The History of the Southern Belle Riverboat
In 1985 a man that went by the name Captain Lump saw an opportunity in the City of Chattanooga. An opportunity for a riverboat on the TN River! That riverboat he had envisioned would become one of the top attractions in Chattanooga and one of the top things to do in Chattanooga! Thus in 1985 The Southern Belle was born and built not but 20 miles downriver from where she sits now by Serdino Shipyards.
The Southern Belle Riverboat started out with a simple vision, give a great guest experience of Chattanooga, show everyone the beauty of the river, and give everyone a different perspective of the city of Chattanooga. That message is still the same, the boat crew at The Southern Belle Riverboat still strives to give our very valued guest a great cruise, great service and a great experience.
The Southern Belle Riverboat was sold some years later to a gentleman name John Goldfine. He was a quirky man, but had brilliant vision not only for the Southern Belle, but the entire city of Chattanooga! John Goldfine lived in Duluth, MN and heavily leaned on his key employees at the riverboat. Captain Vince Vita and Joy Reinert to name a few. Captain Vince became the General Manager a couple years later and ran the operation until he passed it on to Joy! Vince, among other things, was an ambassador not only of the riverboat, but also of the city of Chattanooga. That sentiment has resonated with the crew ever since. The crew of the Southern Belle Riverboat has a bigger purpose than just your experience while you’re on board, but to make sure you have all the information you want and need to enjoy the beautiful city of Chattanooga.
This riverboat rides in Chattanooga used to only run a couple months out of the year and carry 20-30,000 passengers a year, we are proud to say we now cruise year round and carry well over 100,000 passengers per year! This TN Riverboat has daily sightseeing cruises, lunch cruises, and dinner cruises as well as private charters! The Company has expanded into 2 vessels, a grand banquet hall on 2nd deck of our dockside vessel, and full service restaurant above that!
Our goal is to not only serve the awesome locals and visitors of Chattanooga, but to bring that joy to other cities across this nation!
The Southern Belle Riverboat is one of the top attractions in Chattanooga, has fantastic Chattanooga weddings, and is still the only way to have sightseeing cruises, lunch cruises, and dinner cruises while cruising down the TN River and enjoying picture perfect views of Lookout Mountain and all the beautiful nature this great city has to offer!
Looking Forward to the future,
Chattanooga Riverboat Co.
Pier 2 @ the Landing was purchased in June of 2006 and brought here from a scrap yard right outside of St. Louis, Missouri getting ready to be scrapped for metal. The casino boat was once known as the President and was docked in Louisiana and made it’s way to Davenport, Iowa after it was sold to continue operating as a casino boat. It was christened in 1992 and offered casino on all three levels.
It was reconditioned and renovated in New Hope, TN for 8 months undergoing new paint, wallpaper, carpet, the installation of a 2500 square foot kitchen and a banquet deck, gift shop and eventually 3rd Deck Burger Bar in 2010. The President had no engines, but was pushed by a tug boat that fit into the circular facade and appeared as one unit, it had Captain quarters for overnight crew and a crew kitchen.
The Chandelier Deck accommodates up to 400 guests and is the perfect setting for Proms, Weddings, Receptions, Rehearsal Dinners, Military Reunions, Family Reunion, Class Reunions, School Lunch Trips, Corporate events and much more! Situated on the Tennessee River and featuring an all enclosed climate controlled deck with an outside patio that overlooks the City Pier, TN Aquarium, and the downtown skyline!
The Chandelier Deck is unique to where you can bring in your own food or we would be happy to cater your event, we offer, buffet dinners for a more social setting, plated dinners or hors d’oeuvres! The elegant room is lined with gold ceilings, small white lights running around the room and a 10 foot in diameter hanging from the center of the room!
What a great wedding venue in Chattanooga to have your Chattanooga wedding! The best place to have a wedding on a boat, and also the best place to have a wedding on the river! The Southern Belle Riverboat does it all from rehearsal dinner in Chattanooga to rehearsal dinners on the river! We have full wedding rental and can supply everything down to the cake!
The 3rd Deck Burger located at Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga was a brainstorm idea where a space was created right next to the Southern Belle Riverboat and the 3rd deck directly above the Southern Belle’s gift shop and Chandelier Deck on Pier 2 that is a setting for banquets, class reunions, weddings, rehearsal dinners, proms, receptions and corporate parties. The owners wanted to create an environment where folks felt like they were at home, with cozy couches, tv’s, darts, ping pong, foos ball, and welcoming relaxed atmosphere.
Great burgers & fries with a cold beer was first on the list to offer to our guests! We use black angus hand crafted 1/2 lb. burgers with skin on fries for a filling and delicious bite. Not to mention, a great view of the riverfront with views of our historic bridges, Walnut, Veterans, Market and Oligiati Bridges, with the Tennessee Aquarium as the backdrop. On any given day you’ll see kayaker’s, paddle boarding, folks rolling blading, biking from our Chattanooga rent a bike program to just flying a kite at Coolidge Park.
The 3rd Deck Burger Bar offers poker on Monday nights, Game Night on Tuesday nights, Ping Pong Tournaments in the works and Dart Leagues on a regular basis! There’s always things to do in Chattanooga, enjoy Ruby Falls, Rock City, Incline Railway for a scenic journey on Lookout Mountain, then join us downtown for a cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat and then hop off and join us in the 3rd Deck Burger Bar for a cold spirit, friendly conversation and incredible views!
The 3rd Deck Burger Bar offers you stunning overlooks of the TN River from it’ s outdoor patio, see things like the TN Aquarium, The Riverbend Festival, The Chattanooga Ducks, and the Chattanooga Cycle boats. You might even catch a Chattanooga ducks scarfing down some food kids are throwing to it on the banks of the TN River. You can down see boat rides in Chattanooga and dinner boat rides from the 3rd Deck Burger Bar patio by watching The Southern Belle Riverboat pull off the dock of the Chattanooga Riverboat Co.
Dakota Case now manages the 3rd Deck Burger Bar and has done a fantastic job in customizing the experience around the customers’ needs and wants. Whether it be a couple from overseas wanting to have a bite to eat and a good conversation with a local, to a burger bar party where we can fit 300 ppl for an enormous amount of fun. The 3rd Deck Burger is great activity for families in Chattanooga and The 3rd Deck Burger Bar is also a fun activity for couple in Chattanooga.
Come say hey to Dakota, Kelsay, Aaron, Seth and the rest of the crew at the top attraction in Chattanooga!
Chattanooga is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, with a population of 176,588 in 2015. The fourth-largest Tennessee city, it is the seat of Hamilton County. Located in southeastern Tennessee in East Tennessee, on the Tennessee River, served by multiple railroads and Interstate highways, Chattanooga is a transit hub. Chattanooga lies 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, 120 miles (190 km) southwest of Knoxville, Tennessee, 135 miles (217 km) southeast of Nashville, Tennessee, 120 miles (190 km) northeast of Huntsville, Alabama, and 148 miles (238 km) northeast of Birmingham, Alabama.
The city, with downtown elevation of approximately 680 feet (210 m), lies at the transition between the ridge-and-valley portion of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau. Surrounded by mountains and ridges, the official nickname for Chattanooga is the Scenic City, reinforced by the city’s reputation for outdoor activities. Unofficial nicknames include River City, Chatt, Nooga, Chattown, and Gig City, referencing Chattanooga’s claims that it has the fastest internet service in the Western Hemisphere.