Metal Shark delivers vessels to D.C.

The first two passenger vessels built by Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark for Entertainment Cruises’ Potomac Riverboat Co. division have been delivered to Washington, D.C., and are now in service, Metal Shark said in a news release.

Ship-building, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says employed nearly 1,100 people in St. Mary as recently as two years ago, continues to boost a local economy stung by low energy prices.

The two 88-foot, 149-passenger high speed aluminum catamaran vessels Potomac Taxi I and Potomac Taxi II departed Metal Shark’s Franklin 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 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.

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. Above all else, we can tell Metal Shark has a commitment to process and to doing things the right way.”

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