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The Meandering Traveler

A Travel Blog with Travel Tips and Interesting Facts

Top Attractions in Natchez for Mississippi River Cruisers Part 1

The Towers in Natchez, MS. Photo by Susan J. Young.

Fast forward from the 1800s to 2022. Arriving at Natchez, MS , by riverboat, cruisers see much of the same Mississippi River scenery that Mark Twain did from a 19th century steamboat. But what are the top attractions?

What should travelers see and do ashore?  Here’s Part One of our two-part series about what to see and do in Natchez.

Exploring by Riverboat

First, a bit about “getting there.” Natchez is a popular port of call for Lower Mississippi river cruises. Many voyages sail roundtrip from New Orleans or between New Orleans and Memphis, TN .

In addition, for consumers seeking the “full shebang” on the Mississippi River, some voyages sail more than 1,100 miles between New Orleans, LA, and St. Paul, MN .

American Queen Voyages' American Duchess, one of the line's vessels. Photo by Susan J. Young

Two veteran Mississippi River “sailors” are American Cruise Lines (ACL) and American Queen Voyages (AQV). New in June 2022, Viking River Cruises will start sailing the Missisippi River as well.

Tour operators also offer guests options on some of those cruises. For example, Tauck offers an 11-day “Life on the Mississippi” vacation on AQV’s American Duchess .

For the full range of voyage options (including sailing dates, itineraries, pricing, accommodations and add-ons), contact your travel advisor or read the Important Note from Pavlus Travel at the end of this story.

Our focus instead with this blog is “the destination.” We hope to offer helpful tidbits and suggestions for shoreside fun.

So, here’s Part One of our two-part blog series about “Top Natchez Attractions for River Cruisers.” Check back next week for Part Two.

1. Top Attractions: Natchez Under the Hill 

Most river cruise vessels arrive at Natchez Under the Hill, nestled below soaring riverside bluffs. The city itself is atop the bluffs.

In the 19th century and early 20th centuries, this area was — to put it bluntly — a seedy area that bustled with gambling, drinking and brothels.

Today, it’s a relatively quiet, lovely spot for a riverside stroll. Plus, you’ll also find a few places to dine, enjoy a brew or shop.

Natchez Under the Hill, once a seedy enclave of vice, is now a great spot for a stroll. A few retail establishments welcome cruise guests. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.,

To reach Natchez’s downtown, there are two options. Active travelers might enjoy hiking up the hill and walking into the city.

Most travelers, though, will opt to board the cruise lines’ “on-off” or shore excursion motorcoaches. That makes for an easier journey to the top and beyond. Shuttles and taxis can be arranged too.

2. Top Attractions: Grand Village of the Natchez Indians 

Natchez’s historical and cultural influences are eclectic. Long before French explorers arrived, indigenous Natchez Indians lived in the Natchez area.

Not far from downtown Natchez is the 128-acre Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. If you go, you’ll see three prehistoric native American mounds and a museum.

Separately, the area’s Natchez Trace Federal Parkway is now a scenic highway under the auspices of the U.S. National Park Service. This trace (or trail) was a footpath originally used by the Natchez Indians and other native American tribes.

Natchez Trace Parkway. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez

Centuries ago, trappers/fur traders also used the trace to bring goods to/from Mississippi River vessels. Today, the parkway is a lovely drive with pretty eco-scenery ( see photo above ).  Hiking trails and a designated biking trail also await.

Viking Shore Excursion

When it begins cruising in June , Viking River Cruises plans to offer a “ Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Emerald Mound and Fort Rosalie ” shore excursion; that’s just one of many shore excursions it will offer for Natchez.

Over three or so hours, this shore trip will provide an enticing look at the history and culture of the Natchez people. The first stop will be along the Natchez Trace.

Cruisers will visit Emerald Mound , North America’s second largest temple mound, likely a  political and ceremonial center.

Afterward, Viking’s guests will visit the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians (see one of the site’s huts in the photo above). They’ll view a special presentation, followed by a guided museum tour. Cruisers can expect archaeological insight and exhibits.

The tour then concludes at Fort Rosalie ( see next section ). In this area, cruisers will learn about the dispersal of the Natchez people from their ancestral homeland.

3. Top Attractions: Fort Rosalie Site & Lovely Rosalie

In 1716, France established Natchez as a settlement. From Natchez Under the Hill, visitors can either walk up/climb or take a shuttle/motorcoach to reach the Fort Rosalie site .

While nothing really remains of the French-era fort, the U.S. National Park Service maintains the site. As a result, you’ll find a riverside path, signage with historic information, parkland and picnic tables.

It’s a great starting point for a hike with stellar Mississippi River views.

Rosalie is nestled atop the bluffs in Natchez, MS. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

Rosalie, Gorgeous Lady on the Bluff 

Not far away is Rosalie, an elegant historic mansion close to the bluffs ( see photo above ). Built in 1823 for Peter Little , a wealthy cotton broker, the structure will “wow” visitors. Among its architectural features is a gorgeous, four-column Tuscan portico.

On July 13, 1863, during the U.S. Civil War, General Ulysses Grant came to town. He took possession of Rosalie for his Union Army headquarters. The following month, General Walter Gresham took over from Grant in Natchez.

Today’s visitors can thank Gresham. Why? The general arranged for many of the owner’s furnishings to be stored in the attic. Also, he assigned guards to protect them.   

Thus, travelers taking a tour will see many original furnishings and decorative items. The preserved Rosalie plantation mansion is lovingly maintained by the Mississippi State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution . It’s open for guided tours by guides wearing period clothing.

4. Top Attractions: Natchez Visitor Reception Center

Looking again at Natchez’s eclectic historical timeline, first came the Natchez Indians, then the French. They were followed by the Spanish and British.  In 1817, Mississippi became a U.S. state. 

The southern U.S. cotton boom and sad slavery era of the 1800s followed. Then, in 1861, Mississippi seceded from the U.S. and joined the Confederate States of America . At war’s end, Mississippi once again became part of the United States.

Wow, that’s a lot of historical twists and turns!

To help put things in perspective, we’d recommend a quick stop at Natchez Visitor Reception Center (see photo below). Fortunately, this center is often a scheduled stop on those “on-off” motorcoach tours.

Natchez Visitor's Center. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

We’d suggest going inside, checking out the exhibits, grabbing brochures and asking questions of staff. In addition, cruisers can purchase select historic home tickets at the center. River lines too, obviously, offer excursions that include historic home tours.

Natchez Pilgrimage Tours 

Another spot to stop if you’re interested in tickets for historic homes is Natchez Pilgrimage Tours’ office at 211 Main Street. What’s special? During certain times of the year, Natchez offers “pilgrimages” — with ticket packages that include entry to two or three different historic homes or sites.

Now in its 90th year, the pilgrimages typically are in spring and fall. For example, this year’s Fall Pilgrimage is set for September 24 through October 21, 2022.

The next Spring Pilgrimage is March 11 to April 11, 2023. For more information, visit Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at the link provided above.

A group participating in a "pilgrimage" tour listen to a guide in period clothing at Hope Farm in the Natchez area. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

Some historic Natchez homes/sites are open for touring year-round or much of the year. Others, though, are normally not open to the public, but do welcome visitors during the annual pilgrimages.

5. Top Attractions: Natchez in Historical Photographs

We love many attractions in Natchez, some we’ve visited repeatedly. Among our favorites? It’s Natchez in Historical Photographs .

Travelers will gaze at 500-plus historic photos and feel they’ve “stepped back” in time. All were taken by local, professional photographers between 1845 and 1910. These photos visually captured the essence of Natchez life “back in the day.”

Natchez in Historical Photos attraction. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

This amazing photo collection is on the second floor of Stratton Chapel. That’s behind the Natchez Presbyterian Church  on Pearl Street. An elevator is available.

The photos reflect scenes of the young and old, rich and poor. They also showcase people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. For instance, you’ll see images of society belles, shopkeepers and workers in the field.

