How you can cruise the Potomac on a vintage yacht this summer (with great food)

The Patriot is a 72-foot 1961 Burger Motor Yacht, originally built as “Sis W” for the Walgreen family. It has a large deck, sky bridge and two salons, and was most recently re-outfitted in 2021. (Courtesy Vintage Yacht Charters)
The Patriot is a 72-foot 1961 Burger Motor Yacht, originally built as “Sis W” for the Walgreen family. It has a large deck, sky bridge and two salons, and was most recently re-outfitted in 2021.

The Independence is a 42-foot Bruno & Stillman Down East style yacht from 1976 that was re-outfitted in 2021, with mahogany interior and exterior finishes and marble bar countertops. (Courtesy Vintage Yacht Charters)
The Independence is a 42-foot Bruno & Stillman Down East style yacht from 1976 that was re-outfitted in 2021, with mahogany interior and exterior finishes and marble bar countertops.

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The Patriot is a 72-foot 1961 Burger Motor Yacht, originally built as “Sis W” for the Walgreen family. It has a large deck, sky bridge and two salons, and was most recently re-outfitted in 2021. (Courtesy Vintage Yacht Charters)
The Independence is a 42-foot Bruno & Stillman Down East style yacht from 1976 that was re-outfitted in 2021, with mahogany interior and exterior finishes and marble bar countertops. (Courtesy Vintage Yacht Charters)

Two vintage yachts start private tours on the Potomac River this month, and the owners have partnered with Chef Bin Lu, formerly of Bourbon Steak, Cityzen and Pineapple & Pearls, to develop the onboard menus.

Vintage Yacht Charters books private charters starting at $2,000 for four-hour cruises. Both depart from either D.C.’s Navy Yard or the Wharf District, and can utilize other Potomac River waterfronts as well.

The Independence is a 42-foot Bruno & Stillman Down East style yacht from 1976 that was re-outfitted in 2021, with mahogany interior and exterior finishes and marble bar countertops. It has seating for up to 12 guests throughout the salon, deck house, aft cockpit and bow deck.

The Patriot is a 72-foot 1961 Burger Motor Yacht, originally built as “Sis W” for the Walgreen family. It has a large deck, sky bridge and two salons, and was most recently re-outfitted in 2021.

Independence is available for private cruises through November. Patriot is available through New Year’s Day. Both are also available for dockside receptions that can accommodate more guests.

Cruises include cocktail parties, brunch, lunch, dinner and wine tastings. They are available for multiday, luxury live aboard stays.

Washington native Capt. Tommie Williams, a retired corporate operations executive with 20 years of boating experience, started her chartering business in 2018. She partnered with Boston native Nick Dowling, a hospitality entrepreneur, to launch Vintage Yacht Charters.

Chef Lu was hired by Pineapple & Pearls owner Aaron Silverman to help open the restaurant, and became head chef during his five-year tenure, helping the restaurant maintain four stars from The Washington Post as well as two Michelin stars.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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