Lil Travel Folks is supported by its readers. If you purchase through a link on my site, I may earn a commission. Learn more
Chattanooga is about 2 hours away from our home town of Nashville, and we love to take in the Chattanooga boat tours!
Chattanooga, a charming city nestled in the beautiful landscape of Tennessee, offers some of the most breathtaking sights and experiences, including its highly acclaimed boat tours.
For us, there’s no better way to fully immerse ourselves in the serene beauty of the Tennessee River than by hopping on one of these delightful river cruises. As we gently glide along the water, we’re captivated by the picturesque scenery that unfolds before our eyes, making it a truly memorable experience.
When we decide to take a Chattanooga boat tour, we’re spoiled for choice with a variety of options available. From relaxing sightseeing cruises on the iconic Southern Belle Riverboat to the personalized private tours offered by Blue Heaven River Tours, there’s something for every taste and preference. As we set sail, we can revel in the live narration that shares interesting stories and historical facts about this enchanting city.
Regardless of which boat tour we choose, one thing remains the same – the awe-inspiring panoramas of Chattanooga’s natural beauty and cityscape.
So, next time you find yourself in the heart of Tennessee, treat yourself to an unforgettable journey along its tranquil waters, making lifelong memories and forging new connections along the way.
What are Chattanooga Boat Tours?
Chattanooga Boat Tours are an exciting and unique way for us to explore the picturesque city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. By taking one of these tours, we get the opportunity to hop aboard a comfortable boat and sail along the Tennessee River. This allows us to see the city’s famous landmarks, natural landscapes, and hidden gems from a truly unique perspective.
One of the most popular options for a Chattanooga Boat Tour is the Southern Belle Riverboat. The Southern Belle offers a variety of cruises, including sightseeing cruises and dining experiences, all while we enjoy the journey along the Tennessee River. The sightseeing cruise features live narration, ensuring that we learn about the history and significance of the landmarks we pass.
During our boat tour, we might explore some of Chattanooga’s most iconic attractions such as the Bluff View Art District, which offers a breathtaking view of the Tennessee Valley from its perch overlooking the river. Furthermore, we’ll have the chance to witness the stunning natural scenery and abundant wildlife that call the Tennessee River home.
While taking a boat tour, we can enjoy the company of knowledgeable guides and crewmembers who are eager to share their love for the city and its rich history.
So, whether we’re looking for a relaxing afternoon getaway or a more adventurous multi-day excursion, we’re sure to find a Chattanooga Boat Tour that suits our needs and interests.
Types of Chattanooga Boat Tours
We’re excited to share the variety of boat tours in Chattanooga that cater to everyone’s interests and schedules. Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time with family or friends or simply enjoy the natural beauty of the region, there’s something for everyone.
Boat tours in Chattanooga mainly consist of sightseeing cruises, dinner cruises, boat rentals, and private tours. Our favorite way to enjoy Chattanooga’s gorgeous views is on a Southern Belle Riverboat sightseeing cruise. The open-air deck offers panoramic views, complemented by live narration that educates and entertains throughout the 1.5-hour tour.
For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, a 2-hour twilight cruise provides a captivating journey on the open-air deck, perfect for taking in the scenery as the sun sets. You can find these tour options and book them based on your preferred date here.
Another appealing option is to enjoy the Chattanooga waterways on pontoon boats. We recommend exploring the Tennessee River Gorge and its surrounding beauty by taking a pontoon boat tour. This type of tour allows for a more intimate experience, where you can customize your journey and even bring your own snacks and beverages on board.
For the angler in your group, Chattanooga offers fishing charters and tours. These guided trips provide a fun opportunity to catch catfish and other freshwater species in the area. Additionally, boat rentals are available for those who prefer to navigate the waters independently.
No matter what type of Chattanooga boat tour you choose, we’re confident that you’ll enjoy the experience and take home lasting memories of this beautiful destination.
Why Take a Chattanooga Boat Tour?
Experience the Beauty of the City
Chattanooga has some stunning scenery to offer, and there’s no better way to take it all in than by hopping on a boat tour. As we cruise along the beautiful Tennessee River, we’ll be treated to sights like the iconic Walnut Street Bridge and the Tennessee Aquarium. As we venture further, we’ll be able to spot the majestic Lookout Mountain on the horizon.
Why not take a break from exploring the city by foot? Seeing Chattanooga from the water will provide a refreshing change and a different perspective of the city. Be sure to have your camera ready for some memorable snapshots!
