Things to Do

4 Crab, Beer, and Brunch Cruises on the Potomac

What more could you want on a warm August day?

For years, the boats Spirit and Odyssey have sailed the Potomac River, offering dinner cruises. But dinner isn’t the only thing on their menus these days.

On Saturday, August 16, Spirit is hosting a lunchtime Crab Leg Feast Cruise. An all-you-can-eat buffet includes snow crab legs, herb-roasted chicken, Gouda mac and cheese, corn on the cob, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, and a salad bar. The regular price is $79.67 a person, but use the promo code “August” to receive a 20 percent discount. To get the deal, call 866-404-8439 or make reservations on their website.

Is beer more your thing? On Sunday, August 17, the nighttime Odyssey DC Beer Week Cruise will offer samples of craft brews from Brewery Ommegang and Boulevard Brewing Company, along with food by New York chef Eric LeVine, the 2011 Food Network Chopped champ. While a DJ provides entertainment, passengers can munch on such fare as antipasti, Caesar salad, parmesan-crusted chicken, boneless short ribs, mustard-crusted tilapia, and black peppercorn sirloin. Desserts include tiramisu shooters, cannoli, and mini fruit tarts. The price is $95 for a standard ticket, $120 for a VIP ticket that allows boarding an hour early, at 5 PM. For reservations, go to the Odyssey Cruises website or call 866-306-2469.

The Odyssey is offering a two-hour Jazz Brunch Cruise on Sunday, August 24. The buffet features choices like scrambled eggs with aged Wisconsin cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, hash browns, Belgian waffles, smoked salmon, strawberries-and-cream French toast, penne primavera, and chocolate fondue. Live jazz will be served up by David Cole & Main Street Blues. Regular tickets are $91.48 per adult, but use the promo code “August” to receive 20 percent off. To get the deal, call 866-404-8439 or reserve online.

Can’t make any of those dates? Consider Spirit’s popular Mount Vernon Excursion, offered regularly through October. Guests board the ship in Southwest DC at 8 AM for a 90-minute, narrated cruise to George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. Once there, you have three hours to explore the estate and grounds (Mount Vernon offers a discounted admission for Spirit passengers), before the return voyage. Priced at $45.95 for adults and $39.95 per child (ages 3 through 12), the Spirit of Mount Vernon Tour runs Tuesday through Sunday until August 31, then Friday through Sunday through October 26, with Monday holiday cruises on both September 1 and October 13. Kids cruise free in August (one free child per paying adult); to get this deal, you must call 866-404-8439. For other reservations, call 866-302-2469 or reserve online.

Also through the end of August, use the promo code “August” to receive 20 percent off regular dining cruises aboard Spirit or Odyssey. To get the deal, call 866-404-8439 or see the website.

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Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986. She is the editor in charge of such consumer topics as travel, fitness, health, finance, and beauty, as well as the editor who handles such cover stories as Great Places to Work, Best of Washington, Day Trips, Hidden Gems, Bikes and Hikes, Fairs and Festivals, Great Small Towns, and the Washington Bucket List. She lives in Arlington.