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Tennessee River Cruises

Discover some of America’s natural beauty on a Tennessee River cruise. Winding for 886 miles in a U-shape across four states, (Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi), the river’s name is believed to be a derivation of the 18th-century Cherokee village, Tanasi, which was formed upon its banks. Like its sister rivers the Ohio and the Mississippi, the Tennessee River carries a rich and varied history.

The Tennessee was originally navigated only by flatboats, thanks to a shallow upper course filled with short rapids. During the Civil War, the north-flowing lower section of the river was vital to Union troops who used it to invade the western Confederate region. Cruises often visit important Civil War sites such as Shiloh National Military Park.

These days, the broad, blue river is a key component of one of the world’s greatest irrigation and hydropower systems. It is home to an important series of locks, dams and reservoirs, whose waters typically widen to small, calm lakes just before each of the nine locks.

Boats pass beneath eye-catching bridges like the bright blue John Ross Bridge in Chattanooga, TN, or the "Steamboat Bill" in Decatur, AL, where you’ll also find Wheeler Wildlife Refuge and the North Alabama Birding Trail. You might also cruise through the Tennessee River Gorge, a 27-mile-long river canyon downstream from Chattanooga, flanked by richly colored woods and home to ospreys and bald eagles.

Cruises on the Tennessee River are often part of longer itineraries that also sail the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers. These cruises provide terrific value for your vacation dollar, as accommodations, onboard meals and some excursions are covered in one affordable upfront price.


Book Now and Save on Tennessee River Cruises!


  • Save $800 to $1,800 per couple off river cruises in certain cabin categories with American Queen Steamboat Company when you book and pay in full by March 31, 2016. Click here for eligible departures.

  • Save $200 to $1,000 per couple off 2017 American Queen Steamboat sailings when you book and pay in full by September 30, 2016. Click here for eligible departures.

  • Save up to 50% off the single supplement price on select American Queen Steamboat Company cruises when you book by March 31, 2016. Click here for eligible departures.

  • Enjoy free shore excursions on every sailing with American Queen Steamboat Company. Click here for eligible departures.

  • Receive one free hotel night before your cruise when you book select American Queen Steamboat Company sailings 60 days in advance. Click here for eligible departures.

    River cruises are rated according to the quality of the vessel and its accommodations, the number of included amenities and activities both on and off the ship, the class of hotels used for land portions of itineraries, and the level of service delivered. The river cruises below are categorized according to the industry rating scale (budget, first class and deluxe). Click any cruise name for the itinerary, dates and prices.

    Itinerary Name Days Starts In Ends In Company Quality* From**
    Autumn Colors 2017 (Chattanooga to Nashville)   8   Chattanooga, TN   Nashville, TN   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Civil War 2017 (St. Louis to Memphis)   8   St. Louis, MO   Memphis,TN   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Music of America 2017 (Nashville to Memphis)   8   Nashville, TN   Memphis,TN   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Bourbon   8   St. Louis, MO   Cincinnati, OH   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Music of America 2017 (Memphis to Nashville)   8   Memphis,TN   Nashville, TN   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Presidents & Politics (Cincinnati to St. Louis)   8   Cincinnati, OH   St. Louis, MO   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices
    Civil War 2017 (Nashville to Chattanooga)   8   Nashville, TN   Chattanooga, TN   Steamboat   Deluxe   Dates and Prices

    * Key to Quality Ratings

    Tours are classified according to the quality of amenities and accommodations.

    Budget = River cruises typically range from $100 to $200 per person, per day, plus airfare.
    First Class = River cruises typically range from $150 to $350 per person, per day, plus airfare.
    Deluxe = River cruises typically range from $250 to $650 per person, per day, plus airfare.

    ** The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.


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