About the cape cod canal

This man-made canal, a National Civil Engineering landmark, is the widest sea level canal (without locks) with the world. It was built to create more efficient nautical trade routes, opening in July 1914. Passage through the Canal is safer than having to maneuver around the dangerous shoals and unpredictable currents surrounding the Outer Cape, and also saves ships more than 160 miles of travel, instead of having to navigate around the tip of Cape Cod.

The maintenance roads that were used during the construction of the Canal are now extensively used for recreational activities such as walking, biking, roller blading and jogging, as well as sport fishing

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Our History

Hyannis Harbor Tours, Inc. was founded in 1962 by Richard and Robert Scudder along with E. Raymond Taylor. The Scudder brothers, both graduates of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, operated “Scudder’s Sunoco” on the corner of Ocean and South Streets in Hyannis. Mr. Taylor had long been involved in the oil business on Cape Cod and founded Scudder & Taylor Oil Company with Frederic Scudder, father of Dick and Bob.

With the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960, there was an increasing demand to view the homes in the Kennedy Compound. This encouraged the brothers to enter the marine sightseeing business from a parcel of land (received as payment for an outstanding oil bill) at the “north end” of the Ocean Street Docks.

In 1979, we began operating cruises on the Cape Cod Canal from Onset with the purchase of Cape Cod Canal Cruises. The M/V “Viking” runs daily cruises on the canal along with charters and nighttime specialty cruises.