Learn the History of Chattanooga
Chattanooga has a rich history just waiting to be discovered. On a boat tour, we’ll not only enjoy the picturesque views but also learn about the fascinating stories behind them. We can listen to live narrations as we pass by landmarks such as Maclellan Island and Coolidge Park. Whether we’re history buffs or just curious, we’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for the storied past of Chattanooga.
Experience the Beauty of the River
There’s just something magical about being on the water. A boat tour allows us to immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of the Tennessee River Valley. As we drift along, marveling at the serene surroundings, we’ll understand why this area is truly unique.
In addition to the lovely vistas, we can take part in a great guest experience of Chattanooga. From the comfort of the boat, we can spot diverse wildlife, such as birds and fish, making their homes alongside the riverbanks.
If you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the best of what Chattanooga has to offer, consider taking a boat tour today. We promise you won’t regret it!
Southern Belle Riverboat
As we board the iconic Southern Belle Riverboat, we can’t help but be excited for the unforgettable experience ahead. This remarkable riverboat offers us the best sightseeing of the lovely city of Chattanooga and the scenic Tennessee River. Let’s delve deeper into what makes cruising on the Southern Belle Riverboat so special.
The Southern Belle Riverboat provides a variety of cruise options to suit our preferences. We can sit back and relax on a 1.5-hour Sights Cruise that showcases the gorgeous views of Chattanooga city and the Tennessee River. With the added bonus of live narration, we’ll learn more about the city’s history and landmarks as we sail along the river.
If we’re looking to make the most of the evening, we can opt for the Sunset Cruise to bask in the warm glow of the setting sun. This cruise adds a magical touch to our trip, enhancing the beauty of the river and the city skyline.
Ultimately, a cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat is an experience you don’t want to miss. With unmatched views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River, intriguing narration, and a friendly atmosphere, you’re guaranteed to have a memorable time exploring the city from the water.
They also have great holiday options and are a wonderful experience for families with kids!
We recently embarked on a Chattanooga Duck Boat Tour, and it was an unforgettable experience! These WWII-era Duck Boats offer a unique way to discover the city while cruising both on land and water.
We have four boys and my parents always took a special trip with each one when he turned five. The three of them always headed to the Tennessee Aquarium and the did a Duck boat ride. All of my boys have such fond memories of the Chattanooga Ducks… except the youngest, who gets his turn this year!
The tour starts with exploring the streets of Chattanooga before entering the Tennessee River. Aboard the amphibious vehicle, we got the chance to see the city’s landmarks from a whole new perspective. The Duck Boat glides effortlessly from land to water, making it an exciting adventure for all ages.
Our knowledgeable guide shared fascinating stories about Chattanooga’s history while keeping us entertained throughout the 1-hour tour. It was informative and engaging, giving us a deeper appreciation of the city’s rich past.
The Chattanooga Ducks tour is a family tradition, and we would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and fun way to discover the city. It was a great adventure for the entire family, and we come away with lasting memories of our time spent exploring Chattanooga aboard an authentic WWII Duck Boat.
Blue Heaven River Tours
We’ve discovered a popular and scenic option for a relaxing day out on the water in Chattanooga, Tennessee: Blue Heaven River Tours. Open from May 1st to October 31st, their boat tours offer a unique way to spend some quality time outdoors with family and friends.
Boarding their luxurious cabin yacht, we’re able to enjoy swimming, fishing, tubing, eating, and exploring the beautiful riverfront of Chattanooga. Based on Tripadvisor reviews, this is an exciting option for water activities, as they’re ranked #6 out of 18 boat tours and water sports opportunities in the area.
Blue Heaven River Tours provides a variety of boats in their fleet, suitable for different group sizes and desired experiences. As stated on their boats page, options include:
- A 30-foot deluxe pontoon with on-board restroom, ideal for both private and semi-private tours and accommodating up to 6 people
- A 20-foot pontoon, which is perfect for private tours, especially for couples or smaller groups up to 6 people
So, if you’re looking for a fun yet intimate way to enjoy the scenic waterways of Chattanooga, Blue Heaven River Tours could be the perfect solution!
River Gorge Excursions
River Gorge Excursions strives to provide an unforgettable experience of the beautiful Chattanooga TN River Gorge. Their main goal is for individuals to witness and explore the breathtaking scenery through their exceptional boat rentals and boat tours.
We offer a variety of boating services that cater to every adventurer’s needs. Whether you’re seeking tranquility or a thrilling adventure, we have the perfect option for you. Some of the services we provide include:
- Private Helicopter Tour TN River Gorge: For those who want to get a bird’s-eye view of the captivating landscape.
