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Mississippi River Tours

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2,099 Reviews
Mississippi River
A central character in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the mighty Mississippi River has long captured the American imagination. Originating in Minnesota and sweeping across 95 river miles (153 kilometers) south to New Orleans where it spits out into the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is the largest river system in North America and has gained an almost mythical place in American history.

The Basics
The river divides New Orleans in two, and experiencing it is a fundamental part of any trip to the Big Easy. One of the most iconic Mississippi River experiences is a river cruise aboard a paddlewheel riverboat to the tunes of live jazz music in New Orleans, with options for brunch and dinner experiences. Swamp and bayou tours of the Mississippi River Delta show off the region’s wildlife (alligators, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and native birds).

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Don’t forget your camera; the Mississippi River affords stellar views of the city’s skyline.
  • Some of New Orleans’ riverboats are wheelchair accessible on certain decks.

How to Get There
The Mississippi riverfront is an easy walk from anywhere in the historic French Quarter. The Riverfront streetcar follows the banks of the river, stopping at Canal Street, Toulouse, Dumaine, Ursulines, and French Market stations.

When to Get There
The best time to enjoy the Mississippi River in New Orleans is from February to May, when the weather is comfortable, and there’s plenty going on in the nearby streets and neighborhoods. Expect temperatures between 86°F (30°C) and 94°F (34°C) in summer.

Points of Interest on the Riverfront
Many of the most popular attractions in New Orleans are situated on or near the Mississippi Riverfront, including the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Mardi Gras World, Harrah’s New Orleans casino, Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and Crescent Park.
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48 Tours and Activities to Experience Mississippi River

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Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option

SPECIAL OFFER

Steamboat Natchez Evening Jazz Cruise with Dinner Option

star-4
The Steamboat Natchez is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic experience of New Orleans at night on this romantic riverboat cruise! Journey through time on a paddle-wheel boat ride along the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, cozy up with family and friends, and delight in the sparkle of the urban shoreline at dusk. This excursion includes a Creole‐inspired dinner (if option selected) and live jazz music.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$45.00
$50.00
$5.00 savings
From
$45.00
$50.00
$5.00 savings
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Swamp Tour by Airboat with Downtown New Orleans Pickup

Small-Group Swamp Tour by Airboat with Downtown New Orleans Pickup

star-5
Experience the iconic New Orleans swamplands during a small-group airboat tour, led by a professional guide. Alternate between adrenaline-fuelled high speeds and gentle cruising as you sail past fascinating flora and fauna. Capture fantastic photographs of alligators in their natural habitat, and relish the intimate atmosphere of a small-group, limited to only nine passengers. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation by comfortable, air-conditioned coach from your hotel in Downtown New Orleans.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
From
$95.00
Taking safety measures

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Tour with Boat Ride from New Orleans

Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Tour with Boat Ride from New Orleans

star-4.5
Discover the mystique of the swamps and bayous on a sightseeing boat tour from New Orleans. Travel deep into the secluded bayous across the Mississippi River to witness Cajun life and spot native wildlife. Your guide will provide commentary on Cajun culture and the myth‐laden swamps while you snap photos of alligators, raccoons, snakes, turtles, and native birds.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
From
$52.00
Taking safety measures

VIP: Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise with Private Boat and Engine Room Tour

VIP: Steamboat Natchez Dinner Cruise with Private Boat and Engine Room Tour

star-4.5
The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic riverboat experience while you step up the luxury on this Viator VIP dinner cruise. Your experience begins with a complimentary Champagne cocktail while you take a guided tour of the boat’s authentic fixtures and spaces such as the pilot house. In the dining room, you’ll have a reserved table where you can relax, indulge in a sumptuous tableside dinner and enjoy a live jazz performance. If you want to go all out, upgrade to a full‐bar option.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$159.95
From
$159.95
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Small Group Airboat Swamp Tour

New Orleans Small Group Airboat Swamp Tour

star-5
Delve into the atmospheric beauty of New Orleans’ vast swamplands on an exciting 2-hour small-group tour by airboat. With a knowledgeable guide, cruise past fascinating flora and fauna, scouring the picturesque scenery for sightings of alligators and other rare creatures. Experience the exhilaration of traveling at high velocity as your driver alternates between gentle cruising and high-speed bursts. Receive personalized attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to only 9 passengers.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
From
$75.00
Taking safety measures

