Mayor Michelle Wu, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Paget family will host the first ride of the season on the popular Boston Swan Boats as they open at the Boston Public Garden lagoon on Saturday, April 15, at 11 a.m.
2023 marks the 146th season for the Swan Boats, a beloved tourist attraction and iconic symbol of Boston and the Public Garden. The oldest and smallest boat in the fleet just celebrated its 113th season, while the newest was launched in 1993. The swan on the 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.
Launched in 1877 by Irish immigrant and shipbuilder Robert Paget, the Swan Boats continue to be owned and operated by the Paget family. 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.
Fully loaded, each Swan Boat weighs three tons and is powered by the driver using a foot-propelled paddle wheel. The Swan Boats are built on oak-framed pontoons sheathed in copper, just as they were initially constructed in 1877. After being stored in a safe place for the winter, the boats will return to the Public Garden Lagoon in the spring, with Mayor Wu celebrating the first ride of the season.
For more information, visit boston.gov/swan-boats.