Picture cruises from Washington, D.C., and you’ll likely envision a behemoth like Royal Caribbean‘s Icon of the Seas clogging up the Potomac River. Fortunately, that’s not the case with the only ship to sail voyages from the U.S. capital.
American Cruise Lines — a small-ship and catamaran brand that primarily operates voyages on U.S. rivers and lakes — has positioned two of its vessels, fittingly named American Constitution and American Glory, at The Wharf along D.C.’s southeast waterfront.
As the first ships in more than 60 years to sail round trip from that location, they take passengers along the Potomac and York rivers and into the Chesapeake Bay. Here’s a rundown of when the cruises depart, how much they cost and where you’ll stop along the way.
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When you can cruise from Washington, DC
These voyages, dubbed American Revolution itineraries, operate in the spring and fall, with the first voyage of 2024 setting sail on March 26, just in time for passengers to enjoy the area’s famed cherry blossoms.
Sailings on both the 100-passenger catamaran American Glory and the 170-passenger ship American Constitution run on a regular 10-night rotation through early June and pick up again from early October to early November.
Where you can cruise from Washington, DC
If you’re a history buff, you’ll salivate over the places this itinerary will visit.
Your trip will begin with a pre-cruise package that includes a stay at the Four Seasons in Washington, D.C., where you can tour the Capitol Building and spend time at the Smithsonian museums.
After departing the capital, you’ll stop in Annapolis, Maryland, home of the Naval Academy and a charming downtown area. Follow that up with highlights in Norfolk, Williamsburg and Yorktown, Virginia, where the Revolutionary War came to an end.
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Finish off the trip with a call on Alexandria, Virginia, where you can spend a day exploring the historic old town, and a visit to Mount Vernon, the former home of George Washington.
How much are cruises from Washington, DC?
Prices start from $5,275 per person for a cabin with a window as part of a promotion the line is running, which includes fare discounts and free round-trip airfare if you’re not someone who lives within driving distance of The Wharf. You can check more prices on the American Cruise Lines website.
Other cruise ports to consider
If you’d prefer a sailing on a larger oceangoing ship, the closest big-ship embarkation ports within a reasonable driving distance are Baltimore and Bayonne, New Jersey.
A variety of ships depart from those locations, including Carnival Cruise Line‘s Carnival Legend and Carnival Pride and Royal Caribbean’s Vision of the Seas from Baltimore. Liberty of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Symphony of the Seas, as well as Celebrity Cruises‘ Celebrity Eclipse, depart from Bayonne.
Norfolk, Virginia, is also a drive-to port for the D.C. area, but no large ships are scheduled to depart from there in 2024. Look for cruises on Carnival Sunshine in 2025.
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