Large Airboat Swamp Tour with New Orleans Pick Up

Large Airboat Swamp Tour with New Orleans Pick Up

star-4.5
Uncover the mysteries of the swamps surrounding New Orleans on an exhilarating airboat tour of the area, led by a professional guide. Cruise along the picturesque waterways in search of ferocious alligators and other rare wildlife while listening to illuminating commentary from your guide. Feel your adrenaline levels surge as your driver accelerates to high speeds, and capture fantastic photographs during regular stops. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation by comfortable, air-conditioned coach.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.00
From
$75.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans VIP Sightseeing Flight Including Champagne and Chocolates or Wine and Cheese

New Orleans VIP Sightseeing Flight Including Champagne and Chocolates or Wine and Cheese

star-5
Add magic and romance to your New Orleans vacation with an unforgettable VIP sightseeing flight! Choose between champagne and chocolate or wine and cheese as you glide by small plane over urban New Orleans and the surrounded wetlands. On the 45-minute flight, hear colorful tales of the city from your experienced pilot and enjoy aerial views the French Quarter, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the winding bayous and more. Sightseeing requests are welcome!
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  • 45 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$168.00
From
$168.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

New Orleans French Quarter Walking and History Tour

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the best of the French Quarter on this 2.5‐hour historical walking tour. An entertaining local guide will lead you through the Vieux Carré, along the mighty Mississippi River, and to Louis Armstrong Park and Jackson Square, describing the city’s cultural history and diverse colonial heritage. See notable literary and cinematic landmarks, bustling scenes of local life, and architectural gems including some of the nation’s oldest buildings.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.00
From
$25.00

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure

star-4.5
Immerse yourself in the rich culture and natural splendor of New Orleans’ mystifying swamps and wetlands on a 2-hour New Orleans swamp tour and wetlands adventure. Relax in the luxurious interior of a New Orleans swamp tour boat as you cruise past cultural highlights like a Cajun cemetery, an Indian burial mound and a traditional fishing village. Scour the scenery for fascinating flora and fauna like snakes, turtles and alligators while listening to interesting commentary from your professional guide.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$29.00
From
$29.00
Taking safety measures

Fly a Plane in New Orleans: No Experience or License Required

Fly a Plane in New Orleans: No Experience or License Required

star-5
Get your flying chops in beautiful New Orleans with a personal 50-minute flying lesson! No prior experience is needed for this excursion, which includes a 20-minute on-ground lesson and 30 minutes of flying time in the company of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified instructor. You’ll help guide the small plane through take-off and landing, and — once airborne — maneuver over New Orleans’ famous sights such as the French Quarter, the Mississippi River and the sleepy Louisiana bayous.
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  • 50 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$258.14
From
$258.14
Taking safety measures

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Brunch Cruise in New Orleans

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Brunch Cruise in New Orleans

star-4
The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same classic New Orleans experience of a lovely jazz brunch aboard a historic riverboat! Journey through time on this cruise along the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, admire the iconic paddlewheel, and snap picturesque shots of the beautiful urban shoreline. This family‐friendly excursion includes a delectable brunch loaded with famous Louisiana dishes and live music from a local jazz trio.
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.00
From
$38.00
Taking safety measures

Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise

SPECIAL OFFER

Steamboat Natchez Harbor Cruise

star-4.5
The Steamboat NATCHEZ is taking some time off, but her sister vessel will be taking her place. You’ll get the same authentic riverboat experience, journeying back in time to when cotton was king and New Orleans was a budding port town that dazzled visitors with its colorful Creole culture. Board the historic riverboat for a morning or afternoon float down the mighty Mississippi. Stroll the deck, admire the iconic paddlewheel, enjoy live music, and snap picturesque shots of the beautiful urban shoreline. This family‐friendly excursion offers an optional tableside lunch (additional expense).
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  • 2 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$34.20
$38.00
$3.80 savings
From
$34.20
$38.00
$3.80 savings
Taking safety measures

French Quarter Historical Sights and Stories Walking Tour

French Quarter Historical Sights and Stories Walking Tour

star-5
Delve into the stories behind the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans during a French Quarter walking tour. Take in famous landmarks including Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, and the Mississippi River, along with lesser-known places of interest. Hear from your guide about the architecture and heritage of the district, and get the inside scoop on recommended places for shopping and dining as well.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$26.67
From
$26.67
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Airboat Ride