- Chattanooga’s North Shore & Coolidge Park Guided Segway Tour: Enjoy a leisurely ride along the riverfront.
- Chickamauga Dam Lock Kayak Tour: Paddle your way through the serene waters and enjoy the natural beauty.
Our dedicated team ensures that all our boat tours and rentals are well-maintained and safe for our guests. We want to make your experience as exciting and comfortable as possible. That’s why we take care of everything – from providing life jackets and safety equipment to offering friendly guidance throughout your adventure.
As we guide you through the TN River Gorge, you’ll discover fascinating wildlife and lush greenery that make the river gorge a natural wonder. It’s the perfect opportunity for family outings, romantic getaways, or solo retreats.
We take pride in our commitment to customer satisfaction and creating lasting memories for our guests. If you’re planning a trip to Chattanooga, do not miss out on the remarkable experience that River Gorge Excursions has to offer.
Chattanooga Guided Adventures
We are excited to share our experience with Chattanooga Guided Adventures, an outdoor recreation guide service based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. They offer a variety of beginner-friendly tours and rentals in rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and backpacking.
One of the most popular tour options they provide is the Nickajack Bat Cave Kayak Tour. This unique sunset kayak tour runs from March to October and allows us to witness the spectacular sight of thousands of bats leaving their cave at dusk.
In addition to the kayak tours, mountain bike enthusiasts can join the Lookout Mountain Bike Tour. It gives us an affordable and exciting way to explore the beautiful landscape of Lookout Mountain, while our experienced guide ensures we are comfortable with our equipment and provides helpful tips on navigating the trails.
For those looking to try stand up paddleboarding, Chattanooga Guided Adventures offers downstream rental stand up paddleboard trips as well. This option lets us enjoy a leisurely paddle along the scenic river, taking in all the beauty of Chattanooga’s waterways.
Chattanooga Guided Adventures also offers a variety of outdoor skills classes, perfect for those looking to expand their knowledge and abilities in activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, backpacking, and navigation. Whatever our level of experience, we can find a class that suits our needs. Prices and durations vary depending on the class and equipment requirements.
To make our adventure plans, we can visit their calendar of tours to check the availability of various activities, book online, and prepare for an unforgettable Chattanooga experience.
At Outshine Adventures, they offer some of the most exciting and unique boat tours in Chattanooga. Their eco-tours allow guests to explore Chattanooga’s scenic waterways while enjoying a variety of activities.
One of the most popular adventures is the guided paddleboard tour. They take guests on a 4-mile, 2.5-hour journey down the Tennessee River into downtown Chattanooga, or through the stunning Tennessee River Gorge. This paddleboard adventure is perfect for beginners or intermediate paddlers seeking a unique experience.
Here are some of the highlights of Outshine Adventures tours:
- Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Fundamentals of SUP and guiding guests on a refreshing paddling experience suitable for every level.
- Hiking: Hiking tours take visitors to some of Chattanooga’s most breathtaking views, showcasing the region’s natural beauty.
- Biking: They offer biking tours for guests to explore Chattanooga on two wheels, with guided trips that cater to various skill levels.
- Yoga: For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, they provide yoga sessions in serene outdoor settings.
They strive to create a memorable experience for our guests by showcasing what makes Chattanooga’s waterways and landscapes so special. By combining adventure, education, and eco-friendly practices, Outshine Adventures aims to inspire appreciation for our natural surroundings and create lasting memories for everyone who joins them on an adventure.
Top Attractions and Landmarks Along the Boat Tours
Chattanooga offers a variety of boat tours that showcase some of the city’s most beautiful and historic sites. In this section, we’ll highlight some of the top attractions and landmarks you can expect to see during these boat tours.
One of the iconic landmarks we’ll come across during our boat tours is the Walnut Street Bridge. This historic pedestrian bridge connects the north shore of the Tennessee River to downtown Chattanooga and offers stunning views of the city and surrounding mountains.
During our journey, we’ll also catch a glimpse of the majestic Lookout Mountain, which offers breathtaking views of Chattanooga and the Tennessee River Valley. On our way, we’ll pass by the relaxing and family-friendly Coolidge Park, perfect for a leisurely stroll or picnic.
Another interesting landmark we’ll see on our boat tours is Maclellan Island, a beautiful nature reserve in the heart of the Tennessee River. This protected wildlife habitat offers a peaceful escape, and depending on the boat tour, we might even have a chance to disembark and explore the island.
