Enjoy a Traditional Steamer Clam Recipe From Cape Cod

The Maine lobster clambake with freshly harvested steamer clams is one of those wonderful summertime dinners that locals enjoy up and down the New England coast. But for many people, a basket of freshly cooked steamers can be a fabulous dock-side lunch or dinner all by themselves.

The steamer is a soft shell clam known by many names. Steamers can be called the Ipswich clam, the long neck clam, the belly clam, the fried clam and other not so flattering terms. The shell is soft enough to break with your fingers. Steamers are readily identified because the long neck, or snout, stick out of the shell. They are harvested from saltwater sandbars and saltwater mud flats. The clams live in the sand just below the surface and are famous for “squirting” water when people walk by, making them easy to find.

Freshly cooked steamer clams on a plate
Fresh soft shell steamer clams

The best soft shell clams are still harvested by hand and are usually available year round, except when the flats freeze. They are sold daily to markets and stored in mesh bags in large, airy coolers. Although easy to prepare, it is important to follow some basic steps.

Ipswich Steamer Clams Recipe Popular in Boston and Cape Cod

Traditional soft shell steamer clam recipe serving two to four people

Cleaning the Clams:

At least one hour before cooking, place the clams in a clean sink (no soap or other residue) and just cover the clams with cold water. Add two drops of white vinegar to the water to help the clams expel any sand they have in their shells. Stir the clams gently and let soak for 10 minutes. Drain the sink flushing any sand residue. This time without vinegar, cover the clams with cold water again, gently stir, and let soak for five minutes. Drain. Discard any clams with broken shells.

steamer kettle for lobster and clams
Traditional kettle for steaming clams

Ingredients:

White vinegar
Four pounds of freshly dug steamer clams
2 large stalks of fresh celery
2 medium yellow onions
1 stick salted butter
1 fresh lemon

Steamer Clam Preparation:

Clean steamer clams with white vinegar as described
Cut celery stalks into two inch pieces
Cut onions into two inch quarters
Cut lemon into ¼ size wedges
Melt butter and place in ramekins
Add water to large steaming kettle or lobster pot 1/4th of the way up

Cooking Steamers:

Bring to roiling boil
Place steamers, onions and celery into pot at the same time and cover
Gently stir clams twice
Cook for 12 minutes until the clam shells open (do not overcook)

Serving:

Drain broth from the kettle into ramekins.
Squeeze lemon wedges into melted butter
Remove clams from kettle and discard any unopened shells
Serve immediately

Note: Dip to wash clam in broth and then use the fingers to remove the membrane covering the neck. Most people will eat the entire clam, while some leave the neck. Dip clam in the melted butter and enjoy.  As an aside, don’t forget that day boat scallops are now in season and can be ordered for home delivery.

Recipe courtesy Aimee C. Nichols, private chef.

© Lobsters-Online.Com 2016

New England Folks Love Their Lobster Wherever They Live

Feb. 25, 2013 — Lobsters-Online starts the New Year with a deep breath as the prior Christmas and New Year holiday period is our busiest time of the year for shipping live lobster.  During the six-week holiday period folks from all over the country use the lobster shipping service to order New England seafood for their dinner celebrations. From Michigan to Florida, Georgia to California, the orders were shipped to families in every state in the country.

Just wanted to send a note of appreciation as we close out 2011 with another great lobster, shellfish, seafood dinner. — Don P., Parker Colorado

Many Lobsters-Online customers are what we affectionately term ex-patriots, or more narrowly, former residents of New England.  And while they have left the Northeast and have ended up living in various places, all these people have one thing in common. They miss their Maine lobster, shellfish and other New England seafood treats.

Jumbo lobster on dinner plate
Maine Lobster Dinner

Lobsters-Online always enjoys when we hear back from our former New England natives.  Today seemed like a good time to share a few of their much appreciated comments:

“I recently ordered two 5 lb lobsters for my husbands 65th birthday.  I have to tell you that he was very surprised and they were absolutely excellent.  We are both from Connecticut and now live in Florida.  Floridians have no idea what real lobster is until they try Maine lobster.  You gave us not only a wonderful meal but brought back memories of New England.  I have put your name on Facebook to all my friends so you will be getting more orders.  Thank you so much.  And Happy New Year.” – Maxine D,Spring Hill Florida. 

“Just wanted to send a note of appreciation as we close out another great
lobster, shellfish, seafood dinner. This is either our third or fourth order in just
this past year and your products and services are consistently excellent. My
wife is a native New England “coastie” and these meals go a long way toward keeping
the beatings (on me)  to a minimum for my dragging her to Colorado. Have a great New Year.” —  Don P., Colorado 

“Just a note to thank you again for taking such great care with my order this past Christmas season. I have been sending a gift to my parents for several years from your company.  However, this year they were absolutely thrilled as I sent them live lobster, and your New England lobster chowder. Thank you for taking such good care … start to finish. It is so nice to know that you continue to do an incredible job.” — Steve L., Tampa Bay, Florida 

“This is our third year ordering from your service.  This year we ordered the jumbo lobster tails for Christmas Eve dinner along with your chowders.  The tails were big, fresh and delicious.  We baked and stuffed them with crab following my mother’s recipe.  She is from Maine, and knows good lobster when she sees it.  A good time was had by all.  Thank you again for your service.”  — Annette P., Punta Gorda, Florida. 

 

© Lobsters-Online.Com 2013

 

 

Winter and When Will it End for Lobster Lovers?

 

Off season, winter keeps the lobster boats close to home, and only the biggest lobster suppliers can be prepared to make sure there is plenty of lobster available all winter. The Lobster Trap Company works hard year round to continue to be able to supply ocean fresh lobster to customers.

 

What does all that snow mean for lobster lovers?
They do this by building natural environment environment salt water lobster pounds that can hold millions of pounds of fresh lobster.  This keeps the lobster strong and healthy until they are ready to make their trip to the folks.
“We filled our Maine and Canadian pounds with enough lobster to keep filling the FEDEX planes thru the rain, sleet and snow of this year’s terrible winter, just to make sure our customers stay full – and get their fill — of their favorite crustaceans!”  Said Dave Madden, Lobster Trap Company vice president of sales.
Lobster Trap operates four lobster pounds located in Machiasport and Steuben Maine, providing access to 4,000,000 pounds of live lobster.   The company also operates storage facilities throughout Canada providing holding capacities in excess of 2,000,000 pounds.  All this means great lobster eating year round, even when the fishing season ends.

So while the snow may be falling, the lobster keeps flying.

 Lobsters-Online.Com

 

2012 Maine Lobster Season Sets 123 million Pound Record

Boston – January 10, 2013 — Maine Lobster landings for 2012 saw a record 123 million pounds of lobsters caught, an astonishing figure that is more than 450% higher than just 20 years ago and further evidence of unparalleled growth for the industry. The value of the catch has gone from $72 million in 1992 to more than $331 million in 2012.

According to experts, no other fisheries segment has seen such growth during the last two decades. These figures suggest two conclusions: One, that the appetite among seafood lovers for Maine lobster has grown quickly, and two; that sustainable fishing practices have worked to keep the industry healthy.

Maine lobster boat leaves dock
Leaving the Dock in Steuben, ME

The challenge facing the industry is that the 2012 average lobster boat price – the price paid to fishermen for lobster at the dock — is the same as it was 20 years ago. Meanwhile the price of diesel fuel has tripled along with big increases in the cost of bait and boat repairs, creating financial stress for boat owners. In 2012 there were 4,345 active commercial lobster harvesters.

Jon Carter, a Bar Harbor fisherman, told the Bangor Daily News that the volume of his catch went up last year but he still had a hard time covering his expenses. For example, bait cost about $25 per bushel in the Mount Desert Island area this past fishing season. Carter said that price is “probably 10 times higher” than the per-bushel price he paid in 1994.

The record 2012 catch began early following a mild winter and warm spring. Experts believe the unusually warm ocean waters produced early gluts of lobster that dealers and processors were unable to absorb.  The early catch was weighted towards shedders, or soft shell lobster.  The price for soft shell lobster plummeted while the price for hard shell lobster did not.  Only hard shell lobster can be shipped long distances as the new shell lobsters are too delicate to survive out of water for more than a few hours. Local prices for soft shell lobster dropped while at some point, the demand for hard shell lobster drove hard shell prices up.

Last year’s harvest, while record setting in volume, has the experts worried.

As of January 3, 2013, reports to the Maine Department of Marine Resources indicate more than 123 million pounds of lobsters have been caught in 2012, an increase of approximately 18 million pounds over 2011.

