New riverboat plans to stay docked, double as concert venue

The Riverboat Louis Armstrong will be the newest vessel to call the Port of New Orleans home

A new riverboat will be gracing the Mississippi River in the coming months.

The Riverboat Louis Armstrong is in the final stages of renovations, but what makes this vessel unique, is that it’s doubling as a music venue.

“This is a very different concept than the current riverboats that are in operation on the Mississippi River,” said Lydia Mulero, director of digital marketing at BigEasy.com. “Currently the Creole Queen and the Steamboat Natchez pretty much do the same thing.”

Both boats do daytime cruises of the river and a nightly dinner jazz cruise.

“The Riverboat Louis Armstrong is actually not going to do any daily tours,” said Mulero. “For the most part, it will be docked. We believe it will be docked at the Mardi Gras World location. “She’s going to be there pretty much all the time.”

Photo courtesy BigEasy.com

Mulero said some natives may remember the riverboat The President, which served as a music venue featuring concerts from U2 and Cyndi Lauper.

“We’re really aiming for more of that kind of vibe, where it’s going to be more of a floating concert, nightclub type of venue,” she said. “Because it’s docked you’ll be able to get on and off at your leisure. So what we see it being is a very unique concert venue for locals and tourists alike.”

Mulero added that the company hopes to focus on traditional music from locals.

“We want to try to give a platform to maybe some of the lesser known or local bands,” she said.

The boat itself has been in operation since 1995. It was originally used in Evansville, Indiana, as a riverboat casino. In November 2017, it traveled to Morgan City, where renovations began for it to become the Riverboat Louis Armstrong.

Mulero added that as well as music, it offers a unique option for New Orleans brides. The boat is functioning and can sail, so if it was rented out for a private charter, cruising could be part of that option.

“It will definitely be available for private functions, charters, conventions, but especially weddings,” Mulero said. “We are really excited about the wedding room on board. We really made that completely luxurious.”

She added that the floors of the boat would be large enough to host a large wedding party, without having to separate the party on different floors. Mulero said they expect to be able to hold 2,500 people aboard the boat, which has four decks and is one of the largest riverboats in the region.

A specific opening date has yet to be pinned down, but Mulero says the opening is expected by the end of spring.

You can follow the Riverboat Louis Armstrong’s journey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.