Why sit in D.C. site visitors when you may breeze proper by it? WTOP’s Jason Fraley took a summer season cruise with “Whitlow’s on Water.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley cruises with Whitlow’s on Water (Part 1)

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Take a summer season tiki cruise with DC views aboard Whitlow’s on Water

Whitlow’s on Wilson was identified for late-night dance events and Bloody Mary brunches the following morning.

However, proprietor Jon Williams was compelled to shut the beloved bar in Clarendon, Virginia, through the pandemic in 2021, earlier than opening a brand new D.C. location in Shaw on U Street NW in 2023.

Along the best way, he saved the enterprise afloat by launching the cruise line Whitlow’s on Water earlier this yr.

“Lots of the stuff that’s hanging up and the decorations (on the boat) are from the rooftop in Arlington,” Williams mentioned, pointing to varied surfboards and cocktail indicators. “When the one in Arlington closed, the ‘Jacks’ approached me about capturing the tiki vibe from the rooftop there on a ship and I assumed it was an exquisite thought.”

The aforementioned “Jacks” are ingesting buddies turned enterprise companions, Jack Maher and Jack Walten, who’ve been associates since preschool in Arlington, Virginia, earlier than rising as much as cofound Sea Suite Cruises.

“The Skipjacks, that’s us!” Maher mentioned.

“It’s extra like Captain Jack Sparrow,” Walten mentioned.

Together, they cofounded Sea Suite Cruises in 2018 as an extension of the Potomac Paddle Club, earlier than including extra boats in new waterfront cities. Today, Whitlow’s on Water is the crown jewel of their fleet of 17 boats which might be docked throughout Annapolis and Baltimore in Maryland, Richmond, Virginia and, in fact, D.C.

“It was a drunk concept that we had,” Maher mentioned.

“We really emailed it to ourselves somewhat north of midnight to ensure we didn’t neglect. … As we began constructing out extra boats, extra areas, we had simply gotten a tiki boat on the identical time that Whitlow’s was closing. Jack and I, being Whitlow’s guys, we have been fairly distraught on a private stage that it was closing, so we wished to carry that to life on the water.”

“Jack and I actually went to each single mug evening on the Whitlow’s tiki rooftop, which is the place the concept form of advanced from,” Walten mentioned. “We at all times known as our boat ‘The Beach Inside the Beltway’ and the Whitlow’s rooftop had a really related idea, so we thought why don’t we carry our ideas collectively?”

Docked in Georgetown on the weekdays and Navy Yard on weekends, the boat travels the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, serving as much as 500 folks per day and an estimated whole of 40,000 folks by the top of this yr.

“We really launched proper round St. Patrick’s Day this yr for the cherry blossoms,” Walten mentioned.

“Since then, the bookings have exploded, we’ve accomplished very properly on the weekends, and now even our weekdays are filling up with company groups, birthday events. … This boat can be considerably of a floating sports activities bar. We have TVs on right here, so we’ve had a whole lot of watch events, we had an excellent turnout for the Masters, in addition to the NBA Finals, NHL Playoffs.”

Baseball followers may even get dropped off at Nats Park, turning tailgating into “sail-gating.”

“You can see Nats Park from the water, which is tremendous cool, particularly when there’s a sport happening, you’ll hear the crack of the bat and the roar of the group,” Maher mentioned.

“Lots of instances if you’re in Nats Park, you form of neglect that the river is correct behind you, so it’s cool seeing the flip aspect. … For choose Nats video games, we do ‘Nats Sail-gate’ the place you tailgate your method from Georgetown and get dropped off by the ballpark proper earlier than sport time.”

The 50-foot Whitlow’s on Water could be booked for each group cruises and particular person ticketing for company.
(Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises)

Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises

Whitlow's on Water floats along the Potomac River
Whitlow’s on Water floats alongside the Potomac River close to Georgetown.
(Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises)

Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises

Whitlow's on Water.
Whitlow’s on Water.
(WTOP/Jason Fraley)

WTOP/Jason Fraley

Thanks to a partnership with Sea Suite Cruises, Whitlow’s has taken to the water.
(Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises)

Courtesy Sea Suite Cruises

Best of all, you get to journey round D.C. with out having to take a seat in site visitors, wanting up on the pissed off commuters trapped of their vehicles on the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge because the boat casually cruises beneath.

“Lots of people don’t view the town from the river, but it surely’s a totally completely different perspective,” Williams mentioned. “You’re taking place the river and also you see the folks caught in site visitors. I, myself, have been driving dwelling and regarded over and have seen the boat cruises. It’s such a cool expertise, it’s so laid again, you’ve received reggae music enjoying, you may sit on the bar, have a drink.”

The boat holds as much as 47 passengers for particular person tickets or personal occasions for teams of 25 or extra.

Guests can select an all-inclusive voyage with alcohol included within the value or a normal pay-as-you-go strategy with a menu that features tiki rum punch, orange crushes, High Noon vodka exhausting seltzers and even their very own unique beer, Sea Suite Cruises Lager, brewed domestically at Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, Virginia.

“Everybody loves a waterfront bar, proper?” Maher mentioned.

“Being bodily on the water, cruising previous the monuments, notably at golden hour with the whole lot simply shimmering, it’s actually fairly serene. … We may not be operating the federal government or fixing the world’s points in numerous industries or what not, however we’re an outlet for individuals who do, to decompress and unwind. It’s a low-cost method to get on a very nice boat that’s not pretentious.”

“We actually attempt to offer nice brews with monumental views,” Walten mentioned. “The views from the water are simply spectacular. Jack and I grew up right here and I by no means actually received on the water as a child, however once we began the boat enterprise, it was seeing the town from an entire new perspective with a beer in your hand. What’s higher than that?”

Find more information here.

WTOP’s Jason Fraley cruises with Whitlow’s on Water (Part 2)

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