Whether you have a 35 foot boat and a leased slip at one of Baltimore’s many marinas, or a small vessel you take out on the water using one of the city’s public boat launches, a boat ride is a great way to enjoy a warm summer day. Baltimore is a very boat-friendly city, which should come as no surprise when you consider the city’s most prominent tourist attraction is the Inner Harbor. The city’s waterfront has also acted as a center of gravity for urban renewal and development over the past 10-15 years, adding plenty of beautiful city views that can only be fully appreciated from the water.
The problem is, boats are expensive to buy and maintain, and the vast majority of city residents don’t own one. There is a saying that goes something like this: “A boat is a great thing for a good friend to have.” We don’t know who coined the phrase, but we couldn’t agree more. We certainly appreciate the appeal of temporarily escaping to the open water—but aside from dropping not so subtle hints to boat owning friends, what’s a landlocked Baltimorean to do? Hop on the Baltimore Water Taxi!
For just $10 each, adults can ride the Baltimore Water Taxi all day long. Tickets for children aged 2-10 are only $5, and children two years old and younger ride free. You don’t have to be a boating enthusiast to know that $10 for an entire day of cool harbor breezes, beautiful water views, and a chance to conveniently explore all of Baltimore’s waterfront neighborhoods is a heck of a deal.
The Baltimore Water Taxi operates more like a bus than a regular taxi. There are set
routes the water taxi runs throughout the day, and you get on or off at any of the 13 designated landings. There are three main routes on the Baltimore Water Taxi’s schedule. The “Inside Route” stays between the Inner Harbor, and Harbor East, stopping at 6 different city attractions. The “Express Route” shuttles passengers back and forth from Harbor Place (landing 2) to Fells Point (landing 11). The “Far East/Fort McHenry Route” connects passengers travelling between Fells Point, Canton and (in season only) Ft. McHenry. At first glance the route maps may be a little confusing, but if you have any questions at all, you can call ahead, or just ask a boat captain for assistance when you board.
In addition to route maps, The Baltimore Water Taxi’s recently re-vamped website also has some basic details on what you’ll find at each landing. Additionally, you can find their daily schedules, which change depending on the season, and you have the option to purchase tickets online via credit card. Tickets can also be purchased directly on the boat as you board, but only via cash or check.
If you’re in a hurry to get from Canton to Federal Hill as quickly as possible, the Baltimore Water Taxi isn’t for you. But if you’re ready to slow life down a little, enjoy your time on the water, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination(s), we’d be hard pressed to suggest a better option for summer city traveling.
Fun Fact #1 – The Baltimore Water Taxi holds an extra after hours boat for late ending Orioles games. Not bad when you consider the cost of parking downtown is at least the cost of a water taxi pass. Via their FAQ:
For evening games only which run past our regular closing time, we provide a boat 1/2 half hour after the last out of the Oriole’s game OR 12:30AM, whichever comes first. For example: if the game is still going at 11:50PM, you have to decide either to leave the stadium and walk back to Harborplace for a ride home, or stay until the end of the game and find another way home. This late return service is only for previously paid customers so show your hand stamp and ticket. Last and ONLY boat leaves at 12:30AM sharp from Landing #2, Harborplace.
Fun Fact #2 – The Baltimore Water Taxi offers a free commuter service
Elisa says: I’m a sucker for the water. Some friends have even heard me say that I wish we could swim in the harbor (all together now: EWWWWW), so I get as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning when we get to spend any amount of time on a boat. If you’re of the same mindset, try the water taxi at some point! I highly recommend riding during a sunset.