Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Returns to ‘Battle of New Orleans’ Tour Service

Repairs to Katrina-Damaged St. Bernard Port Boat Dock Allow French Quarter-Based River Tours to Resume

Sunday, December 27 2009 16:47   Historic Towns
The Mississippi River paddlewheeler Creole Queen is once again making daily tours to Chalmette Battlefield from the French Quarter, giving visitors a unique way to reach the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans.

The battlefield, part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, was a daily destination for the Creole Queen until Hurricane Katrina devastated the area in fall 2005.

"The return of the Creole Queen has been a team effort, just like the entire recovery from Katrina," said Elizabeth Dupree, park chief of resource education. "The St. Bernard Port Harbor and Terminal District owns the boat dock, and when repairs were finished this summer [2009], they got together with New Orleans Paddlewheels to make this happen."

New Orleans Paddlewheels Inc. (NOP Inc.) operates the Creole Queen.

On Dec. 16, 2009 the paddlewheeler made a triumphant return to the battlefield dock as part of a celebration hosted by the St. Bernard Tourist Commission. Commission guests enjoyed a tour of the boat as well as visits to the historic Malus-Beauregard House on the battlefield grounds.

"Since no public transportation exists between New Orleans's French Quarter and the battlefield, this [is] a great way to get visitors out to this important site," Dupree said. "Control over the Mississippi River was why the British attacked New Orleans during the War of 1812, so going to the battlefield via the river is a history lesson in itself."

Visitors taking the paddlewheeler view the French Quarter and the Port of New Orleans from the Mississippi River, while the Creole Queen's captain provides a detailed explanation of the Big Easy's landmarks, history, and some river tales along the way. Once at the site, visitors disembark at the battlefield to explore the park before reboarding the paddlewheeler for the return cruise to the dock by the French Quarter.

The tour takes about two and a half hours. Boarding begins daily at 1:30 p.m. and cruising is from 2 p,m., to 4:30 p.m. Adult fares are $20; the fare for children aged 5-12 is $10, and there is no fare charge for children under five years old.

For more information visit the Web site at or call (800) 445-4109.

The Creole Queen is an authentic paddlewheeler powered by a 24-foot diameter stern paddlewheel. Constructed in Moss Point, Mississippi, the 1,000 passenger paddlewheel boat took her maiden voyage on October 1, 1983.

The river boat has three private dining rooms, which give her the "largest indoor capacity" on excursion vessels in New Orleans.

Chalmette Battlefield and Chalmette National Cemetery are located at 8606 West Saint Bernard Highway in Chalmette, Louisiana, just downriver from New Orleans.

The final Hurricane Katrina recovery project at Chalmette Battlefield is the new visitor center, now under construction, and expected to open in fall 2010. For more information, call the park at (504) 589-2636 ext. 1 or visit