** January 2020 update – Cumberland River Cruises is closed **
Cumberland River Cruises, located off Highway 109 in Wilson County just before you cross the bridge into Gallatin, is a great outing for families or an idea for date night.
There are several tours to choose from depending on what you want to see – homes of country music stars, nature, sunset or during the summer a special morning kids’ cruise including some time to swim (special pricing for this extra long adventure). We decided to try a sunset cruise and had dinner at the Cherokee Steak House before we boarded the boat. Our cruise departed at 6:30 PM so in order to give us plenty of time to eat we arrived at the restaurant at 4:45.
As you come into the large parking lot the Steak house will be in front of you and the boat will be on the left. It’s hard to miss! Park anywhere you find a space. There are restrooms in the parking lot and there is a toilet on the boat. When you board you pay for your ride and pick your seats. You can move around the boat to see things on different sides as long as the seats are not all taken. It is a large pontoon boat and very stable with high side railing.
Once everyone is on board your tour begins with some stories about the boats in the marina. From there you head out to see what birds and animals are around. We saw blue heron, an osprey nesting, deer, a beaver, and lots of turtles and fish. Captain Jesse also passes by a gray bat cave.
On the way back Jesse lets anyone who would like (including the kids) a short chance at the wheel. He stands right beside the novice helmsman to ensure they don’t get in any trouble. Right before you re-enter the marina you get a view of Reba McEntire’s Tennessee home.
A few tips if you go. Have some cash – water and soda are for sale on the boat for a dollar, and you may also want to leave a tip. The mosquitoes were just coming out as we departed the boat so you may want to use some bug spray. Captain Jesse has both Off! and Skin So Soft available if you forget. Bring your camera and some binoculars if you have some. And don’t forget to make a reservation a day or two before you want to go (reservation phone number listed below). Tours do sell out!
Family Fun Facts
Cumberland River Cruises (Map)
Hours: Typically Thursday through Sunday – tour times change through the season – check HERE or call the Reservation line for the most up to date information: 615-451-4001. Be sure to make a reservation!
Cost for the 90 minute cruise: $20/Adults, $8/Kids 6 to 12, 5 and Under FREE. Cash and credit cards taken at the time of boarding