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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


June 5, 2017


Ria Convery
(617) 788-1197,

Viewing Sail Boston from Deer Island: What You Need to Know

Project work location

Image Courtesy Sail Boston

Boston is hosting a Tall Ship festival from June 17 to 21, 2017. The ships will be mooring in Broad Sound off of Winthrop and on Saturday, June 17th, they will begin their Grand Parade of Sail into Boston Harbor.

Because of the size and scale of the event, security all around the waterfront is going to be very tight, including at Deer Island. The security measures being instituted by MWRA are at the direction of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and will be similar at every location throughout the city. June 17th is the only day the Tall Ships will be viewable from Deer Island; they will be docking in Boston for the rest of the event.

MWRA has been working with the event organizers, the Town of Winthrop and the State Police on access for visitors. Here is what you need to know:

Getting There

There will be NO private vehicle parking at Deer Island.

Anyone (including MWRA employees) wanting to go to Deer Island to view the Parade of Sail must use public transportation. The MBTA’s #712 and #713 busses (run by Paul Revere Transportation) start at the Orient Heights T Station in East Boston and will drop people off at Eliot Street. From there, walking distance to Deer Island is about a mile. The bus schedule is available at

There will be bicycle parking available in the Public Access parking lot. Bicycles will not be allowed beyond the Public Access parking lot. Kayaks will not be allowed to land around the island.

On-island shuttles will be available for anyone who might have difficulty walking from the Public Access parking lot to one of the viewing areas. Other accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Once You Arrive

The State Police will be setting up a screening tent in the Public Access parking lot. All visitors will walk through metal detectors and may be subject to a wand scan (similar to airport security). There are also limits to what you can bring with you. For a list of prohibited and allowed items, visit

At the Island
There will be vendors at Deer Island with food and beverages. MWRA will also provide water, shade tents and portable restrooms for the event.

Please plan ahead if you want to view the Tall Ships from Deer Island on June 17th. We want everyone to enjoy the day. If you have any questions, please call Len Cawley at (617) 305-5757.


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Updated June 6, 2017