New Orleans Swamp Tours: Everything You Need to Know

July 28, 2021

In this post-COVID era, travel is officially back in full swing. And Louisiana is one of the ideal destinations for families, celebrations, and impromptu trips. With the bustling city vibes of the French Quarter in downtown New Orleans, the peaceful calm of the swamps and rural surroundings, and everything in between, we’ve got something for every type of vacationer. 

That means people from all over the country are flocking to New Orleans for outdoor activities, unique sightseeing, and a little adventure to go with their Hurricane cocktails and po boys. 

If you’re planning to visit New Orleans any time soon, a swamp tour should be at the top of your list. It’s a picturesque way to see the Louisiana wildlife in its natural habitat, check out the unique world of the bayou, and even catch a cool breeze. 

We’ve pulled together some of the research for you, so you know exactly what type of tour to take, and what to expect once you get there. Here’s everything you need to know before buying your tickets for a New Orleans swamp tour. 

Are swamp tours open in New Orleans?

Yes, swamp tours are going strong in the summer of 2021. 

This open-air adventure is actually one of the safest activities you can book during your trip to New Orleans. You’ll be outside enjoying the fresh air, far away from the rowdy New Orleans crowds. Local Louisiana tour companies are also taking every precaution to ensure visitors are safe and confident taking their bayou tour. 

If you’d like to reserve a private boat for your group tour, give us a call and we’ll set up a private, guided tour experience.

Are swamp tours safe? 

Yes, New Orleans swamp tours are perfectly safe for people of all ages. Every boat is equipped with life preservers and safety gear, and led by a bayou-raised, local tour guide who knows the ins and outs of the bayou. 

Louisiana boat captains know the local wildlife better than anyone. They’re skilled at identifying alligators and wild boar from afar so they carefully approach the wildlife without alarming them, or you. Even when you encounter wild gators, you can rest assured that your tour guide is a pro at giving you the best view, without endangering anyone on the boat or disrupting the natural environment. So you can get that coveted alligator photo without ever worrying about your own safety. 

Airboat Adventures is also taking extra precautions to sanitize all surfaces on a regular basis. And since you’ll be in the open air for the entire tour, this is truly one of the safest activities you can book in New Orleans.

How much does a swamp tour cost?

Depending on the type of tour you take, tickets for a New Orleans swamp tour could cost anywhere from $30-$100. That’s a wide range, because you’ll need to consider what kind of boat you want to take a ride in, how reputable the tour company is, and whether you want to rent out a private boat for your own group. 

Airboat Adventures boasts some of the most knowledgeable captains in the area, and offer swamp tours starting at $55 per person. If you want to get even closer to the bayou wildlife, you can book a seat on a smaller airboat for $79 per person. For that ticket price, you’ll enjoy the unique experience of viewing the bayou from a small airboat with 6-8 passengers (faster and peppier than the typical pontoon boat). 

Are New Orleans swamp tours worth it?

Yes, your swamp tour is more than worth the price of admission: keep in mind that this is a one-of-a-kind adventure that you’ll only find in select parts of the country. It’s also much different from the more common New Orleans experiences, like walking Bourbon Street and taking historic house tours. (Don’t worry, there will be time for that after!). Need transportation? Don’t worry, Airboat Adventures also offers roundtrip transportation from downtown New Orleans for an additional $20 per person.

While on tour, you’ll sail past natural cypress trees that form the backdrop of breathtaking photos and life-long memories. And you can take advantage of your time with a local Louisiana native by asking your boat captain all your questions about Louisiana wildlife, history, and even culture.

After seeing real-life alligators, wild boar and other critters in their natural environment, a bayou tour is bound to be the highlight of your trip. Whether you’re traveling with a group, your family, or solo, swamp tours are truly worth the ticket price and travel time. 

What should I wear on a swamp tour?

Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that can withstand a splash here and there. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, so you can easily board the boat (and pivot fast to catch every alligator shot!). If you have it handy, toss in a bottle of bug spray and sunscreen to be safe (even if it’s overcast in the morning; the weather in Louisiana is notorious for changing by the hour). Also, don’t forget your sunglasses!

And otherwise, keep your packing light. You’ll need to stow away everything you bring under a seat on the boat so it doesn’t slide around or get wet. 

If you’re taking an airboat tour, remember that airboats pick up speed, so you may want to wear an extra layer in the fall and winter. 

