A Riverboat Set to Open This Spring Will Honor Satchmo

NEW ORLEANS – Inspired by the life and music of Louis Armstrong, Warren J. Reuther, the owner of the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, launched a major renovation project that will bring the rhythms of Satchmo back to the riverfront.

Reuther (left), the president and CEO of Hospitality Enterprises New Orleans (www.BigEasy.com), is leading the development of the Riverboat Louis Armstrong, an entertainment venue slated to open this spring. 

Nearly a century ago, a young Armstrong began playing the trumpet in riverboat brass bands in his hometown of New Orleans, and later toured with a band that traveled up and down the Mississippi River. The jazz musician lived in major cities across the country, and performed for crowds around the world. He passed away in 1971, a month before his 70th birthday, while residing in New York City.

- Sponsors -

The 2,500-passenger vessel, which is four decks high, will be one of the largest riverboats in the region. The third level will feature a room showcasing historic photos and highlights that pay homage to Armstrong’s musical legacy.

The Riverboat Louis Armstrong will accommodate both large- and small-scale events, from musical performances and weddings, to conventions. On Sundays, guests can enjoy a lively Louis Armstrong gospel jazz brunch. 

The actual vessel, formerly known as the City of Evansville, has been in operation since 1995. 

- Partner Content -

Entergy’s Energy Smart Program Brings Cost Conscious Innovation to New Orleans

Offering comprehensive energy efficiency at no cost to the consumer, Entergy’s Energy Smart program incentivizes Entergy New Orleans customers to perform energy-saving upgrades in...

“It took me two years to find a boat that would complement what (Armstrong) did,” said Reuther, noting that he knew a “jazz cruise” would be a hit, based on his experience of running the Creole Queen, which has been docked for nearly 35 years.

Although Reuther’s team began renovating the riverboat about twelve months ago in Morgan City, the final touches have been added at Buck Kreihs Repair on the West Bank, where the ship is currently docked. 

Last Friday afternoon, while the sun was shining, workers installed four, 48-foot smokestacks onto the gleaming white riverboat.

- Sponsors -

The Riverboat Louis Armstrong will soon cruise across the Mississippi River and permanently settle near the Canal-Poydras Street Dock and Mardi Gras World. When it opens – likely sometime in March – Reuther says that Satchmo will once again be “jazzin’ on the river.”


By Suzanne Pfefferle Tafur, Biz New Orleans associate news editor



Digital Sponsors / Become a Sponsor

Follow the issues, companies and people that matter most to business in New Orleans.

Email Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter