Sightseeing cruises in Washington, DC are a very nice form of relaxing and capturing beautiful photographs of the capital city alongside the Potomac River. During the summers, these boat tours present spectacular panoramic views of some of the most famous landmarks of the region like, the Washington Monument, the Kennedy Center, the Washington Navy Yard, the Jefferson Memorial and many more. The riverboat cruises are one of the most affordable trips you can take on the Potomac River, which runs many times in a day, depending on the weather conditions. Special promotions and themed cruises are available seasonally for Cherry Blossom season, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, and many more.
There are various types of cruises that are available, departing from locations like, the Southwest Waterfront, Georgetown, National Harbor and Alexandria, Mount Vernon.
The Potomac River Cruises
Capitol River Cruise
This cruise departs from Georgetown’s Washington Harbour, which offers a narrated boat ride for 45 minutes along with crab feast tours and private charters.
This cruise departs from Georgetown’s Washington Harbor as well and includes, Monuments by Moonlight, Sunset/Happy Hour Tours, DJ Nights and some special events such as, crab feasts, cherry blossom tours and fall foliage cruises.
Potomac Riverboat Company
This tour company is based in Alexandria, VA, and has a fleet of unique boats that include, the Cherry Blossom, the authentic split sternwheeler the Admiral Tilp, the Miss Christin, the Miss Mallory and the Matthew Hayes. The excursions include, Alexandria Seaport Cruise, The Washington Monuments Cruise, Pirates Cruise, Mount Vernon Cruise and Canine Cruise.
The company also provides a water taxi service throughout the baseball season between the National Mall and Georgetown and to Nationals Park.
Lunch and dinner cruises
These two to three hours cruises include a live entertainment and a gourmet meal on a luxury vessel. Passengers enjoy the spectacular views of Washington DC’s popular landmarks and monuments. These cruises depart from the 3 locations, which are, Water Streets or from National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland and Gangplank Marina at 6th. It is recommended to make reservations beforehand.
Offering panoramic views, the odyssey cruise in a glass enclosed ship is the most upscale experience of the cruises in the region. It includes a three-course seated meal dinner and if the group is large it offers a buffet. It also presents a live band performance and allows larger groups to make reservations for a private deck. These cruises departs from both National Harbor and Southwest DC.
The cruise includes a DJ, dancing, monumental views and a buffet. Larger groups are recommended to reserve a private deck in order to enjoy more. The Spirt cruises departs from two locations, from Southwest DC and National Harbor. A private charter that includes buffet is also available.
DC Cruises – Crab Feasts
These excursions include a group of 25-75 people, which includes bushels of shrimp and crabs that are freshly picked from the sea before the tour starts. The DC cruises departs from Georgetown’s Washington Harbour. Large groups may depart from National Harbor and SW Washington DC, Alexandria.
Dandy Restaurant Cruise Ships
These cruises depart from Old Town Alexandria, and the company operates two vessels, Dandy and Nina’s Dandy, which offers a fine dining experience with beautiful views. Only private and semi-private events can avail the Dandy, whereas the Nina’s Dandy is available all the year for individual, group or private cruises.
The DC sail departs from the Gangplank Marina in SW Washington DC. It offers sailing opportunities on its 65 foot in schooner, the American Spirit, which includes sunset sails, Cherry Blossom Cruises, Boating & Baseball Excursions and July 4th Fireworks Cruises. DC Sail also provides recreational, competitive and educational sailing programs for people of every age.
Elite Private Yachts
This cruise is chartered for groups of 25 to 100 people, departing from Washington DC and the National Harbor. The National Elite and the Capital Elite are luxury yachts that can accommodate these large groups.
The Potomac Belle a private charter yacht that departs from Alexandria and is comfortable for up to 35 guests. However only 15 to 20 people are recommended in the cooler months to use the main salon only.
The National Maritime Heritage Foundation provides sailboat charters along the Anacostia and the Potomac Rivers, departing from the Gangplank Marina located in SW Washington DC.