Pirate cruises on area waters are not a new thing for the kids and me, but they are for Washington, DC. Before this spring, adventures on the local high seas required a jaunt out to Annapolis or up to Baltimore. But thanks to the new Boomerang Pirate Ship that sails out of Washington Harbour in Georgetown, buccaneer excursions on the Potomac are accessible right in our backyards.
The kids and I finally took our maiden voyage last week, one of our last hurrahs before summer break ended. (And I say finally, because I’d had Certifikid deals for the venture burning a hole in my pocket since the beginning of the summer.)
Similar to the other pirate cruises we’d experienced, the Boomerang lays out a mission for its visiting crew: to recover stolen treasure from scallywags who pilfered the ship’s booty. But unlike our other adventures, this one is a little more casual and has a bit more of a — for lack of a better word — party vibe. Guests are free to roam around the ship, there’s dancing, there’s face painting, there’s limbo, and…drumroll… there’s beer! (And I feel the need to be clear that I don’t feel alcohol is necessary to enjoy an outing with my kids, but it was a beautiful day out on the water, and when I saw other parents hanging out with cans of Corona, it all just… clicked.)
So, I savored a brew while the kids had a hoot shooting water at the scurvy dog pirate who’d swiped the key to the treasure chest. Once the key was back in the hands of our pirates, the chest was unlocked and all of the little swashbucklers on board got to pick some loot for themselves.
When the cruise ended after a bit over an hour, everyone was happy. And I don’t just mean my little crew; all on board the Boomerang seemed like they had a jolly good time (including those who’d passed on grog). But, really, how could we all not? The kids had a great adventure on the “seas” and the adults enjoyed a pleasant cruise on the river.
And I’ve got to give props to the Boomerang crew, who really bolstered the whole experience. They stayed in character during the entire trip and were friendly, spunky and fun. (Really, how many adults do you know who will dress as pirates and lead a large group of strangers in a dance?) Kudos to them.
So, the logistics: Boomerang Family Fun Treasure Hunt Cruises set sail every weekend at several times throughout the day, with open dates currently available through most of October, plus there are still a couple of weekdays with sail times left this summer. Tickets are $20/person, but Certifikid is still offering their deal for $12 tickets, and many of the other deal sites have discounts as well. It is recommended to book in advance, as many cruises sell out. However, you can try your luck and head there day-of (like we did); if the ship is not full or there is a no-show, they may be able to get you aboard. I also recommend reading the FAQ page to help you plan.