Since 1877, the Swan Boats have been an iconic feature of the Public Garden in Boston. The boats were designed by Robert Paget after seeing Richard Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, in which a heroic knight rides a swan across a lake to rescue a damsel in distress. This romantic notion is echoed in the dramatic design of the boats themselves, featuring a large white swan. Paget himself died only a year after the initial launch of the boats, but the business was carried on by his wife, Julia, and youngest son, John, who in turn turned the business over to his son Paul in 1969.
Although the boats have been replaced over the years, the design has changed very little, and the current fleet features one boat built in 1918 by John Paget himself. The pedal-powered boats can be seen on the pond in the Public Garden seven days a week from April through September and are a welcome sign of warm weather to Bostonians beleaguered by the long cold winter. During your visit to our Boston bed and breakfast this summer, we recommend you bring the family down to the Public Garden and take a peaceful ride on one of these beautiful and historic Swan Boats!