Water activity

National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

4.9 / 5

32 reviews

Activity provider: Monumental Boat Tours

National Harbor: Potomac River Self-Drive Guided Boat Tour

Activity provider: Monumental Boat Tours
Likely to sell out

From US$ 150 per person

Likely to sell out

Travel down the Potomac River in your own two-person catamaran and see Maryland and Virginia's amazing wildlife and historic sites.

About this activity

Free cancellation
Cancel up to 24 hours in advance to receive a full refund
Reserve now & pay later
Keep your travel plans flexible—book your spot and pay nothing today.
Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
Duration 2 hours
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Enjoy unique photo ops of the historic sites of Maryland and Virgina
  • Learn from expert guides about what makes the Potomac River so unique
  • Take in panoramic views of the Potomac River
  • Be the captain of your own catamaran
Full description
Admire Maryland and Virginia’s historic sites from a unique perspective on a two-person catamaran boat, also known as a Craigcat, journeying down the Potomac River. You will be guided down the Potomac River by a guide in their own boat and will guide you by radio. Your journey will see you navigating down the river at speeds of up to 25-miles per hour. Meet at the boat pier at National Harbor, be fitted with a life jacket, and complete a 20-minute training session to receive your 10-day boat license waiver before taking the journey down the river. Travel down the Potomac River and stop at different points-of-interest including, National Harbor, Jones Point Lighthouse, Mount Vernon, Fort Washington, and Little Hunting Creek. The Potomac River is home to a mixture of wildlife, so along the way, you might see Bald Eagles, Osprey, and different types of fish.
  • Your own 2-person catamaran boat
  • 20-minute compulsory safety training
  • 1-hour and 40-minute boat tour
  • Radio to hear the guide on their own boat
  • Professional expert tour guide
  • Life jackets
  • Small dry box for personal items
  • Gratuities, based on the level of service
Not suitable for
  • Children under 5 years
  • Pregnant women
  • People with back problems
  • People over 250 lbs (113 kg)
Covid-19 precautions

You must book this activity online because the ticket office is closed

Safety measures in place
  • All required protective equipment is provided
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
Traveler requirements
  • You will receive a mandatory temperature check

Select participants and date



Meeting point

When you arrive at National Harbor, look for the Capital Wheel as a landmark and head to the pier between the Capital Wheel and the carousel. The boats are docked at the pier - look for "Monumental Boat Tours".

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Important information

What to bring

  • Driver's license
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Rain gear

Not allowed

  • Pets
  • Alcohol and drugs

Know before you go

  • No boating experience is necessary, but the driver must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license
  • Drivers must have a good understanding of English in order to receive the compulsory training
  • For safety of all involved all participants must sign a waiver
  • Tour is weather dependent. If weather conditions are unsafe, the staff from the local operator will contact you to re-book or provide a full refund
  • You will likely get wet from waves and other boats. The weather may also change while on tour, so please dress accordingly
  • There is not a restroom break during the tour. Please use the restroom before you arrive. Public restrooms are available very close to the dock
  • There are plenty of paid parking lots at National Harbor
  • Face masks are required on the docks but may be removed during tours
  • Non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are welcome
  • Radio, small box, 2-person catamaran boat, 20-minute compulsory safety training, and boat tour are included in the price
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 32 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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We enjoyed the trip down to Mount Vernon on a hot August Day! The water, spray and speed of the boat keep it very pleasant. Note we didn't exactly follow the itinerary posted on the dock which was a little disappointing. Also note there are two itineraries so make sure you find out where yours is going before you sign up. I think there would be more interest if the fee was reduced or the duration extended. Still, we enjoyed the day!

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August 6, 2022

It was a very awesome experience and I would strongly recommend to anyone that wants to take a break from touring the other sites! I took a Lyft from my hotel and had extra time to spare before check in! The boat training was very short and then we were on our way! I thought I would get soaked but I didn’t thank goodness! Bring sandals or swim shoes and there’s a a little storage compartment on the boat itself to keep your personal effects dry! Instructors were awesome!

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July 27, 2022

Had a lot of fun. Driving was easy. Got splashed occasionally which was a lifesaver because it was crazy hot out. The water was not even slightly chilly in mid July. Traveled farther than expected. Some huge estates along the river and the guide stopped to tell us about a couple of historic sites along the way.

July 23, 2022

Product ID: 396525