She's the ninth steamer to bear the name
NATCHEZ. It was her predecessor, NATCHEZ VI,
that raced the ROBERT E. LEE in the most
famous steamboat race of all time. Even today,
the NATCHEZ is proudly the undisputed champion
of the Mississippi, never having been beaten
in a race. In many ways, she's the best of her
It's a line
that follows the course of river history, from
the placid antebellum plantation era through
the turbulence of the Civil War to the Gay
Nineties, and, ultimately, the new millenium.
When the New
Orleans Steamboat Company launched the NATCHEZ
in 1975, they revived more than a famous name.
They created one of only two true steam
powered sternwheelers plying the Mississippi
today. The NATCHEZ combines the best of
contemporary construction, safety, and comfort
standards with all the authenticity and
style of her classic steamboat gothic
resembles the old sternwheelers VIRGINIA and
HUDSON in her profile and layout. Her powerful
steam engines were built for U.S. Steel
Corporation's sternwheeler CLAIRTON in 1925.
Her genuine copper and steel steam whistle is
a treasured antique. Her copper bell, smelted
from 250 silver dollars to produce a purer
tone, once graced the S.S. J.D. AYRES. Her 32
note steam calliope was custom crafted and
modeled after the music makers of the Gilded
is the pride of the Mississippi River and is
as beautiful as any of her namesakes. Many of
her crew have been with her since her maiden
voyage. Theirs is a whole new chapter in
history of the river, and you can be a part of
it. Her daily two-hour jazz cruises depart
from the Toulouse St. Wharf (behind JAX
Brewery in the French Quarter) at 11:30 A.M.;
2:30 P.M.; and 7:00 P.M.
tradition in every detail, boarding the
NATCHEZ makes you feel as if you have entered
another era. The captain barks his orders
through an old-time hand-held megaphone. The
calliope trills a melody into the air while
the great wheel, 25 tons of white oak,
churns the heavy waters of the Mississippi.
You soon find yourself slipping into a sense
of the old, vast and timeless river.
NATCHEZ glides past the French Quarter and
through one of the world's most active ports,
you begin to understand the magic of the
experience. For all its history and
romance, the excitement of riding a steamboat
is as real and rich and genuine now as it was
a century ago."