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Best cruises from Boston, Massachusetts

Edited by: Rekha Rajan
Fact checked by: Jamshed V Rajan


Boston in Massachusetts has amazing cruise options for travelers who prefer vacations on ships.

Cruises from Boston start from 5-days long trips and go up to 38-days long trips. Thus catering to all kinds of cruisers.

Since Boston city is steeped in history, it is recommended that cruises from Boston are clubbed along with a short vacation in the city itself.

It isn’t without reason that Boston is known as the ‘Athens of America.

Perhaps this is why Boston is both a port of call and a departure port catering to half a million cruisers every year.

Boston is also one of the best cities for Christmas holidays, so if you are planning a cruise in December look no further.

Best cruises from Boston Massachusetts

The most popular cruise destinations from Boston are the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and New England.

The fall foliage cruises up the New England and Canadian coast are quite popular amongst the cruisers starting from Boston’s port terminal.

If you have lots of time on your hand you can take a cruise from Boston to Europe, which lasts 18 days one way.

If you have a lot more time (and money) you have the option of booking Holland America’s “Voyage of the Vikings” round-trip to Europe which lasts 38 days.

Cruise lines departing from Boston

Cruises sailing from Boston are a nice mix that caters to all kinds of travelers.

The cruise lines which have their ships departing from Boston are Norwegian Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line and Seabourn cruise line.

Each of these cruise lines have their own definition of a fulfilling cruise holiday, so make your choice accordingly.

If you add the cruise lines which pass through Boston port, the number swells to 20.

Best time to cruise from Boston

The best time to cruise from Boston depends on your preferences.

If you plan to spend 3-4 days in Boston before getting on your cruise and sailing out of the city, we suggest the months from June to October.

During these months, the weather is nice, and there are a good number of events happening all around the city.

In Boston, there is something or the other for all kinds of travelers.

If you are planning a cruise from Boston to Bermuda, the best time to get on a cruise are the months of June, July, and August.

These are the months when Bermuda is at its best.

However, Bermuda is only 53.2 Square Kms (20.5 Square Miles) and it can get crowded during peak times.

If you prefer a quiet Boston cruise to Bermuda we recommend the lean months of November to March.

If you are looking for affordable cruises from Boston, the best time to book the cruise deal will be the month of April or November.

Boston’s cruise season begins in April and ends in November.

Boston’s cruise ship terminal

In 2017, Boston’s Cruise Port was re-named ‘Flynn Cruiseport Boston’ in memory of former Boston mayor Raymond Flynn.

It was earlier known as the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal.

It is in the middle of the city, making it convenient for cruisers departing from Boston or arriving into Boston.

More than half a million cruisers pass through this terminal every year.

Within a 15 minutes’ walk in any direction, you will find museums, waterfront restaurants, local breweries, historical sights, art galleries, and shopping centers.

The best way to get to Flynn Cruiseport Boston is by water taxi. It is the most scenic route and takes only seven minutes.

You do have the option of taking a regular taxi, which takes about 15 minutes to reach the cruise terminal.

Best cruises from Boston

1. Seabourn Quest

Cruise Line: Seabourn Cruise Line

Seabourn Quest cruise ship
On the Seabourn Quest, which departs from Boston, 330 crew members take care of up to 500 guests – that’s an amazingly high crew-guest-ratio. Image: Seascanner.com

The Seabourn Quest is almost like a glittering private party but on the ocean!

It is among the smallest in the Seabourn Cruise Line fleet but packs a big punch.

No wonder then that it ranks number one among the best cruises leaving Boston.

It accommodates less than 500 passengers, ensuring an intimate feel.

The passengers and crew member ratio is one of the highest thus ensuring a highly personalized service.

The ocean view suites might have portholes in place of verandas, but the Quest more than makes up for it by providing every amenity imaginable.

Personalized stationery, fine Egyptian cotton linen, fully stocked bars and flat-screen TVs are included in all cruise deals.

Wish to venture out? Relax at the spa or the salon.

If you want a more active cruise itinerary, avail of complimentary fitness classes or the golf green.

Take a couple of laps in the swimming pool or check out the aqua park.

Nights come alive with comedy shows and cabaret dances.

There are four onboard restaurants, including a steakhouse run by Michelin starred Thomas Keller.

The Quest has ports of call in various parts of the US, the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and South America.

Size of Ship: Small
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.45
Health Rating: 4.5
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples

2. Serenade of the Seas

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Looking for affordable cruises that start from Boston? Look no further than the Serenade of the Seas.

This Royal Caribbean International ship has been plying its trade since 2003.

A multimillion-dollar renovation in 2012 ensures that Serenade of the Seas still sounds like sweet music to the ears of the discerning cruiser.

2,746 guests are well looked after by a crew of 884.

The staterooms range from affordable cabins (108 square feet) to luxurious suites (1,156 square feet).

On-deck activities and entertainment will ensure you have a packed cruise itinerary. Six swimming pools, whirlpools, a golfing area and a rock climbing wall will keep you happily engaged.

As the sun sets, Broadway-type performances and acrobatic shows start keeping up the entertainment quotient high.

All inclusive cruises come with five complimentary restaurants. There are four other specialty restaurants where you can eat at an extra cost.

There are as many as sixteen bars and lounges, so keeping yourself hydrated won’t be a problem.

