New Experiences In New Orleans
The latest addition to our team, Georgina, brings with her experience of the fantastic American Queen Steamboat Company. It may have been a while back, but she has plenty of insights into exploring the Mississippi…
A few years ago I was very fortunate to travel to New Orleans and Baton Rouge. This was a brief five-night trip to America and I was apprehensive about the area as this isn’t a destination of which I had any previous knowledge or indeed many enquiries.
We set off from London to New Orleans via Atlanta with Delta Airlines. They are a fabulous airline with very attentive staff; I had previously travelled with Delta on a Virgin codeshare and can say I preferred Delta to Virgin Atlantic.
On arrival in New Orleans, we were transferred to the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, which sits in a perfect position on the busy Bourbon Street.
If you're hoping to be amongst the vibrant nightlife, this is definitely the hotel to stay in. It’s reasonably quiet during the day and like a carnival at night. The balconies along Bourbon Street come alive and music is played, you will see beads everywhere you go, people hang out of the windows/balconies throwing these at passers-by during Mardi Gras. Although, I believe this is a common occurrence on most nights, even outside of the city’s biggest celebration. The colour of the beads thrown signifies either justice, power or faith.
This diverse city is amazing and within minutes you can walk from the Mississippi to the business district, which resembles Wall Street. Another five-minute walk from here and you are on Bourbon Street and the start of the French Quarter. Then you reach St Louis Cemetery and see all the Voodoo stories, which are so interesting.
The Mississippi is a huge draw and whilst here I was very lucky to see the American Queen - a majestic vessel that the locals are very proud of. Whilst staying in New Orleans, numerous people asked if we were visiting the American Queen as it was moored there for two days. Although I wasn’t given the opportunity to view the cabins on this ship, we did get to sample a meal on the steamboat Natchez which gave a wonderful insight into cruising along this amazing river.
To set the scene, the boat slowly paddles away from the busy port and the calm waters create a feeling of relaxation. The Creole-inspired food only adds to the ambience and a feeling of gratitude is felt. The American Queen continues to various destinations but notably to Natchez which is in the heart of the cotton fields and the traditional Deep South. Here, you will find plantations, wonderful architecture and small towns as depicted in many American films.
I would thoroughly recommend a Mississippi River cruise either starting or ending in New Orleans. As a destination, it is like no other but a truly relaxing and educational holiday is guaranteed. If you would like to know more, please call us on 0800 954 0064 or click here to submit an enquiry online.