Opening of The Swan Boats of Boston with Mayor Menino

Swan Boats

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Boston's First Lady, Angela Menino, will once again join their grandchildren and local Boston youngsters for the first ride of the season as the Swan Boats open at the Public Garden Lagoon at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 17. 

"We didn't get hit as badly as other cities on the east coast but it was still a cold and wet winter here in Boston," said Mayor Menino.  "The return of the Swan Boats is a reassuring reminder to residents and visitors from around the world that spring has truly arrived and summer is on its way."  

This welcomed annual rite is made possible thanks to the Paget family, owners and operators of the Swan Boats first launched in 1877 by English immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget.  Mr. Paget designed the Swan Boats after attending the opera Lohengrin in New York City.  At the end of the opera, the hero crosses a river in a boat drawn by a swan.  The swan on today's boats is made from either copper or fiberglass, depending on the age of the boat, and encloses a paddle mechanism that is used to propel the boat through the water.  The oldest was built in 1910, while the newest was launched in 1993.   

Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and carries up to twenty passengers.  The Swan Boats are built on copper-clad pontoons that contain air tanks to keep them afloat.  After being stored in a safe place for the winter, the boats are returned to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring with the Menino family celebrating the first ride of the season. 

For more information, please visit the Swan Boats of Boston online at or call (617) 522-1966.


  • Event Category Gardens, Boats and Ferries
  • Event Cost Under $10
    Adults $2.75 Children $1.50 (age 2 to 15 years) Seniors $2.00
  • Event Ages All

Event Location

Swan Boats

Boston Public Garden
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

(617) 522-1966