It’s also fun to look at the photos of young children decked out in their finest attire.

Gazing at this collection, you’ll also see a mix of city sites, magnificent homes and farm scenes. Of interest to river cruisers are the shots of Mississippi River steamboats laden with cotton bales.

Simply put, an hour here is a bit akin to entering a time warp. A $5 donation is requested for admission.

6. Top Attractions: Octagonal, Unfinished Longwood 

When it comes to historic structures, Natchez has a diverse portfolio. Many are listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and open for visitors to tour. Some date from the French, Spanish or English Colonial periods.

While s ome other southern towns or cities (such as Vicksburg) suffered significant devastation during the Civil War, that didn’t happen in Natchez. I n 1862 after the fall of New Orleans, Natchez surrendered to the Union Army.

Longwood, Natchez, MS. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

One of the “must see” sites in Natchez — included in many cruise line tours — is the humongous, unfinished Longwood, a grand octagonal villa.

Planned as a 30,000-square-foot mansion, Longwood was designed by a Philadelphia architect for Haller and Julia Nutt. The couple were members of Natchez’s “planter elite” society.

Challenging Timing

However, the couple’s timing in building a new home wasn’t good. Construction began in 1860. But rising Civil War political tensions in 1861 halted the work. So, beyond the first level (mostly completed), the rest of the structure above is unfinished.

Adding insult to the family’s situation, local residents began calling the unfinished mansion “Nutt’s Folly.” However, the Nutt family lived on that first floor until the 20th century.

Also, we must say that Longwood’s exterior looks impressive. On guided tours of the home’s interior, visitors will first see that lower level, which has a few lovely rooms to view.

But when the guide leads the tour group upstairs, the tour gets really interesting. On that second level and above, all that visitors will see are bare walls, exposed beams and wooden structural elements ( see photo below ).

A view of the upstairs, unfinished section of Longwood in Natchez, MS. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

Think of a “snapshot in time.” That’s because this part of the mansion appears exactly as it did when construction stopped in the 1860s. Outside, though, there are magnificent porches, which are accessible from that unfinished interior space.

Today, the Pilgrimage Garden Club of Natchez cares for the large structure and its outbuildings. Cruise lines often offer shore excursions to Longwood.

For example, American Cruise Lines’ guests can book the line’s complimentary shore excursion, “ Historic Longwood Exploration .” It’s just one of many excursions that ACL offers for Natchez port calls on multiple itineraries.

7. Top Attractions: The William Johnson House 

Natchez has done much to preserve its rich African-American and Creole heritage. Did you know that many “free blacks” worked as skilled tradesmen during the French and Spanish periods? Yes, that’s true, and it happened long before the British arrived.

One historic, downtown Natchez site with fascinating history is the William Johnson House, operated by the U.S. National Park Service.  Admission is free.

As a free man of color prior to the Civil War, William Johnson (1809-1851) bought this home and lived here with his family. While Johnson had started life as a slave, he was freed at age 11.

The Barber of Natchez

Known as the “The Barber of Natchez,” Johnson owned a local barber shop. In addition, he purchased other structures and 2,000 acres of land outside Natchez.

Well-respected locally,  Johnson also was a banker of sorts — loaning money to others. 

Interesting tidbit? Visitors are often surprised to learn that this free man of color also owned slaves. Here’s a link to the NPS site if you’d like to read more.

William Johnson House in Natchez, MS. Photo by U.S. National Park Service

Exhibits and Recreated Living Quarters

Heading into the William Johnson House, you’ll first enter the downstairs exhibit space (see photo above). There’s also a bookstore here. Upstairs, the U.S. National Park Service has done a nice job of recreating the Johnsons’ furnished living quarters.

Park service rangers will tell visitors about about Johnson’s life story and the home’s history. Fortunately, Johnson kept a diary.

He wrote faithfully in that diary between 1835 and 1851. He talked about everyday life in Natchez — everything from a search for a lost cow to a local visit by former President Andrew Jackson.

8. Top Attractions: Museum of African-American History/Culture

We’d also pop into the Natchez Museum of African-American Culture and History . It’s located downtown inside the 1905-era, former U.S. Post Office building on Main Street.

Natchez Museum of African-American History. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

As a National Literary Landmark, the museum’s exhibit hall is dedicated to Richard Wright , author and Natchez native. With many simple, interesting displays, the museum is home to African-American memorabilia, photographs, books and artifacts.

Here too cruisers can learn about Forks of the Road  just outside the city. No building remains, but this notorious site was once the site of the South’s second largest slave market.

Recently, the U.S. National Park Service , which maintains the small, grassy site, installed free-standing exhibits and wayside panels at Forks of the Road.  They explain what happened here regarding the domestic slave trade era.

Melrose and Plantation Life

To learn about plantation slave life in the 1800s, one good option is Melrose , a Natchez historic mansion. What’s unique is that, unlike many other mansion sites, this one has intact slave cabins.

Melrose was constructed around 1845 for John McMurran , a Pennsylvania native and Natchez attorney. Today, it’s operated by the U.S. National Park Service.

NPS suggests a 2.5-hour visit to get the “full picture” at Melrose. That includes a guided mansion tour plus a self-guided tour of a slave cabin — allowing time to read the exhibits in the cabin.

9. Top Attractions: The Towers

The Towers in Natchez, MS, is an antebellum home which has been lovingly restored.. Photo by Susan J. Young.

Another one-of-a-kind, historic home is The Towers, built over several centuries. Huge pre-Civil War Oak trees surround the mansion.

For river cruisers, it’s interesting to know that many of the mansion’s structural elements show signs of peg construction and barge-board elements. That type of construction was found in historic river vessels that transported furs from Natchez.

The Towers has evolved in its look over the years. In 1826, a second Neo-Classical construction phase added a colonnade of square columns. For instance, you’ll see some of those still visible on the porches.

In an 1858-era update, The Towers received an Italian villa-like, Renaissance Revival façade; that also created a pair of third-story tower rooms. However, a 1920’s storm sizably damaged those upper tower rooms, which were then removed.

Recently, owners Ginger and James Hyland have restored and rebuilt those two towers.

Collection of Beaded Purses on the walls inside The Towers in Natchez, MS. Photo by Susan J. Young.

River cruisers often visit The Towers for tours (and sometimes lunch). We’ve been privileged to enjoy two tours that the affable Ginger has conducted.

She’s an owner who takes enormous pride in the mansion and every little detail of its interior furnishings and decorative items.

Collections Galore

Tour participants will see antique furniture, antique laces at every window and amazing collections of items. For example, one wall is totally filled with small “hanging” beaded purses ( see photo at right ).

Aviation buffs should head for the first floor’s rear door. Here they’ll find a display area that’s a tribute to Ginger’s late father, L. A. (Buzz) Hyland.

His claim to fame? He was among the men credited with inventing radar.

That feat impressed Howard Hughes,  who hired Hyland to run Hughes Aircraft Company. Hyland retired as that company’s chairman of the board in 1983.

Ginger honors her father with a display that includes much aviation and aerospace memorabilia. If you go, look for the award that Hyland received from NASA.

Diverse Tours

The Towers offers many types of tours such as “Decorative Arts Tours” or “Jeweled Christmas Tours.” All showcase the home and its spectacular décor and collections. You’ll find Easter and Passover tours too.

For guests cruising on American Queen Voyages, one premium shore excursion ($79 per person) is the “ Home Hosted Visit with Ginger and James .”

Cruisers will arrive at The Towers, where the owners will greet them and guide them around.  That’s followed by a sampling of southern comfort foods on the mansion’s sunny, enclosed back gallery.

10. Top Attractions: More to Come

This concludes Part One of our two-part look at Natchez, MS. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week, focusing on these additional sites:

  • Natchez’s historic Jewish temple, Temple B’nai Israel ;
  • The elegant historic mansion, Stanton Hall ;
  • More historic homes and mansions including Monmouth, Dunleith, Texada , the House on Ellicott Hill and others;
  • Downtown Natchez and the Antique District;
  • Sites that reflect new downtown investment by the Tate Taylor Company; and
  • Attractions beyond Natchez such as the Windsor ruins and the Delta Music Museum & Arcade

View from the bluffs of Natchez to the river below. Photo courtesy of Visit Natchez.

