Sandhill Crane Cruises

Sandhill Crane Cruises

The annual Sandhill Crane migration is one of the greatest spectacles of nature in the Southeast.

Each winter, between 15,000 to 20,000 of the graceful Sandhill Cranes converge upon the Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge on their journey from the upper Midwest to Florida. Join the Aquarium’s expert crew aboard the River Gorge Explorer for special two-hour Sandhill Crane viewing cruises offered during the peak of their migration. Cruises last two hours.

Archaeologists recognize this location as one of the most significant Mississippian cultural sites in the region as well as being an important Cherokee heritage site. An Aquarium naturalist brings this remarkable history to life on each cruise, presenting renderings of these thriving communities that date back to 1,000 A.D..Passengers will enjoy excellent viewing from inside the climate-controlled cabin and the topside observation deck while circumnavigating Hiwassee Island, the heart of this critical stopover point. This protected habitat is also home to nesting and migrant Bald Eagles, Great Blue Heron, squadrons of Double-crested Cormorants, numerous waterfowl species and occasional sightings of Snow Geese and White Pelicans.

Registration opening soons for the following 2017 cruise dates:  

December 30, 2016 - January 1, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

January 6-8, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

January 13-15, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm

January 16, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm


All Ages
Limited to 65
$35 / Aquarium Members; $45 / Non-Members
Special pricing for non-member groups of 15 or more: $40 per person 

Board the River Gorge Explorer at Sale Creek Marina near Soddy Daisy
3900 Lee Pike, Soddy-Daisy, TN 37379

Google Map and directions