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  12:34 p.m. July 11, 2012
Tennessee Riverboat Cruises: Romantic Cruises or Family Adventures
By Jeaneane Payne

Tennessee offers a variety of leisure riverboat cruises on its waterways. Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville, and Memphis all have riverboats or steamboats to take you on Tennessee rivers to view beautiful scenery and wildlife, enjoy live entertainment and a great meal, or learn about the history of the Civil War in our great state. Archaeological evidence along the cruise routes tells the stories of the various Native American cultures who inhabited this river valley for over 10,000 years. Cruise in the wake of the early pioneers who had to overcome rapids, shoals, whirlpools and the formidable Chickamaugas. See the famous Body Farm. Pause and reflect in remembrance of the many that perished on the Trail of Tears.

Southern Belle Riverboat - Chattanooga, TN

A 1-1/2 hour boat cruise along the Tennessee River takes passengers back in time as history of this southern belle riverboatregion is narrated on a daytime adventure. Visitors learn about the Confederate and Union armies coming together as well as the history of Lookout Mountain.

The Southern Belle also offer daily lunch cruises in season. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Tennessee River while enjoy a relaxing afternoon meal.

This Chattanooga river boat has a nightly dinner cruise featuring delicious prime rib while providing live entertainment and a nighttime tour of the Tennessee River.

A moonlight cruise is also offered which includes a meal at Pier 2 @ the Landing before boarding the Southern Belle for a 1-1/2 hour moonlight cruise with dancing and relaxing under the stars.

Daily from May through October, the Southern Belle Dinner Cruise offers a cruise down the scenic Tennessee River as you dine at one of their famous buffets. Live entertainment guarantees a toe tappin' good time! A fully equipped cash bar is available to wet your whistle. Sweet Tea, coffee and water are table service, along with a tempting dessert. The cruise is also offered on certain dates from February through April.

Tennessee Riverboat Company - Knoxville, TN

Depending on the day of the week, you can experience a cruise down the Tennessee River to the tune of songs from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and today while you enjoy a dinner buffet or enjoy a romantic tennessee riverboatand elegant dinner cruise.

On Monday evening, you can hear live Gospel music aboard the riverboat as passengers enjoy a buffet dinner and an opportunity to fellowship with like-minded people.

For country music lovers, a dinner cruise features some of the best local country entertainers in the areas while passengers enjoy a Southern Buffet with pulled pork barbecue, Cajun chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, corn, baked beans, baked apples, fresh baked rolls, coffee, tea and dessert.

An elegant and romantic cruise consists of very versatile groups playing a variety of music for your listening and dancing pleasure. This dinner cruise features a delicious slow roasted prime rib buffet with baked breast of chicken, tossed garden salad, baked potato, fresh garden vegetables, green beans, fresh baked rolls, coffee, tea and dessert.

A daily lunch cruise features a full lunch buffet as the Captain gives an informative commentary on the Tennessee River as well as the "Star of Knoxville."

The General Jackson Showboat - Nashville, TN

Named after President Andrew Jackson, whose historic home, the Hermitage, is only 10 minutes general jackson showboatfrom the dock, the General Jackson Showboat has a rich history in its nearly 26-year existence. At 77 feet tall and with the capacity of 1,200 passengers and 182 crew members, the Showboat is the largest of its kind in the world. It offers midday and evening cruises year-round with exceptional dining and entertainment options, including country music, parties and special event cruises.

The 300-foot paddlewheel riverboat is one of the largest showboats in the country. It has four massive decks with a beautiful two-story Victorian Theater located in the center of the boat where live music shows are performed. Both midday and evening cruises offer a variety of entertainment options throughout the year.

Tennessee Aquarium cruises - Chattanooga, TN

The Tennessee Aquarium's 70-passenger, hydrofoil-assisted vessel is the first of its kind to operate tennessee aquarium cruiseson an inland waterway in North America. Four water jets transport guests smoothly and swiftly along the Tennessee River on its River Gorge Explorer Cruises. Angled seating allows each guest to relax in the climate-controlled cabin and enjoy the scenic beauty and wildlife through oversized windows.

