The Best Boat Tours in Washington DC

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In Washington DC, there are over 50 private tour companies offering around 40 regular tours. Are you ready to set the night aflame and watch as the sun sets on our Nation’s Capital?

Regardless of whether you’re a resident or a first-time visitor, it can be hard to narrow down the right tour with that many options. 

When choosing between the best boat tours, you’ll want to look at each company’s tour options, cost, duration, and sites seen. To help narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best private tour companies and the tour options they offer. 

Learn about the best boat tours, and sail away upon the calm waters of the Potomac River.

Capitol River Cruises

Capitol River Cruises provides some of the most popular Washington DC boat tours

Their main tours run from March through November daily. Each tour lasts 45 minutes and includes an informative historical narrative. You’ll see many of the famous DC sites, including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and many more. 

Ticket prices for the main tours are $18 for adults and $10 for children. 

And if you’re a fan of Maryland Blue Crabs, check out their Crab Boat tour. Charter a boat and receive all the steamed crab, corn, hush puppies, and coleslaw you can eat. In addition, there’s wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages to enjoy. 

The Crab Boat tour is a three-hour charter. Prices range from $90 to $110 per person, depending on how many people you invite on board.  

DC Sail

DC Sail offers some of the most unique boat cruise options. Each tour takes place on the company’s 65-foot schooner, the American Spirit.

You can take a three-hour sunset sail on Fridays, May through October. Sunset sails cost $50 per person. 

Are you looking for more of a themed experience?

DC Sail offers Boating and Baseball cruises and Cherry Blossom cruises.

During the Boating and Baseball cruise, your captain deliveries you near Tha National stadium, where after a game of baseball, you get to enjoy the second half of your cruise. The Cherry Blossom cruise allows you to enjoy the blooming cherry blossom trees while celebrating the arrival of spring

And depending on the time of year, you can enjoy a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or 4th of July cruise. Costs for these vary based on event and day. 

If you enjoy the sailing experience, consider signing up for sailing lessons. 

Odyssey Cruise

If you’re looking for DC boat tours that include a meal, check out Odyssey Cruise. 

Their main offering is their dinner cruise. These include a 2-3 hour cruise, a three-course plated dinner, stunning views, and curated live music. Weekday prices are $114.90, with weekends costing $134.90. Additional costs include alcohol or a reserved window table. 

Odyssey also offers Potomac River Monuments Lunch Cruises. These two-hour cruises include a three-course plated lunch, views of Washington DC landmarks, and live music. These cruises start at $64.90, with add-ons available for a fee. 

Prefer a liquid meal? Head out o an Odyssey Bottomless Mimosa Brunch Cruise. This two-hour cruise includes a lunch buffet, unlimited mimosas, live music, and great views. These cruises start at $77.90. 

There are also special holiday cruises depending on the time of year and options available for groups like birthdays or corporate events. 

Spirit River Cruise

Spirit River Cruises are another great option if you’re looking for a cruise with a meal. 

The Spirit of Washington Dinner Cruise is a 2-3 hour cruise with a buffet that includes salad and dessert. You’ll get views of landmarks like the Washington Monument and the National Harbor. Once you enjoy the sites, listen to the live DJ, dance on the dance floor, or play games like shuffleboard. Prices start at $99. 

Potomac River Sightseeing Lunch Cruises are a two-hour cruise complete with a lunch buffet. You’ll get all the same views and entertainment as the dinner cruise starting at $54.90. 

A unique offering is the Spirit of Mount Vernon Tour. You’ll receive a three-hour round trip to the Mount Vernon estate.

Your admission to the estate is included in the cruise price, and you’ll get three more hours to explore the grounds and immerse yourself in history. These cruises start at $51.95. 

Potomac Riverboat Company

Potomac Riverboat Company offers some of the best sightseeing boat rides in Washington DC. 

Embark on a monument tour from either The Wharf of Alexandria. 

You’ll travel along the Potomac River to see attractions like the Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. With the Alexandria cruise, you can go one way, enjoy the area on foot, and get a return trip back on a later cruise. Prices for these cruises start at $20 and $31, respectively. 

A unique offering of Potomac Riverboat Company is the canine cruise. This dog-friendly sightseeing cruise goes around Alexandria’s Seaport. All dogs must remain on a 6-foot leash for the duration of the 45-minute cruise. Prices start at $24.99, and all dogs ride for free. 

The company also offers dining cruises, Mount Vernon cruises, private charters, and water taxis.  

Explore DC with the Best Boat Tours

The next time you’re in the DC area, try one of the best boat tours to get a different look at the Nation’s Capital. 

After you’re done with your cruise, there are many other ways to enjoy the DC waterfront. Spend your time learning how to paddleboard or ride the National Harbor Ferris Wheel to get a bird’s eye view of the water. 

And if you’re interested in non-water related activities, head over to our online Washington DC guide. Wondering what it would be like to spend all your free time in DC? Our apartments have multiple openings in different neighborhoods. Use our online apartment search to find your new home today.

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