The Ultimate Guide To Steamboat Natchez
Steamboat Natchez, an authentic sternwheel steamboat cruising the Mississippi since 1975!
Steamboat Natchez, operated by New Orleans Steamboat Company, offers memorable cruises along the Mississippi River featuring onboard music, food, and unmatched vistas of New Orlean’s skyline!
The New Orleans Steamboat Company operates two historical boats along the Mississippi River, Steamboat Natchez and Riverboat City of New Orleans, offering several sightseeing cruises departing from Toulouse Street Wharf located near Jackson Square Park in New Orleans. These river cruises last about two hours and are the best way to enjoy New Orlean’s skyline along with onboard live music and several dining options!
Steamboats played a significant role in the development of the city of New Orleans as once upon a time, before railroads were introduced, steamboats were the primary means of transportation carrying people and freight up and down the Mississippi River. The demand and use of steamboats significantly reduced after the railroads were introduced, but they continued to carry cargo till the late 20th century. Two of these historical vessels continue to operate in New Orleans today, offering river cruises to millions of tourists every year!
Enjoy the same great cuisines, jazz music, along with spectacular cityscapes onboard one of the cruises offered by the New Orleans Steamboat Company!
There’re primarily two boats, the Steamboat Natchez and the Riverboat City of New Orleans, operated by the New Orleans Steamboat Company featuring several different cruises, including Dinner Jazz Cruise, Dinner Buffet Cruises, Harbor Jazz Cruises, Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruises, Private Cruises, and a few Holiday and special events. The river cruises are very popular, and tickets often sell out, especially during the Mardi Gras season, so I highly recommend making advance reservations which can be made online on the Steamboat Natchez website.
Here is my ultimate guide to Steamboat Natchez, featuring essential trip-planning information, things to do, nearby attractions, and recommendations on hotels and restaurants in New Orleans!
Planning Your Steamboat Natchez River Cruise
The Steamboat Natchez River Cruises are offered year-round, and it’s a must-do on a trip to New Orleans!
Best Time For Steamboat Natchez River Cruise: Whether you’re going for Mardi Gras celebrations or sightseeing, you must do the Steamboat Natchez River Cruise on your trip to New Orleans! If you’re visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras or the Jazz Festival, you have to go during the spring season, Jan through May, which is also the peak season in New Orleans. However, if you’re going to New Orleans for sightseeing, you can travel any time of the year, but keep in mind that summers are scorching and humid in New Orleans. I recommend doing the Steamboat Natchez River Cruise or visiting any other attraction in Louisiana only outside the summer months.
Time Required For Steamboat Natchez River Cruise: The Steamboat Natchez River Cruises lasts for a couple of hours, but you must arrive 30 – 45 minutes before your cruise’s departure time in order to board the vessel. The timing and the duration for the special cruises, including Independence Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year, may differ and should be checked online on the Steamboat Natchez website.
Getting To Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal: The Steamboat Natchez River Cruises departs from the Toulouse Street Wharf located near Jackson Square Park in New Orleans. The best way to get to Lake Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal is by taking a direct flight to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, located very close to downtown New Orleans and then driving to the Toulouse Street Wharf. Alternatively, you could also take an Amtrak train or a Greyhound bus to New Orleans and then drive to the Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal.
- Flight: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), New Orleans, Louisiana, about 15 miles from downtown New Orleans, is the closest major international airport to Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal. The other option is to fly into Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport (GPT), Gulfport, Mississippi, located approximately 75 miles from the Toulouse Street Wharf, New Orleans.
- Train: The Union Passenger Terminal in New Orleans is an Amtrak train station located on Loyola Avenue serviced by several Amtrak train services connecting New Orleans to other parts of the Nation.
- Bus: Greyhound offers bus services to New Orleans, with the closest Greyhound bus stop located on Loyola Avenue, in downtown New Orleans around 15 miles from Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal.
Parking At Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal: There’s no onsite parking offered by the New Orleans Steamboat Company, but you will find a few paid parking lots in the French Quarter area located close to Toulouse Street Wharf.
Other Attractions Near Steamboat Natchez: Downtown New Orleans definitely takes center stage in Louisiana! However, when visiting the Steamboat Natchez River Cruise terminal, I recommend stopping by the Lakeview neighborhood on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and driving the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge. The Lakeview community features a lakefront area with many restaurants, boat and yacht rentals, New Canal Lighthouse Museum, Treasure Chest Casino, and a bike path.
Hotels Near Steamboat Natchez River Cruise Terminal: If you’re going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras celebrations, I highly recommend staying in a hotel on Bourbon Street or Canal Street with balconies overlooking the street to enjoy the parades without having to leave your hotel! However, in order to get rooms in those hotels during Mardi Gras, you must plan and reserve at least a year in advance. If you’re going outside Mardi Gras season for sightseeing, you could stay anywhere in the city, within driving distance to the downtown. Here’re are my top picks for hotels in New Orleans
- Best Hotels for Mardi Gras: Here’re a few hotels in New Orleans featuring balconies and rooms overlooking the streets so that you can enjoy the parades and festivities without having to leave the comfort of your hotel – Bourbon Orleans, Royal Sonesta, and Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.
- The Ritz-Carlton: Located in the French Quarter, Ritz-Carlton is the epitome of luxury in New Orleans, featuring elegant suites and rooms with excellent dining, spa, and guest services.
- JW Marriott New Orleans: Featuring luxurious rooms, a grand lobby, extraordinary guest services, and access to several downtown attractions, JW Marriott New Orleans is also a great lodging choice in French Quarter.
- Hilton New Orleans Riverside: The Hilton New Orleans Riverside, located along the Mississippi River, offers fabulous views, great dining options, and contemporary rooms located just a few miles from the downtown area.
Dining Options Onboard Steamboat Natchez River Cruise: Depending on your cruise, your menu and service may vary, but you will find ample indoor and outdoor seating and excellent freshly-cooked southern delicacies on board the Steamboat Natchez River Cruises. You can find the complete menu online on the Steamboat Natchez website.
Other Louisiana Attractions & Related Posts
I hope you enjoyed reading the post, The Ultimate Guide To Steamboat Natchez, and I hope this will help you plan your Steamboat Natchez River Cruise. You can find other attractions in Louisiana in my Louisiana Travel Guide.
Happy feeding your soul!
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