For more information on Natchez, MS, and what to see and do in the city or its environs, visit

For information about Mississippi River Cruises (itineraries, pricing, accommodations, departure dates and so on), contact your travel advisor.

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  • This blog site is editorial in nature. It’s designed for “basic, general information” about travel; it’s not  designed to provide specific pricing nor is it staffed by travel advisors.
  •   So, please don’t use the Reply Section below if you’re asking for cruise or land pricing, travel dates, accommodations, brochures or other specific requests.
  • That said, we are most happy and eager to assist you. Here’s how…
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Susan J. Young

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Which plantation home in Natchez is maintained by the DAR?

Also do you still have a riverboat tour of the upper Red River? A couple I know had taken it years ago and said it was beautiful to see.

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Hi Linda. It’s Rosalie, mentioned in that section of the story… Sorry but I’m not familiar (as a writer/editor) with the Red River trips. I’d suggest asking your travel advisor or, if you don’t have one, Pavlus (see Important Note from Pavlus for contact info). Thanks for your note.

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Please send schedules, accommodation and price info on MSY/MEM

Since this is an unstaffed general blog site, please see the important note from Pavlus Travel after the end of the story. They will be happy to assist with those types of questions related to individual travel information, based on your needs, origin city, itineraries desired, type of accommodations desired and fares. Thanks

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EDITOR’S NOTE TO READERS: Be sure to read Part 2 of this Natchez blog series, where Frogmore in Louisiana is mentioned as one shore excursion option beyond the City of Natchez itself; in that piece, we talk briefly about Frogmore and provide the website link to their site. That said, here’s additional information we kindly received from Lynette at Frogmore:

“Nineteen historical buildings dating from 1790’s to 1900 are a restored tribute to Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins, a modern 1,800-acre working cotton estate with a computerized farm and gin.

As you arrive at the computerized cotton gin, the owner will meet you and escort you through the gin and cotton farm operations. Participate in picking cotton and removing the seeds and tour a rare, steam engine gin listed on the National Register of Historic Properties.

Be seated in the hand-hewn log cabin and listen to narration and the vocalist’s songs highlighting the history of southern plantations, including the Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, and accurate statistics of the enslaved and planter families.

After an enlightening overview of the historical Frogmore owners, explore the cotton fields and authentic cabins to learn the origin of southern cuisine, the day-to-day operations and how their labor force evolved into sharecropping, a way of life for 100 years. Enjoy a complimentary beverage as you browse an original plantation store.”

Lynette, I have posted some of this within our Part 2 blog about Natchez. That’s where we talk about activities “across the river.” While we had already mentioned Frogmore there, I did add in some of these gleanings to give readers a bit more detail. Thanks for writing. We appreciate your comments.

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Natchez MS (Mississippi)

Cruise port schedule, live map, terminals, news.

Natchez MS cruise port

Region Canada and USA Rivers

Local Time 2024-05-19 02:12

Port Natchez MS cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Natchez MS, Mississippi. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.

Natchez MS is a Lower Mississippi River cruise port, only city and county seat of Adams County (Mississippi, USA) with population around 16,000 and total area approx 36 km2 (14 ml2). Located on Mississippi River across from Vidalia (Concordia Parish, Louisiana), the town was prominent in the antebellum years as a center of cotton planters and trade along the river.

Natchez is approx 140 km (90 ml) southwest of Jackson (Mississippi's capital city located near state's center) and approx 137 km (85 ml) north of Baton Rouge Louisiana . Natchez is state's 25th-largest city and was named after the Natchez Indians who inhabited much of the region from early-8th-century AD until the French colonial period.

By 1988 winter, the National Park Service founded Natchez National Historical Park around the Melrose mansion. William Johnson House was added inthe city a few years later. Downtown's historic district has been often used by Hollywood in the antebellum period as the backdrop for feature films. In 1993, "The Adventures of Huck Finn" by Disney was partially filmed here. The 1982 TV movie "Rascals and Robbers: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn" also was filmed in Natchez. The TV mini-series "Beulah Land", as well as individual weekly shows of "The Mississippi" TV drama, starring Ralph Waite, and parts of the TV mini-series "North and South" were also filmed in the city. In and around Natchez was filmed John Wayne's "The Horse Soldiers". In 2007, after renovating a historic hall, the US Courthouse was opened in Natchez. The city also has a Museum of African American History and Culture.

Chesapeake Shipbuilding delivers to ACL-American Cruise Lines the boat American Symphony

Chesapeake Shipbuilding delivers to ACL-American Cruise Lines the boat American Symphony

The newest river boat for the Mississippi River successfully passed sea trials late last week and is on her way to New Orleans for the start of her...

ACL's newest ship American Melody stops in Davenport IA (Iowa, Quad Cities)

ACL's newest ship American Melody stops in Davenport IA (Iowa, Quad Cities)

The maiden voyage of ACL-American Cruise Lines' newest boat American Melody stopped in Davenport (Iowa, Quad Cities) on Sunday, September 19. The...

ACL-American Cruise Lines launches the newest riverboat in the USA, American Melody

ACL-American Cruise Lines launches the newest riverboat in the USA, American Melody

ACL-American Cruise Lines’ newest riverboat - American Melody, started 22-day voyages on the Mississippi.  ACL’s domestic...

Viking announced the Itinerary of its first Holiday-themed Mississippi River Cruise

Viking announced the Itinerary of its first Holiday-themed Mississippi River Cruise

Viking's new travel brand Viking River Cruises USA released details of its holiday-themed voyages on Mississippi River. Scheduled to launch in...

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riverboat in natchez ms

River Boat Tours in Natchez, Mississippi

Natchez, Mississippi, is the oldest settlement in Mississippi. Natchez is a city full of history, with ornate antebellum mansions and its historic downtown; 14 of the beautifully landscaped antebellum mansions are open to the public to walk through and visit. A visit to historic downtown Natchez requires no transportation as you can walk everywhere. Downtown houses many restaurants, old-world style shops, and the riverwalk along the Mississippi River, and you can take a riverboat tour on the Mighty Mississippi.

Natchez Dinner Jazz Cruise

Head to the historic town of Natchez, Mississippi, and board the Natchez Steamboat for a dinner cruise and Mississippi River tour. This two-hour dinner cruise paddles along the banks of the Mississippi and includes a buffet dinner and live jazz music. Sit outside along the deck to enjoy the scenic views of Natchez and the banks of the Mississippi River. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Natchez during your dinner cruise. Price and availability vary.

Natchez Dinner Jazz Cruise 400 N. Peters St., Suite 203 New Orleans, LA 70130 800-233-2628

Mississippi Queen

Board the Mississippi Queen for a Mississippi Riverboat tour that lasts anywhere from three to 12 days. See the sights of the Mississippi along the shores of New Orleans, Natchez, and Gulfport. The Mississippi Queen houses a swimming pool, deck, and fitness room for guests, as well as a salon, theater, and several bars for your Mississippi riverboat tour enjoyment. The Mississippi Queen holds 1,000 passengers and cruise lengths vary. Choose to embark in one city and disembark in any of the others. Contact the cruise line for more information regarding ports, prices, and availability.

Mississippi Queen P.O. Box 60046 New Orleans, LA 70160 504-522-2551

Natchez Harbor Cruise

The Steamboat Natchez takes you on a daytime cruise from the French Quarter up the Mississippi for a riverboat tour of the banks of the river and their accompanying cities, such as Natchez. The tour offers live narration about the different ports along the cruise and also an optional creole lunch. The steam room is museum quality and is open for visitors to tour during their cruise on the Mighty Mississippi. Price and availability vary.

