There is so much to see and do in New Orleans that visitors are seriously spoilt for choice about what to spend their money on.
It’s a city steeped in history and with so many fantastic tales to be told visitors are overloaded with options. We took many tours during our time in this fantastically vibrant city and one of them was the Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise.
We booked on this Viator excursion for our second to last evening in New Orleans. The cruise departed from the main dock, which is an easy fifteen minute stroll from the French Quarter – saving on expensive taxis.
Not just a boat, the Steamboat Natchez is a time capsule that emulates the romance and marvel of yesteryear – the moment you set foot on the steamboat you instantly feel you’ve been transported into an old movie. There’s everything from a museum-quality Engine Room, to the ship’s orders being called over an old-fashioned megaphone, to the fantastic jazz performed by the Grammy-nominated Dukes of Dixieland. You really do feel as if you’ve been transformed to yesteryear.
What’s more, as you sail down the Mississippi River, this tour provides a great opportunity for visitors to take in New Orleans’ beauty and culture so it’s worth remembering to take your camera!
We were treated to a Louisiana-style buffet dinner – everything from prime rib, to chicken, pasta and salad – being a vegetarian, offerings were slightly limited, but I didn’t go hungry.
Dukes of Dixieland were absolutely superb and were one of the best bands I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. They played an assortment of old and new jazz tunes throughout the evening. You could tell everyone onboard enjoyed themselves because there wasn’t an occupied seat by the end of the evening – everyone was up on dancing away. They provided just the right tone for the evening and I absolutely loved listening to them and watching their very engaging performance.
The Natchez is one of only six steamboats still operating on the Mississippi River so we felt extremely lucky that we were able to experience, and taste, a little part of what New Orleans must have been like in days gone by.