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!