Frequently Asked Questions
First, call us to determine if the date you have in mind is available. We can put a tentative (48 hour) hold on a date. In order to confirm a date and time for your charter, a $500 deposit is required. The remaining balance is due on the day of your charter.
How many guests can I bring aboard the Potomac Belle?
The Potomac Belle is a U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessel and is comfortable for up to 25 guests. In the cooler months, using the main salon only, 15 - 20 is recommended.
What is the most popular time for a night charter?
The most popular time for a night charter is 6-9 PM or 7-10 PM, depending on the time of sunset. This allows your guests to enjoy Old Town after the cruise. A three-hour charter is ideal for a cruise from Alexandria to the Washington waterfront or Mt. Vernon and back.
You make the call. We conduct the majority of our charters from Old Town to Georgetown, though the southern route to Mt. Vernon is also beautiful. From the upper deck, you'll be able to see the best sunsets and views of the Alexandria and Washington skyline.
What if we want to see Mt. Vernon?
The Potomac Belle offers a spectacular view of Mt. Vernon from the water, however a tour of the estate is best left for a trip by car.
Our home port is the Alexandria City Dock located in historic Old Town Alexandria. Walking toward the river, you will pass the Torpedo Factory. Our slip is located directly in front of the Chart House Restaurant.
Is there any parking near the Old Town docks?
There are several parking garages on Union Street just one block from the boat and an underground lot beneath the Chart House Restaurant. We do recommend that you carpool as much as possible.
Are there any age restrictions?
Children, under your supervision, are welcome on the Potomac Belle. It is important to let us know, well in advance of your date, how many children under 45 pounds will be aboard. Parents of infants should bring their own life jackets for their comfort and safety.
Can you pick us up at any dock?
We can arrange to depart from the Georgetown waterfront as well as Fort Washington Marina. There are additional dockage fees for these venues.
How do we arrange for food and beverages?
You may bring your own provisions or choose a caterer to serve you. Choosing a caterer is always more convenient and we have had excellent results from our list of caterers. They can provide food and beverage service to meet your needs and budget. If you bring your own food or beverage, we'll provide help with the setup. Some things to remember when bringing your own, you need to bring everything including cups, plates, napkins, and eating utensils. Whenever alcohol is served, a positive ID is required to be served; there are no exceptions to this law.
Do we need to bring music?
The sound system on the Potomac Belle is superb. Bring CDs or your iPod. Each level of the boat has an independent volume control. We have a great collection of music onboard.
Guests onboard the Potomac Belle are completely protected from the weather and we do not cancel a charter for rain. Most summer showers last only a short time. In the event of extreme weather conditions such as a hurricane or state of emergency, we would cancel and reschedule your charter.
How often do you take out charters?
The Potomac Belle is a full time charter yacht. Our season begins in late March and continues through early December, depending on the weather. The Potomac Belle was built and designed for the charter industry. Most of our charters are repeat business or referrals from people who have had a great experience with us.
What are the boarding policies?
On the day of your charter, you and/or your caterer are welcome to begin the setup one and a half hours before departure. Your guests are welcome to board 15 minutes prior to departure. If you need to make other arrangements, please let us know. There is temporary parking for loading and unloading on Thompson's Alley, located just north of the Torpedo Factory. There is underground parking on Thompson's Alley as well as on Union Street across from Thompson's. On weekends, parking can be a challenge, so please advise your guests so that we may depart on time.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
In the event you need to cancel your charter, deposits will be refunded provided you notify the office at least 30 days in advance. If the Potomac Belle is unable to leave the dock due to weather, safety, or mechanical reasons, as determined by the Captain, you have your choice of a refund or the option to reschedule your date.