Whether you like current country, your grandfather’s classics, or get down with gospel, this season’s General Jackson show cruise has something for you.
Country Music USA is a nostalgic take on country’s past and present, showcasing the talents of country, western and gospel stars from Hank Williams, Sr. and Patsy Cline to Reba Williams and Rascal Flatts. The show gives a nod to its country roots in the Grand Ole Opry, reverence to the religious roots with a gospel medley, and a shout out to today’s stars with current hits straight from country’s Top 40.
But the music’s not the only thing to enjoy on the General Jackson, which was named after President Andrew Jackson and has been a Nashville staple since 1985. Tourists and locals alike enjoy views of the Cumberland River and Downtown Nashville singular to the cruise, as well as gourmet meals prepared with care by Gaylord Opryland Resort’s award-winning chefs and served both “family style” and as three course meals, depending on the cruise.
“The General Jackson Showboat has a proud heritage here in Nashville. From the moment our guests board the boat, they are treated to a one-of-a-kind experience, which starts with our well-known Southern hospitality,” said Dennis Schnurbusch, general manager of the General Jackson Showboat. “Guests get to see the sights and sounds of the city as the boat travels the Cumberland River, all while enjoying Tennessee’s temperate climate. With excellent music and wonderful food, the General Jackson is where memories are made.”
Country Music USA features the talents of Brian Glenn, Chad Hudson, Paul Vann, Lori Beth Hogan, Jamie Godfrey, and Natasha Noack. The high-energy show begins with an Old Time Gospel Medley, then moves into Country Roots and Grand Ole Opry staples, such as “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” and “Salty Dog Blues.”
Fans of classic country will be tapping their toes to the two Classic Country Medleys, in which songs and artists range from “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash to “Why Haven’t I Heard from You” by Reba McEntire.
Prefer current country? The cast jams their way through a set list with hits from Garth Brooks, George Straight, Carrie Underwood and many more – including, of course, the omnipresent Taylor Swift. Filled with great food and thrilled by an excellent show, General Jackson cruisers enjoy a patriotic finale with “In God We Still Trust” and “God Bless the U.S.A.”
But don’t think you have to sit still the entire time – a mid-show intermission gives cruisers an opportunity to explore the General Jackson and enjoy the great views of the Cumberland River, green banks and finally, the sparkling skyline of Downtown Nashville over the splashing paddlewheel. Bring your camera.
The General Jackson Showboat, built by Jeffersonville, Ind.-based Jeffboat, was launched April 20, 1985 and was christened July 2, 1985. The boat can hold 1,200 passengers and 157 crew members. The paddlewheel riverboat stands 77 feet tall, making it one of the country’s largest showboats. The paddlewheel itself is 36 feet long, 24 feet wide and weighs 36 tons. Two Caterpillar 3512 engines, each with 1050 horse power and 880 kilowatt generators, are responsible for powering the boat, which has a maximum speed of 13 miles per hour. Most recently, the General Jackson, with its beautiful surroundings and one-of-a-kind experiences, was named “Best Place to Kiss” a distinction from the Tennessean newspaper.
Special event cruises for Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Tennessee Titans football games, Halloween and even New Year’s Eve make the General Jackson a popular choice for people looking for a safe, memorable time.
Country Music USA is a three-hour evening cruise and runs through November 13. Ticket prices range from $55.52 per person to $87.95 per person, plus tax.
Boarding takes place at 6:15 p.m., with the boat returning at 10 p.m. (Monday through Saturday). Sunday evening cruise times are one hour earlier.
The General Jackson Showboat offers both midday and evening cruises with a variety of entertainment options throughout the year. Holiday cruises begin mid-November.
For tickets or more information, please call 615-458-3900 or visit www.generaljackson.com.