After hotel pickup in New Orleans, it's about a 35-minute drive to the site of your swamp tour. On arrival, board a 16-passenger airboat with stadium-style seating for a high-speed adventure through the swamp. You'll have unobstructed views of wildlife, including an up-close look at the star attraction: alligators.
Your captain is experienced at searching out these reptiles, even during hibernation in colder months. The airboat, propelled by a large fan that blows air from the back of the vessel, can produce speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph). You'll ride in just inches of water into parts of the swamp that are inaccessible to traditional boats or vehicles.
Afterward, you're driven to the Oak Alley Plantation, located among the Great River Road sugar plantations alongside the Mississippi River. On arrival, stroll under majestic, 300-year-old oak trees leading up to the antebellum Big House, and take a 40-minute tour of the opulent mansion with a guide dressed in period costume. The Greek Revival architecture was built in 1837 and later restored in 1925.
Wander the 25-acre (10-hectare) grounds at your own pace during your free time. Visit the blacksmith shop, snap photos of antique farm equipment, or peruse exhibits on slavery and the Civil War at your leisure. Grab lunch and beverages at the restaurant or cafe (own expense) before the return drive to New Orleans.