Ask me about the Symphony

Published 8:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2022

It’s about tourism and economic development. It’s about investment in Natchez. It’s about JOBS…

Something exciting is happening in Natchez on Aug. 30! Out of all the cities along the Mississippi River, from New Orleans to Minneapolis, Natchez has been chosen to be the “Godmother City” of the American Symphony, American Cruise Lines’ newest and sleekest vessel. What this means is that our city on the highest hill will soon become the “Port of Origin” for the Symphony, meaning by 2025 cruises will begin and end here!

This is truly historic, marking the first time a Mississippi city has become a port of origin for any cruise ship. By 2025, this will indeed be an economic boom for Natchez, as passengers for the American Symphony will be flown into our airport, instead of New Orleans and Memphis, and they will be overnighting in our hotels, eating at our restaurants, and frequenting our shops and historic sites. This all adds up to one great thing: JOBS!

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With commercial air service soon to return to Natchez, and plans under way for the restoration of the iconic Eola Hotel, the future for our historic city is indeed bright. But it has not come without the collaboration of many. I am so grateful to our Board of Aldermen, working to make sure our plans for Silver Street and agreements with the cruise companies were completed and approved. I am grateful also to the Adams County Board of Supervisors for their leadership and partnership in seeking funds and support for our airport, which has been critical to this success. And I am also grateful to our many tourism partners for creating in Natchez a city like no other – a city that truly has become, in the words of everyone, the cruise ships’ favorite port.

Speaking over the phone to a large crowd of excited Natchezians celebrating this week’s announcement, Charlie Robertson, President and CEO of American Cruise Lines, America’s largest cruise company, shared that ACL had selected Natchez because “Natchez is on the rise!” Obviously, as one of Mississippi’s fastest growing economies, with so many positive things happening, we have much to be thankful for.

The American Symphony is an impressive ship, featuring 5 decks, balconies for every suite, in addition to spacious lounges, a grand dining room, fitness center and a yoga-wellness center. Its design is elegant, featuring stunning glass and unparalleled river views throughout the ship. And ACL’s selection of Natchez now raises the bar for other cruise companies – because no city can compete with our hospitality. As an alternative to traditional seven day cruises, we now anticipate that commercial air service will make possible the marketing of shorter three day cruises, from Natchez to New Orleans, and we are hopeful that ACL, American Queen and even Viking, soon to be arriving, will begin considering this possibility!

Mark your calendar for an exciting day of celebration on August 30! And take a moment to give thanks for our beautiful city and God’s hand of favor upon us.

It’s about tourism and economic development. It’s about investment in Natchez. It’s about JOBS… And Natchez Deserves More.


Dan Gibson is mayor of Natchez.