“This unprecedented preliminary landings report provides us with both an opportunity and a challenge,” said Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “We need to look closely at this abundant resource and address the challenges presented when supply exceeds demand, as it did this past year, resulting in a decreased overall value which affects the entire industry. To put this into perspective, in 2005, the industry landed 70 million pounds for $320 million.

While the lobster fishery has experienced unparalleled growth in landings, the total value is almost $331 million, a decrease of $3.7 million compared to 2011.

“We will be seeking input into the development of management measures that respond to abundant supply and its adverse impact statewide on boat price, particularly in the summer months,” added the Commissioner. “These issues are a big part of the dialogue I will be having with industry over the next month during a series of public meetings.”

The 2011 lobster landings of 104,887,598 pounds with a value of $334,690,345 were at the time the highest lobster landings and value ever recorded since DMR and National Marine Fisheries Service began keeping records. At that time, the pounds and value increased from 2010 levels by more than 8.6 million pounds and $15.7 million. For reference, 2010 landings were 96,208,807 pounds with a value of $318,891,777.

In January 2008, DMR began collecting detailed trip level records from dealers. According to the information reported to date, there were 4,345 active commercial lobster harvesters out of the 5,961 commercial license holders in 2011.

© Lobsters-Online.Com 2013

 

Swimming with the Lobster at a Maine Lobster Pound

Ever thought of swimming with the Maine lobster? That’s exactly what Captain Denis Habza did when he put on his scuba gear and entered the BBS Lobster Trap Company lobster pound in Steuben, Maine a few weeks ago.

Habza entered the water armed with a video camera and filmed what lobster life was like just below the surface at the Maine lobster dealer’s pound. Lobster pounds are large ocean pens or coves with significant water flow for live lobster storage. With an estimated 12,000 pounds of live Maine lobster in the pound that day, there was no shortage of “actors” to film.

Maine lobster pound
Steuben pound holds 120,000 pounds of live Maine lobster

Habza is the founder of Squalus Marine Divers,  a recurring, online marine video program, broadcasting internationally, via the Squalus YouTube channel. The program objective is to promote scuba diving in the North East while seamlessly integrating a message of conservation, education and stewardship of the sea. Steubin Maine is about 250 miles from the Massachusetts state line.

This time of year, the pounds keeper buys soft shell lobster when lobster are plentiful and stores them for sale when their shells have hardened in September. In late summer and fall, lobster is purchased and stored for sale during the winter.  The lobster is purchased directly at the pier from the fishermen. The fishermen can also purchase fuel and bait while they are offloading. The BBS Lobster Trap pound can hold more than 120,000 pounds of live Maine lobster ensuring ample supplies year round. This allows lobster lovers to order their favorite seafood even in the dark of winter.

The lobster pound is a delicate ecosystem that requires aerating, feeding, cleaning and protection from ice during the winter.  Bands are placed on the lobster prior to entering the pound to keep the lobster from harming one another.  As Captain Denis points out in his video, “lobster don’t like other lobsters.”  And based on the video, they don’t like divers either.  The lobster in the video get very aggressive.

With Confusion in Market, Always Demand Hard Shell Lobster for Home Delivery

The 2012 Spring and Summer lobster season has seen an abundance of low quality, soft-shell lobster flooding Maine and Massachusetts markets.  This has created a great deal of confusion for lobster lovers who see news reports of record low prices for soft-shell lobster.  The problem is that this crop of soft shell lobster — or “shedders” — is very soft and can not be shipped any distance or successfully kept in holding tanks. The “extra soft” shedders are in a super weakened state and mortality rates are twice as high as normal.  They will last only last a few days in a holding tank and they experience double or triple the normal  mortality rate even when shipped just a few dozen miles.

Hard shell lobster are the only choice when shipping lobster longer distances as they travel better because they are healthier and stronger.  For home delivery, always demand hard shell lobster.

The 2012 live Maine lobster market confusion is being caused because 80% of the daily catch in Maine and Massachusetts is soft shell lobster instead of a more normal 60-40 summer split.  Shedders arrived early in 2012 and the over supply of soft-shell lobster are being sold at a loss to Canadian processing plants. The overflow is flooding Maine and Massachusetts restaurants and supermarkets.  Meanwhile, the demand in the rest of the country for hard-shell lobsters is over the top while supplies are abnormally low causing hard-shell prices to rise.

