You don’t just hear music in New Orleans and Louisiana’s “Cajun country”… you feel it, indelibly woven into the fabric of life. The strains of every genre you can think of – smoky blues, pulsating Caribbean rhythms, acoustic, country, rock, soul, r&b, nouveau swing, hip-hop and more... and, naturally, a tasty buffet of jazz styles... envelop you along Bourbon Street and throughout the French Quarter...
The streets take on a life of their own… The spirits of Satchmo and Jelly Roll permeate Basin Street and New Orleans Jazz National Park. Traditional jazz lives on within the homey confines of Preservation Hall... while moving out to the bayou, the music continues... Explore New Orleans & Mississippi River Country as an insider with Tauck Exclusives like a private demonstration and lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking... a private streetcar tour along Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue... a flightseeing tour... a private jazz experience at world-famous Preservation Hall... a private mint julep reception and mansion house dinner... a jazz reception and dinner at Arnaud's... and exclusive, on-tour film vignettes by filmmaker Ken Burns. Explore the bayou on an alligator bayou boat tour... Louisiana's historic Mississippi River plantations... and enjoy state-of-the-art exhibits, a 4-D experience, brunch and a USO-style Stage Door Canteen show at the National World War II Museum.
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Filmed narratives by filmmaker Ken Burns tell the American story
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – A private culinary demonstration & lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – A private mint julep reception and mansion house dinner at Nottoway Resort
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private streetcar tour with New Orleans resident along Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue
TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private presentation by expert Nellie Watson who shares insights on the unique environment of the New Orleans' basin
Arrive New Orleans
Tour begins: 5:00 PM, Hotel Monteleone. Welcome to New Orleans and French Louisiana! A transfer is included from Louis Armstrong International Airport to the Hotel Monteleone. Please join us for this evening's welcome cocktail reception at your historic hotel at the foot of Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter, followed by dinner at Antoine's, a classic French Quarter restaurant a short walk away.
Cooking School & Mardi Gras Insider
From the flavor of étouffée to the strains of jazz, tour New Orleans as an insider today with Tauck! Explore iconic Canal Street, the historic homes, boutiques and cafés of the Warehouse District, and the Mississippi River waterfront. Discover the French Quarter from venerable Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo to the swirl of daily – and nightly – life along fabled Bourbon Street on a guided walking tour. Learn a few secrets of Cajun and Creole cuisine from the chefs of the New Orleans School of Cooking with a private cooking demonstration followed by a lunch you won't soon forget. Attend an exclusive-to-Tauck, private jazz experience at Bourbon Street's world-famous Preservation Hall... before a Mardi Gras insider takes you for a behind-the-scenes look at the city's traditional annual celebrations at Mardi Gras World. Then strike out to explore on your own this evening in the Big Easy!
New Orleans from above, its unique environment & more
Begin the day with a flightseeing tour of New Orleans for views of the French Quarter, Mississippi River, canals, and wetlands, with commentary by your pilot. Learn about the unique geological environment of New Orleans, America’s only city situated below sea level, and its vulnerability to natural and manmade disasters at a private lecture by Nellie Watson, an expert on the interplay of humans, architecture and the environment. Spend the afternoon enjoying lunch as you please and exploring more of this remarkable city on your own followed by a visit to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. And for your included dinner tonight, get a true taste of New Orleans' famous cuisine at a restaurant of your choosing.
The bayou, Baton Rouge & Nottoway Resort
Depart New Orleans this morning and head out into the countryside for an alligator bayou tour in an excursion boat with a local guide. Continue on to downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana's capital city, for lunch at a local restaurant. Next, learn about the life and career of Huey P. Long, Louisiana’s populist Governor of the 1930s, during a guided visit to the Old State Capitol. Then travel to Nottoway Resort – an 1850's sugarcane estate on the Mississippi's west bank that's home to the largest existing antebellum mansion in the South – where you'll spend the next two nights. Your stay begins in style in the Mansion House with a guided tour and a private mint julep reception for Tauck guests only, followed by an elegant private dinner, accompanied by a string quartet in the parlor.
Mississippi River Country
Today, begin your discovery of Louisiana's "River Road" sites with a visit to Houmas House and Gardens along the "big bend" of the Mississippi River. Named for the local Houmas Indians who owned the land until its purchase by planters in the mid-18th century, Houmas House was the heart of a working sugar plantation whose holdings once grew as large as 300,000 acres, and at its height in the late 1800s produced some 20 million pounds of sugar annually. A docent provides insider information on a guided historic house tour; have lunch, and stroll through some of its 38 acres of exquisite gardens. This afternoon, visit Whitney Plantation, Louisiana's only museum with an exclusive focus on the lives of enslaved people. A guided walking tour of Whitney’s memorials and restored buildings – including slave cabins, a freedmen’s church, detached kitchen and outbuildings, a 1790s owner’s house and memorials built to honor the enslaved – reveals the reality of a pre-Civil War Louisiana sugar plantation, and invites you to remember those who built and worked this property. Return to Nottoway Resort for dinner and an evening spent as you wish.
Back to New Orleans & World War II America
From Nottoway Plantation, return to New Orleans this morning for another two-night stay in the Crescent City, which begins with a guided visit and time on your own at the National World War II Museum. This acclaimed institution, honoring the efforts of millions of everyday American men and women who contributed to the nation’s war effort in World War II on both the battlefront and the homefront, is situated in the neighborhood of the New Orleans factory that produced the ubiquitous Higgins boats, which played a key role in Allied amphibious assaults throughout the war. Your visit begins with a viewing of the award-winning “4-D” multi-media experience Beyond All Boundaries, produced and narrated by Tom Hanks and featuring the voice talents of a Who’s Who of Hollywood actors including Brad Pitt, Viola Davis, and more; brunch accompanied by an entertaining USO-style musical show at the museum’s BB’s Stage Door Canteen, featuring cuisine by The American Sector restaurant; and time to explore the museum’s many state-of-the-art exhibits at your own pace. Late this afternoon, check into your stylish accommodations at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, on Canal Street in the French Quarter, then spend an evening as you please in this unique American city.
Gardens, a private streetcar & more jazz
Visit more iconic destinations as you continue to tour New Orleans with Tauck today. Begin with sightseeing in the Garden District, whose National Historic Landmark district preserves historic mansions dating from the 1830s to about 1900, reflecting the prosperity of their wealthy builders prior to and following the Civil War, as well as the city's antiques district. Then hop aboard an authentic New Orleans streetcar for another Tauck Exclusive – a private streetcar tour along Canal Street and St. Charles Avenue, accompanied by a New Orleans resident. After a Garden District walking tour, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring more of New Orleans at your leisure. Tonight, experience more of the best of the Cresent City as you head to celebrated Arnaud's Restaurant to bid adieu to "Nawlins" with a Tauck Exclusive, private farewell jazz reception, followed by dinner at this French Quarter institution.
Tour ends: New Orleans. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans to Louis Armstrong International Airport. Please allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.