Did you ever consider taking a Cape Cod Canal Cruise? While the Cape Cod Canal was originally built to make transport in and around the Cape easier, it has now become a haven of outdoor activity for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.
One unique way to explore the Cape Cod Canal is on the water! What better way to travel on the water than on a cruise boat? Let’s explore how you can Cape Cod Canal cruise and what you might see while doing so.
About the Cape Cod Canal
The Cape Cod Canal opened in 1914 to connect Cape Cod Bay with Buzzards Bay. The 17.4-mile-long canal helps provides safe passage by allowing ships to avoid the Outer Cape’s shoals and unpredictable currents. It also helps save ships from travelling an extra 172 miles, giving them direct access to some of the most popular towns on the Cape.
Cruises on the Cape Cod Canal
Currently Hy-Line Cruises is the only company that provides a regular cruise along the Cape Cod Canal. All their cruises set sail from the Onset Town Pier, and the options include:
- 3-hour sightseeing – cruise along the entirety of the Cape Cod Canal from the Onset Town pier to the Sandwich Boat Basin and back.
- 2-hour sightseeing – Starts at the Onset Town Pier and turns around at herring run in Borne
- Sunset cocktail cruise – enjoy cocktails on the boat at the end of the day, while watching the sunset, cruising on the canal
- Musical bingo cruise – interactive entertainment cruise that combines music, bingo, and the sites of the Cape Cod Canal.
- Live music cruise – watch the sunset while enjoying drinks and a variety of different musicians. Check their website for a listing of the entertainment schedule.
- Friends and family music cruise – enjoy your Sunday afternoon cruising along the canal while listening to music geared toward the whole family.
What Can I See on a Cape Cod Canal Cruise?
While music and cocktails are certainly fun, the real experience is all the great sights you’ll see while sailing along the Cape Cod Canal. Some of the most popular sites include:
- Sagamore bridge
- Bourne bridge
- Vertical lift railroad bridge
- Herring Run
- Aptucxet trading post
- Scusset Beach Fish Pier
All these sights are enhanced by gorgeous views of the water and the activities along the canal. You may want to bring a pair of binoculars to get a better view of the sites as well as spotting birds and marine life.
As you head into the canal you can check out the osprey nests on top of many of the old piers. Depending on the season you may find them building their nests or feeding their chicks.
Cruising into the canal you will spot plenty of recreational activity along the Canal Trail. People use the trail for walking, biking, jogging, rollerblading and picnicking on the banks. Fisherman also fish from the banks of the canal as fishing is not allowed on the water.
Looking for More to do on the Cape Cod Canal?
While a Cape Cod Canal cruise is a boatload of fun, there’s so much more to do off the water. You can stroll or bike along the Cape Cod Canal Trail, which offers a variety of parks, recreational areas, and fishing spots.
If your Cape Cod Canal Cruise inspires you to get out on the water and try your luck at fishing, you will find fishing excursions that also depart from the Onset Town Pier.
Before or after your Cape Cod Canal Cruise you may want to grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants around the pier. The Quahog Republic offers great views of the Buzzards Bay while enjoying some fresh seafood on their deck, directly across from Onset Pier.
For more information or a rainy-day activity, check out the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center in Sandwich to learn more about how the Canal was built, or try out the Gallo Ice Arena.