Natchez Harbor Cruise 400 N. Peters St., Suite 203 New Orleans, LA 70130 800-233-2628

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About the Author

Tiffany Raiford has several years of experience writing freelance. Her writing focuses primarily on articles relating to parenting, pregnancy and travel. Raiford is a graduate of Saint Petersburg College in Florida.

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Steamboat Natchez Cruise – All you need to know

steamboat Natchez cruise

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In this enlightening article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the beloved Steamboat Natchez cruise, including ticket prices, departure times, how to find discounted tickets online, and so much more!

What types of Steamboat Natchez cruises are available?

How much do steamboat natchez cruises cost.

  • How do you find Steamboat Natchez cruises online?

How far in advance should I make reservations?

What is the best time to experience a steamboat natchez cruise, where does the cruise start, what time should i arrive so i don’t miss the cruise, what will i see during the cruise, how long is the natchez boat ride, is the boat handicap accessible, can we bring pets onto the boat, what is the dress code, what happens in the case of bad weather, travel tips.

Don’t feel like reading ahead? Book your Steamboat Natchez cruise right now.

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The Big Easy is known across the world as an around-the-clock party hub accentuated by a cool blend of music and wild celebrations (did someone say Mardi Gras?). Despite a reputation for adult-focused activities, there is more than enough for the entire family to see and do in this international melting pot. One of the city’s most famous and popular attractions, perfect for guests of all ages, is the Steamboat Natchez Cruise – a unique way to see the shimmering NOLA lights and soak in the smooth city sounds from the water.

By the time you’ve got through this guide, you’ll have discovered everything there is to know about this iconic cruise, with answers to all of the most common questions just a scroll away.

Steamboat Natchez cruises

Before we dive into the prices, we need to understand the different types of Steamboat Natchez cruises on offer. Aboard New Orleans’ only authentic Steamboat, each cruise option promises beautiful views of the city, the lower Mississippi River, and one of the world’s busiest harbors.

No matter which option you choose, as you admire the 100-year-old steam engine you’ll also be provided with a deep insight into NOLA’s vibrant culture and history thanks to a live narration from one of the Steamboat staff.

Let’s take a look at the individual highlights of each option:

Harbor Jazz Cruise

The Harbor Jazz Cruise is all about entertainment! As you marvel at the vistas from the boat’s decks, typical New Orleans jazz music rings in the background. But this isn’t a prerecorded CD or the captain’s favorite Spotify playlist – this jazz is live, authentic, and immersing. Either a jazz pianist or the jazz trio – Duke Heitger and the Steamboat Stompers – will be present on board, helping to create a wonderful, romantic, and intoxicating atmosphere.

There’s also a calliope concert every day at 10:45 am and 1:45 pm. In case you were about to Google it, a calliope is a large, steam-whistle organ which, in this case, sits on the steamboat’s roof.

Dinner Jazz Cruise

With the option of either indoor or outdoor seating, the Dinner Jazz Cruise takes all of the best qualities from the Harbor Jazz Cruise and takes it up a notch with a freshly-cooked, tableside dinner service.

Rather than a jazz pianist or trio, the top-tapping entertainment this time is New Orleans swing music performed by the Grammy-nominated artist, Dukes of Dixieland .

Menu items are subject to change by season and availability, however, some of the common meals ready to tantalize your tastebuds include Paddlewheel Primavera, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Bayou Seafood Pasta, Baked Chicken, southern-style Green Beans Almondine, and a finger-lickin’ Bananas Foster for dessert. For the full menu, see Steamboat’s website .

Sunday Jazz Cruise with Optional Brunch

Nothing helps turn a new page after a night out on Bourbon Street like bottomless coffee and a hunger-satisfying brunch – a staple in New Orleans life. In addition to the historical facts shared by the staff, the live traditional jazz, and the Instagram-worthy views from the decks, Sunday cruisers have the option to dig into a hefty brunch. Choose from Shrimp and Grits, Crescent City Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy, Mini Croissants and Biscuits, and a whole lot more. The full brunch menu is available on the Steamboat website.

steamboat Natchez cruise tickets price

The prices of a Steamboat Natchez cruise varies depending on which option you choose and whether or not you elect to participate in the optional meal(s).

Evening Jazz Sightseeing Cruise

Adult: $50.00 Children 6-12: $24.50 Children 0-6: Free

Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner

Adult: $87.00 Children 6-12: $40 Children 0-6: $19.25

Harbor Jazz Sightseeing Cruise

Adult: $38.00 Children 6-12: $15 Children 0-6: free

Harbor Jazz Cruise with Lunch

Adult: $50.00 Children 6-12: $24 Children 0-6: $10.50

Sunday Jazz Sightseeing Cruise

Adult: $38.00 Children 6-12: $15.50 Children 0-6: free

Sunday Jazz Cruise with Brunch

Adult: $55.00 Children 6-12: $27.50 Children 0-6: $18.25

Regardless of your ticket type, Steamboat offers a full wine list, domestic and local beers, and seasonal, festive cocktails for purchase to those over the age of 21. A Natchez Jazz Punch, for example, will set you back $8, while local brewery draft beers sell for $5.50 each.

How do you find cheap Steamboat Natchez cruises online?

book Steamboat Natchez cruises online

If you don’t know where to look, buying Steamboat Natchez tickets can be confusing, not to mention expensive. New Orleans welcomes nearly 20 million tourists per year, so the competition between tour agencies and sightseeing companies is feisty. Sometimes, two competing travel agents can offer exactly the same activity at drastically different prices, each claiming to have a “best price guarantee”.

How can we compare the Steamboat Natchez website, local businesses, and online ticket sellers like Viator all in one place? Easy: TourScanner! Head to the TourScanner search engine to compare all the different deals on offer. Depending on which dates you’re planning to visit NOLA, you may find discounted tickets in excess of 30%!

There are also deals that include transportation, packages that combine city tours (you’re already there, so you might as well tick off a few of the main attractions, right?), VIP experiences, and more.

  • Compare cruise tickets

Even though the array of world-class attractions in New Orleans is second to none, Steamboat Natchez is a regular bestseller. Technically , bookings can be made at the last minute at the ticket office or on the company website, however, we wouldn’t recommend it, especially in the busier tourist seasons (Mardi Gras and summertime).

The Steamboat is a city highlight that shouldn’t be left to chance, so it’s recommended to book your experience as early as possible. As soon as you’ve locked in your travel dates, the next step should be to compare the cheapest deals available on TourScanner.

best time steamboat Natchez cruise

It’s all a matter of personal preference. A summertime Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner will allow you to experience New Orleans as it transitions from day to dusk to twinkling night sky, while a day-based cruise gives you the opportunity to soak in ample amounts of sunshine from one of the many viewing decks.

There are both indoor and outdoor areas, so rain, hail or shine, you’re in for a great time.

steamboat Natchez cruises departure meeting point

All trips on Steamboat Natchez start and end at the Steamboat Natchez Lighthouse Ticket Office, which is found where Toulouse Street meets the Mississippi River in the vibrant French Quarter. The docking station is steps away from the Toulouse streetcar station and a short stroll from the historic Jackson Square, a haven for upcoming artists and street performers. Jackson Square is one of the many popular stops on the city’s walking tours .

It’s highly recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure times (shown below). The boat is officially open for half an hour before roaring away along its river route. By arriving 30 minutes early, you’ll be able to find the best viewing spots on the boat, explore its historic features, and grab a souvenir from the gift store before the crowds potentially become too overwhelming.

Whatever you do, don’t be late, because the boat will leave whether you’re there or not!

Departure times:

Harbor Cruises (Monday to Saturday)

The Harbor Jazz Cruises departs every day except Sunday. There are two timeslots to choose from. The first Harbor Cruise departure is at 11:30am (boarding at 11am) and the second is at 2:30pm (Boarding at 2pm)

The first Sunday departure is at 11:30am (boarding at 11am) and the second is at 2:30pm (Boarding at 2pm)

Evening Cruises

The nightly dinner cruise departure is at 7pm (boarding at 6pm). Depending on your dinner seating reservation time, you may be required to arrive as early at 5:45pm.

