The New Orleans Airboat Swamp Tour
Airboats can take you to places in the swamp that other boats can't get to, giving you the best chance to see alligators and other south Louisiana wildlife.
Airboat tours are fast, loud and crazy, but also have moments of quiet beauty.
Tickets start at $50 (on our 30 Passenger Large Airboat). Optional round trip transportation is available from many major hotels in the downtown New Orleans area for a little extra.
This tour sells out almost every day and advance reservations are required. Please don't wait. We recommend you book as far in advance as possible.
Quantity denotes the number of guests in your party, not the number of boats. Prices listed are per person. There is a $25 down payment per person for Large and 16 Passenger Airboats and a $30 down payment per person for Small Airboats due at checkout with the remaining balance payable at time of tour.
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All About Airboats
Airboats are almost like hovercrafts: Airboats go over mud, need less than an inch of water, and take you to places that bigger pontoon boats can't reach, which means you'll see more of the bayou and have a better chance at spotting alligators and other wildlife!
Cajun captains: You are in the water for two hours with a Cajun captain, local experts who are incredibly knowledgeable about the native animals and the environment. But they are also a little crazy! These guys are fearless when it comes to the gators and may do things you won't believe. They've been known to occasionally jump in the water.
The bayou is beautiful: Spanish moss hangs from Cyprus trees. A Cajun cemetery sits right off the edge of the water. Wildlife abounds: pelicans, owls, turtles,egrets, nutria, and of course, alligators.
Alligators! Speaking of gators, you will see them the wild, in captivity, and you'll probably find a baby gator on the boat. You might even get to hold it!
16 Passenger Airboat Tour:
Drive Out: $60
Hotel Pickup: $75
6 to 10 Passenger Small Airboat Tour:
Drive Out: $75
Hotel Pickup: $95
Prices listed are per person. There is a $25 deposit per person for Large and 16 Passenger Airboats and a $30 deposit per person for Small Airboats due at checkout with the remaining balance payable at time of tour.
30 Passenger Large Airboat Tour:
Drive Out: $50
Hotel Pickup: $70
Private Tours: Private Tours are available for groups as small as 1 or as large as 100. Private tours are great for bachelor and bachelorette parties, corporate gatherings, church groups, conventions, fans coming in for sporting events, family reunions and more. If your group is 30 people or fewer, we can fit you on one boat. If it's more than 30 people, we can split you across multiple boats. Contact our Group Sales at (504) 507-8308 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote. Private tours should be booked as far in advance as possible.
|Airboat Size||Hotel Pick Up Times||Tour Start Time||Estimated Return To New Orleans|
|Large/Medium/Small||8:35 AM||9:45 AM||12:15 PM|
|Large/Medium/Small||10:45 AM||12 PM||2:30 PM|
|Large/Medium/Small||12:45 PM||2 PM||4:30 PM|
|Large/Medium/Small||2:45 PM||4 PM||6:30 PM (Seasonal March-October)|
|Large/Medium/Small||4:45 p.m.||6 p.m.||8:30 p.m. (Select Days June-August)|
* Tour Times/Pick Up Times may differ slightly depending on dock availability.
Ride Length: Boat ride is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes. Round trip with hotel pick up about 4 hours
Arrive Early: Guests who are driving themselves out to the dock should arrive 20 minutes early for check in. We work with several docks and address will be provided upon confirmation of your tour.
30-Minute Pick Up Window: Guests who choose round-trip transportation must be in front of their designated pick up location at the time listed for the pick up. There is up to a half-hour pickup window, meaning if your pick up start time is 10:45, our shuttle will be there sometime between 10:45 and 11:15; you must be ready to go by 10:45 otherwise you may miss your pickup and could forfeit your down payment.
Our seasonal 6 p.m. tour runs select days (usually weekends) from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Please call 888-481-8188 for availability.
Airboat Details You Might Want To Know
Three Different Boat Options To Fit Your Budget: The main difference between the different airboats is how many people are with you on the boat. Our Large Airboats seat a maximum of 30 people. Our 16 Passenger Airboat is in the middle. And our Small Airboats seat 6 to 10 people. All three tours are amazing.
We often recommend the Large or 16 Passenger Airboats because you'll see all the same stuff for less money. It's a great value.
By comparison, the Small Airboat is a little more intimate, a little faster and a little more mobile but it also costs a little more and sells out faster (so book early!). The small boat costs more mostly because there are fewer people per captain.
Optional Hotel pickup: Our swamp tours are about a half hour drive from New Orleans. We will pick you up from most French Quarter and CBD hotels, as well as select Garden District hotels. Select swamp boat tours with pickup at Metarie hotels may also be arranged most days, ask us for details. We will guide you to the closest meeting spot if you are not staying in one of our designated pickup locations.
Drive Out: You also have the option to drive yourself to the dock, which is about a half hour from New Orleans. Most tours depart from Lafitte, Marrero or Westwego, Louisiana, but we work with multiple tour vendors, so we will provide you the address after checkout. Folks who drive out should arrive at the dock about 20 minutes before the scheduled tour time.
Restrictions: Pregnant women, children under 5 years old and/or under 48 Inches tall, and people with neck/back problems are not allowed to ride airboats. (Call us about options to visit the swamp if you are unable to do the Airboat, as we may have other options available!)
Disclaimer: Tours are subject to cancellation in dangerous weather. Airboats are high speed, open boats without a top. Gators and Ghosts LLC and our tour operators are not responsible for any cameras/video equipment lost or damaged due to water, splashes, or rain.
Wildlife varies by season: Though we often see alligators sunning themselves on logs even in the dead of winter, the colder it gets, the harder they are to find. This is nature and we cannot guarantee you will see any specific type of animal. That said, the bayou is beautiful year round.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Airboat Swamp Tour
What should we wear?
You will not get soaking wet or dirty on the tour. Dress for the weather. Our boats are open topped and the speed of the airboat makes it windy. On chilly days, the wind can make it feel colder than it is. On warm days, the sun can make it feel even warmer. Sunscreen is advised. We occasionally go out in light rain. Feel free to bring a poncho.
What happens if it rains?
Our captains make the ultimate decision on whether the tour will be cancelled due to weather. We will often go out in light rain but rarely in heavy rain and never when there's lightning. If the tour is cancelled by our captains, we will work to reschedule you. If no alternate time works for you, we will of course refund you.
How long is the tour?
The tour itself on the boat is just under 2 hours. If you choose our hotel pick up transportation option, round trip is a little under 4 hours.
Is the price listed per guest?
Yes. The prices listed above are per person on the boat.
Can we book a private tour?
Absolutely. To book a private tour, you essentially buy all the seats on the boat. We have boats of a variety of different sizes from 6 to 30 passengers. We will try to match you with the smallest boat available that will accommodate your group. Call our group sales department at (504) 507-8308 for a quote and more information.
Where do you pick up?
We can pick you up at most hotels in the French Quarter and Central Business District. If you are not staying at a hotel, we can figure out which hotel would be closest and arrange to meet you there. We may on occasion be able to pick up at hotels in Metairie or Kenner. Call 888-481-8188 for details.
When is the best time of day to see alligators?
During the heat of the day in the afternoon is best because alligators are cold-blooded reptiles. But our captains are in the bayou multiple times a day and know the habitats well so we usually find gators at all times of day. It is nature, however, so you never know precisely what you're going to see.
Is it true that airboats are too loud and they scare away the wildlife?
Not true at all. Though these boats are quite loud at their top speeds (we provide hearing protection for you), when the boat nears an alligator or another animal we want to observe, your captain will cut the engines and you'll quietly glide over to the creature, no harm done. In fact, because airboats are so small and nimble, they can get to many shallow or cramped areas that other (larger, quieter) boats couldn't dream of going into.
Will I get seasick?
No promises, but we don't have many guests complain of seasickness after the tour. Airboats are pretty smooth rides and the water is fairly calm as compared to being on a cruise in the ocean. The boats are fast though, so if you are prone to motion sickness in cars, maybe take some Dramamine as a precaution.
How far in advance should I book?
Our airboat tours are the most popular tours we sell with the least number of available seats, so they sell out the quickest. We recommend you book as far in advance as you can to guarantee availability. We take bookings up to a year in advance. Realistically though, you don't need to plan quite that far ahead. The larger your group, the earlier you should book. Most of our guests book anywhere from two months to a week ahead. That said, thanks to cancellations, we are often able to squeeze you in on the day of the tour, so please give us a call to check availability. Call 888-481-8188 or Text 504-226-5433
Do we need bug spray?
Probably not, as the bugs aren't too bad in the daytime, in the middle of the water and on a fast moving boat. Still, it can't hurt. Feel free to bring some.
What's the difference between an airboat and a fanboat?
There isn't one. Same kind of boat. Some folks call it a fanboat. We happen to call it an airboat.
Will we see crocodiles?
No. The American Alligator is what you'll find on our swamp tours, while the American Crocodile can be found most commonly in the tropical regions around Caribbean Sea, Central America and South Amerca. The easiest way to distinguish between the two is by looking at the nose: a croc's nose is narrow compared to the broad nose of a gator.
What is your refund policy?
Tour deposits are non-refundable if cancelled by the guest with less than 48 hours notice before scheduled tour time. Groups of six or more must give a week's notice. Tours cancelled by the tour operator are always refundable. FOR GROUPS OF 6 GUESTS OR MORE: You will be subject to a cancellation fee equal to 50 percent of the total tour cost if you cancel with less than 48 hours notice. Because more spots are held aside for large groups, it is much more difficult for us to fill them last minute. You will get credit for any deposit you may have paid when calculating the cancellation fee. You can read our full refund policy in our Frequently Asked Questions.