The call of the wild is like a call from an elderly grandparent: though you can’t quite make out what’s being said, you feel better about yourself when you answer. Pick up nature's phone with this Groupon.
$22 for a Nature Cruise for Four ($44 Value)
Based upon water and weather conditions on the day of each nature cruise, seasoned skipper Captain Jim pilots his 40-foot pontoon boat east toward Nashville or west toward Clarksville to follow the whims of the Cumberland River. Peaceful 90-minute skims down the waterway afford tour-takers a chance to glimpse area wildlife, from the company’s winged namesake—the great blue heron—to kingfishers, raccoons, and raccoons in kingfisher costumes. The boat’s open front facilitates sightseeing in the fresh air, and the back section sports a roof to protect guests from the elements. Passengers can bring food and drinks from home onboard.
Blue Heron Cruises
A captain licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, Jim Steele’s more than 25 years of boating⎯including time spent at the helm of Opryland’s water taxis⎯comes in handy as he coaxes The Blue Heron, a specially built 40-foot pontoon, about the Cheatham Wildlife Management Area on daily tours. Out on the water amid soothing birdsongs and the burbles of river critters, Captain Jim can be found behind the wheel of the craft, exercising his chops as an entertainer as he regales his passengers with chuckle-inducing anecdotes and factoids about local flora and fauna. With the comfort and safety of his guests always in mind, Captain Jim equipped the Heron with a restroom and keeps the vessel stocked with a comprehensive library of life jackets to fit adults, children, and pet iguanas of all ages and sizes. Hitting an average cruising speed of 5 to 10 miles per hour, the Heron affords its passengers leisurely looks at area wildlife as it embarks upon all manner of tours, from gold-tinged sunset cruises to kids' adventures punctuated by the gleeful laughter of curious youngsters.