Cruise the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez, enjoy a delicious New Orleans buffet lunch and listen to a wonderful jazz band. The perfect combination for a fabulous afternoon!
While Steve and I were in New Orleans celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary we were fortunate enough to be given tickets to enjoy the Jazz Lunch Cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez so that we could tell you all about our afternoon. From the moment we boarded we were treated like royalty. When we entered the elegant dining room we were immediately directed to our reserved table right by the window. Considering that the cruise was totally sold to capacity we were very lucky to have a spot saved for us! After taking a little tour of the engine room we decided to partake of the wonderful buffet with numerous New Orleans specialties including crispy fried catfish and luscious bread pudding. Then we headed outside to find a spot to enjoy our leisurely cruise on the Mississippi River while we were informed about all of the history and points of interest along the way. When the guide was finished the jazz began and the music lasted until our two-hour cruise ended.
To give you a bit of background on the Natchez, she is the ninth steamer to bear that name. Her predecessor, Natchez VI, raced the Robert E. Lee in the most famous steamboat race ever. In fact, the Natchez is very proud to be the undisputed champion of the Mississippi to this day. This steamboat line follows the course of river history from the placid antebellum plantation era through the turbulence of the Civil War to the Gay Nineties, and ultimately into the new millennium.
The New Orleans Steamboat Company launched the Natchez in 1975 and did more than just revive the famous name. They created one of the only two true steam-powered sternwheelers cruising the Mississippi today combining the best of contemporary construction, safety and comfort standards with the style and authenticity of her predecessors.
The Steamboat Natchez has daily two-hour jazz cruises that depart from the Toulouse St. Wharf (behind JAX Brewery in the French Quarter) at 11:30 A.M.; 2:30 P.M.; and 7:00 P.M. True to tradition in every detail, boarding the NATCHEZ makes you feel as if you have entered another era. The captain barks his orders through an old-time hand-held megaphone. The calliope trills a melody into the air while the great wheel, 25 tons of white oak, churns the heavy waters of the Mississippi. You soon find yourself slipping into a sense of the old, vast and timeless river.
As the Natchez pulled up to the dock we heard her 32 note steam calliope which was custom crafted and modeled after the music makers of the Gilded Age. It was such a delightful afternoon that we highly recommend it for anyone visiting the beautiful Crescent City of New Orleans!!!
The Traveling Locavores were given free tickets for the Jazz Lunch Cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez but the opinions stated are 100% our own.