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About Boston

Historic Boston is a key cruise port for 'fall foliage' trips around New England and the Canadian Maritime Provinces but anytime is a good time to enjoy this friendly, walkable city - dubbed 'The Cradle of Liberty' for its part in the American War of Independence.

Learn its fascinating history by following the Freedom Trail or take a subway ride beneath the Charles River to Cambridge, home of the 400-year-old Harvard University. On the other hand, you could simply settle for some world class shopping and lunch with a view of street entertainers at one of the pavement restaurants in the leafy lanes which surround pretty Quincy Market.

Or spend your day exploring the city's neighbourhoods; Back Bay - filled with elegant boulevards and imposing brownstone mansions - is the trendiest district while North End displays Boston's colonial charm at its best.


Shore excursions in Boston

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Intro to Salem and Free Time

Activity medium

Duration: 7 hours

Discover Salem, a colourful coastal town most notable for its famous witch trials and home to the House of the Seven Gables historical landmark.

Located in Essex County on the Massachusetts’s North Shore is Salem, a town that has a fascinating history of witchcraft hysteria, a strong connection to literature and film and is the designated birthplace of the National Guard. There’s also an array of museums to discover, a pleasant waterfront and town centre and plenty of quirky shops to explore.

Upon arrival, you’ll take a self-guided visit of the Witch Museum which shows the story of the Witchcraft Trials. Wander into the small theatre to listen to the voices of actors and actresses who, accurately and dramatically, present the truth of this dark period. A selection of interesting displays offers an insight into the town’s history, along with witchcraft facts.

Afterwards, you’ll visit the House of the Seven Gables, a national historic landmark that served as the centrepiece in novelist and Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic novel of the same name. It’s the oldest surviving wooden mansion in New England, with sections dating back as far as 1668.

To round off your tour, you’ll have some free time at leisure to purchase some lunch and explore Salem further, before the return drive to Boston.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Salem is around 1¼ hours each way. This tour involves around 2 hours of leisurely walking over varying terrain including steps, uneven and cobblestone surfaces. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. The free time is around 2 hours. Please remember local currency for purchases.

American Presidents and Harvard Visit

Activity high

Duration: 8 hours

A lovely tour that offers an insight into JFK, John and Quincy Adams combined with a visit to Harvard.

Just 10 miles south of Boston is Peacefield, also known as the ‘Old House’, and which forms part of the Adams National Historical Park. Built in 1731 it became the residence of the Adams family for 4 generations. Enjoy a video presentation at the visitor’s centre, before joining your National Park Ranger guide for a tour of the homes’ treasures, including the adjacent library.

Next, you’ll head to the John F Kennedy Museum; a soaring white concrete building that offers a great insight into the life of JFK. Upon arrival, a short introductory film narrated in part by JFK himself will be shown, before free time to independently explore the museum.

You’ll then drive to Cambridge, home to the famous Harvard university, where JFK, John and Quincy Adams all attended. There will be around 2 hours of free time to purchase lunch and explore at leisure, before joining a Harvard student who will take you on a walking tour of the university campus. You’ll enjoy external views of both the oldest and more contemporary areas of the campus, including the Memorial Hall that honors the Harvard men that fought for the Union in the Civil War.

After a fascinating insight into these 3 American presidents and your visit to Harvard, relax and enjoy the return drive to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Children may not participate. Places are limited on this tour, so early booking is advised. This tour maybe cancelled at short notice if an event is taking place at Peacefield. There is around 3 hours of walking over varying terrain including steps. The second floor of Peacefield is only accessible by a narrow staircase. Flat, comfortable shoes are recommended. Please remember local currency for purchases.

American Presidents and Harvard Visit

Best of Boston, Lexington and Concord

Activity mediumMeal included

Duration: 7½ hours

See the most important sites of Lexington and Concord and enjoy a glimpse of Boston too.

In 1775, the British advance travelled a route through Lexington to Concord where the opposing ranks met in battle and consequently this was designated the Battle Road. Today, Lexington remains a place that has the classical elements of a small New England town.

Visit Lexington Green, where Paul Revere rode to warn the Minutemen that the British were coming. Old North Bridge is the site in Concord where 400 Minutemen faced the British and fired the shot that started the Revolutionary War. Inside Old North Church, you’ll notice the unusually tall pew boxes, which kept out winter draughts and enabled worshippers to sit around communal foot-warmers.

Enjoy a delightful lunch at the atmospheric Union Oyster House, America’s oldest continually operating restaurant.

The return route will take you through Cambridge and Harvard Yard, where you’ll have an opportunity to stroll past the hallowed halls of America’s oldest and most prestigious university. Your guide will also point out the country homes of renowned authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. Passengers with walking difficulties may opt to remain on the coach during the stops. There is approximately 2½ hours of walking included on flat pavements.

Boston by Land and Sea

Activity low

Duration: 3 hours

Enjoy Boston’s highlights on this panoramic tour, taking in the city’s most important and scenic sights by both land and sea.

Passing by Boston’s busy waterfront, you’ll soon arrive at Long Wharf to embark on a 45-minute harbour cruise. As your captain expertly navigates the historic waterfront, your guide will point out the many landmarks of the Boston skyline and the surrounding harbour. You’ll also enjoy a view of ‘Old Ironsides’, USS Ironsides at her home in the Charlestown Navy Yard with the Bunker Hill Monument in the background.

Afterwards, you will re-board your coach for a tour by land to one of the city’s most attractive spots, Copley Square, bordered by the architectural wonders of Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library. Continuing through the upscale residential area of Back Bay, you’ll pass a number of quaint boutiques and trendy cafés en route to the Public Garden. In the heart of the city overlooking the Boston Common, lies one of the most elegant and wealthiest neighbourhoods of the city, Beacon Hill.

During your scenic drive, you’ll pass by the gold dome of the Massachusetts State House, completed in 1978, as well as the Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party began.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and motor vessel. The harbour cruise is not exclusive to P&O Cruises and bookings are open to the general public and tourists alike. Please note that the tour itinerary may vary in sequence. Although there is very little walking, passengers must be able to negotiate the steps onto the boat and coach.

Boston by Night and Lobster Dinner

Activity lowMeal included

Duration: 4 hours

See Boston by night, and dine in the city’s oldest restaurant, where John F Kennedy was a regular.

Enjoy a panoramic drive of Boston, taking in the city lights and night time atmosphere. A stop will be made at Copley Square, one of the city’s most attractive spots which is dominated by Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library. Your drive will continue through the charming residential area of Back Bay and along Newbury Street, passing by the bustling, trendy cafés. You’ll also pass by the gold dome of the Massachusetts State House and see the Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party began.

Union Oyster House is Boston's oldest restaurant, dating from 1826, and it’s also the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States. It offers a charming old fashioned atmosphere with its wooden ceiling beams and wide planked floors, and it’s also famed for being a favourite of President John F Kennedy.

Here, you’ll be served a delicious evening meal of clam chowder and tasty lobster, all rounded off with a scrumptious apple cobbler. A coffee or tea will also be served, as you relax after your meal, before the return drive back to the ship.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach. This tour involves limited walking; however depending on the seating area there may be up to around 20 steps to negotiate within the restaurant. There may also be a short walk from the coach drop off point to the Union Oyster House. As well as a tea or coffee, soda and water are also included; however any additional drinks will need to be purchased separately. Passengers are advised to take along US Dollars.


A selection of cruises to Boston

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