9. From New Orleans: Swamp Airboat, 2 Plantation Tours & Lunch
After being picked up from your hotel in New Orleans in a 13-seater high-roof van, your enthusiastic historian driver-guide will take you on a scenic narrated drive out of New Orleans, preparing you for a pilgrimage back in time.
After crossing over the Mississippi River on a high bridge, you will arrive at a remote swamp to board a small airboat. With your Cajun boat captain, glide comfortably over marshes and deep into secluded bayous. Discover the swamp’s fascinating fauna and flora, including alligators, turtles, and exotic birds.
Next, you will drive upriver through sugar cane fields to arrive at Laura Plantation. Enjoy a guided tour of this Creole plantation dating back to 1804. Hear the compelling stories of Laura's family saga, as well as stories of the West-African, enslaved people who worked on this sugar plantation. At the end of the tour, visit the museum exhibit dedicated to "Slavery on Laura Plantation" in a restored overseer's cottage.
Back on the old River Road, you will pass by Felicity Plantation, where "12 Years A Slave" was filmed, and St Joseph Plantation, where the "Queen Sugar" TV series was filmed. Stop in front of Oak Alley Plantation to admire its parallel rows of centuries-old oak trees.
After crossing over the Mississippi River on the Sunshine Bridge, you will arrive at the iconic "Sugar Palace", Houmas House Plantation. Lunch will be served in their elegant dining room, with genuine Cajun cuisine. Then, enjoy a guided tour of the mansion with a guide dressed in Antebellum costume. After the tour, enjoy some free time to stroll around the splendid gardens, before you return to New Orleans.
Sample Lunch Menu (subject to seasonal changes)
Luncheon includes home-baked bread and butter, iced tea or soft drink, dessert, and coffee.
Choice of Entrees:
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (gluten-free without croutons): Served with tender romaine lettuce, croutons, and parmesan cheese
Crown Jewel Hamburger: Grilled 7oz burger topped with cheese, bacon, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, and onion served with French fries
Shrimp Po Boy: Shrimp, crispy fried and served on New Orleans French bread with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and Creole mayonnaise
Breast of Chicken (gluten-free without grits): Skin-on breast of chicken, served with stone-ground grits, roasted veggies and rum-spiked Houmas House beehive honey glaze
Vegetarian Pasta: Veggies and baby heirloom tomatoes with fettuccine pasta and parmesan cheese
Choice of Dessert:
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Turtle Creole Cream Cheese Cheesecake