Mississippi river in New Orleans

All Natchez cruises traverse the crescent-shaped lower Mississippi River as the staff point out noteworthy and historical landmarks along the way. There’s arguably no more impressive way to see the city. But it’s not just about what you can see off the boat – the vessel itself is a work of art! Onboard, you’ll have the chance to see a working paddle-wheel and engine room up close, feel like you’ve been thrust back in time with decor reminiscing of the early 1900s, and grab a couple of trinkets at the gift shop.

steamboat Natchez cruise duration

Each of the Natchez cruises lasts for two hours. This excludes special events cruises such as those hosted on Mother’s Day, Christmas Eve, or the Fourth of July.

The boat is suitable for handicapped patrons, however, some areas on the boat, such as the upper deck, are only accessible by stairs.

The company suggests to call their reservation phone line on (504) 569-1401 or send a message on their contact portal before booking if you have any specific questions or concerns regarding accessibility.

According to the New Orleans Steamboat Company’s official website, you may only bring your four-legged friends if they are are a Service Animal as defined by the ADA.

There is no dress code! You’re on vacation, so sit back, relax, and be as casual as you like (within reason, of course). The company does suggest to dress up a little fancier for the Dinner Jazz Cruise, not because of rules or regulations, but simply to fit in with the elegant decor and service provided.

As long as the boat is functional, the cruise will depart! In the event of rain, there is plenty of indoor seating to accommodate the guests.

Cruises are canceled only on the rare occasion that the Coast Guard determines that the river is too dangerous (i.e. during a hurricane).

steamboat Natchez cruise travel tips

  • In the summertime, which is also one of the busiest tourist seasons, New Orleans is hot, humid, and sticky – it is built mostly on swampland, after all. So to avoid feeling like a sun-dried tomato, make sure to always bring a hat, sunscreen, cool clothing, and a water bottle.
  • Make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure time.
  • Ask for a photo in front of the Nachez before boarding.
  • Compare tickets deals online and save money, there are a lot of providers selling Steamboat Natchez cruises online.
  • Compare cruise deals

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The Best Mississippi River Cruises to Discover America's Heartland

By Jackie Sheckler Finch

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The luxury ships and historic tours are nice, yes. But the real star of Mississippi River cruises has always been the river. There’s nothing quite so Americana as getting to know the many personalities of this 2,350-mile stretch, flowing from northern Minnesota’s Lake Itasca through 10 states until it reaches Louisiana , where the Mississippi River Delta gives way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The slow, meandering journeys of Mississippi River cruises have long proven an ideal way to discover the distinct stories of America’s heartland. In the words of Mark Twain (which no Mississippi River story would be complete without), the towns and cities located on the mighty river's shores are “cheering to the spirit” and “reposeful as a dreamland,” with “nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.”

The challenge modern travelers now face is when, where, and how to go about this iconic American voyage . Below, see our answers to these frequently asked questions, plus our favorite Mississippi River cruises to book in 2024.

Which cruise lines do Mississippi River cruises?

After American Queen Voyages shut down in February, only two Mississippi River cruise lines currently remain in operation.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, American Cruise Lines (ACL) has a fleet of more than 20 American-built ships sailing across the country and remains family-owned and American-crewed. ACL offers a Mississippi River fleet of three luxurious 180-passenger modern riverboats– American Melody , American Symphony , and American Serenade —plus two classic paddlewheel ships, the 180-passenger American Splendor and the 150-passenger American Heritage.

The new kid on the Mississippi is the Viking Mississippi, a 386-passenger, five-deck vessel that first set sail in September 2022. The cutting-edge cruise is Viking’s first foray in the US, adding to their fleet of more than 90 ocean, river, and expedition vessels navigating the world’s seven continents.

What is the average cost of a Mississippi River cruise?

For an 8- or 9-day cruise, the average cost of a Mississippi River cruise is around $4,000 per person in a stateroom. Although prices might seem high initially, many of these cruises include extras that aren’t always complimentary on ocean cruises such as free WiFi, at least one free shore excursion in every port, paid port taxes and fees, and a pre-cruise hotel stay. Viking offers complimentary beer, wine, and soft drinks with onboard lunch and dinner. Meanwhile, American Cruise Lines offers complimentary beer, wine, cocktails, and soft drinks. Gratuities are also included in American Cruise Lines fares.

What is the best time of year to go on a river cruise?

Spring (late March through mid-June) and autumn (September through November) are the best times of year to go on a river cruise in the US. Spring blossoms add a colorful touch to the shoreline, and you can never go wrong with autumn foliage. The temperatures are mild, if not pleasantly cool, and passengers are eager to welcome a new spring travel season—or to enjoy one last autumn river adventure before winter arrives.

What month is best for a Mississippi River cruise?

If we had to pick just one, September is the best month for a Mississippi River cruise. The weather is usually mild with less likelihood of rain, and autumn colors are beginning to paint the shoreline. Keep in mind, however, that the Mississippi is the fourth largest river in the world—so temperatures any time of year are not going to be the same in warmer Louisiana as they are in cooler Minnesota.

Below, see our favorite Mississippi River cruises to book in 2024, featuring stops in iconic American cities like Nashville , Memphis , and New Orleans .

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22-day Mississippi River Odyssey: New Orleans to Red Wing, Minnesota

Enjoy the charms of America’s great river on a journey aboard the Viking Mississippi from New Orleans to Red Wing, departing September 20. Custom built to sail American waters, the vessel features river-facing staterooms with either French or step-out balconies.

Stops include Baton Rouge and St. Francisville in Louisiana; Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, and Rosedale in Mississippi; Memphis in Tennessee; Paducah in Kentucky; Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, and Hannibal in Missouri; Burlington, Quad Cities, and Dubuque in Iowa; La Crosse in Wisconsin; and ending in Red Wing, Minnesota.

With so many fascinating shore excursions to choose from, it’s well worth taking time to tour the St. Louis Arch . Opened in 1965, the monument to America’s westward expansion is far more than just a stunning photo by the riverside. Venture underground between the arch legs for a museum. Climb aboard a tram to be transported 630 feet up to the top of America’s tallest monument for some stunning views.

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12-day Heart of the Delta: Memphis to New Orleans

The 386-guest Viking Mississippi spans five decks, making it one of the largest passenger vessels on the Mississippi. Inaugurated in 2022, the ship features a modern Scandinavian design with an infinity pool and a two-story Explorers’ Lounge observation area similar to its ocean ships. Directly in front of the Explorer’s Lounge is an expanded outdoor seating area known as The Bow. Three restaurants serve both Southern regional cuisine and international favorites.

The cruise starts in Memphis on November 14 and includes stops in Rosedale, Greenville, Vicksburg, and Natchez in Mississippi as well as St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and Darrow in Louisiana, ending in New Orleans. The “Mississippi Sings the Blues” shore excursion visits iconic sites along the Mississippi Blues Trail such as historic Dockery Farms, considered the “birthplace of the blues.”

The tour stops in Clarksdale, the fabled “Crossroads” where legend says blues great Robert Johnson reputedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his guitar prowess. Stops at the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the Delta Blues Museum completes this perfect trip for music lovers.

Nashville TN

9-day Music Cities Cruise: Nashville to Memphis

Music is the main focus of this cruise offered by American Cruise Lines, which begins in Nashville on July 9 with an unforgettable visit to the legendary Grand Ole Opry and ends in Memphis, where passengers will enjoy live music on Beale Street and a tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland . On board the American Splendor, passengers will enjoy spacious cabins and popular rocking chairs. First inaugurated in 2016 and fully redecorated in 2022, this ship offers the nostalgia of a classic paddlewheeler along with the comfort of modern amenities.

While in Nashville, explore the Johnny Cash Museum, then walk upstairs to The Patsy Cline Museum. Nightly entertainment spotlights the musical heritage of this region as the world’s newest paddlewheeler journeys along the river. The itinerary also includes Clarksville and Dover in Tennessee plus Paducah in Kentucky. In Paducah, stroll along the riverfront with more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals depicting Paducah’s past. Stop by Paducah’s National Quilt Museum, the world’s largest museum devoted to quilt and fiber art.

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23-day Complete Mississippi River Cruise: New Orleans to St. Paul

Sail 1,393 miles through 10 states on a comprehensive exploration of the mighty Mississippi on the new American Serenade . Inaugurated in 2023, the 91-cabin American Serenade won Best New River Cruise Ship of the Year 2023 by Cruise Critic , the first time an American ship has received this prestigious award.

“With extra-large all-balcony staterooms and suites, trendy interior décor, an innovative hydraulic bow and retractable ramp, and one of the most gorgeous sun decks we’ve seen on a river-going ship, American Serenade sets the bar for domestic US river cruising high,” the award notes.

The epic itinerary beginning July 18, 2024 includes 22 ports of call including Oak Alley, Houmas House, Baton Rouge, and St. Francisville in Louisiana; Natchez, Vicksburg, Greenville, and Tunica in Mississippi; Memphis in Tennessee; Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, and Hannibal in Missouri; Muscatine and Dubuque in Iowa; and Winona, Red Wing, and Saint Paul in Minnesota.

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12-day Mississippi River Gateway Cruise: New Orleans to St. Louis

From the French Quarter in New Orleans to the towering Gateway Arch in St. Louis , this American Heritage cruise lives up to its name. Inaugurated in 2015 and totally redecorated in 2022, the 84-cabin American Heritage is the perfect vessel for this interesting itinerary, its design reminiscent of the days when steamboat paddlewheelers plied the Mississippi in the 1800s.

The 12-day voyage departs from New Orleans on July 2. Ports of call along the way include Baton Rouge in Louisiana; Natchez and Vicksburg in Mississippi; Memphis in Tennessee; and Paducah in Kentucky . An onboard expert shares tales of the importance of steam-driven paddlewheels in establishing riverfront communities along the great Mississippi River.

Step ashore in Natchez and enjoy a cold drink at the Under-the-Hill-Saloon, once one of the rowdiest establishments on the Mississippi River in the 1800s. Legend says that Mark Twain stopped here when he was just another riverman named Samuel Clemens.

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9-day Lower Mississippi River Cruise: Memphis to New Orleans

This nine-day American Melody cruise departs Memphis on September 8 and features eight ports of call including Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi, and St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, and Houmas House in Louisiana. At Vicksburg Military Park, learn how the 101st Airborne Division got its “Screaming Eagles” nickname, plus the tale of its famous soldier, a young guitar player named Jimi Hendrix. At Houmas House, see the bedroom where Bette Davis stayed to film the 1964 movie Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte . Joan Crawford was the intended co-star but Bette and Joan feuded so Joan quit and Olivia de Havilland replaced her.

Launched in 2021, the five-deck American Melody has 91 staterooms, all with private balconies and full-length sliding glass doors. The ship has several spacious lounges, a fitness center, large dining room, café for casual dining, sun deck, library, and an impressive four-story glass atrium in the center of the ship. The ship’s unusual bow opens and lowers a platform for passengers to easily walk ashore.

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9-day Upper Mississippi River Cruise: St. Louis to St. Paul

Board the American Symphony cruise ship to visit Mark Twain’s hometown and experience the real-life inspiration behind Life on the Mississippi, the classic memoir chronicling the author's days on the river as a steamboat pilot.

The 91-cabin American Symphony, recently inaugurated in 2022, has 100% private balcony accommodations and a unique bow that opens with a retractable gangway that can be extended for landings virtually anywhere. The ship also features lounges soaring 40 feet above the water with triple the glass of other riverboats for spectacular views. Comfy deck chairs welcome passengers to enjoy the undeveloped countryside, picturesque islands, and fascinating dams and navigation locks.

Departing September 27, this itinerary features seven ports of call including Muscatine and Dubuque in Iowa, and Winona and Red Wing in Minnesota. In Hannibal, visit the actual home—with a whitewashed Tom Sawyer fence—where Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) grew up. In Dubuque, see the 1989 “Field of Dreams” movie site known for the famous quote, “If you build it, they will come.”

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riverboat in natchez ms

New Orleans Steamboat Company

The Riverboat Bed & Breakfast

Complimentary breakfast, weekend destination.

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Bed and Breakfast

Historic Bed and Breakfast Natchez

Quality comfort, the most ideal location in downtown natchez   .

Call 601-445-8217 for reservations

Each room offers you free access to Wi-Fi since we know you need some of the pleasures from back home. We know you'll enjoy your stay with us, we even guarantee it. 

We've worked hard to renovate this beautiful home that has been a part of our family for generations. Make yourself at home, with access to all of the common areas of the home!

The home was built about 1867.  Captain Joseph Trudell was my great, great grandfather.  His wife was named Roberta and they had two daughters, Mary and Edith.  This house was where Mary and her husband, Sam Serio lived. Her father, the captain, lived two blocks down from her.

The name “Riverboat” comes from my family’s history and its connection to the river.  Joseph Trudell was born in 1876 in Bayou DeGlaise, Louisiana.  He was badly mistreated by his father, left their farm one day and walked all the way to Natchez.  He had no education, but he taught himself to read and write while working along the Mississippi River shoveling coal into the boilers of the steamboats.  He gradually worked himself up to deckhand and eventually became a riverboat pilot.

On April 30, 1934, he earned and was issued his License to Master Steam and Motor vessels on the Mississippi River.  I have this license, #29, all hand written and historic.  I also have his timepiece.  Since I have these items, it only seemed proper that I honor the river and his history with the name “Riverboat” for the bed and breakfast.   Owner, Marybeth Peck

We offer rooms and a suite that are designed to fit anyone's budget and taste. A hot breakfast is served each morning, or feel free to bring ingredients and cook it just how you like it!

Marybeth Peck © 2018 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Jones Websites, Inc.

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Front view of b&b with short, white fencing, white siding on house with black shuttered windows and front door, slanted roof with two windows, and trees surrounding house

Riverboat Bed & Breakfast

Innkeeper(s): Marybeth Peck

Address: 115 S Canal St, Natchez, MS  39120

Local Phone: (601) 445-8217

Rate Range: $125 - $450

Types of Payment Accepted: Cash, Travelers Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover

Types of Rooms: Rooms, Suites, Cottages

Number of Rooms: 3

Property Description:

The Riverboat Bed & Breakfast offers attentive service, great food, and all the comforts of home in an open friendly atmosphere with plenty of room to relax around the property– whether you want quiet time to read a book on the porch or join in conversation with other guests with a complimentary wine/beverage of your choice. The Riverboat Bed & Breakfast is the place to visit. It does not matter if you are coming for a family getaway, business meeting or a romantic retreat, our 3 cozy rooms and gourmet breakfast will make this a vacation worth remembering. The historically themed rooms, each with private baths, are dressed in restored antique furnishings with plush quilts on the beds.

Property Amenities

  • Childen Welcome 12+
  • Private Bathrooms - All Rooms
  • Historic Property
  • Air Conditioning
  • High Speed Internet

Business Friendly Amenities

Green Amenities

Guest Comments

“Amazing, clean B&B with great location – especially Marybeth‘s hospitality was outstanding! We felt so welcome, everything we needed was provided to make us feel at home (beer, water, fruits, cookies, a map of Natchez, lots of recommendations for the area…) I couldn’t recommend the Riverboat enough!”

Property Specials

Title: Anniversary

Category: Ongoing


Getaway to a laid back and relaxed setting in the heart of downtown Natchez. Upon arrival, placed in your room:

  • Fresh arrangement of flowers
  • Chocolate-dipped strawberries
  • Cheese & Crackers
  • Chilled champagne with champagne flutes
  • $199 per couple, plus tax & gratuity

Large white bedroom consisting of two beds with flower print quilts, a sitting area between them with gray chairs and a flatscreen television

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Mississippi's Best Community Newspaper

‘More than just a business’: TMR auto shop brings workforce development opportunity to Natchez youths

Published 12:19 pm Saturday, May 18, 2024

By Sabrina Simms Robertson

riverboat in natchez ms

(Sabrina Robertson | The Natchez Democrat)

riverboat in natchez ms

Mayor Dan Gibson presents a proclamation to Rev. Stanley Searcy, owner of the new TMR Auto. (Sabrina Robertson | The Natchez Democrat)

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That’s My Ride Auto, or TMR Auto, celebrated a grand opening last week at 275 John R. Junkin Drive. (Sabrina Robertson | The Natchez Democrat)

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NASD partners, including Career Coach of Natchez High School Angela James, welcome the new vocational technical schooling opportunity at the new auto shop. (Sabrina Robertson | The Natchez Democrat)

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From left is Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson, Miss Natchez Hospitality Ashleigh Valerie Johnson, the Rev. Stanley Searcy and his wife Brenda Searcy. (Sabrina Robertson | The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — “That’s My Ride Auto,” which celebrated a grand opening last week at 275 John R. Junkin Drive, is the Rev. Bishop Stanley Searcy’s “retirement gift from God,” he said.

The former lead pastor and founder of New Hope the Vision Center in Natchez said it has been a long-standing dream of his to fix up and sell used cars.

As he approached retirement, that dream became a reality.

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However, Searcy said God asked him what he would do with the business if he gave it to him.

Through a role that Searcy had in a radio show, God laid it on his heart to use the business as a vocational-technical school to minister to area youth, he said.

“It’s more than just a business,” Mayor Dan Gibson pointed out during the grand opening and ribbon-cutting celebration, adding the workforce development collaboration there would help fill some of the jobs available in the city.

New businesses alone account for close to 1,000 jobs, he said.

“That doesn’t even count all of the growing businesses such as Jordan Carriers, which recently opened a new headquarters on U.S. 61 South, or Loss Prevention, which is approaching Phase II of growth — meaning more new jobs. These jobs are food on the table and independence for our people and opportunities for young people. Thank you (Searcy) for contributing to that.”

A little more than a year ago, Searcy was a voice in a discussion about youth gun violence on 97.7 The Beat.

“All the officials were there asking what we could do to curtail crime,” he said. “They said take the guns away, set a curfew, and all of that. But it wasn’t a good fix. It was just going to be a Band-Aid (on the problem). I told my wife we had to get some boots on the ground. Someone has to touch three generations, grandparents, parents and children who aren’t being taught the right thing.”

The auto shop teaches youth an array of different skill sets in the industry, including financing and office work; body, paint and detailing work; installing after-market rims and lifts, and more. “We’re going to build a workforce for our community and we’re going to do it here,” Searcy said. “More important than the business aspect is that this is going to change some of the youth in our city.”

Searcy thanked Angela James, former CASA Director for Adams County Juvenile Detention Center and now Career Coach for Natchez High School, and officials of the Natchez Adams School District for their support of the endeavor.

He already recruited half a dozen teens to teach the tricks of the trade, however, the school district partnership allows him to take it even further and rotate out 10 or so students every semester.

“It has been a journey,” he said. “I want to thank the community, the realtors who sold me the property and the school district for giving me exactly what we needed.”

In addition to the buying, selling, detailing, servicing and automobile aspects of the business, TMR Auto also provides U-Haul rentals and a financing department to help people find the car they can afford, he said.

The students he works with leave with work certificates that will help place them in jobs in the community, he said.

Searcy’s son has taken the pulpit of New Hope the Vision Center, but he returns there to preach once a month and is still active in foreign ministry, he said.

“My ministry doesn’t stop for as long as I live,” he said. “I want to die empty, pouring back the things I’ve learned into the next generation.”

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Nearly 30 Delta Charter graduates ready to take on world by storm

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School board approves reorganizing to grade-level based elementary schools

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Applications open for scholarships honoring legacy of Wharlest Jackson Sr.

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Wilson delegate to GOP convention

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riverboat in natchez ms

Dangerous near-miss on Mississippi River as towboat narrowly escapes collision with boats, dock

A viral video captured by New Orleans native Earl Weber shows a dramatic close call as a towboat desperately pushes 24 barges out of harm's way on the Mississippi River near Woldenberg Park on Sunday morning.

The video, which was shot from atop the Jax Brewery at approximately 8:30 a.m., shows the barges come within feet of hitting the iconic Natchez Steamboat before strong currents continued to push the oncoming metal mass toward the river ferry and docks. 

Weber can be heard on the video saying "that was  a very close call" as the barges narrowly escaped hitting the Natchez before stating "he might take out the ferry dock now" just before the ferry motored to safety in the nick of time.

He later described the scene in further detail in a social media post the following day. 

"Near crash on the river yesterday," Weber posted on Monday . "Tow boat pushing 24 barges comes within inches of hitting the Natchez riverboat, and the ferry boat has to leave the dock in a panic to avoid being crushed. The captain of the tow boat, Roger L Knight did an amazing job avoiding a disaster."

*Story continues below the video

On Friday, WWL Louisiana's Paul Murphy reported that a combination of high winds and strong currents led to the barges carving a wide path on the river.

"When he came around Algiers Point, he may have gotten the wrong angle because he wound up a little too far over to the east bank of the river," Weber told Murphy. "I guess the wind caught him and just dragged him right in."

Weber feared the barges would wipe out the iconic steamboat and endanger the crew in a potentially deadly collision.

"He looked like he was going to take the Natchez out and that would have been very sad because, first they had some folks on the boat, whether or not they would have been hurt, that would have been worse," Weber explained. "The big rig would have crushed the Natchez. We’re happy to have the Natchez around. It’s a great asset for the city."

The U.S. Coast Guard told WWL the "Roger L. Knight" had 24 empty barges attached, and that the head barge touched the Canal Street Ferry Landing at Mile Marker 95. However, no damage, injuries or pollution has been reported since the incident.

The Coast Guard issued the following statement:

"This incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard. At 9:06 a.m. local time, on April 28, the Coast Guard received a notification about the vessel, ROGER L KNIGHT, a U.S. flag tug boat, being pinned onto the bank piling at Algiers Point below Canal Street Ferry Landing at MM 95 due to strong winds. The vessel had 24 empty hopper barges attached, which reportedly the head barge, touched the Ferry Landing. No damage, injuries or pollution has been reported. There was also a small craft advisory out due to high winds."

In another statement sent to Murphy by the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority, an RTA spokesperson commended the effort of the towboat's captain and crew in avoiding certain disaster.

The statement said:

“There is always potential for a mishap navigating that section of the Mississippi River, but we do not believe this scenario raises any major red flags. There is an expectation that our contractor LabMar and its crew are always vigilant as we make safety our top priority for our riders.

"We would like to thank LabMar, their captain and crew, whose quick actions were the reason contact was not made by the barges; that would have crushed the aluminum hull of the RTA1."

Weber concurs with RTA's assessment of the captain and crew's evasive maneuvers.

"That rig was maybe 1200 feet long, so he’s got 1200 feet, plus the wind, plus three knot current pushing, so he made maybe an error in the angle when he came across from there, but he made a terrific save," said Weber. "I’d buy him a drink (laughs). I think he did a great job."

The near-miss comes a little more than a month since a Singapore-registered container ship lost control and slammed into the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore , collapsing a massive section of the structure and presumably killing six people . 

And a bit more than a quarter century ago, the 730-foot MV Bright Field cargo ship also lost engine power before crashing into a crowded Riverwalk Marketplace just yards away from the location of the close call over the weekend. 

This is an ongoing investigation and this story will be updated once further information becomes available.

