$25 for One Guided Tour for Four of the USS Potomac: FDR's Presidential Yacht (Up to $40 Value)

Oakland

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$40 38% $15
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In a Nutshell

Dockside tours of Franklin Roosevelt's "Floating White House" provide stunning sights and insight into FDR's life

The Fine Print

Expires Dec 31st, 2013. Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as a gift. Limit 1 per visit. Subject to weather conditions. Call Visitor Center in advance to verify that tours are available on chosen date. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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The Deal

  • $25 for a guided tour of the USS Potomac: FDR's Presidential Yacht (up to a $40 value)

Tours are held on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours depart up until 2:45 p.m., and are subject to weather conditions. Tours are approximately 45 minutes long, and feature a 15-minute video prior to the tour.

USS Potomac

Most presidents don't have yachts these days. Perhaps they're content with schooners, Air Force Ones, and secret teleporters. But Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a yacht that he treasured to his dying day. The USS Potomac isn't the type of seacraft that ferries playboys sipping mimosas and listening to Hall and Oates. It's a former Coast Guard cutter Electra boasting 416 tons of inertia designed for up to 30 knots of cruising speed; it's intended for authoritarian command. When the Squire of Hyde Park held the reins, the 165-foot vessel played host to political meetings, the very first visit of the British monarchy, and fishing trips, and it even served as a decoy while FDR and Churchill crafted the Atlantic Charter between games of Marco Polo. But when he passed, his sweet ship suffered decades of neglect. But when he passed, his sweet ship suffered decades of neglect. Thanks to Elvis Presley, and his mother's fondness of FDR, the ship was rescued and given to Danny Thomas as a fund raiser for St. Jude's Hospital.

From good works to bad...the Potomac wound up busted by the DEA for running drugs between Mexico and San Francisco Bay, and it was impounded at Treasure Island where she sank. Later the Potomac, in gnarly condition, sat on the Oakland Estuary mud flats for 12 more years. Rotting and rusted the once "Queen of the Potomac" was finally rescued and restored between 1983 and 1995.

Now docked at Jack London Square where landlubbers savor dockside tours, the floating testament to the New Deal maker also departs on chartered cruises and history tours. The expert docents give the full dossier on the FDR, his buoyant baby, and the history of San Francisco Bay as tour-goers soak in the sights and high seas.

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