The Savannah River is one of Georgia’s longest and largest waterways. It defines most of the boundary of Georgia and South Carolina. The New Georgia Encyclopedia states the Savannah River starts at the merger of the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers in eastern Georgia and ends in the Atlantic Ocean, 15 mile downstream from Savannah. The river travels over 300 miles from beginning to end. There are at least 11 tributaries that form off of the Savannah River.
There are two major cities that were formed on the Savannah River: Savannah and Augusta. Both of these cities were very important early English settlements during the Colonial era. In the early 1800’s the Savannah River was used as a way to transport cotton between Augusta and Savannah. The first steamboat appeared on the Savannah River in 1808. The Savannah River was a key distribution point during the Civil War and was blockaded by the Union Navy for most of the war. After the war, distribution of cotton and other materials continued along the river until the late 1880’s when production and distribution changed. Starting in the 1950’s, the Army Corp. of Engineers started building dams along the river for hydroelectricity, flood control and navigation forming over 120 miles of lakes. Today, the Savannah River is the shipping channel for the Port of Savannah, the 10th busiest port in the Unites States for ocean-going container ships.
Savannah Riverboat Cruises
For the city of Savannah, the Savannah River is a destination point and place for boating, sightseeing or just sitting along River Street enjoying summer fireworks and the great scenery. One of the iconic ways of enjoying a trip on the Savannah River is by taking a riverboat cruise. Passengers, both tourist and locals, can take a step back in time to enjoy a slower time in history when steamboats were the kings of the river.
Savannah Riverboat Cruises is the primary provider of riverboat cruises in Savannah. The company was founded by Captain Jonathan H. Claughton in 1991 to fill a need for riverboat dinner cruises on the Savannah River. They currently have 3 riverboats running: The Savannah River Queen, which holds 400 passengers, the Georgia Queen, which holds 600 passengers and the New River Queen, which holds over 800 passengers. All three boats are climate controlled with an open air third deck. The tours travel up river towards the ports and then back down to pass the statue of the waving girl. The length of the tours will depend on the river conditions and the type of cruise that it being taken.
Savannah Riverboat Cruises offer a variety of cruises from the popular Harbor Sightseeing Cruise to Sunday Brunch Cruises. There is usually a cruise or theme for every night of the week. The company also has seasonal cruises for holidays and special events such as Fourth of July, Mother’s or Father’s Day and Christmas. The cruises include historic tales and stories about the city of Savannah and the river as well as the importance of the Savannah River for modern Savannah. The times of the tour vary, depending on the type of cruise that you are taking. The ticket office is located at the riverboat dock at 9 East River Street directly behind City Hall and next to the Hyatt Regency.
Stop N Stor is proud to be a member of a Savannah community and is happy to be able to share in the heritage and history of the great city along the Savannah River.