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  1. Natchez Riverboat Sunset Photograph by Redub

    riverboat in natchez ms

  2. Tourists Natchez Steamboat Riverboat Mississippi River New Orleans

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  3. Steamboat Natchez Cruise

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  4. The Riverboat Natchez Photograph by Anthony Walker Sr

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  5. Bateau à aube sur le Mississippi

    riverboat in natchez ms

  6. The 12 Best Things to Do in Natchez, Mississippi in 2023

    riverboat in natchez ms


  1. Steamboat NATCHEZ

    Steamboat NATCHEZ. Take a Ride Video. The Steamboat NATCHEZ, owned by The New Orleans Steamboat Company, is the last authentic Steamboat on the Mighty Mississippi River. The Steamboat NATCHEZ Dinner Jazz and Daytime Jazz cruises run daily, year-round, in the style of authentic steamboats on the Mississippi River in New Orleans for centuries!

  2. 9 Amazing Natchez River Cruises for 2024-2025

    Effortlessly float between quaint villages, scenic countryside, and history-rich cities and destinations like Natchez without unpacking your bags. Enjoy river cruises, cruises, cultural, urban exploration, and archaeological site visits on a specialty Natchez river cruise. Natchez river cruises cost from $3,475 to $30,999 for a 8 to 15 days trip.

  3. Steamboat Natchez

    Experience the charm and history of New Orleans on board the Steamboat Natchez, the only authentic steam-powered paddlewheel boat in the city. Enjoy a jazz cruise, a harbor cruise, or a dinner cruise with live music, delicious food, and stunning views of the Mississippi River. Book your tickets online and save with Tripadvisor, the world's largest travel platform.

  4. Steamboat NATCHEZ

    Harbor jazz brunch and dinner jazz cruises on the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a unique visit to the engine room to see the workings of 100-year-old steam engines, it is timeless. Xplorit Virtual Tour Discover The Steamboat Natchez with one of the most comprehensive, completely immersive and interactive virtual experiences in the world.

  5. Top Attractions in Natchez for Mississippi River Cruisers Part 1

    Natchez is a popular port of call for Lower Mississippi river cruises. Many voyages sail roundtrip from New Orleans or between New Orleans and Memphis, TN . In addition, for consumers seeking the "full shebang" on the Mississippi River, some voyages sail more than 1,100 miles between New Orleans, LA, and St. Paul, MN .

  6. New Orleans Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise with Live Music 2024

    Board the historic riverboat for a morning or afternoon float down the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, admire the iconic paddlewheel, enjoy live music, and snap picturesque shots of the beautiful urban shoreline. This family‐friendly excursion offers an optional buffet lunch (additional expense). Riverboat harbor cruise.

  7. Steamboat Natchez

    Location. 400 Toulouse St. New Orleans LA 70130. Get Directions. Last authentic Steamboat on the Mississippi River. Departs from the French Quarter for narrated river/harbor cruises, and the Evening Jazz cruise. Food and full bar options, as well as Live Jazz available on all cruises. Live Calliope concert before each cruise.

  8. Natchez MS (Mississippi) cruise port schedule

    Natchez MS is a Lower Mississippi River cruise port, only city and county seat of Adams County (Mississippi, USA) with population around 16,000 and total area approx 36 km2 (14 ml2). Located on Mississippi River across from Vidalia (Concordia Parish, Louisiana), the town was prominent in the antebellum years as a center of cotton planters and ...

  9. River Boat Tours in Natchez, Mississippi

    Sit outside along the deck to enjoy the scenic views of Natchez and the banks of the Mississippi River. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Natchez during your dinner cruise. Price and availability vary. Natchez Dinner Jazz Cruise 400 N. Peters St., Suite 203 New Orleans, LA 70130 800-233-2628

  10. Steamboat Natchez Cruise

    Sunday Jazz Cruise with Brunch. Adult: $55.00. Children 6-12: $27.50. Children 0-6: $18.25. Regardless of your ticket type, Steamboat offers a full wine list, domestic and local beers, and seasonal, festive cocktails for purchase to those over the age of 21. A Natchez Jazz Punch, for example, will set you back $8, while local brewery draft ...

  11. Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option

    The Gray Line 'Lighthouse' ticket office is located at Toulouse St and the Mississippi River (Steamboat Natchez Dock), just one block from Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Boarding begins at 6pm and departs at 7pm. The boat will return at 9pm. The band begins at 6pm, so be sure to arrive early!

  12. The Best Mississippi River Cruises to Discover America's Heartland

    Sail 1,393 miles through 10 states on a comprehensive exploration of the mighty Mississippi on the new American Serenade. Inaugurated in 2023, the 91-cabin American Serenade won Best New River ...

  13. Complete Mississippi River Experience

    Day 23 - St. Paul, MN. Concluding your riverboat adventure on the Mighty Mississippi in St. Paul promises excitement and exploration. History buffs can delve into the past with a walking excursion along Summit Avenue, showcasing stunning historic mansions from the late 1800s.

  14. New Orleans Steamboat Company

    Docked at Toulouse Street & the Mississippi River in the heart of the French Quarter. (GPS 400 Toulouse Street) Riverboat City of New Orleans. More Info. Steamboat NATCHEZ. The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off for renovations, but her sister vessel, the beautiful Riverboat CITY of NEW ORLEANS, is taking her place on all cruises. Stay ...

  15. Natchez (boat)

    Natchez IX President Ford aboard the Natchez Black SS Natchez hat given to President Ford during his 1976 campaign trip down the Mississippi River.. The ninth Natchez, the SS Natchez, is a sternwheel steamboat based in New Orleans, Louisiana.Built in 1975, she is sometimes referred to as the Natchez IX.She is operated by the New Orleans Steamboat Company and docks at the Toulouse Street Wharf.

  16. Riverboat Bed and Breakfast

    The Most Ideal Location in Downtown Natchez. Call 601-445-8217 for reservations. Each room offers you free access to Wi-Fi since we know you need some of the pleasures from back home. We know you'll enjoy your stay with us, we even guarantee it. We've worked hard to renovate this beautiful home that has been a part of our family for generations.

  17. Riverboat Bed & Breakfast

    Address: 115 S Canal St, Natchez, MS 39120. Local Phone: (601) 445-8217 Rate Range: $125 - $450 Types of Payment Accepted: Cash, Travelers Check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Types of Rooms: Rooms, Suites, Cottages Number of Rooms: 3

  18. 'More than just a business': TMR auto shop brings workforce development

    NATCHEZ — "That's My Ride Auto," which celebrated a grand opening last week at 275 John R. Junkin Drive, is the Rev. Bishop Stanley Searcy's "retirement gift from God," he said.

  19. National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service

    Water under some buildings around Fort Adams, Mississippi. 44: Some camps and most access roads are flooded along Lake Mary. 43: Water covers Thornburg Lake Road in the area known as Anna's Bottom which is north of Natchez. Also, Lake Mary Road is under water. 38: Lowlands along the river in areas not protected by levees begin to flood.

  20. Dangerous near-miss on Mississippi River as towboat narrowly escapes

    The video, which was shot from atop the Jax Brewery at approximately 8:30 a.m., shows the barges come within feet of hitting the iconic Natchez Steamboat before strong currents continued to push ...

  21. Safety Zone; Lower Mississippi River, Natchez, MS

    In the Federal Register of May 30, 2024, in FR Doc. 2024-09266, on page 89 FR 34128, in the third column, in the headings, the regulation identifier number, "RIN 1625-AA11", is corrected to read: "RIN 1625-AA00". This corrects our listing of an incorrect RIN for the Safety Zone; Lower Mississippi River, Natchez, MS temporary final rule ...

  22. PDF 42806 Federal Register /Vol. 89, No. 96/Thursday, May 16 ...

    River, Natchez, MS temporary final rule published May 30, 2024. Dated: May 13, 2024. Michael T. Cunningham, Office Chief, Office of Regulations and Administrative Law. [FR Doc. 2024-10783 Filed 5-15-24; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 34 CFR Part 75