USS Constitution Harbor Cruise of Boston
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
- Harbor cruise: Learn about one of America's oldest ports and see the Boston skyline, the site of the Boston Tea Party, the Old North Church, and the USS Cassin Young, a WWII destroyer.
- Old Ironsides: You will have the optional extra of walking the Constitution's storied decks, see the hull that repelled British cannon fire, and hear about restoring the world's oldest warship from her U.S. Navy crew.
- Constitution Museum: Located next to the drydock, this excellent museum features interactive exhibits and historic artifacts that tell the ship's story through centuries of war and peace.
About this Boston, Massachusetts tour
On a crisp fall day in 1797, thousands of Bostonians flocked to the harbor for the launch of the USS Constitution. At 1,600 tons and 204 feet, she was a formidable sight each of her white sails stretched for about an acre, and the highest mast rose 220 feet above deck. With new president John Adams and the governor of Massachusetts looking on proudly, the ship headed down the slipways toward the water. And got stuck. She sailed at the next high tide, a month later: the inauspicious beginning of a journey into legend.
President Washington had chosen her name, and she would prove to have a sturdy constitution indeed in one of the first naval engagements of the War of 1812, when she took a broadside from HMS Guerriere and the cannonballs bounced harmlessly off her thick oak hull. "Huzzah!" cried an American sailor. "Her sides are made of iron!" And one of the great nicknames of American naval lore was born.
The loss of one frigate was hardly a fatal blow to the 600-ship Royal Navy, but the American victory gave the young nation a badly needed morale boost at time when the land war was going poorly. Never mind that Constitution was bigger, better armed, and had 178 more men; a warship of the most powerful navy on earth had fired first, and paid the price.
Old Ironsides would venture as far as Brazil in pursuit of British prey during the war, never losing a battle. But it was her victory over Guerriere that made her a legend, with public outcry over plans to scrap her or use her for target practice saving her several times over the next century. Not knowing what else to do with a wooden ship that should have only lasted 20 years, the Navy designated her a museum ship in 1907. But she was still a commissioned vessel, carrying that all-important "USS" and manned by active Navy personnel. She last sailed in 2012.
Now she's undergoing a three-year overhaul in the same drydock that saw her first refitting in 1820. Boston built this ship with the constitution of iron, and fought to get her back here; when repairs are complete and she's recommissioned in 2018, she'll begin the next phase of her journey in the harbor where it began.
Paul Revere and Old Coppersides
The silversmith who warned that the British were coming also helped keep the Constitution going, forging the copper bolts, rivets, and other metal parts for her original construction. He was the first American to roll copper into sheets for use as protective siding on ships' hulls, and supplied the sheathing installed on Constitution during her first refit, in 1803.
Please make your way to 1 Long Wharf; Boston, MA 02110 to begin your adventure.
This cruise is seasonal, operating from end of March through mid-November. Does not operate on July 4th or Thanksgiving Day.
Please arrive 45 minutes prior to boarding.
The harbor cruise vessel is not ADA accessible. However, upon request with advanced notice, the GoBe Crew may be able to secure an accessible vessel for your tour. Contact the GoBe Crew.
Boat Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated mild. To participate fully, you may be required to walk over primarily even surfaces at a leisurely pace. You may encounter a limited number of steps, cobblestones, or uneven surfaces, and you may have to stand for extended periods of time.
Suitable for all ages. Suitable for all ages. Children 2 years of age and younger participate free of charge.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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