Metal Shark Delivers First Potomac Riverboats
The first two passenger vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for Entertainment Cruises’ Potomac Riverboat Company division have been delivered to Washington, D.C. and are now in service, with more on the way.
The two 149-passenger aluminum catamarans Potomac Taxi I and Potomac Taxi II were designed by BMT Designers and Planners and BMT Nigel Gee, and they feature an environmentally friendly low wake / low wash hull design. The two boats departed Metal Shark’s Franklin, Louisiana shipyard in mid-September, traveled the Gulf of Mexico coastline and crossed Florida via Lake Okeechobee before proceeding northward up the Atlantic coast to Washington, D.C.
Both vessels commenced operations on Thursday, with runs from Georgetown and Alexandria to The Wharf in Washington D.C. for a grand opening ceremony hosting Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and members of the media.
Potomac Riverboat Company
The new vessels will provide commuters in the Washington D.C. metro region with service between Old Town Alexandria, Virginia; National Harbor, Maryland; and Georgetown and The Wharf in Washington, DC. Potomac Riverboat Company parent Entertainment Cruises is the nation’s largest dining and sightseeing cruise company, with a fleet of 30 ships operating in over a dozen major US cities.
“From the start, the Metal Shark team has been professional, organized, diligent and skilled. They have done an excellent job of communicating with our team and working together to keep the project on track,” said Entertainment Cruises CEO Kenneth Svendsen. “We have been pleased with the workmanship and attention to detail by all involved.”
“We commenced construction on these vessels in March and completed them in six months,” said Carl Wegener, Metal Shark’s Director of Commercial Sales. “Metal Shark continues to build on its hard-earned reputation as an industry leader in the rapid, high quality, serialized construction of passenger vessels.”
Metal Shark is also the sole remaining builder of catamarans for NYC Ferry, a service operated by Hornblower on behalf of the city of New York. The firm’s first contract for Hornblower also required a rapid delivery timeline for multiple vessels.