“Some of the lobsters that are being caught haven’t even had a chance to feed or harden at all,” said Carla Guenther, Fisheries Science and Leadership Advisor at Penobscot East Resource Center, speaking to the Island Ad-Vantages Community News. “They’re more like jellyfish than lobsters, almost liquid that will slide through your fingers.”

For local lobster lovers and processors, the low shedder prices are a boon.  For the fisherman, dealers and wholesalers, not so much. Many fishermen are complaining its not worth going out and wholesalers have no space to hold the glut of soft shell lobsters.

A steamed hard shell lobster with antenae
A steamed hard shell lobster

 

On the upside, the quality this season of hard-shell Maine lobster is excellent, according to Lobster Trap Company Sales Manager Dave Madden of Cape Cod.

“With the early shedder glut, it is ugly out there for sure,” Madden said. “But I’m glad to say our customers have all been happy with the quality of the hard shell lobster they are receiving!”

But soft-shell lobster shipping mortality rates aside, the truth is aficionados prefer hard-shell lobster because of the meat texture and the taste. The meat is firmer, flavorful and is more easily grilled or baked.  Meat from a soft-shell lobster is often watery and stringy though some people think there is a special sweetness to the flavor.  But you can’t put a soft shell lobster on a grill as the meat will often fall apart.  It can be tricky to bake-stuff one as well.

More meat per pound

Hard shell lobsters are often desired as they offer more meat per pound.  A soft shell lobster will have more water weight than a same-size hard shell lobster.  That is because after a lobster molts, or sheds its old shell, the new shell underneath is larger.  Until the shedder grows into that new shell, that extra space is usually filled with water.

But in truth, you will find some local folks in Maine who prefer the shedders for their taste and ease of eating.  A post-molting lobster in its weakened state is not considered low quality. They just don’t transport well and are not expected to be crammed full of meat. The price per pound is often less as well and when eating, their shells are more easily opened.

However, when ordering for home delivery one should always demand hard-shell live Maine lobster.  Even in normal times, a soft-shell will lose water weight in transport and there is a very high risk the lobsters will perish en route.  Quality lobster delivery services will rarely, if ever, ship shedders for home delivery.

Molting process is fascinating. 

In order to grow, an adult lobster will shed its old shell dozens of time during its lifetime (females more often than males).  The lobster grows a new shell beneath the old one.  When it molts, the old shell splits along the back and the new shell is like a thick skin, soft enough to allow the lobster to twist and wiggle itself free from the old shell.  It is not unusual for the lobster to then feast on the old shell to help quickly regain the lost calcium.

Molting is most common when the Atlantic Ocean begins to warm in June.  The new-shell season will run all summer through October and beyond, depending on the drop in water temperature.  Over the winter the new shell will harden and become next season’s hard shell lobster.

The question of hard shell vs. soft shell is usually one of preference and opportunity.  For connoisseurs, the lobster eating experience is not complete unless you have to work to crack and pick the shells apart to get to the succulent meat inside. For those people, hard-shell lobster is always the way to go.

© Lobsters-Online 2012

Maine Lobster Fishing Season Starts with Early Shedder Catch

The weeks before Memorial Day mark the traditional start of the lobster fishing season in Maine and Massachusetts as thousands of boats all along the lobster coast begin heading out to sea each day to lay their traps and begin the harvest.

While the fishermen are happy to get going again, those already hauling traps have been surprised, according to reports.  They are catching an unusual amount of early “shedders,”  or new shell lobster.

Maine lobster boat leaves dock
Leaving the Dock in Steuben, ME

Although some Maine Fishermen operate year round, the lobster themselves become more active in the spring making them easier to catch.  Summer and fall are the prime months of the harvest, but all the fishermen start to get to work this time of year.

The experienced boat owners know the lobster traps will not be nearly as full in April and May as they will be in the summer when the water is warmer. For example, in April 2010 the state of Maine reported 2 million pounds of lobster were caught.  In August 2010, more than 20 million pounds were harvested.

But new shell lobster are dominating the catch now in Southern Maine.

