Book a 2018 holiday before 14 August and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Fly to New Orleans where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay.
First stop today, Avery Island, will get your taste buds charged. Surrounded by swamps and marshes, the island is inhabited by exotic plant and animal species, and is also the home of the Tabasco brand pepper sauce. During your guided tour, you will learn how the peppers are grown, harvested, turned into sauce and bottled. Then head into the heart of Cajun country to Lafayette, the 'Capital of French Louisiana', where you will experience an authentic 19th century Cajun village at Vermilionville. There's a chance to join an evening trip to the world-renowned Mulate's for some authentic Cajun food, music and dancing.
Start the day with a swamp tour to the hauntingly beautiful Atchafalaya Basin, where you might see wildlife such as beaver, nutria, otter, deer, birds and alligators. Afterwards venture out to the elegant town of St Martinville, once known as 'Le Petit Paris' for its luxurious balls, operas and highlife. In the evening try one of Lafayette's restaurants specialising in regional fare such as poboys and mufalletta.
Today head to the 'Cajun Riviera' and the 'Cajun Outback' to drive the scenic Creole Nature Trail. This 180-mile trail is the place where prairie melts into marsh and the Gulf of Mexico laps against the sandy beaches. Oak cheniers and world class bird and alligator populations make this byway a natural wonder. There's time to stroll the boardwalk, where you can admire the surrounding marshland and look out for wildlife.
Your first stop is Natchitoches, the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and setting for the movie 'Steel Magnolias', where we board a vintage-style streetcar to discover this charming town. Its 33-block Historic Landmark District features Creole architecture, restaurants and historic homes. During your free time, visit a 1896 courthouse or try the local delicacy, a Natchitoches meat pie. Then it's on to Shreveport, with a distinctly Western flavour, for an orientation tour. The evening is free. Perhaps try your luck in the Vegas-style casinos or experience the excitement of horse racing at Louisiana Downs.
A highlight of today will be a tour of the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, where Elvis Presley got his big break while performing at the Louisiana Hayride Show. Afterwards enjoy a scenic boat trip on the Red River when you will learn the history of Shreveport and see a Civil War fort. The remainder of the day is yours, so why not visit the Louisiana Boardwalk, the largest outlet, dining and entertainment destination in Louisiana?
Your first stop is Frogmore Cotton Plantation and Gins, where your tour will give you an insight into cotton production and the history and culture of American slavery. The tour includes furnished slave cabins and gives you a chance to view a rare antique steam gin. For a hands on experience, you are invited to help pick cotton (late July-April). Later visit a Delta Music Museum, housing interpretative and interactive exhibits focusing on the history, music and culture of the Louisiana-Mississippi Delta region. Our final destination is charming Natchez on the bank of the mighty Mississippi River.
This morning travel back in time to the elegance of the 'Old South' as you tour one of the pre-Civil War homes. Then it's on to Baton Rouge, the state capital, where your orientation tour takes you to the Governor's Mansion and the Art Deco State Capitol building. Before arriving back in New Orleans, you'll visit the 'Grande Dame of the Great River Road', Oak Alley Plantation. Built in 1839 and renowned for its alley of 28 giant live oak trees, believed to be nearly 300 years old, this National Historic Landmark is recognised for having one of the most spectacular settings in the entire South.
On today's sightseeing tour you'll see the French Quarter, St Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, a traditional above-ground cemetery, and the Garden District with its stately mansions along St Charles Avenue. Afterwards, stop at the famous Café du Monde for a cup of café au lait, accompanied by beignets, the Creole version of a doughnut. In the afternoon visit Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World for a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of this colourful festival. View the most awesome floats ever built for a carnival and you can even dress up in authentic ornate carnival costumes.
A full day to capture more of the magic of New Orleans. Board the oldest trolley system in the country for the Garden District where you can spend your morning viewing stately mansions, cemeteries and other locations which inspired Anne Rice, the author of 'Interview with the Vampire'. Those interested in history and nightlife will enjoy the Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour which mixes classic stories of New Orleans taverns and restaurants, with facts about the unique concoctions made famous here, including Southern Comfort - created in a French Quarter bar by MW Heron in 1874.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating unforgettable holidays since 1994. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.