Great Smoky Mountain Trains and Riverboats

Dates:  September 11 – 19, 2019

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Special Feature

  • Luxury Motorcoach Transportation
  • Shopping at Gaylord Opryland Resort
  • Ride the Tennessee Valley Rail Road Missionary Ridge Local
  • Board the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
  • Take the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad thru the Georgia Smokies
  • Visit McCaysville/Copperhill – The towns straddling 2 states
  • “All Aboard” for the Tennessee Valley RR Copperhill Special
  • Lunch and Shopping in Pigeon Forge
  • Two Nights in Gatlinburg TN – Explore by Trolley or on Foot
  • Tram Ride to Obergatlinburg for Sunset and Dinner
  • Lunch Cruise in Knoxville aboard the Tennessee Star
  • Ride the Big South Fork Scenic Railway thru the Kentucky Hills
  • Dinner Cruise Aboard the Mary M. Miller in Louisville
  • Farewell Luncheon

Imagine returning to the romantic era when trains were the preferred mode of transportation and being able to ride multiple trains through the incomparable beauty of Smoky-Mtn-Trains-Montage Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and The Great Smoky Mountains.  The “Great Smoky Mountain National Park” is one of America’s great national treasures. The area was called Shaconage by the Cherokee Indians, which means the “Place of the Blue Smoke”, because the mountains are perpetually shrouded in shades of misty blue. Combine the trains, the majestic mountains and the natural colors, along with the foothill resort towns of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, and you have one of America’s most exquisite adventures.  Experience the love of riverboat cruising along with traveling the rails.  This is a trip for all ages to enjoy and love.


Prices

Double: $1,695/pp
Single: $2,195/pp
Triple/Quad: $1,575/pp
Trip Protection:   $172.50/pp – Double & Triple, $217.50/pp – Single
Early Booking

$100/pp if booked by April 30, 2019

 

Deposit:  $50/pp due at time of booking
Final Payment Due: July 27, 2019


Day 1, Wednesday, September 11

After departing Springfield, our first stop will be a get-acquainted Ozarks BBQ lunch.  It’s on to Nashville and a little shopping at the beautiful Gaylord Resort, before checking in the hotel for some food and a night of rest. (L,D)

Day 2, Thursday, September 12

This morning we will travel to Chattanooga where we will board the Tennessee Valley Railroad Missionary Ridge Local for our first taste of railroading in the Smokies.  Then it’s on to the top of the mountain, via the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway.  The Incline is a National Historic site and a mechanical engineering landmark.   Dinner this evening is a delightful sampling of traditional southern home cooking before heading to our hotel in Blue Ridge, Georgia.  (B,D)

Day 3, Friday, September 13

After breakfast, we will arrive at the Depot, built in 1905, to board the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.  The 4-hour, 26 mile journey winds along the beautiful Toacoa River and a layover in the quaint sister towns of McCaysville, GA and Copperhill, TN.  We will then travel on to Athens, TN for a Red Carpet Welcome at the hotel.  Dinner will be on your own this evening.  (B)

Day 4, Saturday, September 14

We will travel to Etowah, TN to step aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad Copperhill Special, a day-long journey through the Hiwassee Loop, then continue through Turtletown and Ducktown onto Copperhill.  You will have some free time to shop and explore this historic mining town.  We will spend a second night in Athens, TN (B,D)

Day 5, Sunday, September 15

This morning, we’ll take a break from the rails, and travel to the resort town of Pigeon Smokey MtnsForge for lunch and some shopping.  A short distance toward Great Smoky Mountain National park brings us to Gatlinburg.  Our home for the next 2 nights will be the Park Vista Hotel, where every room has a balcony and a wonderful scenic view of the mountains.  Meet the trolley at the front door and spend the rest of the day and evening exploring Gatlinburg.  (B,L)

Day 6, Monday, September 16

After a hearty breakfast buffet, enjoy your day in Gatlinburg.  You may also choose to relax and experience the amenities of the hotel.  We will meet again to ride to the top of Obergatlinburg Mountain for dinner, delightful sunset vistas, and the lights of Gatlinburg after dark.  (B,D)

Day 7, Tuesday, September 17

As a change of pace, enjoy breakfast on your own at the hotel before packing up and heading north to the historical Star of Knoxville Paddle-Wheeler.  This one and one-half hour cruise includes a wonderful lunch buffet and delightful narration by the Captain, explaining some of the Tennessee River’s history.  After lunch, we will drive on to Williamsburg, KY for the our evening meal and a night’s rest.  (L,D)

Day 8, Wednesday, September 18

One more time, we will ride the rails in the Smokies.  Traveling to Stearns, KY, we’ll board the Big South Fork Scenic Railway for a 3 hour, 14 miles trip into the Daniel Boone National Forest and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  The train stops at the Blue Heron Mining Camp where we can listen to audio recordings made by coal miners.  After returning to Stearns, we’ll head on to Louisville and stop at the hotel for our hospitality drinks.  Our dinner awaits us onboard the Mary M. Miller, one of two riverboats operated by the Belle of Louisville.  Following the evening cruise, we’ll return to the hotel for a restful night.  (B,L,D)

Day 9, Thursday, September 19

We will enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then begin our journey home.  We’ll stop in Fairview, IL for our farewell lunch on the road.  (B,L)

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