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 and a half 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 begins September 27 for the following cruise dates:  

December 30, 2016 at 10:00 am  and 2:00 pm (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED)

December 31, 2016 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED)

January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am  and 2:00 pm (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED)

January 6, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED)

January 7, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED) 

January 8, 2017 at 10:00 am and (SOLD OUT) and 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT)

January 13, 2017 at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT)

January 14, 2017 at 10:00 am (SOLD OUT) AND 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT)

January 15, 2017 at 10:00 am (SOLD OUT) and 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT)

January 16, 2017 at 10:00 am (SOLD OUT) and 2:00 pm (SOLD OUT)


All Ages
$35 / Aquarium Members; $45 / Non-Members

**With a fully enclosed cabin, the River Gorge Explorer is able to operate during snow and wintery lake conditions to provide Sandhill Crane viewing even during inclement weather. Registrants should check road and weather conditions, plan accordingly and allow extra time for safe travel. If any cruise is cancelled at the Captain's discretion, customers will be contacted with an option to reschedule for a future cruise or receive a full refund.**

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

Google Map and directions