What will I see on a New Orleans bayou tour?

You can expect to see alligators, a variety of bird life, and maybe even turtles and water snakes (from a safe distance!). An experienced guide will also point out the unique trees and plants that are native to the swamp environment. Depending on the tour, you may also see traditional Cajun fishing cabins where locals harvest crawfish and other seafood. 

You’ll see different types of wildlife at certain times of day or year. If you have any questions about what you’ll see on your swamp adventure, contact a local tour company

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

You can easily tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile based on the shape of their snout: alligators have more rounded mouths, while crocodiles have longer, more narrow heads. 

But if you see any massive reptile floating through a Louisiana swamp, you can be sure it’s an alligator. Only gators are native to Louisiana bayous; not crocodiles. Alligators continue to grow throughout their entire lifetime. They can live into their 50’s, and have been known to reach up to 500 lbs!

How long is a swamp tour?

Most bayou tours last around 2 hours, which is just enough time to explore the swamp, relax, and take as many photos as you can. 

If you’re staying in downtown New Orleans, it will likely be a 45 minute drive to get out to the bayou depending on traffic, so keep that in mind when you’re planning your day. The tour itself is well worth the extra travel time, since you’ll see a whole other aspect of Louisiana that you won’t want to miss. 

What is an airboat?

An airboat is a flat-bottomed boat with a raised propeller. You can easily identify an airboat by the large, raised fan in the back that powers the boat forward. 

They’re ideal for navigating shallow waters. Airboats have become increasingly popular for ecotours, since they can reach relatively high speeds, and are safe for the local environment. They originally gained popularity in Florida, but now you can enjoy the Louisiana bayou by airboat, too. 

Should I take a swamp tour on an airboat or pontoon boat?

Some swamp tour companies specialize in airboat rides, while others offer tours in pontoon boats. The main difference is that pontoon boats are quieter and can’t go nearly as fast as airboats can. 

For Louisiana swamp tours, many travelers prefer airboats: they go faster, which means you may get to explore more of the swamp in a short period of time. You’ll also enjoy a cool breeze as you speed through the bayou, which is especially refreshing during a New Orleans summer. Your airboat captain will always slow down and pause so you can get up close to the alligators, so you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Which swamp tours have the best reviews in New Orleans?

Airboat Adventures is one of the most highly ranked tour companies in New Orleans. They’ve earned 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor, as well as a rating of 4.7 out of 5 on Google.

What are the best swamp tours in New Orleans?

Airboat Adventures offers some of the all-around best swamp tours in the area. They’re well-established, with a team of experienced boat captains who know exactly where to go to introduce you to alligators, wild boar, and more. You’ll learn all about the bayou, and the wide range of plants and animals that call Louisiana home. 

If you’re looking for a more laid-back tour of the swamp, another well-regarded tour provider is Adventures of Jean Lafitte, offering pontoon boat tours.

Swamp tours are one of the most popular New Orleans activities, so you have options when it comes to choosing a tour company. Regardless of who you choose, you’ll want to reserve a spot with a tour company that’s earned plenty of positive reviews and customer testimonials

Get ready for an amazing tour experience.

No matter what time of year you take your tour, what you wear, or what kind of boat you choose, a swamp tour will offer you a truly unique, Louisiana experience. Visitors and locals alike learn and see something new on every bayou tour. And a relaxing, guided exploration of the Louisiana swampland is a perfect contrast to the busy world of the French Quarter. 

If you have any more questions about what to expect on your swamp tour, give us a call. And laissez les bons temps rouler! 

6 Adventurous Things To Do in New Orleans for Families

October 29, 2017

We know that families visiting New Orleans often do not have a lot of options. Bourbon Street and all of the adult fun that goes along with it pretty much precludes families from being able to enjoy everything the city has to offer. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have find adventurous things to do in New Orleans for families.

