Getting from Black Falcon Cruise Terminal to Salem
Salem Ferry Dock
We are coming in on a cruise ship docking at the Black Falcon Terminal. I would like to know the best (and fastest) way to get to the Boston to Salem ferry. My kids really want to go to Salem. The problem is time. We dock @ 7:00 AM. I understand a ferry leaves at 8:00 AM. I just don't know what to expect when getting off the ship and how to get to the ferry. Thank you so much for any information you can give me.
Susan's reply: Hi Pam - The Boston - Salem Ferry departs from Long Wharf, on the Downtown Waterfront - about 10 minutes from the Black Falcon Cruise Terminal by water taxi, which will be the fastest way to get there. There are 3 water taxi companies that provide service in the Harbor. You can find their phone numbers, and also a map of the waterfront water taxi stops on this page about Boston Water Taxis.
The service is on request, meaning that you need to call them and they'll send a boat to pick you up. What I recommend is calling all of them before you leave home to confirm that they'll provide service at 7am from Black Falcon Terminal to Long Wharf, and how much the fare is. (I *think* it's $20/person between those points; the rates are standard and should be the same for each water taxi company.)
The other option is to take a land taxi from the Cruise Terminal to Long Wharf. The distance is actually very short - maybe 2 miles - but traffic at that time of the morning is horrendous - although slightly lighter in the summer than at other times of the year. However, the cost is by the ride rather than by the person, so if there are several of you, it will be cheaper than the water taxi (although I find that a cab ride of 2 miles in heavy traffic easily runs $20 with tip - Boston cabs are expensive!). There are usually cabs waiting outside the Cruise Terminal, although there may be competition for them.
What I don't have a sense of is how long it will take you to get off the ship if it docks at 7am - if you get into a time crunch, the water taxi is the fastest and most reliable. Also, when you call the water taxis, let them know that you'll be taking the Salem ferry so that they can point out the departure point to you - that may save a few minutes.
Salem is a wonderful place for a day trip. Depending on the age of your kids, they may be most interested in the witch museums (check BDG's Halloween in Salem page for descriptions and other information) but if you can lure them into the Peabody Essex Museum, it's absolutely wonderful. My own kids usually end up loving it - lots of ship models, an entire house from China plus a bunch of other historic houses to tour, and lots of other great exhibits.
Have a wonderful time!
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