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Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
Self-drive to swampland close to New Orleans for an airboat ride
Enjoy a fast, thrilling ride on tidewater cypress swampland near the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
See alligators, turtles, snakes, egrets, herons, ibis and other wildlife
Choose from morning and afternoon departures on a small or large airboat
Small-group tour limited to eight people (small airboats) or 25 people (large airboats) for a more interactive experience
Choose a morning or afternoon tour and meet your airboat at the embarkation point in the town of Jean Lafitte, an historic fishing village named for a notorious 19th‐century pirate and privateer, located approximately 30 miles (48 km) from New Orleans. Prearranged coach pickup is also available from your downtown New Orleans or French Quarter hotel.
Upon arriving at the airboat launch site, board a large airboat holding 15 to 25 passengers or a small airboat limited to six to eight passengers. Hold on tight as you airboat takes off into the tidewater cypress swamp near Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Enjoy close proximity to the water from your seat in the flat‐bottomed airboat. As you zip through the bayou, check out signature cypress trees dripping with moss and massive tupelo‐gum tree rising straight from the water.
Depending on the season, you may spot alligators basking in sun on the shore or lurking in the water. Rest assured that the swamps are teeming with wildlife year‐round. Spot turtles, snakes, raccoons, nutria and many native birds – you may even spot a bald eagle!
Your airboat tour ends at the embarkation point. Before leaving this iconic Cajun town, pop into the local albino alligator exhibit or grab a delectable shrimp Poboy to go (own expense). Then drive or board your coach back to New Orleans. Note: This tour does not include hotel pick‐up or drop‐off unless hotel pickup and drop‐off is selected at checkout. If you have selected hotel pickup and drop‐off please specify your hotel details in the 'special requirements' field at the time of checkout or advise the local operator directly after booking.
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Drive-out approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the embarkation point of your airboat from your New Orleans hotel. Depending on the option you selected, board a large airboat holding 15 to 25 passengers or a small airboat limited to six to eight passengers for a more intimate, personalized experience.
Set out on a 20,000-acre (8,095-hectare) tract of tidewater cypress swamp close to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Your flat-bottomed airboat is powered by an aircraft propeller to allow a fast, fluid trip through the shallow marshes. Feel the wind on your face as you zip into bayous lined with mossy cypress and tupelo-gum trees and your pilot points out a stunning variety of wildlife.
Prepare to see plenty of alligators in the warmer months (and warmer days in winter), some of which may be out sunning themselves on rocks! Your guide may even feed the gators, affording you amazing photo opportunities. Also keep your eyes open for turtles, snakes, egrets, herons and ibis. You may even catch sight of a hawk, owl or bald eagle. In the cooler months, look for white-tailed deer, raccoons and the large rodents known as nutria.
Your morning or afternoon airboat tour ends at the embarkation point. Be sure to check out the indoor exhibits of alligators — including an albino alligator — before making your way back to downtown New Orleans on your own.
Note: This tour does not include hotel pick-up or drop-off unless hotel pickup and drop-off is selected at checkout. If you have selected hotel pickup and drop-off please specify your hotel details in the 'special requirements' field at the time of checkout or advise the local operator directly after booking.
We booked the small fan boat tour and lucked out with our tour guide, Jay. Jay is an engaging and knowledgeable local who is descended from the pirate, Lafitte himself! He kisses alligators and calls birds, you cannot beat this experience!
Had a blast with “Captain Larry” on our small airboat tour! Was hesitant to spend $100 per person for this ride (which included transportation from hotel in NOLA), but was well worth it!
The pick up was on time, clean bus, and the check in and obligatory pictures prior to the ride where handled smoothly (Spoiler Alert - I am no big on these pics, but my wife loved them and bought after the ride). Make sure you “special requests” captain Larry, a native Cajun, who looks a little rough, and my wife thought we were in for a “C” ride, but he was SUPER! Knows the area and history and wildlife. We saw bald eagles, alligators, great blue Herron, 3 types of turtles, and raccoons. NOTE - the airboat ride is LOUD and you are provided ear protectors, so you need to be bold in asking questions during the tour. All u need to do is turn around and get Larry’s attention and he will stop the boat and answer you. YOU WILL NOT REGRET BOOKING THIS TOUR!!
SKIP the large boats and get on an Air Boat! We did the large boat the first time we were there. It was nice and the guide was great but the air boat was AMAZING!! It was everything we wanted. It was fast at times, scary fast sometimes, exciting. We saw various kinds of wildlife including many gators. DO IT!
Great tour!!! T Earl was awesome! He was very knowledgeable, friendly and 'real'. Told us funny stories and educated us on the nature of the swamps.
Loved the opportunity to hold Fluffy- she was adorable and very well behaved!
Definitely recommend New Orleans Airboat tours and ask for T Earl!! You won't be disappointed
Didn't see gators but still a great swamp experience!
, Oct 2019
I was told it was too cool out for the alligators to come up from sleeping, so no big gator spotting for our tour group. Still it was a great ride, and we experienced the other aspects of the swamp. Our guide also surprised us with a baby alligator he was raising before releasing back into the wild. Would do it again (in warmer weather)!
My grandson and I did the smaller boat tour (six passengers) and it was a blast! After some preliminary discussion, we all agreed,,.LET'S GO FAST! And our tour guide did not disappoint! Wonderful ride! And the tributary run was terrific. It was like all the alligators knew Greg. They came out from hiding as soon as they heard his voice and the feeding of the gators was very interesting! Almost like puppies! I would highly recommend this tour. We will be back !