Potomac River cruises are a fun and interesting way to see the nation's capital. These short sailings allow travelers to see a slew of famous landmarks, including the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building and the Kennedy Center.
Potomac River Cruise Options
The Potomac River starts in the Chesapeake Bay and travels along the mid-Atlantic coastline. The river runs about 380 miles and forms the border between Maryland and Washington, D.C. Its location makes it one of the best for touring the Washington D.C. area. Some popular Potomac River cruise options include:
One option for cruising down the Potomac is on smaller riverboats. For those who wish to experience a shorter cruise with the goal of seeing landmark sights, this option is best. These cruises are only a few hours long and are offered from spring to fall. The sailings feature amazing views of local monuments and other historic sites.
Dinner and lunch cruises are also offered on the Potomac. These cruises often include entertainment as well as a gourmet meal. Look to spend several hours on board as the cruise moves through the Washington D.C. region and beyond. These dinner cruises also offer spectacular night views of national monuments that glow from the shore.
Another river cruise option is to book a private charter. You select the route you wish to take and the length of the trip and invite only those you wish spend the day with. Private charters may accommodate as few as two people or an entire wedding reception. Though these sailings cost more, the trip allows you to be in control of the itinerary.
Another unique option is a sailing cruise. These voyages take place on skipjacks. The authentic, historical pieces date back to 1906. The sailing cruises are a popular option for those who wish to immerse themselves in sailing boats commonly used decades ago. One company that offers these sailings is The Potomac Riverboat Company.
Tips for Booking Your Cruise
Once you decide which type of cruise to book down the Potomac, the next step is to select one of the many companies offering them. Guests touring the region may visit the marinas along the river to find sailing and small boat river cruise companies. However, it is often best to reserve your trip in advance online or through the company's booking system. Some popular options include:
- Odyssey Cruises: The company offers Washington D.C.-based cruises. The Full Moon Dinner Cruise is one of the most popular options. You can also book the cruise ships for special events.
- Capitol River Cruises: The company's sailings depart from Georgetown in short sightseeing tours. The cruises last about 45 minutes to an hour and offer a historical narration. This is an affordable river cruise for visitors to the region. Cruises leave at the top of the hour throughout the day from April through October.
Each cruise is unique, so it's best to check the itineraries of the sailings before booking your adventure. Most cruises are designed to show off as much of the region's historical monuments from the river as possible. Cruises are available through several ports in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area, including Alexandria, Mount Vernon and National Harbor.