By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Rollin' on the river
Captain brings wealth of experience to Tennessee Aquarium cruises
The Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer cruises are fun for the entire family. Several one-of-a-kind trips are planned for upcoming weeks. The Explorer's 5,000th cruise was logged recently.

Captain Pete Hosemann has spent almost as much of his life on the water as he has on land. He grew up in a nautical family with a father and brother who were also riverboat captains. He has piloted vessels of almost all sizes and types including the Tennessee Aquarium River Gorge Explorer.
Recently Captain Pete logged the Explorer’s 5,000th cruise. “To log that number of trips in an eight year period is pretty impressive,” said Hosemann. “I’ve always said I have the best office in the world, which is in the wheelhouse out on the Tennessee River.”
Throughout his career, he’s used his position to educate others about the importance of our rivers. More than 216,000 guests have traveled with the Explorer’s crew on eco-tours to learn about the history, wildlife and protected habitat of the Tennessee River Gorge. Other specially themed cruises have carried guests to, and through, the Chickamauga Lock and recently to the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge to witness the spectacle of migrating sandhill cranes.
As an extension of the “Mountains to the Sea” journey guests embark upon within the Aquarium’s two buildings, the River Gorge Explorer serves as a floating classroom to connect more people to the watershed that flows through our community.
“As a society we ask a lot of our rivers, so I think we all need to understand and appreciate their importance in our lives,” said Hosemann. “Our rivers provide us with a water supply for our homes, industry, power generation, transportation, recreation and of course habitat for wildlife.”
When the Tennessee River Gorge Trust, TRGT, began protecting land 35 years ago, the idea was to preserve the biologically rich habitat and protect the scenic views that were best seen from the water’s edge looking up. The Explorer provides access to this reserve for tens of thousands of people each year who might not otherwise visit this treasured place.
Check the daily cruise schedule and purchase tickets online:
Register online for these specially themed cruises aboard the River Gorge Explorer:
Saturday, March 19: Williams Island Kids Adventure Cruise
Saturday, April 16: Secrets of the Riverbank Cruise
Sunday, May 8: Happy Mother’s Day Cruise
Saturday, May 14: Spring Fling with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute Cruise