New Orleans conjures up images of parties, Spanish moss, centuries of history, and one-of-a-kind culture, and the only way to make that combination better is to mix it with boating. At the crossroads of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico, “Nawlins” is known as the “northernmost Caribbean town” steeped in all things nautical. Whether you’re passing through on your own boat or want to visit and charter a local vessel, you’ll find much to do in our New Orleans Boating Guide:
- New Orleans boat scene
- Lousiana boating regulations
- Tastebuds gone wild: New Orleans food
- Places to cruise by
New Orleans Boat Scene
New Orleans is a natural harbor surrounded by water in all forms. The mighty Mississippi River flows right through this town, bordered by giant Lake Pontchartrain, an estuary, and Lake Borgne, which opens onto Chandeleur Sound and Black Bay, so it’s not really a lake.
One of the busiest commercial ports in the country, New Orleans has a history that stretches back over three centuries. Recreational boating is big in all its forms, and you can find charter captains running sightseeing excursions, swamp tours, or sportfishing trips near offshore oil rigs where the angling is fierce.
Marinas are plentiful, including:
- South Shore Marina
- Pontchartrain Landing
- Orleans Marina
- Lake Catherine Marina
If you rent a boat from a peer-to-peer company, you may visit one of these marinas to board your boat.
Louisiana Boating Regulations
The state requires a boating license for anyone born after January 1, 1984, so if you’ll want to rent a bareboat, you’ll need to hold a certificate. Additionally, only persons 16 or older can actively drive a vessel. If you haven’t taken a qualifying safety course, you can always charter with a captain who will be happy to drive and share some local knowledge and colorful tales.
Tastebuds Gone Wild: New Orleans Food
Entire books have been written about the food in New Orleans. Come for the gumbo and etouffee, and stay for the boiled crawfish, shrimp creole, po’boy sandwiches, French beignets, and Hurricane cocktails served in glasses bigger than your
No Place Like the Big Easy
New Orleans, also known as the “Big Easy,” has become synonymous with Mardi Gras. For two weeks every February, the town is packed with partygoers looking to eat, drink, catch flying strings of beads, and soak up the many parades and celebrations. However, any time is a great time in the city that’s defined by food, music, and boating!
Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin.
A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide.
Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico.