While the Hingham/Hull ferry is primarily meant for commuters, the Charlestown ferry feels much more touristy. Even so, it’s still the fastest and most reliable route from Boston to the Navy Yard, and runs frequently. It’s also pretty cheap, with a $3.25 one-way fare. They supposedly accept monthly passes, but apparently not on my boat:

ME: Can I use a monthly pass?
EMPLOYEE: Sorry, we don’t accept plastic cards.
ME: Oh, well, can I get a student discount, then?
EMPLOYEE: Do you have a Student CharlieCard?
ME: Not with me.
EMPLOYEE: That’ll be $3.25.

Like the Hingham/Hull ferry, you pay for fares right on the boat. There’s also a refreshment stand, which is nice. The boat is double-decker, with comfy-looking seats on the bottom deck and simple lawn chairs on the top. It was reasonably crowded up there, with lots of tourists.

The ferry leaves in 5 minutes but it’s so far away!
Nice view!
Ooh, shelters!
A schedule.
Pretty busy.
Hello, Rita!
The inside with the staircase leading to the top deck.
The refreshment/ticket booth.
Looks like you can go out front, too!
The upper deck (after everyone cleared off).
The ticket I got.

The ride was short and sweet. It’s a simple trip that follows Boston’s shore down the North End, eventually pulling into Long Wharf, right by the Aquarium. There were some nice views, and though it wasn’t as fast or adventurous as the Hingham/Hull ferry, it was still a good, cheap ride.

Nothing like a good wake photo.
The Tobin Bridge.
The city’s already pretty close…
Some North End buildings.
Some boats in Boston Harbor.
The “Rookie” heading back to Charlestown.
See ya, “Rookie”!
Wow, I never noticed how…concrete the Aquarium is…
Rita at the harbor.
A schedule.
Nice T symbol!

Route: Long Wharf – Charlestown Navy Yard (Ferry)

Ridership: The ferry gets the most ridership during the summer, as you would expect, with 50,238 riders in July 2014. Compare that to only about 8,550 riders in January of the same year. I suppose the latter is more on the commuter side, while the summer numbers reflect mostly tourists.

Pros: Well, the schedule, first of all. The route runs every 15 minutes rush hour and every half hour all other times – seven days a week. Also, the ride is only 10 minutes. Now admittedly, the 93 supposedly offers a similar time, but that route isn’t too reliable, as I found out on my trip to Charlestown. Plus, the bus has to contend with city traffic. And the bus doesn’t offer the view the ferry does – it’s a nice one.

Cons: Aside from the bus being cheaper, not much. I think my boat not allowing plastic cards was a temporary thing.

Nearby and Noteworthy: Well…touristy stuff. The U.S.S. Constitution is right near the Navy Yard, and the Bunker Hill Monument is a 10 minute walk away. Interesting thing about the latter, I hadn’t climbed to the top until the day I took this ferry. I have to say, it’s totally worth it – mainly because it’s free. Sure, it may be 294 steps of darkness, and the view may only be out four small windows, but…it’s free. And the view is really quite good.

Final Verdict: 10/10
I don’t think you guys understand the pain I go through every time I give something a 10. “This will disrupt the balance of the universe,” I think whenever I erase that 9 and put a 10 instead. But really, this ferry is fantastic. It’s frequent, fast, and comfortable. It is a bit expensive, but the ferries lose money for the MBTA, and besides, the extra $1.25 gives you reliable service – unlike the 93. Anyway, $3.25 is better than $8.50 for the Hingham/Hull ferry. If you haven’t taken the Charlestown ferry before, I heartily recommend it, for it’s a great ride.

Latest MBTA News: Service Updates