6 Adventurous Things To Do in New Orleans for Families

1.) Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World might sound like it has more to do with typical New Orleans revelry than you’d like, but in reality it’s a wholesome experience. Mardi Gras floats as far as the eye can see inside warehouses, so it’s good to visit during rain or shine. Don’t miss out on the dress-up costume trunks! They’re a hit with the kids.

mardi gras world, adventurous things to do in new orleans for families

2.) Airboat Adventures

What could be more exciting that zooming around the swamps outside New Orleans interacting with alligators and other swamp creatures? Not much if you ask us. Riding on an airboat is not an opportunity you’ll get in many other circumstances. Take advantage of the opportunity while you have it!

december swamp tour

 

3.) Steamboat Natchez

The Steamboat Natchez moseys along the Mississippi River. Although it might not sound as “adventurous” as an airboat ride, it is still something you won’t get an opportunity to do in many other cities. This is a slightly more expensive option, but it offers views of New Orleans that are incredibly unique.

steamboat natchez, new orleans family friendly adventures

4.) Storyland in City Park

City Park is a great destination for visitors to New Orleans who are looking for family friendly activities. But Storyland in City Park is an especially unique attraction. It offers more than 25 larger-than-life sculptures modeled after various storybook characters. The playground even gives kids the opportunity to play on Captain Hook’s pirate ship, the Whale from Pinocchio, and a dragon slide!

storyland in city park, new orleans family adventures

5.) Louisiana Children’s Museum

Anyone who has ever been to a children’s museum can vouch for how fun they are for all ages. Louisiana’s version has 30,000 square feet of fun and more than 100 hands-on exhibits. You certainly won’t be bored, we can promise you that!

Louisiana Children's Museum, New Orleans Adventures for Kids

6.) Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Zoo is underrated, by both locals and tourists. It is consistently ranked as one of the top zoos in the country and has more than 1,300 creatures in its confines, ranging from komodo dragons to giraffes. And don’t forget to take the young ones on the Swamp Train!

audubon zoo, adventures for kids in new orleans

That’s just six ideas. If you’d like more, please do not hesitate to call us and ask. If you book a tour with us, we’ll give you tour ideas above and beyond this.

Looking For Local Louisiana Attractions? Choose Airboat Adventures!

July 30, 2016

Are you and your family members looking for exciting local Louisiana attractions this summer? Come take an airboat tour of the scenic Southern Louisiana swamps with Airboat Adventures! Airboat Adventures provides guests from all over the world with a one-of-a-kind experience that is exciting, fun, and informative. Guests of all ages and interests will enjoy cruising through the swamps on one of Airboat Adventures’ high-speed fan boats. When you embark on a journey with Airboat Adventures, you will have the opportunity to see tons of local critters and wildlife, including alligators, birds, fish, turtles, and more. Located just minutes from the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, Airboat Adventures is open seven days a week for your convenience. Whether you are a tourist or New Orleans resident looking for local Louisiana attractions to participate in this summer, come on an airboat tour through the swamps with Airboat Adventures.

Alligator swimming through Louisiana's swamps during an airboat tour.

An Experience Like No Other

Going on an airboat tour with Airboat Adventures is thrilling to say the least. When you choose to go on a swamp tour with Airboat Adventures, you will cruise through the swamps on a high-speed fan boat ride with one of their friendly captains. You will be seeing over 20,000 acres of tidewater cypress swamp, a dynamic ecosystem with various types of wildlife and most-soil vegetation. You will have the chance to see vast amounts of unique wildlife, including herons, snakes, turtles, egrets, ibis, alligators, hawks, bald eagles, owls, and more! Don’t forget your camera, for you won’t want to miss capturing these special moments in the beautiful swamps.

swamp tour new orleans airboat tours

Why Choose Airboat Adventures in New Orleans?

The airboat tour usually lasts about an hour and forty-five minutes to two hours, and the boats leave daily. You can choose the time that works best for you, and can even opt for one of Airboat Adventures’s romantic sunset tours! The knowledgeable guides at Airboat Adventures are passionate about the swamps, and will be happy to share information and interesting facts with you as you cruise through the scenic waterways. When booking your swamp tour, you can opt for the large boat, which can comfortably accommodate 15-27 passengers, or the small boat, which is ideal for parties of 6-8 passengers. Airboat Adventures even offers to pick you up from any downtown New Orleans hotel with their convenient shuttle service!

swamp boat tour new orleans airboat ride

Searching for Local Louisiana Attractions? Come to Airboat Adventures Today!

Come join the outgoing captains on a high-speed airboat tour through Louisiana’s swamps with Airboat Adventures in New Orleans! Airboat Adventures has many packages to choose from, so simply call one of their friendly staff members to find out more. Come embark on the experience of a lifetime with one of the best swamp tours in Louisiana, Airboat Adventures!