5 of the Best New Orleans Dinner Cruises

by Cedric Pentonville  |  Published February 24, 2023

Head out onto the Mississippi River and sate your hunger at the same time on these delectable New Orleans dining cruises.

(Photo: Viator.com)

New Orleans has a celebrated cuisine, utilizing shrimp, crab, and other fish and seafood caught in the Gulf of Mexico or around the Mississippi River. Étouffée and gumbo are common dishes that can be enjoyed at the various restaurants around the city. But perhaps the most unique way to dine in NOLA is on a cruise out on the water. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner cruises are all possible. Here are five of the best options.

New Orleans Creole Queen History Cruise with Lunch

Dig into a New Orleans-style shrimp pasta, a Creole jambalaya or a stuffed roast beef po-boy as you sail along the Mississippi aboard the Creole Queen. Beyond the local lunch options on board, this old paddlewheeler’s main destination is Chalmette Battlefield, where the Battle of New Orleans took place. An hour-long guided tour of the area is included to experience a piece of Louisiana history, before boarding the vessel once more for a scenic voyage back into NOLA. From $59 per person.

Book at Getyourguide.com

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

New Orleans Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise

If you’d like to take a New Orleans food cruise without having to disembark anywhere along the way, then a jazz brunch might be more your scene. Running only on Sundays throughout the year, this two-hour cruise combines the musical stylings of a local jazz duo or trio, setting the perfect scene for a relaxed meal. Menu items often include some kind of meat gumbo, Crescent City eggs, made with sausage, green onions and spinach, and bananas Foster to finish. From $68 per person.

Book at Getyourguide.com

New Orleans Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Dinner

Another great jazz boat and dinner option takes place in the evening, adding an extra layer of atmosphere to the proceedings. With the sky painted pink and orange by the setting sun, and the uplifting strains of brass and strings from a live jazz band, you can sit down to a memorable buffet dinner. Cruises often have varied menus, but you can expect typically Creole dishes, including Cajun baked chicken, red beans and rice, and garlic mashed potatoes. As with all tours on this list, alcoholic drinks are available, but are not included in the tour price. From $95 per person.

Book at Getyourguide.com

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

Evening Jazz Cruise and Dinner on the Steamboat Natchez

Built in 1975, the Steamboat Natchez is possibly the last authentic steamboat to still ply the Mississippi around New Orleans. This beautiful white vessel, with red fringe, elegant balustrades and a paddlewheel, offers a truly unique dinner cruise. Much like the previous options, there’s a live band, the Dukes of Dixieland, and a buffet dinner. This cruise departs daily at 7pm, lasts two hours, and you can choose either a first or second dinner seating. From $95 per person.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Steamboat Natchez VIP Jazz Dinner Cruise with Private Tour and Open Bar Option

The Steamboat Natchez is unsurprisingly popular with visitors to New Orleans. And for an added layer of experience, there are a few limited VIP dinner cruise spots available on their nightly excursions. As part of this special cruise, have a glass of Champagne as you board, then take a private tour of the boat with the captain. Among the many other perks, you’ll enjoy a reserved front row seat to watch the band and can make good use of your VIP host to fetch drinks from the bar, which is free to VIP guests. From $188 per person.

Book at Viator.com