WASHINGTON — It might be a little cold out to take a real cruise down the Potomac River, but a new virtual tour can remind you of the waterway’s beauties from your own home.
The Chesapeake Conservancy has released a virtual tour of the Potomac River comprising nearly a half-million 360-degree images taken from a pontoon boat operated by Richmond-based Terrain360.com.
The tour covers the north and south branches of the river, allows viewers to pick the sections of the river and the vantage points they want to see, and is intended to remind people of the beauty of the river — and its fragility.
“The recovery of the Potomac River over the last 50 years, from when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared it a ‘national disgrace,’ gives us great hope,” conservancy president and CEO Joel Dunn said in a statement, “… but we must remain vigilant about pollution and land use changes.”
Ryan Abrahamsen, the co-founder of Terrain360, said that during their travels, the photo crew had “quite an adventure.”
The crew counted more than 160 bald eagles, were stopped by the Coast Guard three times — “understandably so with our odd looking pontoon and equipment traveling on this river that flows through the heart of our nation’s capital” — and almost lost their boat in a squall at Colonial Beach, Abrahamsen said.
Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."