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Let The Good Times Roll in New Orleans

Last spring, I visited New Orleans for the first time and the city surprised me like no other American city I’ve ever visited. Everything was more beautiful and complex than I had expected. The food was more flavourful, the music more impressive, the history was more fascinating, and most importantly the people were more welcoming than I could have imagined. There is also something magical about the energy in New Orleans that can’t be accurately described. I was mostly exploring the city alone while my husband was attending a conference, but it never felt that way as Uber drivers, strangers in cafes, and even fans at a Pelicans basketball game went out of their way to tell me about their wonderful city.

New Orleans owes a lot of its uniqueness to the rich and complex history of the State of Louisiana. Originally home to numerous Native American tribes, the area was first colonized by the French in 1682 and named Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV. Since that time the region has been held by the Spanish, British, and finally the United States. Waves of colonists from each of these nations brought with them a large number of African slaves and due to the close proximity to the Caribbean islands, there was also a large influx of Caribbean immigrants. Even Canada can claim a fairly major role in shaping the state. Beginning in 1755, the British forcibly deported approximately 11,500 Acadians (French settlers) from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Many of these Acadians were eventually recruited by the Spanish government to migrate to present day Louisiana, where they have maintained their unique cultural heritage and became known as ‘Cajuns’. All of these diverse cultural influences have played a role in creating the unique way of life that exists in Louisiana today.

Everyone can find something to get excited about in New Orleans and Cajun Country. Foodies will be impressed by the traditional Creole and Cajun food, as well as the many young chefs creating innovative cuisine. As the birthplace of jazz, music lovers will have a veritable buffet of options for live music every night of the week. History buffs will enjoy the colonial architecture of New Orleans and the numerous museums, cemeteries, and plantations. The extensive wetlands of Louisiana are a favourite of outdoor enthusiasts who will enjoy tours in the cypress swamps and verdant gardens. It really is a traveler’s dream destination!

Visit New Orleans with Wells Gray Tours

If you’re ready to fall under the spell of The Big Easy we have two fantastic tours you might be interested in. One tour focuses solely on New Orleans and Louisiana while the other is a luxurious Western Caribbean Cruise combined with four days in New Orleans.

New Orleans & Cajun Country
October 21, 2019 – 10 Days
Fall in love with New Orleans and Louisiana on this exciting tour. We begin in New Orleans where we will explore the highlights of the city, including the French Quarter, the Lower Ninth Ward, St. Louis Cemetery, and Mardi Gras World. We will also enjoy cocktails and a jazz show at the Maison Bourbon Dixieland Club and take a cruise on the Natchez Riverboat. Next, we step back in time as we enter Plantation Country which features splendid plantation homes. We’ll take a pontoon boat trip through a cypress swamp, and then it’s on to Cajun Country where a local guide will share the fascinating history and traditions of the Cajun people. We’ll visit numerous cultural sites and local producers, eat delicious Cajun food, and dance to lively tunes. We will finish with a tour of the state capital, Baton Rouge, and a visit to the Rural Life Museum.
Itinerary from BC Interior
Itinerary from Victoria
Itinerary from Greater Vancouver

Caribbean Cruise with New Orleans
January 13, 2020 – 15 Days

This tour combines a luxurious Western Caribbean cruise with a stay in New Orleans. We cruise for 9 nights on the recently-refurbished Norwegian Getaway with stops in Costa Maya, Harvest Caye, Roatan, Georgetown, and Ocho Rios. The tour fare includes four dinners in specialty restaurants and unlimited beverages on board the ship We also spend 4 days exploring New Orleans, including a tour of the French Quarter, a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking, and a visit to Louisiana’s plantation country.
Itinerary from BC Interior
Itinerary from Victoria
Itinerary from Greater Vancouver

Written by: Pam Jensen