This classic 4-night discovery of New Orleans brings you the highlights of what is often said to be the United States' most unique city. Deeply rooted in French Creole heritage, New Orleans boasts a unique cultural fusion, and is home to iconic architecture, renowned cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. Explore the old French Quarter with a private guide, and experience some of the city's revered jazz music aboard an evening cruise on the Mississippi. Visit the stately Oak Alley Plantation, a historic sugar plantation, where the meticulously manicured grounds provide a stark contrast between the past high life of slave owners and miserable life of slaves. No visit to New Orleans is complete without a swamp and bayou tour, where a local guide will take you out in a swamp boat and explain the Cajun "joie de vivre". Keep your eyes peeled for potential gator spotting.
Meet your professional driver for a private airport transfer.
Depart from your hotel for your French Quarter Walking Tour with private guide. New Orleans' French Quarter is so unique that it has been sanctioned and preserved by the National Historic Trust in Washington, D.C. The oldest sector of the city, the "Vieux Carre," is still called by its French name although its architecture is mostly Spanish. Today, it offers an exciting vision of the historic greatness of New Orleans with its narrow streets, outstanding examples of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French and Spanish architecture and the oldest Cathedral and apartment buildings in America. Courtyards, patios, enchanting alleys, artists surrounding the cast-iron fences of Jackson Square, outdoor markets, vistas of the Mississippi River, and a wide array of emporiums and internationally famous restaurants make the French Quarter the heart of New Orleans. After your tour, return to your hotel.
Includes Private walking tour and a licensed Tour Guide
This two hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter. This cruise takes you back to a time when cotton was king and life was as slow and graceful as the current of the Mississippi. You will be shown New Orleans, one of the world’s most active ports, as it can best be seen from the river aboard New Orleans’ only authentic Steamboat…The Steamboat Natchez. Experience Southern hospitality, steamboat style! The Steamboat Natchez decks, engine room and bars will be open for your enjoyment.
Stroll down the time tunnel of Oak Alley and be transported back to the Old South. This guided tour of historic former sugar plantation an hour west of New Orleans offers you a glimpse of the high life lived by slave owners and the misery of the slaves’ lives. The most striking aspect of the plantation is the first impression. The walk to the main house is made through a quarter-mile-long driveway completely covered, like a tunnel, by 250-year-old oak trees. As a scene setter, it cannot be beaten.
Oak Alley was built in 1839 and belonged to the Roman family until shortly after the Civil War smashed the Southern slave-owning class. As you wander around the immaculately manicured estate and enter the elegant Big House, you will have a sense of just how privileged their lives were. It is hard to believe what unspeakable cruelty the other residents of this plantation suffered. Indeed, over the decades, many who have worked here have encountered ghosts. The human stories behind Oak Alley will be revealed by your guide. The interior has been preserved to look like it would have during the heyday of the Roman family, who were French creoles. Antiques, four-poster beds, china dolls, candelabras… everything evokes that bygone era. Stand at the veranda and look out at the fields that would have been worked by the slaves in blistering heat while the masters were fanned.
After a short motorcoach ride across the Mississippi River, take a fascinating boat trip into the Louisiana Swamps & Bayous. Experience the timeless beauty of Southern Louisiana in a custom built, all weather swamp boat. Native guides will reveal the mysteries of the swamps and bayous and the Cajun "joie de vivre". Observe the nesting grounds of alligators, egrets, raccoons, nutria, and many species of snakes. Some wildlife is more numerous during the warmer months of the year. Learn about the efforts made to preserve and restore Louisiana's vanishing wetlands. These tours have been featured on The Discovery Channel, The Travel Channel, CBS, NBC and ABC. Bring your camera to capture the "bon temps" (good times) on the bayou.
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel (4*) is at the heart of New Orleans, a city known for unforgettable dining, intoxicating live music, Old World charm and good time living. Connect with the sights, sounds and flavors, and let the good times roll. Work, Relax, Connect Sample regional cuisine at Roux Bistro or enjoy a cocktail at the enchanting Pelican Bar. Then stop by the state-of-the-art fitness center or outdoor pool. Also offered are a business center and 105,700 sq ft, a total of 53 rooms, of flexible meeting space.
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