New Orleans, LA > All activities
01/26/2020 ~ 02/01/2020

Creole Queen vs. Natchez: Which is the Best New Orleans River Jazz Cruise?

Mike Fisher

Creole Queen vs. Natchez: Which is the Best New Orleans River Jazz Cruise?

There are so many things to do when in New Orleans, from Carriage Rides and Tours to grabbing a beignet in the French Quarter, the options are endless. Few New Orleans attractions, however, are as magical as a midnight cruise down the mighty Mississippi. Throw some New Orleans jazz into the mix, and you have yourself one heck of an evening! One of our favorite ways to see the city in all of its glory is from a New Orleans River jazz cruise!

A New Orleans Dinner Cruise is classic Big Easy, and is sure to make for an amazing night out. Once you hop on board of one of these fantastic and historic river vessels, the party really gets started! River cruises take you along the banks of the city at dusk as you take in the beauty, sights, and smells of NOLA from end to end! Two of the premier Riverboat Cruises in New Orleans are the Creole Queen and the Steamboat Natchez. Discover the similarities and differences between the two liners, and decide for yourself which is the best New Orleans River Jazz Cruise!

 

Table of Contents

  • Quick Overview of the New Orleans River Jazz Cruise
  • Creole Queen Jazz Cruise
    • History of the Creole Queen
    • Atmosphere Aboard the Creole Queen
    • Creole Queen's Food & Entertainment
    • Creole Queen Tour Details
  • Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise
    • History of the Steamboat Natchez
    • Atmosphere Aboard the Steamboat Natchez
    • Steamboat Natchez Food & Entertainment
    • Steamboat Natchez Tour Details
  • Creole Queen vs. Natchez Side-by-Side

 


 

Quick Overview of the New Orleans River Jazz Cruise

 

River Cruises are a tradition in NOLA. The giant paddlewheeler boats have been a common sight in New Orleans, LA, since 1800s and 1900s, when riverboats propelled by steam engines transported people and goods to and from towns along the Mississippi (guide.trustedtours.com).

Now adays, not all paddlewheelers you see in New Orleans are proppeled by steam. Some boats, like the Creole Queen, are powered by a diesel-electric engine.

 

two men boarding natchez river cruise

NOLA travelers are seen here boarding the Steamboat Natchez for a Lunch Cruise with Live Jazz

 

The addition of a new paddlewheeler to the Mississippi is met with celebration and fanfare! For centuries paddlewheeler river boats have helped define New Orleans culture as a place "laid-back livin on the river", and have introduced that attitude through river cruises featuring spectacular sights, live jazz music, and mouth-watering dining with NOLA-influenced drinks and Creole/Cajun cuisine.

Operating year-round, River Cruises are a great option for something to do any time you visit New Orleans. We even added Jazz Cruises to a recent travel article as one of the best things you can do in New Orleans in March, May, and even June! But given that NOLA gets reaches extreme lows and highs in temperature, you'll get the most out of an evening Dinner Cruise when the weather is mild, like spring and fall.

 

Creole Queen Jazz Cruise

 

new orleans river cruise

Passengers board the Creole Queen at the Poydras Street dock at Spanish Plaza

 

History of the Creole Queen

The Creole Queen is an authentic paddlewheeler whose maiden voyage took place on 1983. This 24-foot paddlewheeler may look old fashioned, but it is actually powered by one of the most advanced and fuel efficient diesel-electric engines around! The Creole Queen was modeled after the opulent river boats of the 19th century, with intricate architecture, stunning decor, and ornate private rooms.

Atmosphere Aboard the Creole Queen

 

couple on the creole queen river cruise

Couple enjoys romantic dinner and jazz cruise aboard the Creole Queen in New Orleans

 

Climb aboard the Creole Queen and the first thing you will notice is the plush Victorian décor, the shining brass, and sparkling wooden parquet dance floors. A New Orleans jazz cruise pioneer, the Creole Queen boasts three different dining rooms and multiple outdoor decks that let you take in the air and city skyline!

Creole Queen's Food & Entertainment

 

entree dish from the buffet on creole queen

Make sure you bring an empty stomach and your dancing shoes with you to your Creole Queen River Jazz Cruise

 

Enjoy a grand Creole buffet packed with all of the best New Orleans dishes you can think of including:

  • Caesars Salad
  • Creole Seafood Gumbo
  • Louisiana Jambalaya
  • Baked Chicken
  • Cajun Braised Beef Brisket
  • Red Beans & Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Corn Mac Choux
  • Paddlewheeler White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
  • Bread and Butter & Cornbread

Menu items are subject to change by season and availability

After dinner, grab a drink at the cash bar, and get down on the dance floor to the spectacular sounds of Sullivan Dabney, Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band! Here's a short video of the band playing during a dinner cruise.

Creole Queen Tour Details

 

creole queen cruise at sunset

The Creole Queen offers incredible views of the New Orleans skyline

 

This 2 hour tour is brought to you by New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc.

