Frequently asked questions for Spirit of Washington

Spirit of Washington FAQs

Before you cruise, let us answer some important questions for you!



Accessibility. Is the Spirit Wheelchair Accessible?

Dining Cruises: Yes. The Spirit of Washington has a one deck and restrooms that can accommodate most standard-sized wheelchairs. Our crew is happy to aid passengers who need assistance.

Mount Vernon Excursions: While Spirit of Mount Vernon is wheelchair-accessible at our home dock, the disembarkation at Mount Vernon is not on-level with our wheelchair-accessible deck. Therefore, we do not recommend travel to Mount Vernon by way of this vessel to guests with mobility limitations, unless they are able to exit the ship without the use of their wheelchair.

Please call 866-302-2469 to discuss any accessibility concerns and ensure that you are seated on an accessible deck.


Boarding. What is "Boarding Time" and "Cruising Time"?

"Boarding Time" is the earliest our guests may board the ship. Typically we begin boarding 1/2 hour prior to the "Cruise Time.” Tickets may be picked up at our dockside kiosk up to one hour prior to the cruise.


Boarding Procedures. What should I expect?

You will be asked to show your ticket. In accordance with US Coast Guard Regulation, all passengers and their belongings being brought on to our vessels are subject to search and screening. In order to expedite the boarding process we ask that you please do not bring any unnecessary bags on board and please make sure that all gifts are in gift bags or unwrapped for easy screening.


Children. Are there any age requirements?

Children are welcome on our lunch and dinner cruises. However, on midnight moonlight cruises all passengers must be 21 years or older with valid photo ID. Children under 3 are complimentary and a discount is offered for children between the ages of 3 and 12 on select Lunch Cruises. Call 866-302-2469 for details.


Coast Guard Regulations. Is the vessel Coast Guard certified?

Yes. All our vessels are Coast Guard certified and maintained regularly to adhere to strict safety regulations.


Dietary Restrictions. Do you accommodate dietary restrictions?

Please check our menu for our vegetarian options. While we offer gluten and allergy free products and gluten sensitive menu items, we openly handle several allergens throughout our galleys. While we take precautions to keep ingredients separate, we cannot guarantee a gluten free environment. We do not have separate prep surfaces, cook tops or equipment. Our chefs prepare and cook in common areas with shared equipment, therefore the items may come in contact with other food products. If you have any other special dietary concerns, please contact your event planner or guest services at 866-302-2469.


Groups. What size group can Spirit of Washington accommodate?

The Spirit of Washington can host parties of two to 500 guests. Groups of 20 or more should contact our group sales department at 866-302-2469 for reservations. Parties of 1-19 guests can make reservations online.


Mount Vernon Excursions. Are there security restrictions at the Mount Vernon estate?

New security measures are in place at the Mount Vernon estate, effective December 14, 2015:

  • All bags/containers larger than 16x16x8 inches are strictly prohibited from the property.
  • All bags/containers will be searched upon arrival.
  • The following items are prohibited:
    • Weapons/firearms, except qualified law enforcement
    • Knives/blades longer than 3.5 inches
    • Flammable liquids, gases and aerosols
    • Fireworks and related materials
    • Other items deemed dangerous or suspicious
    • Food and beverages, except water

Full details are available on the Mount Vernon website under the Guest Bag Inspection Policy & Prohibited Items.


Payment. What type of payment do you accept?

Payment is required in full at the time of the reservation. We accept major credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diner's Club. We also accept traveler's checks, money orders, and certified checks. Please send checks or money orders to the address below:

Spirit of Washington
Pier 4
580 Water Street SW
Washington DC, 20024


Phones. Will my cell phone work on the cruise?

Yes, your cell phone will work on the cruise. For the comfort of other guests, we ask that cell phone conversations be held only on the outside decks.


Refund Policy. Do you offer refunds?

We regret there are no refunds or exchanges. All sales are final. We cruise year-round, rain or shine. In the rare event the Coast Guard prohibits cruising because of weather, we will contact you to make other arrangements.


Rescheduling Policy. What is your rescheduling policy?

All cruise tickets are non-refundable. However, for parties of 19 guests or fewer you may reschedule your cruise free of charge with at least seven days advance notice. If you must reschedule your cruise less than one week prior to the cruise date, you will incur a rebooking fee. For Excursion Cruises, the fee is $5 per person. For Lunch and Moonlight Cruises, the fee is $15 per person. For Dinner Cruises, the fee is $25 per person. The balance of your payment will be held on your account and can be applied toward a future cruise within the next year. All Specialty and Holiday Cruises are non-refundable and non-transferable. For parties larger than 20 please consult the terms of your contract.


Reservations. How can I make reservations for a cruise?

While parties of 19 or fewer are often able to walk up and purchase tickets on the day of a cruise, reservations are highly recommended. You can review pricing and purchase tickets online via our reservations system or by phone.

• Call 866-302-2469 or use our Reservations System to Book your Cruise Online!

Groups of 20 or more call:
• Monday - Friday between 8:30am - 5:30pm

Seasickness. Will I get seasick?

It is highly unlikely. The Spirit of Washington is one of the largest and most stable cruise ships on the Potomac River.


Seating Arrangements. How is seating arranged on board?

Our ships feature cruise style seating. The majority of our tables accommodate four to eight people and guests are sometimes seated with other parties. Review the enhancement packages available on your date for private seating upgrades.


Smoking. What is your smoking policy?

All interior areas of our ship are non-smoking areas. Passengers who smoke may do so on the outdoor observation decks.


Tickets. Where can I pick up the cruise tickets?

Tickets can be conveniently picked up at the dock, up to one hour prior to boarding, on the day of the cruise. The credit card used for purchase and a photo ID will be required.


Transportation. Limo or Sedan to and from the Cruise?

Click here to arrange private sedan or limousine service through our transportation partner, LimoRes.


Weather. Do you sail in inclement weather?

Absolutely. Our ships are fully enclosed and climate-controlled for your comfort. We sail rain or shine all year long.