Guide to Lighthouse Boat Tours
and Ferries in Massachusetts

(Heading eastward from Buzzards' Bay, around Cape Cod, within Boston Harbor, and then up the North Shore)

Boston Harbor lighthouse

Boston Harbor Lighthouse

Below is a list of boat tours and cruises that offer specific lighthouse cruises around Buzzard's Bay, Cape Cod, Boston Harbor, and along the north shoreline of Massachusetts, here in New England. You may find while some may offer specific lighthouse cruises, some will pass by specific lighthouses as part of charters, narrated wildlife and historic tours, ferrying passengers, whale watching, fishing tours and other types of excursions. For additional convenience, you'll also find ferry info that provides access to some of the islands you will find lighthouses stationed. Contact info is provided to help you plan your special trips to New England’s shorelines. Enjoy!

Buzzard's Bay

Cape Cod

Ferries to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

Boston Harbor

North Shore

Directions to Boston's Waterfront


Boat Tour in Buzzard's Bay Area

Palmer's island light

Palmer's Island Lighthouse

New Bedford Harbor Tours
Offers narrated cruises around New Bedford Harbor as part of their sunset tour.

52 Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 3, New Bedford, MA 02740 Phone: (508) 951-0645

Lighthouse: Palmer’s Island 



Boat Tours for
Lighthouses on Cape Cod

Long Point light in Provincetown

Long Point Lighthouse


Liberté, The Schooner
Three-masted sailing schooner departs 3 times a day from Falmouth Harbor> Depending on winds and weather, she may be sailing around Woods Hole and the extremely rural Elizabeth Islands, or out to Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven to view cottages built in the roaring 1920s and antique sailing ships on Martha's Vineyard. All trips are unique with plenty of opportunity to view nature in the open seas.

227 Clinton Avenue
Falmouth, MA 02540
Phone: (508) 524-9121

Lighthouses: Nobska Lighthouse, East Chop Lighthouse, West Chop Lighthouse


Bay Spirit Tours
They provide lighthouse tours, sunset cruises, music cruises, and sailing charters around Hyannis Harbor. The Lighthouse Harbor Tour is a narrated cruise that passes by Point Gammon Light on Great Island, (weather dependent), and passes by Hyannis Harbor Light. They cruise through the old Hyannis Harbor in Hyannisport where visitors can catch a glimpse of the Kennedy Compound.

Slip # 1, 180 Ocean Street1
HHyannis, MA 0260
Phone: 508-771-0107

Lighthouses: Point Gammon Lighthouse and Hyannis Harbor Lighthouse


Monomoy Island Excursions
They provide wildlife refuge tours that pass by the Monomoy Point Lighthouse. Wildlife and lighthouse tours around Chatham Lighthouse and Stage Harbor Lighthouse are also offered. You can also schedule a ferry service to to Nantucket Island.

702 Main Street
Route 28
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 02646
(508) 430-7772

Lighthouses: Monomoy Point Lighthouse, Chatham Lighthouse, Stage Harbor Light


Monomoy Island Ferry
In addition to offering fishing and wildlife tours, their Harbor Seal Cruise allows you to visit the Monomoy Point Lighthouse (minimum 6 people).
(508) 945-5450

Lighthouse: Monomoy Point Lighthouse


Beachcomber Boat Tours
Seal watching excursions that pass near Chatham light.
P.O. Box 42
North Chatham, MA 02650
(508) 945-5265

Lighthouse: Chatham Lighthouse


Flyer's Boat Yard
Rents kayaks and also provides hourly shuttle service to and from Long Point. Where you can get off and explore the sandy area and tall grasses around Long Point Lighthouse. The alternative is to take a 3-mile hike to the lighthouse from town over 1 mile of breakwater, and two miles of soft sand during low tide, where you can also explore Wood End light at the end of the breakwater. Most visitors use the shuttle, the walk is strenuous (yep, I can vouch for that). They also offer a sunset cruise to also view the lighthouse.

131A Commercial Street
Box 561
Provincetown, Mass. 02657
Phone: (508) 487-0518

Lighthouse: Long Point Lighthouse


Schooner Bay Lady II
Daily sailing excursions for two hours in the afternoon across Provincetown Harbor to Cape Cod Bay. May pass by the lighthouses around Provinetown depending on wind direction. Also has a sunset sail starting in early August. 