Included in General Ticket: Cruise, live music

Not Included in General Ticket: New Orleans Cuisine Buffet, Professional Photography, Tips

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Restrooms Available: Yes

Tours Offered: Dinner Jazz Cruise, Lunch Jazz Cruise, Historical Mississippi River Cruise (w/ Narration)

Price: Adult tickets starting at $36

Departure Info: Daily and nightly tours depart from 1 Poydras Street, Riverwalk Market Place, New Orleans, LA, 70130

Rolling on the river never felt so good! Use the “Book Now” button below to find the perfect Creole Queen cruise for you, and save 10% with code RIVER99:

 

book creole queen new orleans

 

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise

 

steamboat natchez jazz river cruise on the mississippi river

Steamboat Natchez passing by Jackson Square in the French Quarter

 

History of the Steamboat Natchez

The ninth steamer to bear the name Natchez, this legendary vessel was built in 1975 (steamboatnatchez.com). Her predecessor Natchez VI raced the Robert E. Lee in arguably the most famous steamboat race of all time. One of the two steam-powered sternwheelers left on the Mississippi, the Natchez is a historic marvel built with comfort in mind.

The Natchez has since held celebrities, noteable musicians, and even major political figures including President Gerald Ford who used the Natchez during his presidential campaign in 1976 (nytimes.com).

Atmosphere Aboard the Steamboat Natchez

 

dining room aboard the steamboat natchez

The Natchez is a beautiful vessel, providing a historic and elegant atmosphere with stunning views of the city

 

Hop on board and her gothic features will immediately transport you back in time! Stroll the beautiful ship in all of its glory, including outdoor decks and seating. Check out the museum-quality engine room and admire the steam technology and intricate pipework that delivers the power to the paddlewheel! Enjoy breathtaking views of the city as you cruise the Mississippi and enjoy a night of great food and music.

Steamboat Natchez Food & Entertainment

 

live band performing jazz aboard steamboat-natchez

New Orleans is known for its Jazz music, and that’s no different when aboard the Natchez

 

Join the Grammy nominated Dukes of Dixieland as they rock the ship from point A to point B and feast on a casual buffet-style dinner with something for everyone including:

  • Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
  • Steamboat Round
  • Pork Loin
  • Bayou Seafood Pasta
  • Paddlewheel Primavera
  • Natchez Tossed Salad
  • Herb-Garlic Fingerling Potatoes
  • Creole Creamed Spinach
  • Green Beans Almondine
  • White Chocolate Bread Pudding
  • Bananas Foster
  • La Louisiane Sliced French Bread

Menu items are subject to change by season and availability

After you get your fill at the buffet, enjoy a drink at the cash bar, do a little dancing, but don’t forget to save some room for the famous Paddlehweeler Bread Pudding with white chocolate sauce!

Steamboat Natchez Tour Details

 

steamboat natchez docked at Toulouse st

Experience New Orleans' beauty and French Quarter romance aboard the Steamboat Natchez

 

This 2-hour tour is brought to you by the New Orleans Steamboat Company.

Included in General Ticket: Cruise, live music, steam engine museum

Not Included in General Ticket: New Orleans Cuisine Buffet, Professional Photography, Tips, Drinks

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes (Main deck only)

Restrooms Available: Yes

Tours Offered: Dinner Jazz Cruise, Lunch Jazz Cruise, Combination Bus Tour/River Cruise

Price: Adult tickets starting at $36

Departure Info: Daily and nightly tours depart from 400 Toulouse Street, New Orleans, LA, 70130

Natchez is a living piece of history! Use the “Book Now” button below to learn more about Steamboat Natchez tours, and save 10% with code RIVER99:

 

book natchez new orleans

 


 

Creole Queen vs. Natchez Side-by-Side

 

boarding steamboat natchez in new orleans la

 

Whether you’re looking for a romantic activity for two in New Orleans or an epic girls’ night out, a cruise along the Mississippi is great for any occasion.

These two cruises may have a lot in common, making it even harder to choose one over the other. Here is a side-by-side comparison of the two cruises:

Steamboat Natchez Creole Queen
Jazz Band Dukes of Dixieland Sullivan Dabney, Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band
Food Creole/Cajun Buffet (optional) Creole/Cajun Buffet (optional)
Drinks Included Water/Soft Drinks w/ Meal (Cash Bar) Water/Soft Drinks w/ Meal (Cash Bar)
Price Adult Ticket $36+ (cruise only) Adult Ticket $36+ (cruise only)
Tours Available River, Lunch, Dinner River, Lunch, Dinner, History
Tour Length 2 hours 2 hours
Family Friendly Yes Yes
Steamboat Yes No
Museum On Board Yes No
Wheelchair Accessible Yes (main level only) Yes
Location 400 Toulouse Street 1 Poydras Street, Riverwalk Market Place

 

Information in this table is subject to change. Before booking, please reference a TripShock.com listing or call TripShock at (850) 424-5125

 

Now that you've compared Creole Queen vs. Natchez, which do YOU want to experience? Both are great choices, but we'll leave it up to you to discover which boat offers the Best New Orleans Jazz River Cruise!

If you want to learn more about Natchez and Creole Queen, or you're ready to buy your tickets online, you can find the lowest prices on NOLA Dinner Cruise tickets online at TripShock.com.

   

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