Washington, DC, is the place to be if you want a unique boating experience. With its iconic monuments and picturesque scenery, the nation’s capital offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun on the water. From powerboating, cruises and sailing, there’s something for everyone in Washington, DC. So, grab your life jacket and prepare for a summer full of unforgettable memories with these boating experiences!
Reach Your Destination on A Water Taxi
Potomac Riverboat Company’s water taxi service expansion brings more waterfront connectivity than before. From March to December, you can hop on or off at any docking in Alexandria, Georgetown, The Wharf, National Harbor or National Mall. Passes start at $10, and an annual pass grants guests unlimited departures all season for just $175. Enjoy picturesque views of the iconic landmarks on various dining and sightseeing cruises, book a private event on the Potomac River, or explore the city aboard the famous Potomac Water Taxis.
Discover Washington’s Monuments from A New Perspective
Take a sightseeing cruise with Monumental Boat Tours to experience exciting new perspectives of your favorite iconic monuments in Washington D.C. From the upscale and casual dining cruises to traditional waterfront sightseeing, one thing you can be sure of with any experience on this list is a view like nothing you’ll find on land.
Cap off The Weekend with a Sunday Brunch Cruise (and Bottomless Mimosas)
There are various year-round dining cruises to choose from, but city Cruises’ bottomless mimosa brunch is not to be missed. The two hours on the stunning, fully glass-enclosed vessel will leave you speechless and amazed at the views and yes, delicious meal.
Pin A Stunning Waterfront Backdrop on A Big Day
If you have something big to celebrate this year, like a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or even a wedding, the perfect venue might be a boat! To plan an epic celebration on your private yacht, both city experiences by Hornblower and Potomac Riverboat Company can help you charter the perfect party boat with plenty of customized options.
Float along the C&O Canal
When Georgetown was a tobacco port full of activities, the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal began its 184-mile route in Washington. Today what remains is a serene, unhurried towpath, perfect for walking, running and cycling. For the first time in many years, visitors can also view this area of Georgetown from a unique vantage point. This is by new Canal boat that offers one-hour guided tours of the first mile of the Canal, to learn the fascinating history, culture, and technology of the Canal and the stories of the people who lived, worked and played here.
Take A Privately Captained, Six-Seater Speed Boat
Embark DC boat cruises present fascinating experiences as a unique way to get out on the water. Cruise captains provide a narrated tour and happily accommodate any fishing, sightseeing, picnicking or custom-created adventure. They can also take you wherever you want to go, be it Mount Vernon, Old Town Alexandria or The Yards.
Visit A Treasured National Landmark and Stay for A Historical Tour
City Cruises by Hornblower will offer an excursion to George Washington’s Mount Vernon from March through October, featuring different experience options. These exciting experiences include a sightseeing choice, while the other includes biking and boating.
Take Your Puppy on A Joy Ride Around the Alexandria Seaport
Alexandria boat tours run in the warmer months, which include May and running through the start of fall. Select from an array of routes that offer different views of Founders Park, Old Town Alexandria, Jones Point Lighthouse and more.
Sound The Boat Horn for The Greatest Fourth of July Fireworks Show
There’s a good reason being aboard a boat is on the list of the top places to catch the Fourth of July fireworks. The Fourth of July dinner cruises book months in advance, and with good reason. No vantage point in the city can match the panoramic display you will see while on the boat.
Get Active in a Kayak, Paddleboard or Paddleboat
The Washington, DC, area has many fun water activities. Rent a kayak at any Boating in D.C. locations like National Harbor, Ballpark Boathouse in Capitol Riverfront, Key Bridge Boathouse in Georgetown, and Wharf Boathouse. The last two options also conduct yoga classes on stand-up paddleboards! You can also learn how to row or scull at the Thompson Boat Center, located on the Potomac River near Georgetown or climb aboard a pedal boat in the Tidal Basin for a one-of-a-kind view of the monuments and memorials.
Paddle The Potomac on A Tipple Cruise
The Potomac Tiki Club is D.C.’s only tiki boat bar on the Potomac River. The floating experience can accommodate up to 18 people. This teal-blue bar operates with an engine and requires no pedaling to move. You can savor 90-minute cruises with views of landmarks like the Kennedy Center, Georgetown University, the Lincoln Memorial, the Watergate Hotel, and the Washington Monument.
The Potomac Paddle Club is also a rain-or-shine pedal boat that accommodates up to 16 people. The boat has ten pedal stations, but there is also a motor, so passengers are not required to pedal for their hour-and-a-half voyages if they don’t want. It will help if you remember that you could turn your aquatic spin class into a tipple cruise with beers, seltzers, and canned cocktails available on board. You can bring your wine or champagne for a small uncorking fee.
Final Take Away
Boat tours offer a unique perspective of Washington, D.C. You will enjoy unique views of the city’s many attractions like the memorials on the National Mall, Old Town Alexandria, and National Harbor. In addition to providing interesting historic tours, these rides include meals and music. While some companies offer cruising options during the day, others focus their attention primarily on night tours. With so many choices of boating experiences, use our list of the best boating experiences in Washington, DC, to get what suits you best!