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Jul 23, 2008 09:50 AM

Clambakes on Spectacle Island

I was just reading in the Patriot Ledger that the Boston Harbor Island Express was featuring clambakes on Spectacle Island this summer. Summer Shack does the set up and the ferry leaves from Long Wharf on Thursday nights. At $75 a person, I thought it sounded like a fun way to spend the evening. Has anyone gone?

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  1. No, but it sounds fun!

    I'm actually shocked that they include beer and wine. I was always told that alcohol was strictly verboten in public parks- including the Harbor Islands (which was a selling point for me when I was selling clambakes on Thompson Island, which is privately owned.)

    1. Spectacle Island Sunset Clambakes are back this year! The price is still $75 which includes the ferry from Long Wharf (departing at 6:30pm on Thursdays), Summer Shack Clambake on the island and beer or wine.

      Clambakes start this Thursday June 18th, and continue through September 3rd. For more information and booking, visit

      1. Is this a real clambake with a pit and seaweed etc? If so, I'm there! I miss having one of those on my schedule each summer.


        4 Replies
        1. re: BostonZest

          From the pictures, it looks a lot like big pots of steaming water....

          1. re: BostonZest

            It is actually against DCR rules to dig any holes on Spectacle Island at all. It is, after all, a capped pile of rendered horse fat and garbage. :)

            My bet is on pots of water as well.

            1. re: BostonZest

              I'm sure it's not- and given what they dredged up to make Spectacle Island, you probably wouldn't want it to be!

            2. Am I the only person here who thinks $75 is a lot of money? For a party of 2, you're talking about $150!

              4 Replies
              1. re: y2000k

                For a chicken lobster, 4 clams, an ear of corn and some beer, a bit pricey, but there is a boat trip involved. That said, I'm not a huge "booze cruise fan."

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  The boat trip normally is only $14 round-trip. I don't know how the clambake cruise is different from the regular boat ride, except it's faster and a sunset view is included. So, basically one is paying $60 for:

                  2 alcoholic drinks
                  Creamy Clam Chowder
                  Steamed Lobster
                  Mussels, Steamers, & Corn on the Cob
                  New Potatoes

                  I guess it's not outrageous, but $120 for dinner for 2, I tend to expect a little more.

                  1. re: y2000k

                    *shrug* in a restaurant you'd pay, say, $10 for those 2 drinks, "market value" which would probably be at least $40 for the clambake, and at least $5 for the dessert, for at total of at least $55. Value-wise, I think they've got the pricing just about right.

                2. re: y2000k

                  That's expensive to me. Take the ferry and bring your own lobstah for lunch. Less money and fewer drunks.

                3. Just went on the Spectacle Island clambake cruise last night. Agree it is a tad expensive, but the food was good (as you would expect from Jasper), with a nice lobster (don't ask me how big, it was big enough!), a bag of clams, mussels, potato and chorizo, Jasper's chowder, sweet corn on the cob, cornbread, cole slaw, and fruit with cream for dessert. I was stuffed! Also a selection of generic wines, Heineken and Amstel Light.

                  Unfortunately, because of Sail Boston, the start of the cruise was delayed 30 min to 7PM, but that was more than made up for by cruising by the tall ships in anchorage. However, after you get out there and have dinner, there was less than 1/2 hour to walk around. It would have been nice to have enough time to walk all around the island. Maybe next time I'll take an earlier boat out, and then come back on the dinner cruise (I presume they would let you do this).

                  Of course there was a spectacular view of the sunset over Boston! See below. Oh, and a nice touch is that they will take photos of your party and e-mail them to you, without the customary fee most of these companies try to wring out of you!

                  I would go again.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Tir_na_nOg

                    Hmmm...trying to attach a photo...

                    1. re: Tir_na_nOg

                      Beautiful picture!

                      I think you got a great deal due to the bonus Tall Ships cruise! I was visiting the Tall Ships yesterday and the weather was gorgeous.

                    2. re: Tir_na_nOg

                      Was it a proper clambake, with a hole in the sand, etc? Or was it just cooked in pots of water, as reported above?

                      1. re: Alcachofa

                        I have organized a couple of events on Spectacle and they have a VERY strict rule about disturbing the soil at all. They will not even allow small tent spikes as it can cause a spark and ignite a pocket of methane.

                        1. re: TomH

                          Yes, it was cooked in pots. The picnic bench seating out on the dock, and there were no mosquitos to speak of, although they appeared when we walked onto the island at dusk.