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8 Memorable Moments from a New Orleans Steamboat Tour

Mike Fisher

September 27th 2019

8 Memorable Moments from a New Orleans Steamboat Tour

When one thinks of New Orleans, he or she is overcome with the scent of fresh creole cuisine, the pleasing sounds of dixieland jazz, and the sights of historic art and architecture. The Crescent City is packed full of exciting things to do and see, but nothing quite highlights the essence of NOLA culture like a New Orleans steamboat tour.

Hop aboard an antique steamboat paddlewheeler on the Mississippi River for a cruise consisting of authentic New Orleans staples like freshly prepared creole meals, live jazz music, thrilling historic tales, and scenic views! For those looking to experience the first-hand excitement of a New Orleans boat cruise down the Mississippi, here are 8 Memorable Moments from a New Orleans Steamboat Tour.

Table of Contents

  • Easy and Affordable Online Booking
    • Which Steamboat Tour Should I Book?
  • Walking the French Quarter
  • Boarding the New Orleans Steamboat
  • Enjoying Scenic Views from the Top Deck
  • Touring the Antique Vessel
  • Dining on Delicious Creole Cuisine
  • Sipping on a Freshly Prepared New Orleans Cocktail
  • Dancing the Night Away to the Sounds of New Orleans Jazz



1. Easy and Affordable Online Booking


dinner cruises available on tripshock

List of New Orleans dinner cruises available on


Booking a New Orleans steamboat tour online is the quickest, easiest, and cheapest method. Two of the main tour providers are Steamboat Natchez and Creole Queen, both offering cruises on the Mississippi, along with food, drinks, and live entertainment.

Websites like or offer New Orleans dinner cruise coupons for up to 10% off, and maintain special group rates for parties of 15 or more. Whether choosing to partake in the Chalmette Battlefield Tour aboard the Creole Queen, or dance the night away on the Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise, find great deals and up-to-the-minute availability online.

Which Steamboat Tour Should I Book?

If you're not sure which cruise to experience, don't fret! Both the Steamboat Natchez and Creole Queen offer unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

If you'd still like to weigh the options, check out our recent article comparing the two. Both boats offer the most popular tours in New Orleans, LA!


2. Walking the French Quarter


buildings in the french quarter of new orleans

Pictured above is the beautiful French Quarter, which is home to incredible architecture, live music, art, and cruises along the Mississippi River


Most major boat tours down the Mississippi River are located within waking distance of the French Quarter, including the Creole Queen, which boards at #2 Poydras St. Riverwalk Dock, New Orleans. Before boarding the boat, take time to explore the area. It's not hard to find fun French Quarter things to do!

Hit the famous Cafe Du Monde across from Jackson Square for a quick meal of coffee and beignets, or peruse Bourbon Street for that perfect band or street performer. REMINDER: Guests should be at the docks at least 1 hour prior to departure time.


3. Boarding the New Orleans Steamboat


boarding a riverboat cruise in new orleans

Guests boarding the Natchez for a New Orleans dinner cruise


Boarding is an exceptionally grand experience! Riders are greeted by friendly, uniformed attendants waiting to either help diners to their tables, or assist passengers in finding a desired location.

The excitement builds while boarding as creole music and the enticing smell of cajun cuisine fills the air. Some steamboat tour providers even offer live concerts in the boarding area featuring local performers!

4. Enjoying Scenic Views from the Top Deck


jackson square scene from a new orleans riverboat cruise

In a recent Traveler Story, a Steamboat Natchez guest describes the views as one of the best parts of the cruise


You won't believe the sights you'll see from a New Orleans steamboat! The views on the top deck, however, are amazing and unparalleled. On your tour, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city including:

  • Jackson Square
  • Chalmette Monument
  • The Port of New Orleans

During evening cruises, experience the city at night, a stunning view perfect for romantic outings. If looking for exceptional New Orleans Photo Ops, the top deck of a New Orleans steamboat is the place to be!

5. Touring the Antique Vessel


steamboat natchez engine room

Riders can explore the Steamboat Natchez engine room - Photo from Flickr


New Orleans steamboats, including the Steamboat Natchez and Creole Queen, are both considered historical landmarks. The Steamboat Natchez was built in 1925 for the steamer CLAIRTON, and features a fully-functional steam-engine room that is viewable in a museum-quality exhibit.

The outer decks of the Creole Queen are adorned in authentically patterned wrought-iron trim, with the interior accented with antique decor including Victorian-style draperies and wooden parquet dance floors. Every inch of a New Orleans paddlewheeler is packed-full of history!

6. Dining on Delicious Creole Cuisine


creole queen buffet food

Plate of food from a New Orleans lunch cruise aboard the Creole Queen


New Orleans is known world-wide for eclectic and downright scrumptious food. Trying New Orleans' delicious cuisine will top any vacationers' must-do list, which is why the most memorable part of a New Orleans steamboat tour may be the delectable dining!

Buffet-style dining allows for a large sampling of creole cuisine. From red beans and rice to a dessert of bread pudding, diners will know why New Orleans is nicknamed the City of Chefs after the first bite!

Food comes optional on most New Orleans steamboat tours, but is highly recommended for the full cultural experience. Choose to eat directly after boarding, or take some time to drink and dance before digging in!


7. Sipping on a Freshly Prepared New Orleans Cocktail


drinking aboard river cruise new orleans

Pictured above is just one of the many delicious, specialty cocktails you can enjoy on a New Orleans steamboat tour


Order up beer, wine, or an original NOLA cocktail during a New Orleans Riverboat Cruise. Sip on one of these genuine New Orleans cocktails or beers:

  • Sweet Mint Julep
  • Sazerac
  • Abita Beer
  • Natchez River Punch (only available aboard the Steamboat Natchez)

New Orleans is known for elegant cocktails that are as uniquely flavored as they are tasty. What better place to enjoy one of these luscious libations than aboard an authentic steamboat?!


8. Dancing the Night Away to the Sounds of New Orleans Jazz


steamboat natchez jazz band

Dukes of Dixieland performing aboard the Steamboat Natchez through Gray Line New Orleans


The final memorable moment from a steamboat tour in New Orleans, LA, has to be the live jazz entertainment! Dance the evening away alongside dozens of joy-filled passengers before calling it a night.

New Orleans Jazz is a traditional style known as Dixieland Jazz. Such popular entertainers as Duke Heitger's Steamboat Stompers and the Dukes of Dixieland are sure to entertain with lively tunes reminiscent of turn-of-the-century New Orleans.


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