Q: Why is the DC IT ALL! Tour more expensive?
A: First, it’s twice as long as most other tours in Washington, DC, because we don’t think you can see the whole city in three hours. Second, we hire separate tour guides and drivers. This means you get more personal attention from our tour guide because he doesn’t have to watch the road. You won’t find another tour company in Washington DC where the tour guides accompany you on short walks to see the DC monuments and attractions up close. Third, we don’t sell as many tickets. We keep our groups smaller so that you get a better tour experience. Fourth, starting on March 28, our tour includes a one-hour boat cruise, which is a $27 value! If you need more reasons, see “Why should I take OnBoard DC Shuttle Sightseeing Tour?,” below.
Q: What is your tour schedule?
A: Our six-hour comprehensive tour leaves at 10:00am and returns at 4:00pm every day except New Year’s Day, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day. Our night tours leave at 7:30pm and last three hours. Private tours and tours in other languages, with advance notice, are available any day or time of the year. The RoundAbout runs between 9am and 10pm.
Q: What happens if I arrive late… very close to departure time?
A: Ten minutes before departure we reserve the right to release any reservations as “no shows”. Walkup passengers will be loaded at this time. You could lose your seat to a walkup passenger. We encourage you to arrive at the pickup point a minimum of 20 minutes before departure.
Q: How much time do you spend at each attraction?
A: As you can expect, some landmarks are more time-consuming than others. With this in mind, there is no set time for each attraction. Our Tour Guides are trained to watch how the tour group progresses at each landmark and adjust the tour accordingly. Keep in mind, we still have a lot of sightseeing to do in 6 hours, so we do like to keep the tour group moving. You will have plenty of time to take photos of the landmarks, but our tour is meant to be an overview, so plan to set aside additional time to go back and visit your favorite attractions. The best way to do this is to purchase a RoundAbout ticket for the second day of your trip. It will give you transportation to the monuments.
Q: How does OnBoard DC handle Arlington Cemetery?
A: The short answer is that you will want to allot some time to go back to Arlington Cemetery after your tour. Because of the time constraints of our tour, you will only get a brief glimpse of the cemetery. Arlington Cemetery is a stop on the RoundAbout tour, and then we recommend you purchase a ticket on the National Park Service’s Arlington tour trolley. It will take you to the Kennedy gravesites, Lee Mansion, and to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where we highly recommend you stay to watch a changing of the guard. The DC It All! Tour drives by Arlington Cemetery so that you can learn its history and get a view of the rows of tombstones marking the graves of those who gave their lives for our country.
Q: Do we get to see the Smithsonian?
A: The OnBoard DC It All! Tour drives around the Washington Mall, so you will see the buildings of the Smithsonian, but there is no time to actually tour a museum. We suggest you set aside a full day after your tour to visit your favorite Smithsonian Museums.
Q: Does the OnBoard DC Tour Shuttle stop at every landmark on your itinerary? Do we get out of the shuttle at every attraction?
A: Yes. Traffic permitting, we make a stop at every item listed on the top half of our DC It All! itinerary to provide everyone ample time to walk around and take pictures. The Tour Guide also will get off the shuttle with the group at each stop and provide a historical narrative of the landmark, its architecture, and other tidbits you may have not known about Washington, D.C., and its landmarks. The items on the bottom half of the itinerary will be viewed either from the shuttle or from other nearby attractions.
Q: Didn’t you used to be called Party Shuttle?
A: Yes. We changed our name in January of 2008 to better reflect our business. We now offer a diversity of services, including airport transfers, sightseeing tours, private parties, shuttle rentals, casino trips, and more.
Q: What do we do for lunch on the DC It All! Tour?
A: Food is not included in the tour price. You will have an opportunity to eat lunch, but will have to pay for it separately.
Q: Do you mail me tickets?
A: No. We employ an easy-to-use ticketless reservation system. Your email confirmation is your tour ticket. Thus, there is no reason to deal with the hassles of tickets and mail.
