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/



Airbnb Announces Home Sharing Tax Agreement With Tennessee

Airbnb, a community driven hospitality company, announced a statewide tax agreement with the Tennessee Department of Revenue that will allow the company to collect and remit state and local sales taxes on behalf of its 7,700 Tennessee hosts.   With the tax agreement in place, the state will be able to fully capitalize on people visiting Tennessee and staying longer ... (click for more)

A Party In The Sky Celebrates Natural Aviators With IMAX Film, Crafts, Games And Animal Encounters

From Atlas Beetles’ ponderous lift off to Starlings’ gracefully synchronized aerial maneuvering, Conquest of the Skies 3D  covers the full gamut of natural flight. On  Jan. 27 , the newest film to fill the IMAX 3D Theater’s six-story screen gets even more incredible thanks to A Party in the Sky. This one-time event will feature pre- and post-screening activities that ... (click for more)

Prosecutor Says Brewer Was Driving 80 And Was High On Meth At Time Of Horrific Wreck At Ooltewah Exit; Defense Says There Is No Evidence Of Intoxication

A prosecutor on Monday told a Criminal Court jury from Nashville that Benjamin Scott Brewer Brewer was driving 80 mph, was high on meth and never hit his brakes when he caused an horrific wreck on June 25, 2015, at the Ooltewah exit of I-75. Crystle Carrior asked the jury to find Brewer guilty of six counts of vehicular homicide by intoxication, four counts of reckless aggravated ... (click for more)

2 Top Officials Leave Administration Of Sheriff Eric Watson

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson on Sunday announced the resignations of Chief Deputy Brian Smith and Director of Administrations Arnold Botts. He said they "served with distinction for the past four years." The Sheriff's Office said, "Smith notified Sheriff Watson that he is exploring business opportunities in the private sector, while Botts mentioned the timing was right ... (click for more)

General Bell: This Government Shutdown Is Outrageous

The day before yesterday two Army Apache Attack Helicopter pilots were killed in a crash during training at Fort Irwin, Ca.  The pilots and their unit were preparing for a future deployment to combat operations.    As a result of the government shutdown, none of the spouses or families of these pilots will receive a dime from the United States Government in immediate ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Rebranding & ‘Culture’

My grandfather, who ran several very successful businesses, was a very astute fellow. I can’t tell you how many times he said, “The worst thing any salesman who calls on a business can say is, ‘I am here to save you some money.’ That’s not true -- In every instance they are in front of you hoping to make some money for themselves, else they would have never come by.” Another ... (click for more)