Encore Boston Harbor provided a sneak preview last week of its Premium Harbor Shuttle service as it tests the fleet’s first vessel in preparation for the Five-Star resort’s opening in June.
“Not only will our Premium Harbor Shuttles provide an enjoyable way to get to and from our resort, we hope they will encourage the use of water transportation as a convenient and efficient mode of everyday travel around Greater Boston,” said Robert DeSalvio, president of Encore Boston Harbor. “Our goal is to move thousands of people each day out of cars and off the roads by offering an additional transit option at the level of superb quality for which Encore is known.”
Four 41-foot, state-of-the-art Premium Harbor Shuttles will accommodate 35 passengers each. With plush leather seating, modern climate control, and easy-access level boarding, the vessels promise a passenger experience of unparalleled comfort. The vessels were built by Boston BoatWorks, a custom luxury yacht builder based in Charlestown.
The Premium Harbor Shuttles will stop at docks located at World Trade Center in the Seaport, Long Wharf North in downtown Boston, and Encore Boston Harbor. Service will run every 20-30 minutes from 7 a.m. to midnight, 7 days-a-week, year-round, making the Encore Boston Harbor Premium Harbor Shuttle the most serviced water transportation route in Boston Harbor—operating 546 one-way trips to the resort a week, totaling 28,393 trips a year. Overall, the shuttles are expected to carry more than 3,500 passengers a day during peak periods, including on the portion from the Seaport to Long Wharf, which will create a fast connection between the Seaport and the Blue Line.
The Premium Harbor Shuttles will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at an introductory fare of $7 ($5 between downtown and the Seaport).
Other features of the Premium Harbor Shuttles include:
•Attractive, low-profile design to navigate below the Alford Street Bridge without impediment
•Gloss-varnished teak wood and a below-deck salon seating area with large hull windows, overhead skylight, and flat panel televisions
•A computerized gyro stabilizer for smooth sailing in choppy conditions
•ADA-accessible entry and exit
The Premium Harbor Shuttles will be operated by Bay State Cruises of Boston. Bay State Cruises will also provide chartered vessels and operate and maintain the entire fleet for the $2.5 billion resort.
The cost to build the four boats is approximately $4 million and has been privately funded by Encore with no public funding or taxpayer funds.