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New Orleans

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended New Orleans Cruises & Boat Tours

New Orleans: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

1. New Orleans: Evening Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

Journey back in time aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez – the only surviving authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Sit back, relax and enjoy the New Orleans atmosphere as the smooth jazz of the Dukes Trio fills your ears. Departing from the heart of the French Quarter will take you along the graceful Mississippi River. Seating is available indoors and on deck for the very best views of the Mississippi River and the City of New Orleans. The indoor areas are climate-controlled and the outdoor space allows for tours of all levels of the boat. There is nothing more charming than an evening on the Steamboat Natchez. Ending back where you started, leave your cruise feeling invigorated by the Mississippi's fresh air. Sample Dinner Menu Natchez Tossed SaladChicken and Sausage GumboBaked Chicken with a mushroom ragoutBayou Seafood PastaHerb-Garlic Fingerling PotatoesPasta Primavera (Vegetarian)Green Beans AlmondWhite Chocolate Bread PuddingBananas Foster: A New Orleans originalGarlic Rolls Menu items are subject to change by season and availability.

New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

2. New Orleans: Day Jazz Cruise on the Steamboat Natchez

Savor the beauty and romance of New Orleans on a cruise aboard the Sternwheeler Steamboat Natchez, the only authentic steamboat in New Orleans. Cruise along the Mississippi River, listen to live jazz music, and enjoy an optional lunch of local fare. Your cruise from the heart of the French Quarter and takes you back to a time when life was as slow and graceful as the current on the Mississippi. Set out to see New Orleans from the Mississippi River, one of the world's most active ports. While on board, visit the museum-quality engine room to learn how steam powers this magnificent boat through the "Mighty Mississippi." Add an optional Creole lunch to your cruise, prepared fresh on board and served with your choice of coffee and iced tea. Savor the tastes of New Orleans before docking back where you started the tour. Sample Menu Lunch (subject to season and availability) • Southern fried fish• Red beans and rice• Jambalaya• Salad du jour

New Orleans: Creole Queen History Cruise with Optional Lunch

3. New Orleans: Creole Queen History Cruise with Optional Lunch

Sit back and enjoy the views or a drink at the bar while journeying down the Mississippi river. Learn about New Orleans' complex, but interesting story, focusing on the critical Battle of New Orleans. Join a cruise narrated by a local guide and embark on a journey into the past as you head downriver to the Chalmette Battlefield at the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. As you travel to the battlefield, learn about the settlement of New Orleans, its river, and the historical landmarks that line the banks of the Mississippi River. As you cruise, treat yourself to a traditional lunch on board. (If relevant option selected.) Stop at the battlefield and hear about the legacy of the area on a 1-hour guided tour along the shore with a talk by National Park Rangers. After, return to the starting point where your tour will end. SAMPLE MENU LUNCH: • New Orleans Style Shrimp Pasta • 10” Roast Beef Po-Boy • Creole Jambalaya • Crawfish Bread • Caesar Salad • Red Beans & Rice • Fresh Baked Cookies • Zapps Potato Chips (Menu items are subject to change by season and availability)

New Orleans: Night Cemetery and Ghost BYOB Bus Tour

4. New Orleans: Night Cemetery and Ghost BYOB Bus Tour

A visit to New Orleans famous “Cities of the Dead” is a must-do for anyone visiting this city. Hauntingly beautiful and elaborately ornate, these cemeteries also hold stories of ghosts, past and present, which will chill you to the core. This cemetery tour is offered under the cover of night. You'll leave the French Quarter behind as your bus creeps along Esplanade Avenue to what used to be the edge of town, but is now the bustling neighborhoods of Mid-City and City Park. There are 42 cemeteries in the New Orleans area, and throughout this experience you will visit several of them. Your guides will discuss the unique burial rituals and practices during the stroll, as you are offered an up-close and personal look at some of the most popular cemeteries.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Swamp Cruise Day Trip

5. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Swamp Cruise Day Trip

Experience 2 typical Louisiana features—plantation homes and bayous—on a guided day trip from New Orleans with hotel pickup. Tour Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets, included, and look out for wildlife on a boat trip through the swamplands. Start with a pickup from your French Quarter hotel. Head out of New Orleans and travel to Oak Alley Plantation, one of the best-known in the area. Built in 1837-39, the plantation is famous for its alley of 28 evenly spaced live oak trees. Take a guided tour of the historical plantation and gain an educational insight into the times of slavery. Afterward, enjoy a fully narrated boat tour of the swamps. Keep a lookout for alligators, turtles, water birds, and other local wildlife. Listen as your captain tells stories of local Cajun and Creole history, and the people who live in the Bayou area. Finish your tour with the return journey to New Orleans, where you’ll be dropped off at your French Quarter hotel.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Half-Day Tour

6. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation Half-Day Tour

Embark on a half-day tour to the Oak Alley Plantation from New Orleans. Pass under the alley of 250-year-old Oak trees and uncover the history of the Old South on a guided tour of the plantation. Oak Alley is one of the most photographed plantations; it has been the setting for motion pictures such as “Interview with a Vampire" and “Primary Colors.” This visit is a fantastic educational tour to experience with friends or family. After exploring the plantation, treat yourself to a refreshing snack at the on-site café and ice cream parlor. End your tour whilst enjoying the views of live oak trees stretching from the mansion to the gently flowing Mississippi River.

New Orleans: High Speed 6-9 Passenger Airboat Tour

7. New Orleans: High Speed 6-9 Passenger Airboat Tour

Experience the best of both a swamp tour and an airboat ride. Travel at high speeds in the airboat then slow down and stop for pictures. Along the way, enjoy a personal tour by your local captain. The airboats have stadium seating so every airboat seat is great for experiencing the tour and viewing wildlife. Yes, gators will get close, real close. So close that you will be able to look into those reptilian eyes. Alligators do hibernate in the colder months, but your experienced captains know where to look for them. On average, during the winter, you have better than a 50/50 chance of seeing a gator. In the warmer months, you will see a gator. Every New Orleans Airboat Tour is unique and you never know what could be around the next corner. Tour an area that is a combination of swamp, marsh, and lake, spotting anything from a Bald Eagle to a Pelican, from an Osprey to an Owl. The airboats are driven by a 454 Chevy engine that will produce speeds of up to 35 miles an hour. They are propelled by a huge fan that will blow air from the back of the boat in excess of 200 miles an hour. These tours are truly a blast. They ride in inches of water and go where traditional boats can't. The boats were designed to take you to inaccessible areas of the swamp, places that you cannot reach by foot or car, ensuring a unique experience.

New Orleans: High Speed 16 Passenger Airboat Ride

8. New Orleans: High Speed 16 Passenger Airboat Ride

Embark on a high-speed adventure through the swamps and marshes just 35 minutes from New Orleans and experience the amazing scenery by airboat. Slow down or stop to take pictures and get a personal tour from your local captain. Avail of airboats with stadium-style seating so that the person in front does not obstruct your view. Be amazed as alligators come so close to the boat that you can stare into their reptilian eyes! Encounter magnificent birdlife, including bald eagles, pelicans, ospreys and owls. Every tour is unique and you never know what will be around the next corner! Reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, propelled by a huge fan that blows air from the back of the boat in excess of 200 miles per hour. Ride in shallow water and access areas where traditional boats cannot go.

New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo Tour

9. New Orleans: Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Swamp Combo Tour

Discover Louisiana on a guided day trip from New Orleans to the historical Oak Alley Plantation, with entry tickets included, and a bayou airboat ride. Benefit from round-trip transportation from your New Orleans hotel. Start your experience with hotel pickup, and relax on the drive to Oak Alley Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation home by guides in period dress while you hear and learn about the times of slavery.  Take in the house's Greek Revival architecture, the antique farm equipment exhibits, and walk around the grounds where 28 evenly spaced, huge oak trees grow. Browse the blacksmith shop and souvenir shop, or stop for a snack (at your own expense) in the restaurant. Continue onto Barataria Basin for an airboat tour of the bayou swamplands, where your local captain will guide you through the swamps, marshes, and lakes. Travel at high speeds for an exciting ride, then slow down to spot local wildlife on this exciting airboat experience. Look out for alligators, birds, and other animals. Every airboat tour is unique, so you never know what you’ll see. Even in winter — when alligators hibernate — you’ll have a good chance of spotting these reptiles.  Back on dry land, return to the bus for the drive back to New Orleans, where you’ll finish off your trip with a convenient drop-off back at your hotel.

From New Orleans: Whitney Plantation Ticket & Transportation

10. From New Orleans: Whitney Plantation Ticket & Transportation

Step back in time as you visit the Whitney Plantation on this bus day trip from New Orleans. Gain a unique perspective on the enslaved people who lived and worked here through museum exhibits, memorial artwork, restored buildings, and hundreds of first-person slave narratives. In 2014, Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 262-year history, as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery.  The early owners of Habitation Haydel, later known as the Whitney Plantation, became wealthy producing indigo before the plantation transitioned to sugar in the early 1800s.  Whitney is also significant because of the number of historic outbuildings which were added to the site over the years, thus providing a unique perspective on the evolution of the Louisiana working plantation. The Big House is one of the finest surviving examples of Spanish Creole architecture and one of the earliest raised Creole cottages in Louisiana.  The Whitney Plantation Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. As a site of memory and consciousness, this site pays homage to the slaves on the plantation itself and to all of those who lived elsewhere in the United States.

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Frequently asked questions about New Orleans Cruises & Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Cruises & Boat Tours that are worth visiting in New Orleans?

The other unmissable things to do in New Orleans are:


Boat tours in New Orleans: Everything you need to know

You could probably come up with some popular songs and works of American literature in which the Mississippi river was the setting (and sometimes the character). While in New Orleans, don’t miss your chance to cruise down the second largest river in the United States. See the city from a typical paddlewheeler and discover what inspired Mark Twain or Johnny Cash on a New Orleans river cruise.

Sightseeing boat tours in New Orleans

Whether you’re a first-timer or a returning visitor, embark on the ultimate sightseeing experience in New Orleans. Board a genuine steamboat and cruise down the Mississippi River. See the French Quarter from the river on this two-hour cruise to the sounds of Jazz. This activity includes live narration, so you’ll learn all there is to know about the Big Easy.

For a well-rounded NOLA experience, add the Creole lunch option to your river cruise. Feast on local delicacies like the chicken and sausage gumbo, green beans almondine, and white chocolate bread pudding.

New Orleans dinner and cocktail cruises

If you don’t feel like checking out the party scene on Bourbon Street, take the New Orleans’ night in on a dinner cruise. Aboard the Creole Queen, a typical Mississippi paddlewheeler boat, enjoy Creole cuisine while listening to the resident Jazz band.

Head to the promenade deck for a cocktail and raise a glass to historic Jackson Square. Or, if you feel like it, there’s still time to dance after dinner on this two-hour cruise.

Choose a dinner cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez if you prefer the option to eat outdoors. You’ll also listen to the sounds of Dixieland-style Jazz as the city's skyline unfolds before your eyes.

New Orleans bayou boat tours

Home of alligators and other swamp species, the bayous in the Mississippi River Delta are must-sees if you’re interested in visiting beyond New Orleans. You can choose from many swamp boats tours. All of them allow travelers to get close (but not too close!) to local bayou residents.

If you’re visiting on a tight schedule, choose a guided tour that takes you to the bayou at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Reserve. This is the closest swamp to downtown, so you’ll get there in about 25 minutes. For convenience, the tour includes pick up and drop off at your hotel.

After spotting the bayou wildlife with an experienced local guide, travelers can enjoy a Cajun lunch at a local restaurant.

If you’re staying for a few days and want to combine two-day trips into one, choose a swamp tour that includes visits to former plantations. You can choose, for example, The Oak Alley and swamp tour boat combo, a one-day tour with pick up and drop off included. You get to visit the plantation in the morning and take the swamp tour in the afternoon.

New Orleans airboat tours

Want to travel to places in the bayou that other boats can’t reach, and you don’t mind a little speed? Consider an airboat tour. These fast boats with a giant fan in the back can reach smaller canals that bigger riverboats can't. Some boats take small groups of up to six people, while others can accommodate close to 30 passengers. Choose tours on smaller airboats if you'd like a more personal experience. Follow the tips of your local guide to spot Flour and Sugar, the bayou's albino alligators. In addition to the bayou’s most famous residents, peel your eyes for turtles, frogs, raccoons, cranes, and wild pigs.

Good tips and things to know for New Orleans boat tours

  • Check if the boat company allows passengers to bring food and drinks from outside. Do so especially if you’re not planning to eat aboard one of the cruises with optional lunch or dinner.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and clothes, appropriate for traveling on a boat. Prepare for splashes on open boats. If you’re opting for an airboat tour, choose one that provides hearing protection.
  • If you’re traveling with small children, look for a boat with onboard bathroom facilities for convenience.
  • For travelers choosing a swamp tour, follow the local guide’s recommendations when it comes to feeding or approaching the resident wildlife.

Other Sightseeing Options in New Orleans

Want to discover all there is to do in New Orleans? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 857 reviews

Brandon was such an amazing tour guide! Saw lots of gators and had plenty of laughs along the way! Would absolutely recommend it. The fun the history tidbits were lots of fun too! Thanks Cajun Pride for making our New Orleans trip that much more memorable!

It was a full day of experience. First we got to visit the Oak Alley Plantation and tour through it’s history then we were taken to the bayou for the awesome swamp tour. Absolutely recommend this company and the combo tour

very informative with a pleasant and knowledgeable guide. appreciated being able to do it at 9 am so there was time to do something else in the day

Great overall experience. Tour guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. Transportation guy was very professional and on time.

Great tour guide, Jay was awesome!! Very interesting and entertaining!