According to reports, the number of “shedders” or soft-shell lobster being caught in Southern Maine is way above normal.  Normally the soft-shell lobster doesn’t show up until mid-June or July.  This month the reports show that 60 percent of the southern Maine catch is composed of soft-shell lobster, which is unheard of for this time of year.

Some experts think this year’s unusually warm winter and warm spring may have had an unusual effect on the lobster, causing the shedding season to start early.

Soft-shell lobsters have less meat per pound and don’t ship well because of their delicate exteriors. Lobster men get a lower boat price from wholesalers, who in turn charge stores, restaurants and consumers less for soft-shelled lobsters than for ones with sturdy hard shells.  Opinions vary on which taste better.  Soft-shell lobster meat is not good for some recipes and is too stringy to be cooked on the grill.

Carl Wilson, a marine research scientist and lead lobster biologist with the state Department of Marine Resources, told the Maine Forecaster the early arrival of shedders could just be an early kick-off to the season. But, it could also signify a change in the normal lobster harvest schedule.

During July and August shedders usually account for 80% of the Maine harvest, reports show.  This is because lobster fishermen follow the lobsters as they move from shallow water to deep water.  Soft-shell lobster is plentiful during those months and they are easy to catch because they are ravenous.  The lobster must eat constantly to grow into their new, larger shells.

No one knows what to expect or how this spring’s early shedding of shells will effect the overall lobster season. But for the fishermen out on the water early this season the shedders are coming early making the daily catch much bigger than normal for this time of year.  So for now, the Maine lobster fishing season appears to be off to a good start.

Lobsters-Online.Com

27 Pound Lobster Released Back Into Wild Off Boothbay Harbor

There is good news for Rocky the lobster.  The 27-pound lobster was released back into the wild off Boothbay Harbor, Maine on February 27, 2012,  just a few days after being captured in a shrimp fishermen’s net.

27 pound lobster
(AP) Maine State Aquarium Director Aimee Hayden-Rodriques holds a 27 pound, nearly 40 inch long, lobster caught by Robert Malone off the coast of Maine near Rockland, Maine on Feb. 17, 2012. The aquarium named the crustacean “Rocky.”

The lobster measured more than 40 inches long and was so big he actually jammed up the escape grates in the shrimp nets which are designed to let lobster go free. The lobster was caught by Robert Malone off the coast of Maine, near Rockland, about five miles out to sea.  Surprised by the lobster’s size,  Malone had a Marine Patrol warden take the lobster to the Maine State Aquarium in Boothbay.   Malone hails from Cushing, Maine,

The aquarium folks thought the crusher claw was probably big enough to really pack a punch so they named the lobster “Rocky.”  According to Elaine Jones, education director for the state’s Department of Marine Resources, Rocky could break a person’s arm.

Maine fishermen aren’t allowed to keep lobsters that are more than five inches from eye stalk to tail.  But even so, Rocky was never in any danger of becoming the guest of honor in a lobster pot – how would you even cook something so large?

Instead Rocky became an instant celebrity.   After posing for news photos and the television cameras, it was decided that Rocky should be retuned to the wild. Even the aquarium was not set up to meet the needs of such a large lobster.  And so he was released.  Everyone expects he will make his way right back out to the deep ocean waters where he will continue to breed.

baby and 27 pound lobster
(Maine State Aquarium Photo on Facebook)

Rocky was not the largest lobster ever caught.  There is a 1977 record of a 44.5 pound lobster caught in Nova Scotia.  Still the 27 pound beast was impressive.

Aquarium officials said that large lobsters like Rocky are considered brood stock.  It is unusual for them to be in shallow waters close to shore.  They favor the deep ocean.  Officials know there is a population of giant lobsters out there on the bottom of the ocean. And they expect that soon Rocky will be back with the others.

Maine Christmas Lobster Tradition Stands 60 Feet Tall

When Christmas lights and other decorations appear on houses and yards along the famous Maine lobster coast, another strictly Maine lobster tradition occurs. Lobster traps are stacked high on land in the shape of a Christmas tree and are decorated with Christmas lights and become the centerpiece of holiday festivals.

Lobster is considered one of the most popular celebration foods in the country, and the Maine lobster dinner is especially popular during the holidays.  A million pounds or more of live Maine lobster harvested by fisherman from these coastal towns are shipped all over the country between Thanksgiving and New Years.  So it is only natural that towns that provide the fishermen that catch  the popular holiday food should do something special with the tools of the trade.  In one town,  more than a thousand lobster traps were used to create a lobster trap Christmas tree.

