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10 ways to get on the water this spring

Without taking a swim.

After months of looking at the ice-cold Charles River and Boston Harbor from afar, it’s finally warm enough to get out on the water again. Here are 10 ways to enjoy Boston’s waters this spring.

You steer
For those looking for a new skill or hobby, learning to sail or paddle may be the perfect way to spend the spring.

1. Community Boating

Located at the tip of Charles Street by the Charles River, Community Boating seeks to make sailing and boating accessible to everyone, regardless of income, ability or age. It operates mostly on a membership basis, but also offers one-day rentals. Community Boating hosts a range of classes for beginner through seasoned members, and all membership levels include unlimited access to a fleet of Mercury sailboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Boaters can choose from a 30-day beginner’s membership ($99), a 60-day membership with full access ($239) or a full-year membership ($309), but for those who just want to test the waters Community Boating is hosting two spring open houses (April 30 and May 22) where there will be free orientation classes and skippered sailboat rides.

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2. Boating in Boston

Boating in Boston’s seven locations, ranging from UMass Boston to Newton to the Spot Pond Reservoir, offer hourly rentals, season passes, classes and summer camps. Kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, canoes, rowboats and pedal boats can be rented for $10-$30 depending on the boat, while windsurfers and sail boats are only available to those with a season pass ($189). Classes on sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding are free or discounted for season pass holders, ranging from $35-$95 for the public.

3. Charles River Canoe & Kayak

With four locations along the Charles River, Charles River Canoe & Kayak offers hourly or daily rentals of kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards, and is even set up to accommodate company bonding events. For those who are hooked on boating it also has a Canoe Season Pass ($159), a Kayak, Canoe and Stand-up Paddle Board Season Pass ($199) and an Outrigger Canoe Season Pass ($149). Charles River Canoe & Kayak has numerous classes as well, on everything from basic kayaking ($99) to ocean skills ($155) to navigation ($30).

You cruise
If you love being on the water but don’t like doing the work, a cruise may be the answer. Check out these cruises that blend being outdoors and relaxing.

4. Spirit of Boston Cruises

With several bars, a dance floor and rooftop deck, the Spirit of Boston received a $3 million renovation last year and is ready to take patrons out on the Boston Harbor. Attend a Skyline Lunch Cruise ($54.90), a Sunset Dinner Cruise ($72.90) or a Mother’s Day Cruise ($64.90-$72.90, May 8 only) to enjoy food, dancing and drinks on the water.

5. Harbor Island Cruises

Get out to the Harbor Islands where you can swim, hike, explore a fort and even camp. Boston Harbor Cruises provides ferries to Spectacle, Georges, Peddocks and Lovells Islands (adults: $17 round trip, children: $10 round trip).

6. Karma Crew Yacht Charters

Karma Crew Yacht Charters offers a number of themed cruises for people who want food and drinks with their boating. Sample craft beers and oysters on the “Oysters and Brews Cruise” ($69) which runs Sundays and Fridays, embark on a “Tequila and Tacos Tuesday” cruise ($55) on Tuesday evenings or opt for a “G’Day Mate Coffee Cruise” ($35) on Saturday mornings.

7. Boston Harbor Cruises – Sunset Cruise

Learn about the history of the Boston Harbor while enjoying a romantic sunset on this cruise, which loops around the inner and outer harbor. Starting May 7, this 90-minute cruise will set off every night at 7 p.m., with tickets priced at $27.95 for adults.

You’ve got company
Spring means the chance to witness New England’s signature wildlife while aboard a cruise ship or fishing boat.

8. Cape Ann Whale Watch

Set in Gloucester, a historic fishing town, Cape Ann Whale Watch offers morning and afternoon trips to what is ranked as one of the best whale watching spots in the world by the World Wildlife Fund. Cape Ann Whale Watch even offers a “sightings guarantee,” meaning that if you don’t see a whale on your trip —which only happens in two percent of trips — you can enjoy another trip for free. Food, drinks and alcoholic beverages are available in the ship’s heated cabin. Tickets for adults are $48, $33 for children and $43 for seniors.

9. Monomoy Island Excursions

Monomoy Island Excursions takes guests from Cape Cod to the Monomoy wildlife refuge with thousands of seals, birds and other animals. Tours are 90 minutes, and cost $36 for adults and $30 for children.

10. Yankee Fleet Fishing

Get away for almost five hours on Yankee Fleet Fishing’s Deep Sea Fishing Trips, where both the beginner and expert fisher will have the chance to fish with the help of the crew. Adult tickets are $49, children and senior tickets are $38, and all tickets include rods, reels, bait and hooks.

 
 
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