Monday, May 11, 2009

Boston Harbor Islands 2009 Ferry Service Underway

After a long, long, long winter, warmer weather is finally (well, sort of) here. Even if the temperatures are still on the chilly side, a sign of summer is here as ferry service to the Boston Harbor Islands for 2009 has begun. 

The good news is that there is no change to the ferry fares this year. They remain at $14 for adults; $10 for seniors; $8 for children (ages 3-18). Visitors to Georges Island will seem some construction work going on as work is being done to improve the island's landscaping, maintenance facility, and visitors center. The new visitors center, expected to be completed in 2010, will include an interactive exhibit area, a gift shop, and conference space. Click here for more on the Georges Island project.

There is a Climbing Tour out to Boston Light and Little Brewster Island, which will begin June 18. Tickets are $48 and include the opportunity to scale the 76 steps of historic Boston Light. The Three Lighthouse Tour, which also begins June 18, costs $38 and lands on Little Brewster Island, but it does not include the ability to climb to the top of Boston Light. Click here for tickets or more information on the Boston Light tours.  

Daily service from Boston's Long Wharf is now available to Georges Island, home to historic Fort Warren, and Spectacle Island, a great recreational playground with miles of hiking trails, a sandy beach, and a fishing pier. In coming weeks, ferry service will begin from the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy and the Hingham Shipyard Marina, and routes will run to Lovells, Peddocks, Grape, and Bumpkin Islands. Click here for a current ferry schedule. 

The Island Alliance has put together a fantastic schedule of events on the islands all summer: click here to check it out. This Saturday (May 16), there will be a boat tour of the islands exploring the islands' rich Irish heritage. It will leave from Fan Pier and the Volvo Ocean Race, where Galway, Ireland, is the next port of call. Click here for tickets

While you're at the Volvo Ocean Race, check out the Union Park Press table in the tent near the main entrance and pick up a copy of Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands, the definitive guidebook to all 34 of the Boston Harbor Islands. If you can't make it to the race, you can buy a copy at local bookstores or at Also be sure to check out my article on the islands in the latest issue of New England Travel or click here