Size of Ship: Large
Price of Tickets: Medium
Overall Rating: 4.15
Health Rating: 5.0
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples, Families

3. ms Rotterdam

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

There was a time when Lanai staterooms were the highlights of all Holland America Line ships.

These staterooms had sliding glass doors which led right to the Lower Promenade Deck.

The ms Rotterdam was the first ship of the fleet to boast of these coveted rooms.

However, don’t let that lead you to think of the Rotterdam as an old, slow boat.

While introduced in 1997, it was renovated in 2017 and is now one of the best cruises departing from Boston.

It carries 1,404 passengers and 603 crew members.

Your cruise itinerary must include the two special areas—The Retreat and The Mix.

While the first is a pool area perfect for relaxing, the latter is a lounge and bar area.

Introduce some culture in your cruise holiday and sample the dazzling art collection onboard.

You have the option of leaving your younger kids or teens at various age-appropriate areas.

There are seven restaurants on board, providing everything from pizza to steak.

The Rotterdam has ports of call in Europe, Canada, and the Caribbean.

Size of Ship: Medium
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 4.1
Health Rating: 4.5
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples, Families with children

4. Norwegian Gem

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line

With ports of call in the Caribbean, New England and Canada, this Norwegian Cruise Line ship is among the most affordable cruises from Boston.

It is one of the smaller ships of the Norwegian fleet. However, it can still accommodate 2,394 passengers and 1,101 members of the crew.

First launched in 2007, Norwegian Gem was renovated in 2015.

Cruise deals are both budget-friendly and luxurious. There are smaller cabins for those looking for cheap cruises.

If you have the money to splurge, we recommend ‘The Haven.’

It is a special category of accommodation which offers access to the ship’s courtyard and a private restaurant, as well as concierge service.

There are age-appropriate programs for children.

There are a sports arenas, a bowling alley, and a rock climbing wall.

There are magic and comedy shows at night, which can be enjoyed by the entire family together.

All inclusive cruises come with meals at eight pubs and restaurants. There are six specialty restaurants that require an extra fee.

Size of Ship: Large
Price of Tickets: Low
Overall Rating: 4
Health Rating: 5
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples, Families with children

Recommended Reading
1. Best cruise ships for families with kids
2. How to plan a cheap cruise holiday

5. ms Veendam

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

ms Veendam in Boston
A World class team of six chefs are always working to come up with new, inspiring and tasty dining options for ships of the Holland America Line. This dedication to improving the cuisine is reflected in ms Veendam’s onboard restaurants as well. Image: Cruisemapper.com

Of all the cruises leaving from Boston, the ms Veendam is one of the best cruises for adults.

This Holland America Line ship has been designed to provide an escape from stress for mature cruisers.

The focus of most cruise packages is luxurious accommodation – the Lanai and the Spa Staterooms.

The Lanai cabins offer direct entry to the Lower Promenade Deck while the Spa category rooms come with attractive offers at the onboard spa.

These accommodations boast of private balconies.

Onboard entertainment is designed for the adult cruiser and aimed at destressing. These include cooking classes and BBC Earth experiences.

There are seven restaurants which you can walk into to get a taste of the World.

Should you wish to include some activity in your cruise itinerary, drop in at the sports court or fitness arena.

This ship can accommodate 1,350 cruisers and 574 crew members.

ms Veendam has ports of call in Canada and the Caribbean.

Size of Ship: Medium
Price of Tickets: High
Overall Rating: 3.9
Health Rating: 5.0
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples

6. ms Maasdam

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

In essence and in form, ms Maasdam is almost a twin of the other Holland America Line ship, ms Veendam.

This medium sized ship also looks to offer cruisers a scope to breathe and to relax far away from the madding crowd.

But as far as price is concerned, it is among the affordable cruises.

It accommodates 1,258 passengers and 569 members of the crew. It has ports of call in Canada, Australia, and Hawaii.

There are a few programs for children, though most cruises packages are customized for adult cruisers.

Digital workshops and BBC Earth programs, pools and the spa, six restaurants offering different cuisines—the Maasdam is a relaxing vacation.

Make your cruise itinerary even more decadent by indulging in a suite with a whirlpool bath and a private lounge!

Size of Ship: Medium
Price of Tickets: Medium
Overall Rating: 3.85
Health Rating: 4.5
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples

7. Norwegian Dawn

Cruise Line: Norwegian Cruise Line

Affordable cruises that will keep the entire family happy—this must have been the directive that the Norwegian Cruise Line had in mind while creating the Dawn.

While the tiny tots can plunge in the dinosaur-themed swimming pool, young adults can spend time at teen clubs and video arcades.

With the children fruitfully occupied, parents can unwind in hot tubs, the spa or the casino.

If you prefer your cruise itinerary can include the thirteen onboard restaurants, with highlights like an authentic Mexican eatery and a wine bar.

There is a bar and grill that serves delectable fare twenty-four-seven.

The recent renovation in 2016 has upgraded the accommodation facilities.

Norwegian Dawn can carry  2,340 passengers and has ports of call in the Caribbean and Canada.

Size of Ship: Large
Price of Tickets: Low
Overall Rating: 3.8
Health Rating: 4.0
Best cruise from Boston for: Singles, Couples, Families with children


# Cruisetraveloutlet.com
# Timeout.com
# Tripadvisor.com
# Boston-discovery-guide.com

The travel specialists at TheBetterVacation.com use only high-quality sources while researching & writing their articles. We make every attempt to keep our content current, reliable and trustworthy.

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