There may not be a better place in the city to escape the heat and humidity than the Boston Harbor Islands national park area. While Bostonians can only dream of T-shirts and flip-flops right now, the islands are still fascinating places to explore, even in the dead of winter.

If you’re used to seeing the islands covered with lush greens, it’s striking to now see them under a fresh blanket of snow. And you might catch a new cast of characters who aren’t commonly found around the islands the summer months, such as white and brown seals.

The Island Alliance is sponsoring a rare wintertime chance to get out among the Boston Harbor Islands this Saturday, January 16. A winter wildlife watch cruise aboard the Voyager III will take visitors around the outer islands, Hingham Bay, and Weir River estuary. Park rangers and experienced birders will lead the tour. The boat has both heated, enclosed areas and a deck for viewing.

The boat departs from the Quincy Shipyard at 10:15 AM and Boston’s Long Wharf at 11 AM. The cost is $14 per person. Reservations are strongly encouraged. For tickets, call Boston’s Best Cruises at 617-770-0040 or click here. The Friends of the Boston Harbor Islands are also selling tickets. If you can’t make this date, there will be a cruise to Spectacle Island on February 20.

If you need a traveling companion for the cruise with information on all the islands, check out Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands.