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Cruises & boat tours

Cruises & boat tours
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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 newly renovated Riverboat City of New Orleans. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the New Orleans atmosphere as the smooth jazz of the Dukes Trio fills your ears on this two-hour cruise on the mighty Mississippi, enjoying craft cocktails, and the sites. Depart from the heart of the French Quarter and experience breathtaking views of New Orleans as the city skyline slips away. Seating is available indoors and on the outdoor decks for the very best views of the Mississippi River and New Orleans. Make sure you check out all four decks as the top deck view is a sight to see.  Choose the dinner buffet option for a dinner menu including: Salad Du Jour, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Top Round Angus Beef, Louisiana Fried Chicken Thighs, Bayou Seafood Pasta, Crawfish Etouffee, Herb Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Corn Maque Choux, Southern Stewed Okra, and New Orleans Bread Pudding.  

New Orleans: Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise with Lunch Option

2. New Orleans: Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise with Lunch Option

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 Bread Pudding

New Orleans: Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire City Tour

3. New Orleans: Haunted Ghost, Voodoo, and Vampire City Tour

Walk with your 5-star local guide through the haunted, historical French Quarter on this haunted historical tour. Explore the historical French Quarter, as you indulge in stories of magic, ghosts, vampires, and Vodou practitioners from your expert guide. Meet your local guide and set off on a journey through New Orleans’ haunted history at a hidden gem of an oddities shop. Pass outside well-known sites such as Muriel’s Restaurant and the Old Ursuline Convent. See the exterior of the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, where bloodletting and leeching took place in the 19th century. From the outside, see the house where Jacques Saint Germain — who was rumored to be a vampire — once lived. Plus, hear chilling tales of LaLaurie House and its mistress, Madame LaLaurie. Let your guide entertain you with local folklore as you continue past the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. The final stop of your activity is outside Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, where your spooky experience will end. Don't miss out on an experience you won't soon forget.

New Orleans: High Speed 16 Passenger Airboat Ride

4. 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: Cemetery Bus Tour At Dark with Exclusive Access

5. New Orleans: Cemetery Bus Tour At Dark with Exclusive Access

Experience the spooky side of New Orleans on a tour of the city and one of its most haunted cemeteries. Listen to chilling tales from your local guide and learn about the darker parts of the city's history. See how an EMF reader is used in real life. First, grab a cocktail or beer at your meeting location before the tour. Then your tour guide will lead the way with an EMF Reader and explain how to use them to search for paranormal activity and to help locate any spirits or paranormal phenomena.  Travel to several New Orleans Cemeteries and enter into Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery, and the Charity Hospital Cemetery and the Hurricane Katrina Memorial Cemetery to explore haunted cemeteries at night. Stop by the The Buckner Mansion which was featured in American Horror Story as the Coven House.  Finally, see the videos of documented ghosts and spirits that haunt several locations from your tour. Conclude your tour by following your guide to a burial ground of spirits who met their unfortunate fate in a tragic pandemic event.

New Orleans: Walking Tour Inside St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

6. New Orleans: Walking Tour Inside St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Uncover the history of one of America's oldest and most famous cemeteries that is not open to the general public on this walking tour of the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 cemetery. View interesting burial customs and stroll past facinating above ground tombs.  Check in and meet your guide at the Basin St. Station Visitor Center where you can find an array of exhibits about New Orleans, an interactive map of the Hurricane Katrina floodwaters, a café, restrooms, and a gift shop. Get your tour stickers and depart on time for your adventure into the macabre. Head to the the front gates of the St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and listen as you guide takes you back in time with the story of the cemetery. Make your way through New Orleans' most famous tombs and hear about the city's unique burial customs. Get up close to the elaborate above-ground crypts and below-ground sites. Meander among the and find out about the storied pasts of those residing here, including Voodoo Queen Mariel Laveau, the former mayor Homer Plessy and other notable figures from the city's history.

New Orleans: Creole Queen History Cruise with Optional Lunch

7. 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: Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner

8. New Orleans: Evening Jazz Boat Cruise with Optional Dinner

Step back into the glamour and romance of the riverboat era with a cruise on the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen boat. Tuck into a delicious dinner or simply sit back and relax with a cocktail in your hand, marveling at the views and enjoying the live jazz music. On this river cruise, experience the vibrant and lively jazz notes of the amazing Sullivan Dabney Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band while enjoying a Creole-style dinner (if the option is selected). There will be some time to dance to the music after dinner in the gorgeous dining hall.  After dinner, enjoy a classic New Orleans cocktail on the promenade deck looking out over the Mississippi River as the city slips past. On the way back to dock where you began your tour, pass by Jackson Square and see the city lights under a starry sky.  SAMPLE DINNER MENU: • Cajun Caesar Salad • Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo • Louisiana Creole Jambalaya • Cajun Baked Chicken • Roast Beef Debris • Garlic Mashed Potatoes • Cajun Seafood Pasta • Red Beans & Rice • Corn Mac Choux • Fresh Roasted Vegetables • Paddlewheeler White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce (best in New Orleans!) • French Bread Rolls & Cornbread (Menu items are subject to change by season and availability)

New Orleans: Manchac Bayou Swamp Cruise with Optional Pickup

9. New Orleans: Manchac Bayou Swamp Cruise with Optional Pickup

Join this tour in the Manchac Swamp on a real life adventure for the whole family. Your local captains will take you on an exciting journey to explore Louisiana's abundant wildlife in the bayous of Cajun Country. Journey by boat, Cajun-style, for a tour through the heart of Southern Louisiana's swamplands. Your swamp boat will take you into the meandering bayous where you'll see moss-draped cypress trees, fascinating plant life, and the creatures who make their homes here. Listen to informative commentary as you sail into the bayou. Swamp creatures are used to seeing the tour boats, so you'll likely catch a glimpse of various birds, snakes, deer, and fish, and possibly even an alligator. As your boat drifts through the waterways, you will learn about the Louisiana Wetlands, the inhabitants of the swamp–particularly the life and habits of the American Alligator–as well as the unique history of the local Cajun town of Frenier.

New Orleans: Sightseeing Bus Tour

10. New Orleans: Sightseeing Bus Tour

Get an introduction to the sites of New Orleans on a 2.5-hour guided bus tour. Benefit from pickup at Bon's New Orleans Street Food which is nearby Jackson Square and visit the Garden District, the 9th Ward, and more. Travel through the beautiful French Quarter, and make your way down lively Frenchmen Street, where live music pours from every venue. Arrive at the alternative Marigny district as you make your way towards the 9th Ward. Enter the Musicians' Village and continue to Tremé. Travel down Esplanade Avenue to City Park and Lake Pontchartrain, and then learn about Creole culture at Saint Roch Cemetery #1 and St. Louis Cemetery #3. See the oldest streetcar in the world on St. Charles Avenue as you move on to Tulane and Loyola universities. Enter the Garden District to look at some of the celebrity homes. Continue along Magazine Street to arrive at the Warehouse District and Arts District before getting dropped off at your hotel.

Immersive experiences

New Orleans

New Orleans

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.

Explore New Orleans

Read our complete guide to New Orleans, or discover the city's best experiences.

What people are saying about New Orleans

Overall rating

4.5
(857 reviews)

The pick up and drop off was a bit chaotic as we had to change buses and wait for another bus to show up. Once we got to the swamp the airboat part was amazing! The swamp was so beautiful with a ton of alligators and birds to see and take pictures of. Our guide Justin was very knowledgeable and gave us a lot of history and knowledge about the area and alligators. We even got to hold a baby alligator!

Very enjoyable evening. As expected due to the number of passengers on board there were queues at the bars and waiting to be seated for our meal. But the staff were very efficient in dealing with such numbers. Food was great. Entertainment was great too.

Our guide made our boat trip the best!!! We decided on the smaller boat excursion with less people and it did not disappoint!!

Our guide was great! He knew the area and was funny. Loved Gatorade.

crew and support staff were great and very friendly