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Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride! This approximate 2‐hour 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

New Orleans Airboat Ride

Cypress swamps assume very different ecosystems based on their location

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.

Customer Reviews

Hugh V United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

On a foodie trip to New Orleans we decided to take a swamp tour. A great time. Speeding through the bayou on an airboat and being approached by alligators was a treat.

Robert H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Really enjoyed the airboat tour. It's loud and fast - part of it anyway - and uniquely Louisiana. There's no sensation quite like bouncing over the waves at high speed. Warmer days are better for animal sightings and it's a lot of fun creeping around the inlets and channels looking for wild beasts. We really enjoyed the tour guide / boat wrangler's take on what it's like to work and live in the cypress swamps. There were 2 of us so we went with the small boat, and we're glad we did. It was a more personal experience that way. Highly recommended!

Sherri B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Oh to hold a baby gator, to have a full grown gator climb on your boat! Great photos! The scenery of the swamp alone is mesmerizing!

David K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Totally fun. Speeding around on these posts. Amazing scenery.

Nancy N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This was a great way to get out on the Bayou! We got out into the Bayou just like you see on TV. Our Captain was full of knowledge and stories about the area. Riding in the airboat was fun, seeing the Bayou was new to us. Because it was a cold day we didn't see any alligators - but the guide did find one hibernating and got it to growl at us. At the last stop our Captain got out a 12 alligator and let us all hold it. That was a once in a lifetime experience. We took the 6 passenger boat which I highly recommend. We went in January which hindsight seems like a bad time to go if your intent is to see alligators. If your only reason to ride the airboat is to see alligators I would do some research and go when you are more likely to see them they like warmer sunnier days but not hot. For us - just being on an airboat in the Bayou was a treat. This has been the best part of our vacation so far.

Alison B Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Fantastic!! The swamps and bayous were just as I'd imagined them to be. The scenery was beautiful and peaceful. The tour was small and intimate. We saw heaps of aligators and different species of birds.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

This was a blast! We got to go fast, see gators, and learn about the Louisiana wetlands.

Niki S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

We didn't pay for many tours on this NOLA trip but this was one thing we did do and it was so worth it. The total trip was an hour and 45 minutes and it was fun from start to finish. Our boat guide was George. He is born and raised in this part of LA and is super knowledgeable about the bayou, the animals, the flora and fauna, and all things environmental and economical. He was truly a joy. It was unfortunately on the colder side when we went out so we weren't able to see any gators swimming around. Happily, he brought a little buddy along with him. A 3 foot long male gator named Slater. Oh, I loved him so. He was a mellow little dude and we all had a chance to hold him.
Even if it's not a sunny day when you go out, I recommend bringing sunglasses. The wind is whipping and it's hard to keep your eyes open otherwise - something my husband learned the hard way. You might want to bring a water bottle as well. You don't get wet and don't have to walk through difficult terrain or anything so you can wear whatever you want.
So this was the large boat tour. The boat holds about 25 people and we had 22 on our trip. I don't think this took away from our experience. I was wondering if I should not have cheaped out and just paid for the small boat tour but then I saw that our boat went to all the same places as the small boat. It's not as though being on the small boat gave you the benefit of going deeper into the canals. The boats left and returned at the same time. Frankly, I think the small boat people were ripped off.
We rented a car and drove here. It seems absolutely ludicrous to pay 40 per person for a ride. Enterprise runs a deal where you can rent a car for 30 for 72 hours from Friday-Monday non-Airport locations. Take advantage of this. This way, you can drive yourself to this location, to the plantations, and anywhere else your heart desires.
I have to commend Viator on their customer service. We were originally scheduled for the 8th but the temperatures were near freezing that day. I called and they allowed me to switch it to the next day, when temps would be up 25 degrees. Thank you, Viator, for have a human answer the phone, and for having that human help me right away.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This was the highlight of the whole trip it's unique to Louisiana. Our guide JJ was extremely knowledgeable as he grew up in the bayou and educated us about the perils the swamp is facing. He was really well equipped to discuss alligators, which was the whole reason I went on this trip. He was fascinating to listen to, his personality was major PLUS, and he was very courteous and fun to spend time with. The airboat itself was a blast wear the headphones, you'll thank me for this, and I saw scenery that was awesome and so very beautiful.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

George our tour guide was amazing and gave everyone a lot of knowledge and entertainment.

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