Questions we get… daily
What’s the process for booking a cruise?
You can book online or contact us by phone to make your booking. We can chat about what you would like to see, your schedule, your preferred meet-up location, any special needs, etc. The process is flexible, but it’s usually helpful to chat early on. Note that cruise bookings are not confirmed until payment is received.
What if we’re more than the 6 passenger maximum?
Reserve more boats! U.S. Coast Guard regulations limit us to 6 passengers per boat (regardless of age). Fortunately, depending on availability, you can reserve more than one vessel. At slower speeds, we can cruise closely enough to enjoy comfortable conversations between boats, and we can tie up on anchor, and hang out together.
Where can we start our tours?
We are the only operation to have access to 10 public dock locations in the Washington DC area (DC, Virginia & Maryland).
Note that we are not a river taxi service. We offer custom, private, sightseeing and recreational cruises, with a minimum duration of 1 hour from some locations. If you’re in need of a river taxi, you’re in luck—check out our friends page for information on Potomac Riverboat Company.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR A TOUR?
Many go for the classic sunset tour for a couple hours. To see the full impact of the city lights and monuments at night, we recommend planning your cruise to last 30 to 60 minutes after sunset. To minimize the probability of thunderstorms in the summer, mid-morning is usually a better time. Check out our Sights page to get a sense for what you might like to see. Washington has a long, warm, boating season, so spring and autumn cruises are usually wonderful, and we have blankets on board if there’s a chill in the air.
Note that cruises can be reserved starting at 10:00 am.
Can I get a discount?
Call us if you’d like a rundown of why it’s so expensive to operate charter boats, especially in Washington DC. We can talk for hours. That said, occasionally we may offer specials such as winter booking discounts. Join our mailing list and we’ll let you know!
Do you offer gift cards?
Yes… here. Hard to imagine a more unique gift!
What boats do you use?
Two of our boats are 25-foot sport boats with seating aft, amidships, and in the bow (front) — plenty of space for your group of (up to) 6. Even though they are “sport” boats (and can go fast), you pick the speed that’s comfortable for your party and your schedule. Call if you need something larger or with an enclosed climate-controlled cabin. With enough advance notice, we can occasionally accommodate alternative boat requests (typically on weekdays).
what about food and drinks?
There are lots of options. We don’t want thirsty or hungry guests. You’re invited to bring whatever you like aboard. Alcoholic drinks are permitted assuming you’re ≥ 21 years old. All types of food are welcome. Be sure to let us know if you want to grill the food (gas is included). We will anchor in order to light the grill, so please account for the extra time. Our locations page lists logical options for take-out food and drink purchases, prior to boarding. We have catering options for a minimal service charge (call us for details). Our cruises can typically include a stop along the river for a meal at a restaurant (docking fees may apply, and please account for the waiting time). And, if you’re lucky (or we plan ahead) DC’s only aquatic food truck, NautiFoods, can deliver piping hot hot dogs, veggie burgers, etc., frozen desserts, and cold (but non-alcoholic) beverages directly to us, while underway!
Can I bring my 2-year-old?
Yes! We have life vests for all ages. Check with your doctor regarding a newborn or very young child as they typically recommend a certain level of neck strength.
Will there be people I don’t know on the boat?
Not unless you invite people you don’t know, which could be awkward. This is your private cruise for you and up to 5 of your closest friends, family members, or professional colleagues (total of 6 per boat + crew). If you want to ride with people you don’t know, see our Friends page, where we list suggestions for bigger boat cruise companies.
What if I need to use the restroom?
Our sport boats include an enclosed “head” or toilet. While it takes a little dexterity to use, it is private... and provides the relief you seek.
IS THERE MUSIC ABOARD?
Yes! We have nautical sound systems on our boats. You can listen to your own playlist or ours, and/or the captain’s tour narrative.
What if it rains?
It does happen sometimes. For light rain, we have umbrellas, blankets, and a bimini (rain and sun protector). For heavy rain, it’s helpful to be somewhat flexible on your cruise date. We can monitor the weather and attempt to adjust our timing to fit the best weather window on the day, schedule permitting. See our Rates & Policies page for more information on weather policies. (Contact us to enquire about larger boats with climate controlled salons, available with advance notice typically on weekdays, at higher rates.)
WHAT IF IT IS HOT AND SUNNY?
Lucky you! We will be in a moving vessel over water and that typically creates a cooling effect on the boat. We also have a bimini (for shade), sunscreen, umbrellas, and coolers with ice, water and soft drinks. While heat is heat, guests typically report that it feels much cooler on the water than walking the streets of Washington! (Contact us to enquire about larger boats with climate controlled salons, available with advance notice typically on weekdays, at higher rates.)
Should I bring a bathing suit?
Sure! Call us to discuss the types of cruises where swimming or tubing is logical. All boats have ladders for swimming (or unintended swimming). Either way, bathing suits just make sense on a boat in the summer!
Can I “drive” the boat myself?
Sorry. You have to let our USCG-licensed captain take the helm. Of course we can take a picture of you at the wheel when we’re not underway, while your friends blow “wind” in your hair.
Can I act like a drunken pirate?
We are relaxed captains. We want you to enjoy yourself, but safety has to come first. We reserve the right to disembark any passenger(s) who may be incapacitated, intoxicated, refusing to follow the captain’s instructions, or are in any way jeopardizing the safety of themselves, any other passengers or crew, or the vessel. The My Boat thing is a marketing tagline — don’t take it literally!