Can Boston's July 4th fireworks be seen from the Queen Mary 2?

by Julie

July 4th fireworks in Boston, MA

July 4th fireworks in Boston, MA

We will be in port at in Boston on the Queen Mary 2 cruise ship on July 4th, and we are wondering if the Independence Day fireworks can be seen from where we dock? Thanks - Julie

Susan's reply:

Wow, what an exciting time to be in Boston! July 4th events, including the fireworks, the Boston Pops concert, and the Harborfest Independence Day celebrations mean that the whole city is in party mode.

Yes, you should be able to enjoy views of the fireworks from Boston's "CruisePort" at the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal. In terms of actual "as a crow flies" distance, you're only about 1.5 miles from the barge in the Charles River between the Longfellow and Harvard (Mass Ave) Bridges where the fireworks are launched.

I've never viewed the fireworks from the part of the South Boston waterfront where the cruise ships dock, so I'm not 100% sure how much of the lower portion of the fireworks show might be blocked by buildings. The July 4th fireworks make a huge display far up in the sky and can be seen from miles around, so you will have no problem the upper portions of the display but might miss some of the lower portions if you're right at ground level.

The good news is that the QE2's high profile may provide some great viewing from top decks. It is also possible that the upper deck of the high-rise parking garage across from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal may be open for viewing - just ask either at the garage, the Terminal, or on the ship.

Another option, if you want to get out and see a bit of Boston at the same time, is to take the Silver Line bus from the Terminal to South Station, switch to the subway's Red Line, and take the Red Line to either the Charles/MGH stop on the Boston side of the river or the Kendall/MIT stop on the Cambridge side. This is easy to do, and will take about 15-20 minutes total. (More info about getting to South Station from the Terminal.)

The views from the Cambridge side are a little better (fewer trees in the way) and crowds will be slightly smaller. You can either walk 2 blocks to the river from the station, or just watch from the station.

Alternately, you can exit the Red Line at Park Station, which is on Boston Common, and join the hundreds (maybe thousands) of other people who will be sitting on the grassy slopes, and watch the fireworks from there. You're not quite at the water, and will have slight blockage from 3-4 story buildings in Back Bay, but you'll still have an excellent view.

Two other options for getting closer:

1) Walk from the CruisePort either to Boston Common or on to the Esplanade.

2) Take a cab to some closer point, such as the Common; however, traffic will be VERY congested and the cab ride may be slow (and expensive).

Hope at least one of these suggestions works for you!

Have a wonderful time watching the fireworks, and a great time in Boston.

If you think about it afterwards, please come back to this page and leave a comment to tell us (and other visitors) what location you chose for watching the fireworks and what the view was like - would love to hear about your experience!

Wishing you a happy 4th,
Susan

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