At least half a million cruise passengers cross through the Boston Cruise Port each year, making it one of the busiest cruise ports in New England.
We’ve put together in this guide everything you need to know about cruising out of Boston, including where to park, how to get to the port from the airport, hotels near by the port, and fun things to do in the city before, during, or after your cruise.
If Boston is your home port of choice, we recommend giving yourself a buffer of at least a day or two to allow for any travel or weather delays. This also gives you a chance to take advantage of what Boston has to offer to travelers and tourists.
Included in our guide will be restaurants and attractions that you should take advantage of.
Brief History of the Boston Cruise Terminal
The Boston Cruise Port has been running as a cruise port since 1986 under the ownership of Massport (Massachusetts Port Authority). It had once been called the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. But in 2017, Massport officially renamed it as Flynn Cruiseport Boston after Raymond Flynn who once served as Boston’s major from 1984 to 1993.
Cruises through Flynn Cruiseport run from April to November. With it being not only a home port, but a port of call for New England/Canada cruises, the port and surrounding area are extremely busy and lively during those months. The busiest months are September and October, which saw roughly 90,000 passengers each in 2018.
What Ships and Cruise Lines Currently Use the Boston Cruise Terminal?
Out of all the cruise lines that you might see coming through the Flynn Cruiseport, only a few of them use it as a home port. Those are:
- Le Champlain – 11-Day St. Lawrence River Cruise)
- Gem – Southern Caribbean, Eastern Caribbean, Bermuda
- Quest – New England/Canada/Boston
- Royal Caribbean
- Serenade of the Seas – Bermuda, New England, Caribbean
- Star Pride – New England/Canada
- Veendam – New England/Canada
- Zaandam – New England/Canada
- Zuiderdam – 17-day (one way) or 35-day (roundtrip) Voyage of the Vikings
Other cruise lines and ships that you might see come through for a port of call are:
- AIDA Cruises
- Carnival Cruise Line
- Celebrity Cruises
- Cunard Line
- Disney Cruises
- Holland America Line
- Norwegian Cruise Line
- Oceania Cruises
- P&O Cruises
- Phoenix Reisen
- Princess Cruises
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises
- Royal Caribbean International
- Scenic Cruises
- Seabourn Cruise Line
- Silversea Cruises
- TUI Group
- Viking Ocean Cruises
- Windstar Cruises
Directions & Parking
If you happen to be driving to the port, either in your own car or a rental, and are using a GPS device, use this address to find your way: 1 Black Falcon Ave, South Boston, MA 02210
If you live relatively nearby and need some step-by-step directions to the terminal, visit the port’s website here for detailed directions on how to get there.
Parking right at the port is probably the most convenient option, as you don’t have to worry about getting to the port once you’ve parked. This is a great option for those traveling directly to the port, rather than stopping in a hotel overnight.
The parking garage is called the South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center (SBWTC) and it costs $21 a night for just a regular car. And that’s if you pay in advance online (which you can do so at FlynnCruiseportParking.com). If you wait to pay in person, it will cost $30 per day.
We highly recommend booking in advance and getting the prepay deal, as it will save you a ton of many than if you wait and pay the normal daily rate.
The parking garage is located at 406 Summer Street and is located right across the street from Waterside Place. It’s about 5 minutes from the port and they do provide a free shuttle that will take you directly to the terminal from your parking spot.
There are other parking garages in the area, but the pre-pay deal that you can get with SBWTC is much cheaper.
How to Get to the Port from the Airport
If you flew into the Logan Airport, there are a couple of different ways to get to the cruise port. It all depends on your travel budget and preference.
Probably the fastest way to get to the port is by a water taxi, which will take only 7 minutes. Rowes Wharf Water Taxi offers various rates, as well as luggage storage. You can give them a call when you fly in to come pick you up or book your ride in advance on their website.
There fees include:
- Boston Inner Harbor
- One way – $12
- Roundtrip – $20
- One way with luggage storage – $20
- Roundtrip with luggage storage – $28
- Charleston or Black Falcon
- One way – $15
- Roundtrip – $25
- Cruise ship special – $25
- Includes transportation from the cruise ship, luggage storage, and then to the airport.
You an also get a ride in a regular land taxi, which should run you about $25 and will take roughly 10-15 minutes to get from the airport to the cruise terminal. Or, you can embrace the modern age and order a ride from Uber or Lyft, which will be a lot cheaper than a regular taxicab.
And probably the final, and least expensive, option of getting to the cruise port from Logan is to take the MBTA’s Silver Line bus. The ride is going to take much longer (probably about 30 minutes or so) but is only going to cost between $2-$3, so is an excellent budget travel option if you’re trying to save on spending cash.
Hotels Near the Boston Cruise Terminal
If you’ve made the decision to arrive a day or two early (or maybe even stay a day or two after your ship comes back), there are plenty of hotels to choose from in close proximity to the cruise terminal.