Two cruise options allow guests to enjoy very different experiences. Visitors may choose a downstream adventure into "Tennessee's Grand Canyon" or an upstream excursion tracing some unique aspects of Chattanooga's colorful timeline. All cruises are led by Aquarium naturalists who bring the area's rich history to life and share animal expertise while pointing out wildlife along the way. Passengers have plenty of time to enjoy the topside observation deck while taking in the scenery on each cruise.

Relax and enjoy the culture, history and natural beauty of the Tennessee Valley from the water.

Head upstream to discover the little-known history along the route between the Aquarium and the Chickamauga Dam on the Seven Bridges Cruise. Wildlife sightings and the river's untamed side comes into view as you pass the seven bridges that helped shape the Scenic City.

On the River Gorge Cruise, you will travel downstream past the foot of Lookout Mountain and into "Tennessee's Grand Canyon." Cruise between the mountain slopes of a protected habitat that's home to an amazing array of plants and animals. Learn how the river and terrain played a pivotal role in the Civil War.

Blue Moon Cruises on the Tennessee River - Chattanooga, TN

The Blue Moon, a luxury Chattanooga riverboat is a 70-foot, luxury Skipperliner vessel always ready fblue moon cruisesor an adventure on the Tennessee River. This dual deck skipper provides plenty of open space on its upper deck while the lower deck has an enclosed climate controlled area as well as an open viewing area on the forward deck.

From all levels and areas of the vessel you have clear views of the Tennessee River with plenty of opportunities to see the abundant wildlife along the river. This relaxed-pace cruise includes a knowledgeable and friendly naturalist crew who are always within close range to answer questions and point out wildlife sightings.

If you prefer an evening cruise, venture into the Tennessee River Gorge from the Chattanooga waterfront. A 2-1/2 hour cruise around Williams Island is offered in Spring, Summer, and Fall. As you cruise, you will be able to enjoy historical narration by Captain Dave on Native Americans, the War Between the States, and other fascinating local history.

A slow, relaxing pace and on-board binoculars allow opportunities to view the diverse wildlife along the river. The lights of the city and nighttime on the river set a serene and magical atmosphere for the return trip.

The intimate atmosphere along with the view of the Tennessee River Gorge and Chattanooga's city lights makes this an unforgettable private-yacht experience.

Hear fascinating stories of early navigation of the Tennessee River Gorge, view wildlife in their natural habitat, and take in the incredible views of Tennessee's Grand Canyon on an eco-tour. This 2-1/2 hour cruise is available between March 7, 2012 - November 25, 2012.

Chattanooga River Cruises run April through December. Enjoy the breath-taking beauty of the 27,000 acre canyon carved out by 26 miles of the Tennessee River over thousands of years. It is the fourth largest river canyon east of the Mississippi and the only large river canyon bordering a mid-size city. The diverse landscape of the gorge provides habitats for more than a thousand varieties of plants, ferns, trees, grasses and flowers as well as a rich wildlife population. Nearly 200 different species of birds inhabit "Tennessee's Grand Canyon.".

Pickwick Belle - Jackson, TN

pickwick belleThe Pickwick Belle is an authentic paddlewheel riverboat offering a variety of cruises on the Tennessee River from her home port of Decatur, Alabama. The Belle is 90 ft. long and 20 ft. wide with a 1,000 sq. ft. dining room, a galley, and open upper deck for sightseeing. The boat is staffed by 3 sailors, 2 chefs, 3 attendants and can hold up to 149 passengers.

Public cruises include Civil War lunch and dinner cruises, Fall Foliage cruise, lock cruises, family night cruise, senior nit cruises, school trips, and a bluegrass and BBQ cruise.

Captain Nelson RiverShip Cruises - Nashville

Somewhere between houseboat rentals and a private yacht charter is the river ship VAGABUM; a 65', captain nelson cruisesall steel, any weather, ocean-experienced, mini-ship available for an extremely unique and exciting boating experience on the beautiful Cumberland River & Old Hickory Lake from the Port of Hendersonville around Nashville, TN.

