Cruise Port Spotlight: Boston
Statue of Paul Revere in Boston (AP Photo/Julia Malakie / June 7, 2012)
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Few visitors leave the capital of Massachusetts without visiting the Boston National Historical Park in the city’s downtown that tells the story of the events that led to the American Revolution and our Navy. Many of the historical sites are found along the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail that links 16 historic sites (the route is painted red on the sidewalk). Highlights include the Paul Revere House, built in 1680 and owned and occupied by the patriot; the Old North Church or Christ Church, the oldest church in Boston where the lanterns were hung in April 1775 to warn Charlestown patriots of the advance of British soldiers; the Old South Meeting House, a Puritan congregation where Benjamin Franklin was baptized and the site where colonists gathered on the eve of the Boston Tea Party; the Old State House, dating from 1713; and the aforementioned Faneuil Hall.
City tours sold onboard cruise ships hit these highlights and generally also visit the Bunker Hill Monument, the site in Charlestown of the first major battle of the American Revolution; the nearby Charlestown Navy Yard, one of our country’s first naval shipyards, home to the USS Constitution, affectionately known as “Old Ironsides” and the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world.
In addition to city tours, excursions sold onboard ships usually include visits to the home of the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park; the John F. Kennedy Library & Museum at Dorchester Bay, overlooking Boston’s waterfront; Cambridge, Boston’s sister city, across the Charles River, with a stop at Harvard Yard; and the colonial countryside at Lexington and Concord. Lexington and Concord tours are highlighted by Lexington Green, where the minutemen dared to face the British in April of 1775, Concord Bridge, where “the shot heard around the world” was fired, and the homes of such noted 19th century authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau. Full-day excursions to Plymouth to view the Pilgrims famous landing spot of Plymouth Rock and other points of interest are often offered. Whale watching tours are frequently sold onboard as well during calls to Boston as humpback and minke whales frequent these waters.
Local flavors not to be missed include, Boston cream pie, clam chowder and the city’s famous baked beans that have earned it the monikers of “Bean Capital of the World” and “Bean Town.” These specialties are as good as you’ve heard! Try the Boston cream pie at Parker’s Restaurant, 60 School Street –reportedly they invented it.
Cruise lines that visit Boston include Carnival, Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, Norwegian, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, Seabourn and Silversea.
IF YOU GO – For additional information on Boston, log on to www.bostonusa.com, the website of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.