When the city of Washington DC was first conceived and built, a great deal of daily business centered around the Potomac River. Often called "The Nation"s River", the Potomac flows though the most historical and scenic parts of Washington DC, including the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Memorial Bridge and the Kennedy Center. At night, restaurants glitter with tiny white lights and other forms of elegance, as the riverfront comes alive with the very power of the DC heartbeat. While vacationing here, why not treat yourself to one of the Washington DC dinner cruises, and see the city as its founders did in a slower, more thoughtful time?
There are quite a few choices for how to enjoy the city by river. The elegant Spirit of Washington ship conducts harbor cruises in the sun or by the light of the moon. You'll never see the city looking so grand as when you take a two-hour luncheon cruise or a three-hour dinner cruise along the spectacular Potomac riverfront, past the monuments that bring the largesse and history of our nation to mind. The Spirit of Washington also offers Midnight Moonlit cruises for the night owls among us, a two-and-a-half-hour adventure under the stars.
Another sumptuous vessel on which to enjoy dinner cruises in Washington DC is the Odyssey III. A floating oasis of glass and luxury, the ship was designed specifically to glide under the bridges along the Potomac. Its glassed-in interior and ceilings make it ideal for viewing the nightscape, as well. Four separate compartments within the dining space allows for private parties to compartmentalize on the cruise as well, making it a favorite for weddings, business parties, and other special occasions.
Not all Washington DC dinner cruises are formal dining affairs. Some are more quaint, with lighter fare. For example, Capitol River Cruises offers narrated, one-hour cruises daily from noon to 9pm leaving from Washington Harbor. The Nightingale is a smaller vessel, serving refreshing snacks, spirits, beer, wine and sodas, while cruising past the Kennedy Center, Memorial Bridge, Roosevelt Island, The US Capitol, the Watergate, and of course the monuments. The staff will even let you have a picnic aboard, should the fancy strike you as you sail.
Another special way to enjoy a lighter DC dinner cruise is, of course, aboard a grand riverboat. The Potomac Riverboat Company hosts wonderful cruises aboard their elegant riverboat, the Matthew Hayes. It is an open-air boat with a central entertainment deck, designed for more intimate gatherings of up to 70 people. In addition to their narrated 90-minute tour of the monuments and memorials, they offer a cruise out to George Washington"s historic estate, Mount Vernon.
These are some of the more well known charters available for dinner cruises in Washington DC. Of course, a trip to the waterfront harbor or to the harbor in Old Town, Alexandria, could yield many more options for enjoying a lovely meal on the famous river that goes to the heart of the nation.