• USS Potomac

  • One of the most interesting historical attractions in Oakland, CA has to be the grand USS Potomac. Located at 540 Water Street Oakland, CA 94607, the USS Potomac serves as an enduring item to showcase the legacy of one of the most famous United States presidents in history. Let’s take a look at why you should visit this amazing ship if you’re in or planning to visit the Oakland, CA area, and what makes this boat such an important historical item. 

    uss potomac

    The USS Potomac was originally commissioned as a Coast Guard cutter under the name USCG Electra in 1934. The Electra mainly served a role catching civilian submarines that were transporting contraband into the country. She was renamed the USS Potomac on January 30, 1936 to replace the USS Sequoia due to the fire hazards that the Sequoia presented to the president. To make the ship ready for use as a presidential yacht, the government invested $60,000 into upgrades and remodeling to add things like ramps for President Roosevelt’s wheelchair. 

    The ship mainly served as a vessel for informal occasions such as fishing trips or more casual meetings with world leaders like King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. It was rumored to have been used for signing particular laws and documents and was also used to deliver some of his fireside chats. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Yacht saw less usage due to its potential as a target. It did play a role in the making of the Atlantic Charter and was decommissioned after Roosevelt’s death. It served as a fishery enforcement boat until the ’60s, where it was sold to private buyers and traded hands a number of times until being sunk during a drug bust in the ’80s. The Navy re-floated the ship and sold it to the Port of Oakland, where it now resides today. 

    The major attraction that the USS Potomac offers are cruises up and down the San Francisco Bay. The cruises are offered at many points in the year, with 3 – 4 scheduled cruises per month. The cruises usually cost around $50, though you should check before you plan on one. They also usually tend to take 2-3 hours depending on which cruise you decide to take. There are also charted cruises they offer for parties of up to 120 people. This makes the ship the perfect venue for a wedding reception, graduation party, or any other special occasion you might have in Oakland, CA. 

    Dockside tours of the ship are also offered and are a much quicker, more frequent, and cheaper alternative to the cruises. They usually cost about $10, but cheaper rates are available for kids too. They are held usually on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 2:30 PM. However, it’s always advisable that you call ahead. 

    If you plan on visiting the Oakland area and want to see or ride in a historic ship that is an important part of our cultural heritage, you need to check out the USS Potomac. 

    Getting to Central Bay Roofing & Restoration from USS Potomac

    via I-880 S

    • Get on I-880 S from Clay St and 5th St
    • Head north toward Clay St
    • Turn right toward Clay St
    • Turn left onto Clay St
    • Continue straight to stay on Clay St
    • Turn right onto 4th St
    • Turn left onto Washington St
    • Turn right onto 5th St
    • Use the left lane to take the ramp onto I-880 S
    • Continue on I-880 S. Drive to Clement Ave in Alameda
    • Merge onto I-880 S
    • Take exit 39B toward Kennedy St
    • Continue onto Kennedy St
    • Turn right onto 23rd Ave
    • At 7-Eleven, continue onto 29th Ave/Park St
    • Turn right onto Clement Ave