New Orleans Pre-Mardi Gras

2025 New Orleans > New Orleans | Price from $2049

6 DAYS • 8 MEALS Experience the excitement and energy of New Orleans during Mardi Gras season. See parades, enjoy Creole cooking and visit Louisiana’s plantation country.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in New Orleans

Welcome to New Orleans, Louisiana, America’s jazz capital. Meet your Tour Manager in the hotel Lobby at 6:00 p.m. for a transfer to our welcome dinner and cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Located in a renovated molasses warehouse in the heart of the French Quarter, you will learn the basics of Louisiana cooking from well-known local chefs. Creole/Cajun experts teach New Orleans specialties such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines, and season them with history, trivia and tall tales. You’ll be treated to a wide range of local classics and get to enjoy them in sumptuous feast. It’s a “ga-ron-teed” good time for all. After dinner, feel free to enjoy the French Quarter on your own. Meal: D

Day 2: New Orleans City Tour and National WWII Museum

We begin with a narrated tour of New Orleans. See the sights you’ve heard about for years such as the historic French Quarter, the beautiful Garden District, the colorful River Walk along the Mississippi and famous Bourbon Street. See New Orleans as the city prepares for the biggest celebration of the year, Mardi Gras, with its colorful costumes, parades and parties. In the afternoon we pay a visit to the National WWII Museum. Designated by Congress as the country’s official World War II Museum, this remarkable attraction illuminates the American experience during the WWII era. Celebrate the American Spirit as you experience moving personal stories, historic artifacts and powerful interactive displays. From the Normandy invasion to the sands of Pacific Islands, the Museum salutes the optimism, courage and sacrifice of those who won the war and changed the world. Meal: B

Day 3: Mardi Gras World and Pre-Mardi Gras Parades

This morning learn what goes into the making of the Mardi Gras parade floats. Since 1947, the artists of Blaine Kern Studios have been bringing Mardi Gras to life, creating many of the parade floats, from concept through completion. The colors, the lights, the music, the “joie de vivre” is all in one magical place, Mardi Gras World. You’ll get a behind the scenes look at the world’s largest fleet of carnival floats and see everything that goes into making Mardi Gras such an international phenomenon. Later, experience the fun and festivities of a Mardi Gras parade from reserved bleacher seats and cheer on the “Krewes” who sponsor the floats. Delight in their ornate costumes and royal courts and try to catch some of the gold, purple and green beads thrown at you from the floats. Be sure to sample King Cake, a traditional Mardi Gras treat! Meals: B, D

Day 4: Canjun Swamps and Mighty Oaks

Travel from New Orleans today and embark on a narrated journey through the Louisiana swamp to see the vast wetlands, exotic wildlife, brilliant flora and the king of the swamp, the alligator. Then, venture into “plantation country.” A stop at majestic Oak Alley Plantation, the impressive mansion whose twenty five acres of history and romance is dominated by the “alley” of 300-year-old live oak trees. Enjoy a tasty Mint Julep before coming to Laura Plantation. Step into the past as you explore the museum, visit the Big House and stand in an authentic 1840s slave cabin. Meal: B

Day 5: Avery Island, Evangeline Oak and Jean Lafite

In the quaint town of St Martinville lives a love story so compelling that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow based his epic poem Evangeline. See the majestic “Evangeline Oak.” On Avery Island sits the TABASCO Pepper Sauce Factory. Known worldwide, TABASCO is one of the most popular sauces of its kind. Take a behind-the-scenes tour and have an on own lunch. Next stop at the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center. The center relates the story of the Acadians who settled Louisiana’s Mississippi delta and covers their history, customs, language and contemporary culture. Dinner is at Prejean’s Cajun Restaurant where the ambience is pure Cajun-French. Acadian relics line the walls and “Big Al” the fourteen foot alligator, stands in the middle of the dining room. Enjoy live Cajun music, great Cajun cuisine and great service all served up in a fun, casual atmosphere. Meals: B, D

Day 6: Travel Home

After breakfast, a group transfer to the New Orleans Airport is available for flights out after 12:00 p.m. Meal: B

Itinerary is subject to change.

Tour Highlights

  • 8 Meals: 5 breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • Round trip airport transfers
  • Spend three nights in “The Big Easy,” New Orleans
  • Narrated New Orleans sightseeing tour with a local guide including Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Garden District and the French Quarter
  • Visit the National WWII Museum, dedicated to the victory by the Allies in World War II
  • See the world’s largest fleet of carnival floats and learn about their making at Mardi Gras World
  • Enjoy dinner and fun at the New Orleans School of Cooking featuring traditional cuisine
  • Reserved seating along the parade route for Pre-Mardi Gras parades
  • Take a narrated tour through a Louisiana swamp alive with brilliant flora and exotic wildlife
  • Visit impressive Oak Alley Plantation
  • Step into the past at Laura Plantation and stand in an authentic 1840s slave cabin
  • See the Evangeline Oak made famous in Longfellow’s epic poem Evangeline
  • Take a behind-the-scenes tour at the TABASCO Pepper Sauce Factory on Avery Island
  • Visit the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center and learn the history the Acadians who settled the area
  • Farewell dinner at Prejean’s Cajun Restaurant featuring live Cajun music and delicious Cajun cuisine in a fun atmosphere

Hotel Accommodations

Days 1 through 3 – Hampton Inn and Suites, New Orleans, Louisiana
Days 4 and 5 – Drury Inn and Suites, Baton Rouge, Louisiana


February 25, 2025 | $2,049

Per Person Twin


Single Room Add

+ $769

 Call for air rates and schedules from your city to and from New Orleans.

Rooms for the night before the tour are available. Cost for a room in New Orleans is $249, tax and breakfast included.

February 10, 2026 | $2,269

Per Person Twin


Single Room Add

+ $799

 Call for air rates and schedules from your city to and from New Orleans.

Rooms for the night before the tour are available. Cost for a room in New Orleans is $269, tax and breakfast included.