20 Berry Lane
Provincetown, Mass. 02657
(508) 487-9308

Lighthouses: Long Point Lighthouse, Wood End Lighthouse




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Massachusetts Island Ferries

These ferries will take you to the islands where you can hike, bike, or drive to some stationed lighthouses. Many will provide access to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island as vacation destinations. On this popular island you can take your car on the ferry, which is quite expensive, or bike, rent a scooter, or take a taxi to various lighthouse on each island. Some ferries will also pass by lighthouses to get some fairly close views out of busy harbors.

Brant Point light

Brant Point Light


Ferry from New Bedford to Martha’s Vineyard

49 State Pier
New Bedford, MA 02740
(866) 683 3779

Passes By These Lighthouses: Palmer Island Lighthouse, Butler Flats Lighthouse, Clark’s Point Lighthouse


Hy-Line Cruises
Ferry service from Hyannis on the Cape to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard; also provides a ferry service from Nantucket Island to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard.
220 Ocean Street Dock
Hyannis, Massachusetts 02601
Information: (508) 778-2600
Oak Bluffs (508) 693-0112
Hyannis-Nantucket ferry (508) 778-2602


Island Queen
Ferry from Falmouth, Mass. to Martha's Vineyard
297 Dillingham Avenue,
Falmouth, MA 02540.
Phone (508) 548-4800.


Steamship Authority
Ferries to both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard islands.

Vehicle Reservations Call: (508) 477-8600
Office Hours or (508) 693-9130
Fast Ferry Reservations: (508) 495-FAST (3278)
Woods Hole: (508) 548-3788
Vineyard Haven: (508) 693-0367
Oak Bluffs: (508) 693-0125
Hyannis: (508) 771-4000
Nantucket: (508) 228-0262


Rhode Island to Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry
Ferry from Quonset Point, Rhode Island to Oak Bluffs Marina on a high-speed catamaran.
North Kingstown, RI 02852
Phone: 401-295-4040
Fax: 401-295-4930


Freedom Cruise Line
Ferry from Harwich Port Mass. to Nantucket
702 Main Street - Route 28
Harwich Port, Massachusetts 02646
(508) 432-8999


Bay State Cruises
Ferries from Boston to Provincetown
200 Seaport Blvd.
Suite 75
Boston, Mass. 02210
(877) 783-3779


Trustees of Reservations:
Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge / Wasque Reservation
Jeep tours of Cape Poge Lighthouse and wildlife refuge area. Kayak tours available to get views from the water.

Dike Road,
Chappaquiddick Island,
Martha's Vineyard, MA

Lighthouse: Cape Poge Lighthouse


Chappaquiddick Ferry
Operates between Edgartown Memorial Wharf and Chappaquiddick Island daily, year-round. (508) 627-9427

Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard: Cape Poge Lighthouse




Boat Tours for Lighthouses
Around Plymouth
and Boston Harbor

These vessels will take you around Boston Harbor and sometimes offer tours that allow you to explore some of the islands. Some also offer scenic harbor and nature cruises, deep sea fishing and whale watching, special dinner and sunset cruises, along with special lighthouse cruises.

Graves lighthouse

Graves Lighthouse


Plymouth Harbor Cruises
Special harbor, event, and dinner cruises offered around Plymouth Harbor aboard the Pilgrim Belle, a Mississippi-style paddle wheeler that operates in the summer season. Provides special lighthouse trip to Duxbury Pier Light.

77 Water St.
Plymouth, MA
(508) 747-3434

Lighthouses: Plymouth (Gurnet) Light (sometimes), Duxbury Pier Lighthouse


Boston Harbor Islands Park Service and Boston Harbor Now
Narrated trips by the park rangers are provided with boat trips running every weekend during the summer along Little Brewster Island where you can see Boston Harbor Light, Graves Light, and Long Island Head Light. Involved in preservation of islands in the harbor. Boston Harbor Now is the non-profit partner of the 34-island Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park. They also offer public ferry service, cultural and recreational activities, etc.

