New sightseeing bus tour expanding
Published 12:18 am Sunday, March 26, 2017
NATCHEZ — A few weeks after City Sightseeing tour buses hit Natchez streets, the business is expanding to add another bus to its route.
New Orleans hotelier Warren Reuther, who owns City Sightseeing Natchez with his wife, Nancy, said the double-decker bus tour company will add a third bus and expand its route in the next few weeks.
Email newsletter signup
“Because of demand … I’ve already bought a third bus, and I’m going to bring it up in the next few weeks,” Reuther said.
The double-decker buses travel on a fixed route between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily making stops at 10 different locations. A tour guide is on each bus to give history of the city, identify points of interest and answer questions.
If a passenger takes a full tour without getting off at any of the stops, the tour takes approximately an hour and a half, Reuther said.
Reuther said his company worked with local tour guides to establish the route and stops.
The goal with each stop, Reuther said, is to give passengers a overview of important Natchez landmarks and history, as well as give them several places within walking distance of the stop to visit.
“These are all the things Natchez is known for as best we can showcase them,” Reuther said.
One bus begins tours at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center and one at the Natchez Grand Hotel, which another company of Reuther’s owns and operates.
Tickets can be purchased at the visitor center and are sold by city tourism staff, with a 12 percent commission going to the CVB for each ticket sold, Reuther said.
The tour begins at the visitor center, then travels to First Presbyterian Church, where Reuther said passengers can walk to the William Johnson House, Temple B’Nai Israel, Trinity Episcopal Church and other locations.
The next stop is Monmouth Historic Inn, which the Reuthers own, then the Natchez National Historical Park’s Melrose.
The bus then travels by the Forks of the Road, which was the second-largest slave market in the country, then up St. Catherine Street, where passengers hear African-American, European and other history rooted in Natchez before making a stop at the Rhythm Night Club.
The next stop is St. Mary Basilica and Memorial Park, then to the Natchez Convention Center and Natchez Museum of African-American History and Culture.
The buses then travel down High Street and make a stop near Cherokee, Choctaw and Ellicott Hill antebellum houses.
The next stop is the Natchez Grand Hotel and bluff for passengers to experience the view of the river and the Bridge of Sighs.
Reuther said the Grand Hotel and convention center, which his company manages, are stops on the route because they both have handicap-accessible restrooms available for passengers.
The final stop is Under-the-Hill where passengers are given a history of the area and informed about dining and entertainment options.
Throughout the tour, Reuther said guides inform passengers about local dining and retail options.
Local business owners have the option, Reuther said, to place a brochure or rack card on the buses in exchange for placing a sticker advertising the bus tours at their business.
The third bus will make some of the same stops, but will also travel down Franklin Street, Reuther said.
A third bus would also cut wait times for pick-up at stops from approximately 30 minutes to approximately 15-20 minutes, Reuther said.
“The idea is to open up the city for everybody,” Reuther said. “In New Orleans, we pick people up in the French Quarter and then we drive out into the city and open up the city. It’s the same idea here in Natchez.”
Tickets for City Sightseeing tours in Natchez are $20 for a one-day pass and $22 for a two-day pass.
Tickets for children ages 3-12 are $10.
Group discounts as well as charters and private tours are available.
For more information, visit citysightseeingnatchez.com or call 601-445-8413.