are open until midday Saturday as well. There are a few bank holidays in Boston, and the banks and post offices will be closed, however most shopping malls and other outlets will work as normal.
Tipping culture is huge in Boston. As a general rule, you should tip any service staff. Many of them are paid low hourly rates and rely heavily on tips. Between 15 and 20% of the bill at a restaurant is considered normal but beware that some establishments include it in your bill, especially for larger groups. Hotel staff should also be tipped about a dollar per bag for the bellboy and about 2 USD per day for the housekeeper. Taxi drivers and spa saloon staff expects between 10% and 20% of the bill, if the service has been exceptional, feel free to leave more. Bartenders expect about a dollar per drink, more if the place is more upscale, and tour guides anything from 15 to 20%, depending on the length and the size of the group.
The time difference with Boston is GMT-4 hours and the dialling code is +1 617.
Things To Do
Sightseeing in Boston must start with the Freedom Trail. An easy 2.5 miles self-guided tour, this walk is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship and historic markets that will give you an insight into the American revolution that happened here and shaped the USA of today. Just follow the red bricks pavement and you simply can’t get lost! It starts with Boston Common – the oldest public park in America, goes through 16 locations, packed with history and ends at the Bunker Hill Monument.
Stop at the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum – voted the number 1 Patriotic Attraction in USA. It’s an interactive, high tech, floating museum that’s essentially a barge in the water. Here you can meet the colonists, dumb tea overboard like the Sons of Liberty did on December 16, 1773, or just sit back and enjoy the outstanding holographic documentary “Let it Begin Here” about the events that led up to the American Revolution.
The Bunker Hill Monument at the end of the Freedom Trail commemorates one of the first battles between the British and the Patriot forces in the American Revolutionary War, fought on June 17, 1775. Fifty years after the battle, the Marquis De Lafayette decided to construct an obelisk entirely from quarried granite from nearby Quincy. The monument took 17 years to complete and is 221 feet (67m) tall. Across the street is the Bunker Hill Museum, dedicated to the same battle.
Bostonians favourite museum is the Museum of Science. Its mission is to play a leading role in transforming the nation’s relationship with science and technology. There are over 700 interactive exhibits, daily live presentations, a planetarium, an indoor “rescue” zoo and aquarium and an IMAX theatre, the only one in New England.
There are a few more museums and galleries to explore, if you are interested in finding more about the rich history and culture of this amazing city. Start off at the Museum of Fine Arts, the fifth largest museum in USA, containing more than 450,000 works of art. Continue to Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, hosting one of the largest private collection in the world of European, Asian and American art, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture and manuscripts. The Institute of Contemporary Art is an art museum and exhibition space, displaying modern paintings, sculptures, architecture, films and photography. Next on your list should be the John F Kennedy Presidential Museum & Library – exhibiting fascinating artefacts from the president’s time, including ones about the Kennedy-Nixon debate, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the space program and displays about Jackie Kennedy and other family members. You should also see the Paul Revere House Museum - the oldest building in Downtown Boston and the only former home on the Freedom Trail, it gives a unique insight into the life of a legendary patriot Paul Revere. Other prominent figures of newly independent America were Julian and Lizzie de Cordova, whose fortune was used to create the first contemporary art and outdoor sculpture museum in New England – DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park.
If you would like to see more of the fun and hip side of Boston, head over to Cheers Bacon Hill - this is the pub that inspired the famous TV show Cheers that premiered on September the 30, 1982. Make sure you take the free tour (and beer!) at the Samuel Adams brewery and explore the history behind this craft beer brand, named after Samuel Adams – a famous brewer and a patriot. Head over to the Fenway Park Stadium – the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball and a home for the Boston Red Sox. The Mapparium is an incredible, there-storey tall, inside-out glass-stained globe with a glass walkway through its middle section. A curious fact is that here is the only place where the surface of the Earth can be seen without distortion.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday