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NAPS New Orleans Branch 73 is partnering with BigEasy.com, your “ticket to everything in New Orleans,” to provide tours on Wednesday, Aug. 10—NAPS delegates’ free day during the 2022 National Convention. Offering a range of varied and exciting tours, this collection of attractions will be all you need to complete your New Orleans experience, from the city to the swampland.
To register and pay, go to https://bigeasy.com/negotiated-tours/naps-tour. Most tours have a 25-person minimum. The registration deadline is July 10. If a tour’s minimum is not met, NAPS members will be offered another tour or a refund.
All tours depart from and return to the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. If you have questions, you can email Gena Purvis at gpurvis(at)bigeasy.com or Destiny Pickett at dpickett(at)bigeasycom.
New Orleans City Tour
Join us as we explore all that makes New Orleans America’s most European city. As you ride past Jackson Square, your guide will recount the first days of the old French City. Highlights of this area include the Mississippi River, St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo and Pontalba buildings. You will continue past the French Market and U.S Mint.
Next is Esplanade Ave., the outermost boundary of the French Quarter, where you will see the many fine Creole homes with wrought-iron fences and balconies. You’ll visit St. Louis Cemetery No. 3, with its above-ground tombs. From across Bayou St. John, you will see City Park.
Your guide will give you a local’s chronology of events leading up to Hurricane Katrina and the days following. You will travel to Lakeview, one of the hardest hit areas and witness the revival of the city. Next, you will see Lake Pontchartrain and view the massive pumping station at the 17th St. Canal.
Then, travel to old town Carrollton along the route of the St. Charles streetcar. You will pass Tulane and Loyola universities. Next, the heart of Uptown showcases some of the city’s loveliest neighborhoods, including the Garden District, distinguished by its Greek Revival architecture.
Duration: 3 hours, pickup at 10 a.m. Cost: $45 per person.
Creole Queen Historic River Cruise
Relax and soak in the sights and sounds of the city and sip some of the beverages that have made New Orleans famous on the Creole Queen paddleboat. The cruise features a historian who will entertain you with a detailed narration of New Orleans’ historical landmarks and river lore. You will cruise and learn about the 1815 Battle of New Orleans at what now is the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park.
Tour time: Board at 1:30 p.m., cruise 2 to 4:30 p.m. Cost: $65 per person, includes lunch buffet.
French Quarter Walking Tour
A must-see for any visitor is a walking tour of the famous French Quarter. The original French and Spanish influences are evidenced by beautiful and unique architecture. You’ll see famous landmarks, including above-ground cemeteries, the Pontalba buildings, St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square with its old-world flavor and colorful art colony.
Enjoy seeing iron-laced balconies, romantic patios and quaint antique shops. You will visit the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the southern Gulf region.
Duration: 2.5 hours. Cost: $35 per person.
Garden District & Cemetery Walking Tour
The Garden District is an elegant, residential section of New Orleans that offers a glimpse of the city’s past. Once known as Lafayette City, the district is a short distance from the French Quarter. Excluded from the early 19th century Creole society, newly arrived Yankees created their own city—now one of the nation’s most beautifully preserved city districts. You also will tour Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, a cemetery that is uniquely New Orleans.
Duration: 3 hours, pickup at 10:30 a.m. Cost: $45 per person.
Jean Lafitte Swamp or Airboat Tour
Join us in the heart of Cajun country, just 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, where you’ll journey into the remote Louisiana wetlands by airboat or boat.
Swamp Boat Tour: Journey by boat through the protected Jean Lafitte National Park and Barataria Preserve. Your native guide will share the legends and lore of Louisiana’s untamed wilderness. You will be amazed at the swamp’s natural beauty and wildlife.
Duration: 3.5 hours, pickup at 11 a.m. Cost: $59 per person.
Airboat Tour: Experience an adventure in the heart of Cajun Country, where you’ll journey into the remote Louisiana wetlands by swamp airboat and encounter amazing wildlife. The native guides are well-versed in the wild animal and plant life indigenous to the area. You will see alligators, snakes, nesting eagles, egrets, herons, white-tail deer, mink, wild pigs, nutria and more that inhabit the swamp.
Duration: 3.5 hours, pickup at 11 a.m. Cost: $105 per person.
National World War II Museum
Ranked by TripAdvisor as the number-one attraction in New Orleans, the National World War II Museum features a rich collection of artifacts that bring history to life. Discover the most impactful event of the 20th century and the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” in thought-provoking exhibits. This world-renowned museum will inspire visitors of all ages in the lessons of World War II and its stories of heroism, tragedy and liberation.
Duration: 3 hours, pickup at 8:30 a.m. Cost: $68 per person.
A Taste of New Orleans Cooking Demonstration
Join one of our chefs at the New Orleans School of Cooking in the French Quarter as they share the history of New Orleans gastronomy, its Creole philosophy, quirky habits and, of course, its cuisine. Their vast repertoire of Louisiana knowledge and its cuisine will keep you entertained as they prepare a meal. The class includes copies of the recipes. Included with the meal are bread and butter, iced tea, a coffee station and Abita beer.
Duration: 3.5 hours. Cost: $55 per person.
Oak Alley Plantation
Oak Alley, an Antebellum plantation, is the grande dame of the Great River Road and a testimonial to the old South’s golden age. At the time the plantation was built, the River Region sugar industry was flourishing; a chain of stately plantations lined the banks of the Mississippi. Oak Valley, named for its quarter-mile tunnel of 28 oak trees that frame the driveway, is considered the finest remaining example of adaptive restoration; that is, restoration that is somewhat more permissive, but never losing sight of the importance of preserving the essence of the original design.
Duration: 5 hours, pickup at 9 a.m.; 40-person minimum. Cost: $80 per person (includes a box lunch).
Mardi Gras Mask-Making
Experience at Mardi Gras World On arrival at Mardi Gras World, guests will be greeted with one of New Orleans’ famous drinks —Hurricanes, which can be taken on the tour of the float den. The lead creative workshop director will discuss why masks are worn during Mardi Gras. You then will be invited to begin crafting your own mask, complete with glitter, jewels and feathers. You are welcome to take your creation home. A traditional New Orleans lunch will be served.
Duration: 2 hours, pickup at 9:30 a.m. Cost: $110 per person.
Mini Float Building
Looking for an unforgettable and original experience? Join the tour for mini float building at Mardi Gras World. The workshop begins with a guided tour where participants will learn about float building and the history and significance of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The tour includes a short movie, a slice of King Cake and a chance to take photos in costume. For the float building, a theme will be picked and participants will be divided into teams and supplied with everything needed to create the “winning” float! A world-renowned artist will be on hand to inspire and help.
Duration: 3 hours; 40-person minimum. Cost: $100 per person, includes a beer/wine/soda bar (minimum age is 14).