Here are a few hotels that we feel you should consider staying at while you’re visiting Boston.
Element Boston Seaport District
391-395 D Street, Boston, MA 02210 | 617-530-1700
This gorgeous hotel doesn’t cater specifically to cruise passengers, but it sits about halfway between the airport and the cruise terminal, making it a good halfway point if you’ve just flown in. It’s pet friendly, has free internet, breakfast, and you can rent a bicycle to get around town with.
- Average price: $254 per night
- Distance from port: 1 mile
Aloft Boston Seaport
401 D St #402, Boston, MA 02210 | 617-530-1600
Another gorgeous hotel just down the road from the Element, and a little bit cheaper per night. they don’t have any parking nor do they provide a shuttle, but the front desk can help arrange something for you.
- Average price: $220
- Distance from port: 0.9 miles
Holiday Inn Express Boston
69R Boston Street, Boston, MA | 617-288-3030
This is a great one for those driving and needing a place to park during their cruise. The Holiday Inn Express Boston has a “Park Stay and Go” package which includes 1 night accommodation, 10 days of parking in their parking lot.
As for a shuttle, the package only provides a complimentary shuttle to and from the airport, not the cruise port.
Average nightly rate for this package is $259. While that may be a bit high, if you were already planning on staying somewhere close to the cruise port, this should save you money on parking.
- Average price (for cruise package): $259
- Distance from port: 1.8 miles
Rodeway Inn Logan International Airport
309 American Legion Highway, Route 60 West, Revere, MA 02151 | 781-284-3663
Rodeway is a great place to stay whether you’ve flown in and want something close to the airport, or if you need parking options for during your cruise.
They have four different Park & Fly packages that provide parking for 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, or 21 days. Average nightly rate starts at $249 for the 3-day parking package.
The website states they only offer complimentary shuttle to and from the airport, but a few reviews mentioned that they also had a free shuttle to the cruise port.
- Average price: $249
- Distance from port: 7 miles
Things to Do Near the Boston Cruise Terminal
You’ve decided to stay in Boston a few extra days but don’t know what to do? That’s where we come in. Here is a list of some of the top restaurants and attractions in Boston, as well as a few shore excursions (for those who are only in Boston for a port of call visit).
There are many restaurants along the waterfront that give you a great view of the water, the port, and the ships coming in. Whether you’re in town for a few days or only here for a few hours, you should stop at one of these.
- Babbo Pizzeria e Enoteca: Offers a wide variety of modern Italian cuisine, both hot and cold, served in an upscale environment.
- Barking Crab: Located near the Children’s Museum, this is basically Boston’s version of a seafood shack. They have outdoor seating and serve beer, fried clams, whole lobster, crab legs, and raw oysters.
- Aceituna Grill: Within a mile of the port is a restaurant that serves delicious Mediterranean cuisine. The great thing about this restaurant is that you get to build your own plate and choose from a variety of tasty options. Get a rice plate and add whatever meat and sides you want. Or order anything from their regular menu.
Boston has many museums and local attractions, many right by the cruise port for easy access. Here are a few we think you should definitely visit when you’re in Boston.
- Boston Children’s Museum: If you have younger ones with you, you’ll want to make sure you don’t forget to take them here. This museum has all kinds of activities for all ages of kids. They have an art studio, construction zone, Pop-Up PlaySpace for the babies, KidStage, Raceways, and so much more exhibits and activities that allow kids to learn, grow, and have fun.
- Boston Fire Museum: This fun museum displays well preserved firefighting equipment from Boston’s history, and also strives to teach the public about fire safety. You can schedule a birthday party, view all kinds of equipment and old photographs, or visit Sparky the Dog, the museum’s favorite greeter.
- Institute of Contemporary Art – Boston: ICA Boston has been around since 1936 and is a sister institution to New York’s MoMA. For well over 75 years, it has displayed art through all kinds of media: visual arts, film, performance, literature, and more. You can book a tour of the museum, or if your kids like to create art, the museum offers a free pack of activities and art tips, as well as sketching supplies to be used during their visit. For all kinds of artists and art lovers, this museum has everything to offer.
- Fan Pier Park: A great thing to do if you’re only in for a port of call visit, is to walk through Fan Pier Park. Here you’ll have stunning views of the harbor, as well as access to various retail options, as well as other museums and attractions to visit.
This guide should help you know a little bit more of the Boston area around the cruise port, so you aren’t coming in blind. Now you know where to park, how to get to the port whether you’re driving or flying, where to stay, and what restaurants and attractions to visit.
Always remember to be safe wherever you go. Boston is a big city, and it can get pretty busy during cruise season. We also recommend packing as light as possible, so that you don’t have too much luggage to carry around the city between the airport, hotel, and cruise port.
Have a great time visiting Boston and have fun on your cruise!