Q: Do you offer private sightseeing tours of Washington, D.C.?
A: Yes we do. We have an array of private sightseeing tours of Washington DC, including shuttle, van, and walking tours for you to choose from, please check out our private tours page. Private tours are also available in many languages. Just call us and ask.
Q: How do I book my OnBoard DC mixed-group tour?
A: Online on our secure server. Click Book a Tour above.
Q: Where do you meet the tour shuttle? Where does the tour start?
A: Our tours start from the Old Post Office Building on Pennsylvania Avenue NW, between 11th and 12th Streets. The shuttle will pull up in front of the Benjamin Franklin statue. The backup location (in case Pennsylvania is closed for a parade) is at 11th & F Street NW in front of ESPN Zone. Your ticketless email confirmation will have this info printed on the bottom so there is no reason to write it down now. We also offer hotel pickup at select hotels in the DC area (call us). The Holiday Inn on C Street and the Grand Hyatt have the most pickup times.
Q: I’m driving a car into Washington, D.C. Where should I park near the tour starting point?
A: There are plenty of parking locations around the National Archives and Old Post Office. The key is to pay no more than $30 for 10 hour parking. Most of the cross streets between 11th and 15th Streets have parking garages just north of Pennsylvania Avenue. The other option would be to choose one of the hotels where our tour picks up and park there. Call to find out where your tour picks up.
Q: What type of vehicles does OnBoard DC Tours operate?
A: We normally use 35-passenger shuttles for our daily mixed-group and night tours. We do not allow customers to pick and choose their vehicles, however we do allow large same-party groups to stay together on one bus. Depending on demand and/or our service schedule, we reserve the right to substitute a full-size motor coach bus with a bathroom on board for our mixed-group tours.
Q: Can I bring my baby stroller or a wheel chair on board?
A: Yes, with advance notice to our office. One of the benefits of the OnBoard DC tour is during the longer walks (which there are not many) one can stay on board the shuttle near the landmark without feeling like they have to get out every time.
Q: Where does the tour end?
A: The tour ends where it began, behind the Old Post Office on Pennsylvania Avenue. From there, you can walk to the Smithsonian, the National Archives, the Ronald Reagan Building, Ford’s Theater, the FBI Building, or even the White House. Of course, there is a Metro subway station across the street that gives you access to all of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area.
Q: What is the age limit for kids pricing?
A: Child prices are for those under 12. Infants under 2 years old may ride for free if they ride in their parent’s lap during the tour. If you feel you would be more comfortable having a seat for your infant, please purchase a child’s ticket.
Q: What additional expenses should we expect?
A: You should plan on paying for lunch, but that is the only other expense of the tour.
Q: Are tips included?
A: No. We ask that you plan to tip your driver and tour guide. A good rule of thumb is 10-15%, or $7.00 to $10.00 per person.
Q: Can we bring carry-on bags on board your shuttle?
A: Although small bags are allowed, we strongly suggest that you leave your bags in your hotel room. Due to security concerns, we reserve the right to search any bags or purses you bring on board. Many of the attractions in Washington, D.C., are now equipped with metal detectors at the entrances. As a result, you will find you are better off without a bag or purse.
Q: Why should I take an OnBoard DC Sightseeing tour?
A: We offer the ONLY comprehensive guided tour in Washington, D.C. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we are just another tour company. Our tour product is unique. No other tour company in DC offers a separate driver and tour guide. Although this makes our tour a little more expensive, it makes it a much better tour. No other tour company has the tour guide walk with you through the various attractions DC has to offer. You will learn much more about the culture, architecture, history, and trivia of Washington DC from our tour than from any other tour in town. Further, our service is better. Why would you pay for a tour and then leave the tour guide behind on the bus when you hop off to look at the attractions? Don’t leave your tour guide behind! We also offer free bottled water on every tour.
Still have questions? Email us at customerservice at OnBoardDCTours.com