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Old 08-28-2009, 08:38 AM
1,351 posts, read 2,848,304 times
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We plan on visiting Chattanooga soon and taking a boat trip down the river.

Any input on the two options we're looking at:

Southern Belle and the Aquarium Speed boat?

I'm interested in a comparison review - itinerary and sightseeing.

We are not looking for frills and thrills experience, having 2 young kids in tow. Just a couple hours down the river sightseeing. I don't need to have lunch or romantic dinner in the sunset. We're going for the kids' first boat trip.

I am asking because the pricing, for one, is widely discrepant - $29 for the speed boat, and $15 for SB for a fair amount of time (2hrs, and 1.5 hrs respectively).

What does each offer in terms of itinerary, comparatively (how far into the gorge). I've read the Aquarium boat has a biologist on board, SB a history-geared tour guide.

Has anyone taken both trips and can compare? TIA
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:28 AM
Location: South of DAYTON
1,223 posts, read 4,090,599 times
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Thumbs up Prior Gorge Search link

F13: Here is the prior search link to the jet boat pics & comments.
Awesome,new Gorge jet Cruise Again may recommend going early in the day , & also mid-week if you can . May get longer further ride , less river traffic.
. Believe the SOuthern Belle is like evening slow Dinner trip . Maybe good for group outings. IMO.
. Yes the speed boat should have some sort STORY-TELLER , narrator , nature guide on board, along with video screens.
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Old 08-28-2009, 12:35 PM
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I didn't know they had either of those, hhhhmm interesting, where would you purchase the tickets? do they go like every hour on the hour or something like that?
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Old 08-28-2009, 07:31 PM
Location: TN
264 posts, read 701,878 times
Reputation: 286
have you thought about the fat cat ferry/ water taxi? it is must cheaper and it is shorter which might not be a bad thing with small kids involved. they go to mccelland island and back , you can get off on the island and look around or not/ no guide on that one, but the kids can sort of mill around the deck (either above or below) and it is usually not that crowded.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:11 AM
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
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I rode the Southern Belle. I think it was the 2 hour cruise during the middle of the weekend. I have to say, I DO NOT like narrated tours. The people just don't go quiet and there's nowhere you can go on the boat to not hear them. You can get some great photos in late Spring of birds that hatch on islands the boat passes, but again, the narrator "interacts" with people, does trivia, etc. Ugh. I would assume the evening cruises are different.

I never tried the Aquarium one. It's faster and since I go on these things to take pics, that wouldn't work for me.
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