A Christmas Tree made of lobster traps stands 60 feet high in Beals Maine
Lobster Trap Christmas Tree. Courtesy Bangor Daily News

According to the Bangor Daily News (BDN),  a 60 foot Lobster Trap Christmas Tree stands  in Beals at the Moosabec Reach from Jonesport.  The traps are  decorated and topped with buoys arranged in the form of a cross.

Another lobster trap Christmas tree stands in Rockland and is more than 30 feet tall and features an  an illuminated lobster.

Building a Lobster Trap Christmas Tree
Building a 60 foot Lobster Trap Christmas Tree in Beals, ME

According to BDN, the two Maine municipalities are like countless other places across the country that erect large Christmas trees in public gathering spots. Only instead of using actual trees, they use decorated lobster traps.

The display in Rockland has been erected every year since 2003. This is the second year the people of  Jonesport and Beals  have decided to get into the act and build one. The Beals’ lobster trap tree consists of 1,364 traps, nearly twice as many as the number they used in 2010. It took roughly a week to build.

According to the locals, serving lobster for celebrations or during the holidays is a tradition older than America itself.  The lobster  trap Christmas tree is just another way to celebrate the tradition.

A television segment about the Lobster trap Christmas trees  is scheduled to be aired on The Learning Channel at 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

 

Maine Lobster Boat “Retires” to New Life as Boston Party Boat

What happens when a Cranberry Isle, Maine lobster boat retires after 45 years of lobster harvests and fish seasons and takes on a new life as a party boat right in the heart of Boston harbor’s vibrant new seaport district?

the retired lobster boat belle
The Belle slips by the Northern Ave. swing bridge in Boston Harbor one summer evening.

Not so surprisingly, according to the cruise operators Charlie Gibbons and Diana Adame, the old lobster boat seems to have found the perfect new home.  Refurbished with attention to detail and lovingly set up to accommodate guests, the 50-foot “Belle” sparkles under the bright city lights.

“The boat was well known and fished for years out of Gloucester and even spent time in Connecticut,” said Captain Gibbons, a former tow boat captain and fisherman.  “I have worked these waters for 30 years and now I want to be able to share my knowledge and offer people a good, fun time.”

Boston Fun Cruises currently embarks from the wharf behind the Barking Crab Restaurant. The vessel is tucked behind the old Northern Avenue swing bridge.  Each cruise begins with the mighty bridge swinging its creaky, old iron rails open so the “Belle” can slip through.

Guests enjoying Boston Harbor Fun Cruise as they pass  the World Trade Center

With long sweeping lines, wide working decks and a heavy wooden canopy that stretches from the helm nearly to the stern, the boat provides an intimate vantage for up to 40 passengers.  The foredeck is deep and comfortable allowing guests to sit or stand and safely enjoy an open-air view.

Lobster boat on Cranberry Isle Maine
The “Belle” being built on Cranberry Isle, Maine in 1965
Lobster boat Belle at Rose Marine Gloucester
The “Belle” being refurbished at Rose Marine in Gloucester, Mass.

On a recent Sunday evening trip, passengers enjoyed views of everything from the new hotels and restaurants by Liberty Wharf to the imposing, brightly lit downtown skyscrapers.  A sunset canon salute was even observed while passing “Old Ironsides” in Charlestown; the USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned vessel in the US Navy.

 

To some observers, the Belle is easily recognizable as a Beals Island design, the type of seaworthy fishing vessel that has plied the waters of downeast Maine since the 1950s.   Gibbons said his boat was built in 1965 by boat builders Beal, Bunker and McCallister on Cranberry Isle. Both places are near one another and are famous for their lobster, lobster boats and lobster fishermen.

Harvesting thousands of tons of lobster and fish over all its years, the vessel finished up its fishing career in Gloucester, Mass and was refurbished in 2011.

“We did our restoration on the railways at Rose Marina in Gloucester,” Gibbons said. “With her mahogany and oak planking and all the extras used to prepare her for going to sea, you couldn’t afford to build a boat like this today.”

Boston Fun Cruises is scheduled to operate in spring, summer and fall with a special New Years Eve 2011 harbor cruise scheduled so guests may observe Boston’s famous fireworks.