The Nantucket Sound has been a safe place for everything from the tiniest sailboats to giant whaling ships throughout the years. These days its primary purpose is bringing tourists and locals alike onto the island. Whether you’re coming in via the Hy-Line or docking in your spot at Nantucket Boat Basin, we have everything you need to know about Nantucket Harbor in Massachusetts.
Want to learn more about the island? Access our exclusive Nantucket Vacation Guide and get hand-picked dining and things to do recommendations delivered right to your inbox! Best of all? It’s free!
Everything You Need to Know About Nantucket Harbor in Massachusetts
So you’re ready to set sail into Nantucket Harbor in Massachusetts? Follow the path of historic whaling ships and maritime heroes as you float into our island’s most important harbor.
- History of Nantucket Harbor
The first-ever harbor into Nantucket Island was initially located on the North Shore. After years of erosion and silting, the main harbor was moved to its current location and referred to as the “Great Harbor” attracting local merchants.
Among these merchants came the dawn of the whaling industry. From the end of the 18th century and into the 19th century, Nantucket quickly became one of the wealthiest communities in America and the whaling capital of the world. Giant ships like the Essex would glide into Nantucket Harbor with giant-sized catches to be harvested at the Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory. The harbor tells the stories of an industry that rose a tiny island into the spotlight.
- Moorings and Docking
If you are coming in by boat and looking to dock in Nantucket Harbor, you’ll want to tie off in Nantucket Boat Basin. The marina offers a pre-arrival concierge service and a convenient downtown location.
If there are no docks available, look into mooring your boat in the harbor. Nantucket Moorings offer 125 moorings and can accommodate boats up to 85’. You’ll want to reserve both docking and moorings ahead of time to secure a spot.
- Nantucket Ferry
If you’re not riding in on your own boat, chances are you’re catching the Nantucket ferry from Hyannis. The Hy-Line and Steamship Authority are the two central ferry systems that run between Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. As you stand on the shores of the harbor, you will see ferries going in and out all summer long.
Come Back to the Comforts of the Periwinkle Inn
Once you’ve docked in the safety of Nantucket Harbor in Massachusetts, come home to Periwinkle Inn. Our inn is uniquely Nantucket-style with the friendliest service and a convenient location. Book your stay in the Captain Bildad room and enjoy a beautiful harbor view, plush queen-size bed, Egyptian cotton linens, Turkish towels and bathrobes, and a continental breakfast each morning of their stay.
Book direct and put more spending money in your pocket. When you plan your vacation directly through our helpful staff, you are sure to get the lowest price along with a personalized experience. We can’t wait to welcome you to Nantucket!