An FAA-approved helicopter-flight tour operator, North Andover Flight Academy employs five licensed instructors with combined flight and teaching experience that numbers in the thousands of hours. Fledgling aviators can begin their aeronautical journeys at Lawrence and Marlboro Airports, which serve as home bases for services that range from tours and photography flights to full pilot-certification courses and agricultural applications. The team commands a fleet of six Robinson helicopters, including one R44 and five R22s, and keeps Robinson factory-trained mechanics on staff to ensure their safe operation and to ice down their blades after particularly vigorous training flights.
Wielding a flickering lantern, one of Haunted Boston Ghost Tours’ 10 guides leads groups through the streets and alleyways of Beantown, illuminating dark corners to expose any lingering apparitions. Beginning at Central Burial Ground, groups stroll through some of Boston’s most historically haunted areas, including the Boston Athenaeum, Boston Commons, and Freedom Trail, ultimately ending at the Omni Parker Hotel. Along the way, a knowledgeable guide explains the history of the various specters lurking about, as well as the stories behind their demises, which date back to colonial-era Boston. Guides lead these tours every night of the week, rain or shine, for tour takers as young as 6 years old in groups of all sizes, excluding any ex-Ghostbusters.
Boston's historical skyline sets the backdrop for aquatic adventures aboard Boston Harbor Mini Speed Boats' fleet of F-13 speedboats. The two-person vessels require no boating license, letting customers steer their own way across Boston Harbor and the Charles River. Kept on-course by a team of guides piloting the lead boat, excursions speed past well-known sights such as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Fort Independence, and the USS Constitution, whose wooden masts stretch towards the sky like a ballerina who let go of her birthday balloon.
Shopping excursions embark every day except on holidays and on New England Patriots home-game days. Direct Boston hotel pickup is available for hotel guests, while visitors and area residents can get picked up at either the Back Bay Station on Dartmouth Street at 8:30 a.m. or the South Station on Atlantic Avenue at 9 a.m. and head back toward Boston at 4:15 p.m.
Launched in 1948 by Chicago shipwright Henry C. Grebe, the Full Moon is an antique, 65-foot motor yacht that ravels constantly. In the winters, it cruises the waters of southern Florida, but it returns to New England once it gets warmer, taking passengers on voyages throughout Boston Harbor. Onboard the Full Moon, passengers can take in skyline views and sunset vistas from the sea.
The refitted vessel features wooden decks and varnished rails, as well as intimate gathering areas and seating scattered across the boat. A sun-soaked bow presents passengers with unblocked views of the surroundings. The covered aft deck and indoor salon areas let passengers relax away from the elements.
Yankee Fleet's knowledgeable naturalists narrate the tour with nuggets of whale wisdom, and on-board whale researchers are available to answer one-on-one questions. While eyes are sure to be filled with majestic sightings of mammalian sea beasts (if you don't see one, your next trip is free), the body's fellow senses won't be forgotten. Passengers may have the opportunity to listen to whale sounds, touch whale artifacts, help capture plankton, analyze water visibility, and measure how far away whales are by counting the seconds between their lightning flashes.