Business 100 – 2017

Alison Nolan/Boston Harbor Cruises

As general manager and fourth-generation principal of Boston Harbor Cruises, Alison Nolan oversees the daily operations of the cruise line’s 60-vessel fleet, which serves over 2.5 million passengers each year.

With Boston Harbor Cruises being a family business, Alison began her work there early, spending time with family members working on the docks. “At 12, instead of just visiting, I would be tasked with picking up trash around the docks,” she recalls. “At the end of each ‘work day,’ one of my family members would give me $2 for every hour I worked. I remember being proud of the money I earned myself.” She later attended Stonehill College, where she earned her B.S. in biology.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Alison is a fourth-generation Irish American, with paternal roots in counties Cork and Mayo. “For me, my Irish heritage means so much more than shamrocks and parades,” she says. “BHC is a family business with deep Irish roots. We’ve always looked to the examples set by our ancestors.”