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Spotlighting our 2016 Blues Cruise Schedule

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Every year the Tennessee Riverboat Company partners with the Smoky Mountain Blues Society to bring you some of the best blues music in the eastern part of the state. Each cruise features a different Blues act encompassing many different styles of blues from classic to contemporary, and everything in between.

These cruises also benefit the Smoky Mountain Blues Society’s “Blues in the Schools” program, created to bring awareness of the music genre to children. Recently, Halls Middle School students were treated to an inspiring blues performance by bassist Stan Gibert, drummer Barry Schwartz, guitarist Robert Higginbotham, and Barry Faust on both guitar and harmonica. The students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation and wrote emails expressing their gratitude to the musicians.

The Smoky Mountain Blues Society is an affiliate of the Blues Foundation, established in Knoxville in 2010, and committed to preserving, promoting and perpetuating the heritage and music of the blues. In addition to the school program, they offer a monthly blues night for non-ambulatory veterans at Ben Atchley Veterans Hospital.

One of the favorite activities of the Society is the monthly Blues Cruise on the Star of Knoxville. Each 3-hour cruise boards at 3:00 PM and sails from 4:00 – 7:00 PM. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and a great time is had by all who attend.

Each month a different Blues band is featured.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.54.57 PMThe June 26 cruise will showcase the Stella-Vees Blues Band. The Stella-Vees Blues Band plays Chicago and West Coast style blues reflecting influences of legendary blues musicians like T-Bone Walker, Hollywood Fats, Magic Sam and Little Walter.  If you like straight ahead, no effects pedal Blues, this is the night for you!

Winners of two of Kentuckiana’s Blues Society’s “Best Unsigned Blues Band Competition” in Louisville, KY, The Stella-Vees have played major blues festivals since 2007 and continue to be a mainstay on the blues circuit.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.57.13 PMOn July 17 the Blues Cruise will feature Ori Naftaly with Southern Ave.   From Israel by way of Memphis, Ori Naftaly stirs up a funky, soulful, rock’n’roll stew, built on a solid foundation of the blues. The fiery, 27-year-old, guitarist has made a name for himself as one of the most versatile and dynamic blues soloists today.



Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.56.01 PMAugust 21st, we feature “A Few Miles On.” They are a Middle Tennessee based band that performs a mix of blues-based originals and covers. They started in February 2012 just jamming together a couple of times a week in the basement, and grew their love of performing live in gigs across the state. Performance dates are scarce during the summer months as they record their second album and we are happy to have them on our boat in August.



Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.58.05 PMSeptember 18th brings Groove Junction to the Star of Knoxville. At the intersection of Blues Boulevard, Rock & Roll Highway, and Funk Ave. you have Groove Junction. This high-energy band mixes spicy covers with tasty originals. The upbeat mix of blues, jump blues, blues rock, funk and original songs will have you up and dancing the evening away.

And our last Blues Cruise of the season showcases The Blues Sessions featuring Jon Mason and Warren Pineda. These traditional blues performers will wrap up our incredible season with classic blues tunes.


Join us on Sunday’s in the summer for our Special Blues Cruises. Click here for reservations.

The Star of Knoxville sails only with Certified Riverboat Captains



At the Tennessee Riverboat Company, we take our passengers’ safety on the water very seriously, ensuring that everyone has a cruise that is enjoyable, safe and fun. Safety is the job of every employee on the boat, but it all starts with the Captain. The Captain is the head of the ship, and ultimately responsible for the safe return of the boat to the dock with all the passengers accounted for.

Our Captains are Coast Guard certified Captains, which is important when you are taking the boat out for multiple cruises each day of the week, and taking hundreds, sometimes even a thousand people’s lives in your hands over the course of a weekend.

The Coast Guard requires a Master License if you operate an “inspected” vessel. If you will carry more than 6 passengers, you are required to undergo annual inspections by the Coast Guard, and the Star of Knoxville definitely falls into this category. Every year, our boat is inspected by the Coast Guard to ensure we are in full compliance with the Commercial Vessel Inspection standards.

In order to get a Master License and become a Riverboat Captain, certain requirements must be met. Anyone seeking to get a license must complete the application, pass a physical and a drug test, and take an approved CPR and First Aid course. In order to get your Master License, the applicant must spend 90 days working on a vessel of appropriate tonnage, and 360 days on the water working under an already licensed Captain. Because of the size of our boat, a 100-ton license is required to operate it. There are not many boats around of this size to get the full year’s experience on so our Captains typically start as deckhands and work their way up.