Note: Currently (2023) the Boston Harbor Lighthouse tower is closed to the public and is undergoing necessary repairs from winter storms.

Boston Harbor Island Park Service
191W Atlantic Ave
Boston, MA 02110
Phone: (617) 223-8666

Boston Harbor Now
1 Constitution Road
Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 223-8667

Lighthouses: Boston Harbor Light, Long Island Head Light, Graves Light



Boston's Waterfront Directions

Directions to Boston's Rowes Wharf for Harbor Cruises:

Directions to Boston's Long Wharf for Harbor Cruises



Boat Tours for Lighthouses
in the North Shore Area
(Salem, Gloucester, and Newburyport)

These boats will take you north of Boston Harbor around Salem, Gloucester, and Newburyport Harbors. They sometimes offer tours that allow you to explore some of the nearby islands. Some also offer scenic harbor and nature cruises, deep sea fishing and whale watching, special dinner and sunset cruises, along with special lighthouse cruises. From Salem Harbor, many fishing and whale watching tours pass by Derby Wharf and Fort Pickering lighthouses. In Gloucester Harbor, many whale watching tours pass by Eastern Point Light, and sometimes Ten Pound Island, Straitsmouth, and Thacher island Lights.


Bakers Island light

Bakers Island Light




Mahi Mahi Cruises & Charters
Among daily cruises in Salem Harbor, they provide specialized lighthouse cruises as part of their Early Summer Lighthouse Cruise and the Lighthouse Fall Foliage and Chowda Cruise.

P.O. Box 3063
Salem, MA
Phone: (800) 992-MAHI (6244)

Lighthouses: Derby Wharf Light, Fort Pickering Lighthouse, Hospital Point Lighthouse, Baker's Island Light, and Marblehead Lighthouse.


Essex National Heritage Area
This is a non-profit organization that offers lighthouse tours to explore Baker’s Island Lighthouse. Tours are provided during the summer months.

10 Federal Street, Suite 12, Salem, MA 01970
Phone: (978) 740-0444

Lighthouse: Baker’s Island


Sailing Schooner Fame
Replica of an early 1800’s schooner, the 1812 privateer Fame, for sailing around Salem Harbor, roughly a two-hour cruise during the day, and they have a sunset sail. Visitors can help the crew raise the sails and learn the local history on these excursions. If there are tall ship events nearby, they go out to explore. 

Pickering Wharf Marina
86 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Phone: (978) 729-7600

Lighthouses: Derby Wharf Light, Fort Pickering Lighthouse, Hospital Point Lighthouse


Thacher Island Association
Trip offered to explore Thacher Island and guest accommodations are provided to stay overnight on the island.
P.O.Box 73
Rockport, MA 01966
Launch (978) 546-7697
Guest Apartment (617) 599-2590

Lighthouses: Thacher Island Twin Lights, Eastern Point Light, Annisquam Light, Straitsmouth Island Light, and Ten Pound Island Light


Cape Ann Harbor Tours
In addition to its lobstering and harbor tours, they provide a special Cape Ann Lighthouse Cruise all along Cape Ann.

P.O. Box 719
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-1979

Lighthouses: Annisquam Light, Eastern Point Light, Ten Pound Island Light, Straitsmouth Island Light, and Thatcher Island Twin Lights.



Schooner Thomas E. Lannon
This 2-masted 65-foot fishing schooner (90-feet overall) is framed with white oak and black locust from trees grown locally. Her hull is planked with white oak below the waterline and with elegant mahogany above the waterline, with masts of Douglas fir. She has mostly 2-hour public sails, which include sunset, music, star gazing, moonlight, and fireworks, along with Tuesday Special and Sunday morning sailing cruises. Charters are also available.

Seven Seas Wharf at The Gloucester House Restaurant
63R Rogers Street Rte. 127, Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: (978) 281-6634

Lighthouses: Ten Pound Island Light and Eastern Point Light

My 300-page book, Lighthouses and Coastal Attractions of Southern New England: Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, provides special human interest stories from each of the 92 lighthouses, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor coastal attractions you can explore, and plenty of lighthouse and boat tours.

Look inside!

book of lighthouses, tours, attractions, and contact information in southern New England