VAGABUM provides all of the amenities of a houseboat and all the luxury of your own private yacht. From the huge air-conditioned Salon for a special event, or any unique dining experience on the lake, to multiple decks for sunbathing, jumping in the lake, enjoying the lake breeze, or just a peaceful boat ride, VAGABUM is an ideal venue for boating enthusiasts, corporate retreats, dinner cruises, or any private event, far surpassing any boat rental experience one could imagine.

Captain Nelson RiverShip Cruises provides a one-of-a-kind boating excursion up and down the beautiful waters of Nashville's scenic and historical Old Hickory Lake. Imagine a Nashville tour like no other where you can cruise the lake to see home-sites of the stars: Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette, Taylor Swift, Gary Allen, Lorrie Morgan, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith and many others. Plus, step back into history to see the honeymoon cabin site of Rachel and President Andrew Jackson and Rock Castle, the home of General Daniel Smith that named Tennessee.

NavCal River Rides - Knoxville, TN

NavCal provides history/sightseeing cruises on the Tennessee River in Knoxville. Aboard the boat, you will learn the history of the area during the steamboat/Civil War era and see the world famous Body Farm.

nav cal river ridesThis enjoyable 90 minute narrated sightseeing/history cruise takes you up and down the most beautiful part of the Tennessee River.

Evening sightseeing cruises are offered on Saturday at 7:30 May through October.

NavCal offers longer distance cruises that most any other vessel in the East Tennessee area.

Travel 46 miles round trip to Louisville, TN and back at a relaxing speed of about 10 miles per hour. You may bring a lunch to eat at Louisville Marina or go to Louisville Marina Restaurant for lunch. This cruise is designed to show you some of the prettier homes and sights along the upper part of the Tennessee River at a relaxing pace.

A 92 mile round trip to Ft. Loudon Marina travels at a more brisk speed of about 15 miles per hour. You may bring a lunch or dine at Calhoun's at Ft. Loudon Marina for lunch. On this trip you will see more of the river and the approaches to the Fort Loudon lock. You will also see Ft. Loudon Marina, The Watts Bar Belle, and Calhoun's restaurant on the water in the interesting marina area.

A two-day cruise to Spring City and back is a 206 mile trip with one lock through each way. Meals and an overnight stay at Arrowhead Resort and Marine before the return trip are at your expense of passengers. You will pass through the Ft. Loudon lock with its 75 foot drop/lift and spend the night at the picturesque Arrowhead Resort and Marina. You will see 46 miles of Ft. Loudon Lake and 57 miles of of Watts Bar Lake while passing through Loudon, Kingston, and the mouth of the Clinch River.

A two-day cruise to Chattanooga is a 184 mile trip with three lock throughs. This trip will cover the most beautiful part of the Tennessee River all the way to downtown Chattanooga and the Tennessee Aquarium. In addition to Ft. Loudon lock you will pass through Watts Bar and Chickamauga locks. You will pass through the Tennessee Wildlife Refuge on the Hiwassee River with all of its interesting bird life.

A four-day cruise to Chattanooga and back is a 368 mile trip with three lock throughs each way. Meals and overnight stays at Arrowhead Resort and Marina and Chattanooga are at your expense.This is the longest trip at this time for the really serious cruiser. This trip gives you twice the opportunities for photographs.

mississippi river steamboat cruiseMississippi River Steamboat Cruise - Memphis

There's no more unique way to enjoy a Mississippi river cruise and experience the history, heritage and culture of America's heartland than a voyage aboard a genuine steamboat like the American Queen. Stroll through charming towns and vibrant Mississippi river cities. Explore historic ports of call like New Orleans, Natchez, Mark Twain's Hannibal, Chattanooga and Pittsburgh, just to name a few. Along the way, you'll learn about the great events and people that have contributed to America's history and culture.


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