The newest Captain to join the fleet, Captain Brad, became a certified Captain this past year, but has spent his entire childhood riding and working on this boat. He joins a crew of capable, careful, safety-first minded staff that operate the Tennessee Riverboat Company. Captain Mike has had his license since 1984!

Come join us on a cruise and let Captain Brad, Captain Mike or Captain Farmer show you Knoxville like no one else can!



Introducing the Sunset Showboat Cruises!

Friday nights have never been funnier on the Star of Knoxville. Join us this summer as we partner with JLB Productions to bring you a different, high-quality, showboat production number each month.

Sunset Showboat Shows

Sunset Showboat Shows

Your cruise includes a Prime Rib dinner, a 2-hour scenic cruise on the beautiful Tennessee River, and a wonderfully entertaining production number to dance to! We board at 6:00 P.M. and sail from 7:00 – 9:00 P.M. and are confident you wont be disappointed in your Friday night plans when you join us on the boat.

Each show includes hilarious comedy, costumes, incredible and nostalgic music, and a thoroughly entertaining production number. We switch up the theme each month, and you wont want to miss a single show.

In addition to the great, new entertainment, the boat continues with the tradition of some of the finest food Knoxville has to offer. Our own Chef Marie cooks up tender Prime Rib and baked chicken, along with all your favorites like mashed potatoes, green beans, and more. Of course we have a full cash bar, and you can catch all the sights of downtown Knoxville lit up at night from our open-air top deck.

June’s theme is Floating Back to the Fifites. It’s a Class Reunion where we’ll be twisting the night away to the Fabulous Fifties. Our dance floor is the perfect spot to work off that delicious dessert and cut loose!

In July, we switch up to Viva Vols Vegas. And of course, what happens on the riverboat, stays on the riverboat! Come join us for some awesome Rat Pack meets Rocky Top music and salute our southern showgirls. We can guarantee some hilarious comedy on this one!

August brings us Get Down Sun Down Seventies, our own floating Studio 54 on the scenic Tennessee River. Grab your platform shoes, and bell bottoms and come dance the night away! And September brings us Big Band Bon Voyage, a swinging good time taking you back to the days of the Boogie Woogie Beats of Big Bands.

Friday nights are a special part of our new entertainment line-up and we hope to see you on the boat this summer!


Celebrating Easter on the Star of Knoxville


Easter is a very important religious holiday for Christians across the world, and considered the most celebrated holiday, with Christmas celebrations a close second. Families gather together to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus at the church of their choosing, and then traditionally spend the day enjoying great food, the company of family and friends, and fun activities for the kids. The Star of Knoxville celebrates each year with a wonderfully relaxing cruise down the scenic Tennessee river, a delicious buffet of traditional Easter foods, and even an Easter Egg Hunt on the boat for the kids.

The Star of Knoxville will be serving up all your Easter favorites including assortment of danish and muffins, fresh seasonal fruit display, miniature quiche, sausage links, hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, southern style green beans, sweet corn, tossed garden salad, fresh baked rolls with butter, coffee and tea, baked breast of chicken and from our carving station, Honey Clove Ham. Ham is a traditional Easter good in the United States because before refrigeration, meat that was not consumed during the winter months was cured for spring. That process took several months, so the first hams were usually ready around the time spring, and Easter, rolled around.

Easter eggs are also commonly associated with Easter, because eggs signify new beginnings in many cultures. As far back the 1200’s, eggs have been gold-leafed and decorated for the Easter celebration. Children across the country enjoy Easter Egg Hunts on Easter, hoping to find the special Easter Egg with the best prize!

The Easter bunny visits young children bringing baskets of goodies to be enjoyed. The bunny is another symbol of new beginnings and fertility – everyone knows the quick reproductive habits of the hare and the rabbit!

Of course Easter coincides with the coming of spring after a long, cold winter. Trees are budding, flowers are growing and new life is beginning everywhere in nature. It is truly one of the most beautiful and interesting times to cruise the Tennessee River.

Join us on the Star of Knoxville for our Easter Brunch cruise on March 27th. We board at noon, and sail from 1:00 – 3:00 P.M. You will enjoy great food, fun for the whole family, and a relaxing cruise down a budding Tennessee River. This cruise typically sells out, so book early!

Star of Knoxville

Depending on the day of the week, you can experience a cruise down the Tennessee River to the tune of songs from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today while you enjoy a dinner buffet or enjoy a romantic tennessee riverboat and elegant dinner cruise.

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