New Orleans & Cajun Country

Southern Cuisine & Hospitality along the Mississippi River

  • Date

    May 8-12, 2024 | Wed / Sun – 5 Days 

  • Location

    New Orleans | Avery Island | Lafayette | Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve


If you close your eyes and imagine Cajun Country, the city of New Orleans immediately comes to mind. Stay in the historic French Quarter, the city’s oldest neighborhood where lacey cast iron balconies hang over cobblestone streets. Known for its mix of cultures — from French/Canadian (“Cajun”), Spanish, Caribbean, and African (“Creole”) to Native American, Italian, and others, New Orleans’ intimate and unique ambience has cast its spell over artists, writers, and visitors since the early 1800s.

You’ll visit some of the famous landmarks around the Crescent City, and a little lagniappe (“something extra”) with a demonstration lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Enjoy a jazz dinner cruise on the Creole Queen. Enjoy the lively sounds of New Orleans music while enjoying a delicious creole buffet, dancing, and skyline views.

On Avery Island, explore the botanical treasure of Jungle Gardens and tour the TABASCO factory to learn how the world’s most favorite hot pepper sauce is made. Take a Swamp Tour in the Atchafalaya River basin to see indigenous plants, alligators, egrets, and other wildlife. Live music and Cajun food to follow! Tour the antebellum mansion at Oak Alley Plantation, the “Grand Dame of the Great River Road.” With so much to see and taste, you’ll be “gar-ron-teed” a good time!


  • Walking tour of the French Quarter
  • Creole Queen Jazz Cruise Dinner
  • Demonstration lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking
  • Oak Alley Plantation tour
  • Swamp tour by boat
  • Visit Laura Plantation
  • Tour of the TABASCO factory and Jungle Gardens
  • Tour Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park


  • Escorted
  • 4 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling


This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Wed, May 8: Depart Indianapolis and fly to New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour of the city. See the world-famous Garden District, stately mansions, and hear about the history of Mardi Gras before checking in to your French Quarter hotel for two nights. The rest of the evening is at leisure to explore the French Quarter with dinner on your own.

Thu, May 9: Enjoy a morning at leisure, or take an optional walking tour of the French Quarter. At the New Orleans School of Cooking, watch skilled chefs prepare a classic Cajun/Creole lunch as you learn about the vibrant history of New Orleans cuisine. Enjoy free time this afternoon before rejoining the group for a Jazz Dinner Cruise aboard the Creole Queen. A lavish Creole buffet on a historic paddle wheeler while cruising the Mississippi River to the lively sounds of jazz caps off your stay in the Crescent City. (Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Fri, May 10: Depart New Orleans in the morning and stop at Oak Alley Plantation, located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Vacherie. Movies filmed here include “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” with Bette Davis, “Interview with a Vampire,” “Primary Colors” and “The Long Hot Summer,” a television movie with Don Johnson, Cybil Shepherd and Ava Gardner. Tour the Big House, completed in 1839 and restored. See the reconstructed slave quarters and learn about sugarcane and the impact it had on society and plantation life. Stroll the magnificent alley of 300-year-old live oak trees that lead down to the river. There will be free time to explore the grounds and enjoy lunch. The next stop, Avery Island, is the home of the McIlhenny Company, makers of TABASCO pepper sauce. Learn about the company’s history, see how they make their world-famous pepper sauce, and have time to visit the gift shop prior to touring their spectacular 170-acre nature preserve, Jungle Gardens. Depart Avery Island for Lafayette, Louisiana and check in to your hotel for two nights. (B,L)

Sat, May 11: In Lafayette, visit the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, to discover stories of the origins, migration, settlement, and contemporary culture of the Acadians (Cajuns) of Louisiana. While here, visit Vermilionville Living History & Folk Life Park, with portrayals of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole peoples. The property includes seven restored original homes and more than a dozen local artisans. Enjoy an authentic meal at their onsite restaurant. Next, see Cajun Country from a different perspective — by boat through the swamp! Meander through a beautiful, cypress/tupelo swamp that is sure to ignite your imagination. Along the way, spot alligators, egrets, and other wildlife as your guide narrates this insightful journey. End the day by enjoying live musical entertainment and savoring dinner of famous local fare. (B,L,D)

Sun, May 12: Leave Lafayette and head for Laura Plantation for a stroll through the 200-year-old sugar plantation homestead. Experience what Lonely Planet Travel has called “the best history tour in the United States.” After your tour, depart for the New Orleans airport and return to Indianapolis. (B)

Hotel Mazarin, New Orleans, Louisiana. Where old world charm meets contemporary luxuries. Relax in the elegant courtyard, enjoy the antique and art collection, or take in nightly jazz performances at the on-site bar. Conveniently located in the French Quarter, just steps from dining, shopping and entertainment. Highlights: in-room coffee maker • complimentary high-speed internet and Wi-Fi • restaurant • bar/lounge • fitness center.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Parc Lafayette, Louisiana. Centrally located in the heart of Lafayette, this new hotel is close to restaurants and shopping. Highlights: in-room kitchenette with coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, and utensils • complimentary high-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access • complimentary beverage area • fitness center • outdoor pool • snack shop.


  • Package with Air
  • Double P/P – $2,199
  • Triple P/P – $2,099
  • Single – $2,559
  • Land Only
  • Double P/P – $1,749
  • Triple P/P – $1,649
  • Single – $2,109

*Subject to change due to increase in fuel surcharge