Some Chattanooga boat tours, like the River Gorge Explorer, take us through the Scenic Tennessee River Gorge, allowing us to enjoy the natural beauty of the “Heart of the Tennessee River Gorge.”
As we continue along the Tennessee River, we’ll pass by historic landmarks such as the Cherry Mansion and Moccasin Bend, both of which carry rich history and stories.
Finally, our boat tours may start or end at the beautiful Riverfront Pkwy, which offers easy access to Chattanooga’s bustling downtown area and attractions. Throughout our tours, we’ll hear fascinating stories and insights from knowledgeable guides who will enhance our experience along the way.
Benefits of Taking a Boat Tour in Chattanooga
One of the reasons we highly recommend taking a boat tour in Chattanooga is because of the unforgettable views it offers. These tours provide us with spectacular views of downtown Chattanooga as we sail down the Tennessee River. We’ll get the chance to see iconic landmarks and stunning natural scenery that are best admired from the water. The city’s skyline is sure to create memorable photo opportunities that we’ll cherish for years to come.
Besides offering breathtaking views, Chattanooga boat tours also provide us with an educational experience. As we cruise down the river, we’ll learn about the history of the area, the significance of the river to the city’s development, and important geologic features such as the Tennessee Riverpark. This interactive learning experience not only enriches our understanding of the region but also makes us appreciate the importance of preserving these natural and historical sites.
Relaxation and Stress Relief
Another benefit of taking a boat tour in Chattanooga is the relaxation and stress relief it offers. Being out on the water, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the soothing sounds of the river, allows us to temporarily forget our worries and enjoy the moment. Boat tours like the Southern Belle Riverboat’s Sunset Cruise invite us to kick back, sip a glass of wine, and unwind as we watch the sun set over the Tennessee River.
Moreover, Chattanooga boat tours also give us access to various outdoor activities. During our sightseeing tour, we can explore the 150-acre Tennessee Riverpark, indulge in a picnic, or simply stroll along the waterfront to breathe in the fresh air and take in the natural beauty.
In conclusion, taking a boat tour in Chattanooga offers us an experience that blends unforgettable views, educational insights, and opportunities for relaxation and stress relief. All combined, these elements create a perfect outing for families or solo travelers looking to make the most of their visit to this lovely city.
Planning Tips for Your Boat Tour
Research and Select the Right Tour
When planning a boat tour in Chattanooga, it’s essential for us to research different options and choose the most suitable one. Several tour companies and cruising options are available, such as the Southern Belle Riverboat for picturesque sightseeing cruises and Chattanooga Boat Charters for customizable experiences. We should look up the reviews and decide which tour aligns best with our interests and preferences.
Pack Essential Items
To ensure we have an enjoyable and comfortable boat tour, let’s make sure we pack the right essentials. Here’s a list of items we recommend bringing along:
- Sunscreen to protect from sunburn
- Sunglasses and a hat for added sun protection
- Comfortable clothing and footwear
- A water bottle to stay hydrated
- A lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler weather
- A camera or smartphone for capturing memories
Consider Timing and Weather Conditions
Before booking our tour, it’s crucial to consider the timing and weather conditions to maximize our experience on the water. Checking the weather forecast will help us choose an ideal day for a boat tour. When scheduling our tour, we should opt for a time of day that provides the best views, which might be early morning or late afternoon.
Additionally, we should be aware of the tour duration, which can range from brief 1.5-hour excursions like the Southern Belle’s sightseeing cruises to longer journeys up the Tennessee River Gorge, like a full day whitewater rafting trip up the Ocoee.
Remembering these planning tips will help ensure our Chattanooga boat tour is enjoyable and memorable, while making the most of the beautiful scenery and experiences the city has to offer.
Final Thoughts on Chattanooga Boat Tours
We had a fantastic time exploring the beautiful Chattanooga area through its various boat tours and river cruises. The Tennessee River offers stunning views, and there’s no better way to experience it than by boat.
Here are some additional things to consider when planning your Chattanooga boat tour experience:
- Tour duration: Most tours last between 1.5 to 2 hours, with some private excursions offering 6-hour trips.
- Price range: Prices can vary widely, from $30.99 for sightseeing cruises to more expensive private charters.
- Age restrictions: Some tours may have minimum age requirements or recommend certain ages for the best experience. Be sure to check before booking.
In short, exploring Chattanooga’s waterways through its boat tours has been an unforgettable experience. We highly recommend adding one of these river cruises or boat tours to your itinerary when visiting the Scenic City.