For over 90 years, Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) has been bringing Boston Harbor and its history to life for area residents and visitors. At BHC, it’s our boats, your playground.
In 1926, Matty Hughes had a single boat and a summertime idea. He knew that people in the city he loved would enjoy escaping the heat with a cruise on the water. So, he took a leap of faith and plenty of ingenuity and founded Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC). And now, more than 90 years later, this family business and Boston institution continues to grow with third and fourth generation family members Rick, Chris, Alison and Patrick Nolan at the helm.
Today’s BHC is the most experienced passenger vessel operator in the Northeast and its fleet of 60 vessels is the most varied fleet of passenger vessels in the US. Committed to ensuring a first-rate experience for each of its 2.5 million annual passengers, BHC ranks in the top five most visited tourism destinations in Boston.
The company proudly provides a comprehensive menu of excursion and commuter-based cruise options including: Whale Watches in partnership with the New England Aquarium, the Cape Cod Fast Ferry, The Boston Harbor Islands Ferries in partnership with Boston Harbor Now, a variety of sightseeing tours including brunch cruises, the Salem Ferry, and Codzilla – a high speed thrill ride, in addition to a full array of exclusive charter and private event services.
Recognized as the 2013 Massachusetts Family Business of the Year and the 2015 Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, BHC has built its legacy on providing elite cruise services delivered with commitment, dedication, safety and courtesy. So, to say that boats and the sea are in the Nolans' blood could be seen as a bit of an understatement. But, when it came to fine food service not so much…
With that in mind and wanting to provide their guests with a heightened, memorable dining experience, the Nolans reached back into their inherited ingenuity and, in 2017, partnered with James Beard Award winner and Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, Barbara Lynch, to form Salt Water. Salt Water is an exciting new venture in food service with a mission to reinvent where and how guests can enjoy fresh, world-class cuisine on Boston’s extraordinary Harbor and beyond. Expertly pairing exquisite culinary experiences with a wide range of unique venues from the Boston Harbor Islands to the decks of BHC’s extensive fleet, Salt Water is set to make any celebration one to remember.
Now, Matty Hughes’ story continues with a new chapter in culinary excellence, featuring a partnership of two historic Boston brands – BHC and Chef Barbara Lynch – bringing a whole new experience of fine dining on the harbor to the people in the city that Matty loved.