The cherry blossoms are blooming, the visitors are shedding their fleece jackets and a new water taxi service launched this week from Old Town Alexandria to the National Mall.
The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association heralded the service, which will ply the Potomac from Old Town docks to a landing spot near the Martin Luther King Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt memorials.
“It’s a really convenient, fun, historic ride that’s only 30 minutes long,” said Patricia Washington, president and chief executive of the tourism bureau. “This is a critical link for those who don’t want to use Metro . . . and once you get [to D.C.], it’s a great walk.”
The Potomac Riverboat Co.’s Miss Sophie will ferry passengers for $14 each way. The ride joins the company’s other water taxi services from Alexandria to National Harbor, Georgetown, Mount Vernon and Nationals Stadium.
About 3 million visitors each year stay in Alexandria, which the city promotes as George Washington’s home town. The attraction of Old Town’s shops and restaurants in buildings that date back to the colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War eras have been good for tourism, and promoters hope that the revitalization of the city’s waterfront, with new hotels, restaurants and parks, will convince more tourists to base their visits there.
“As both sides of the river become more connected, we will see many more people” who want to combine visits to the District’s memorials and museums with Alexandria’s Old Town, Washington said.
The boat will run four to six times a day from the Alexandria city docks near Chart House restaurant. It lands in the District at West Basin and Ohio drives, where there’s a Capital Bikeshare station.