Fall Color Cruises Offer Unique Perspective On Autumnal Splendor Of Tennessee River Gorge

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - by Casey Phillips

At any time of year, a cruise aboard the River Gorge Explorer into the protected habitat of the Tennessee River Gorge offers a stunning perspective on its striking geography and abundant wildlife.

Beginning in mid-October, however, the view gets even more spectacular as autumnal hues cascade down the mountainside like Mother Nature is slowly bumping up the color saturation for the whole region. Aquarium guests have more opportunities to enjoy the sights with daily two-hour excursions and special extended cruises planned for three upcoming Sundays.   

This year’s River GORGEous fall color cruises return on Oct. 22 and will occur twice each Sunday through Nov. 5. With peak fall color foliage expected to reach the lower Tennessee Valley from late October to mid-November, these special cruises should show a natural wonder truly living up to the title, says Captain Pete Hosemann.

“I have seen the canyon just in the most incredibly fiery colors of autumn that you can imagine,” said Mr. Hosemann, who has piloted vessels for about 40 years. “I’ve seen some pretty amazing and glorious days. This year? I think we’re going to have some nice foliage, and the canyon offers the greatest variation in coloration that you can find in this region.”

Nicknamed “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon,” the Tennessee River Gorge is the fourth largest river canyon east of the Mississippi River. It straddles the Tennessee River for 26 winding miles. Because of the way sunlight falls on this sinuous geography, the canyon is home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life. During the cruise, an on-board naturalist will point out passing animal life and discuss locations with historical or cultural significance.

A normal River Gorge Explorer cruise takes guests on a two-hour, 24-mile round trip.  River GORGEous Fall Color Cruises offer an extended journey that lasts three hours and 34 miles.

“We run the entire length of the canyon. That alone is pretty special,” Mr. Hosemann said. “We try to imbue our crew with the recognition that, although we are fortunate enough to do this on a regular basis, on literally every trip, it’s someone’s first boat ride or chance to see our area. That’s a privilege.”

In addition to the normal Fall Color Cruises, this year’s schedule includes two themed journeys. On Oct. 29, guests can learn more about efforts to preserve the gorge from a member of the Tennessee River Gorge Trust. On Nov. 5, historian Jim Ogden will provide insights into the role the gorge and surrounding landscape played during the Civil War.

Fall Color Cruise departs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Oct. 22Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Special themed cruises are at 1 p.m. on their respective dates. Morning cruises depart from Chattanooga Pier, with passengers bussing back to Chattanooga at the trip’s conclusion. Afternoon cruises begin with a charter bus ride from Chattanooga to Hale’s Bar Marina with passengers cruising back to Chattanooga.

Tickets for children or adults are $40/$50 for members or $50/$60 for non-members. Because of the popularity of Fall Color Cruises, pre-registration is strongly recommended.

For more information or to reserve a seat, visit http://www.tnaqua.org/plan-your-visit/river-gorge-explorer/fall-color-cruises/



2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide Honors Civil Rights Icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development today released its 2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide. The cover features an inspiring, artistic rendering of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with the Lorraine Motel, the site of his assassination, which is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum. Fifty years ago, Dr. King was in Memphis, where he marched with striking ... (click for more)

What's New In Tennessee Travel For 2018

Tourism in Tennessee continues to expand with new attractions, impressive state-of-the-art developments and milestone anniversary celebrations of iconic attractions that help shape “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” 2018 marks several milestones in Tennessee, including honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum on the ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Hamilton County Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Hamilton County Schools will be closed  on Thursday " due to areas of the county with too much ice still on the roads for buses to pass safely.    “The roads in many areas of the county ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)