New Orleans Airboat Ride

star-4.5
Experience New Orleans’ wild bayou country on an exciting, family‐friendly airboat ride. This boat tour winds through the mossy cypress swamp close to Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, named for the 19th‐century pirate and smuggler. While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from a native guide as you admire lush, forested shoreline and spot local wildlife.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$55.00
From
$55.00
Taking safety measures

Whitney Plantation Tour

Whitney Plantation Tour

star-4.5
Travel back in time to the era of the antebellum South on an afternoon tour from New Orleans to the Whitney Plantation, a former indigo and sugar plantation on the River Road now dedicated to promoting an understanding of slavery in Louisiana. Learn about the realities of plantation life through museum exhibits and recorded narratives as you explore the restored structures and historical slave cabins. Download the Whitney Plantation app for the self-guided tour of Whitney Plantation Museum.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$69.00
From
$69.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Bayou Airboat Ride with Transport from New Orleans

Small-Group Bayou Airboat Ride with Transport from New Orleans

star-5
Experience Louisiana’s wild bayou country on an exciting, family-friendly airboat tour. This tour includes an airboat ride that zips through the tree‐lined marshes at speeds up to 45 mph (72 kph). While onboard, enjoy lively commentary from your guide as you view lush scenery and local wildlife, including alligators, nutria, and native birds. Pickup and drop-off from downtown New Orleans and French Quarter hotels included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Helicopter City Tour

New Orleans Helicopter City Tour

star-5
Get amazing aerial views of New Orleans on this 15-mile helicopter tour. While listening to guided commentary from your pilot through your headset, you and just a two other passengers will fly over Jackson Square, the French Quarter, City Park, and Lake Pontchartrain, among other landmarks.
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  • 15 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$95.00
Price varies by group size
From
$95.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

New Orleans City Tour with Swamp Tour Options

New Orleans City Tour with Swamp Tour Options

star-4.5
Travel through the bayou on this three-hour New Orleans city tour with optional swap adventure. Journey with your professional guide in a comfortable air-conditioned minibus as you learn about the history, culture and highlights of southern Creoles. You'll see major city highlights, plus areas affected by Hurricane Katrina and have the opportunity to add an optional swamp tour to this already comprehensive trip.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$98.00
From
$98.00
Taking safety measures

Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Jazz Cruise with Optional Dinner

Paddlewheeler Creole Queen Jazz Cruise with Optional Dinner

star-4
Go for a sunset cruise aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen on this boat trip. Listen to an on-board jazz band and choose to add on a Creole-style dinner buffet as the boat sails along the Mississippi River. Take in the views from the promenade deck and sip New Orleans-inspired cocktails.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
From
$52.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans French Quarter Kids and Family Tour

New Orleans French Quarter Kids and Family Tour

star-5
Get your kids marching to the tune of New Orleans on a family-friendly romp through the French Quarter. Explore the city’s history with pictures and stories, from pirates and voodoo to jazz and Cajun culture, and treat young tastes buds to some local snacks. An entertaining guide tailors games and activities to kids’ ages on this small-group tour that has the whole family wearing Mardi Gras beads and stomping in a second-line parade, just like locals.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$32.00
From
$32.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Haunted Ghost Tour

New Orleans Haunted Ghost Tour

star-4.5
Discover the spooky side of New Orleans with a historian-led walking tour. Visit haunted locations throughout the French Quarter such as the Lalaurie Mansion and May Bailey’s Brothel. Hear stories from local history over the leisurely stroll. This tour is kid-friendly and based on historical research.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$27.00
From
$27.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure With Pickup

New Orleans Swamp Tour Boat Adventure With Pickup

star-4.5
Lose yourself in the atmospheric depths of the New Orleans swamps and wetlands on an exhilarating 2-hour boat tour, led by a professional guide. Cruise past ancient wonders and listen to legends surrounding a 2000-year-old Indian burial mound and an atmospheric Cajun cemetery. Scour the Barataria Swamps for sightings of fascinating wildlife such as snakes, turtles and ferocious alligators, and learn about the area’s history and geology from your knowledgeable guide. Enjoy the convenience of round-trip transportation by luxury vehicle fro your New Orleans hotel.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$52.00
From
$52.00
Taking safety measures

New Orleans Sightseeing Flight

New Orleans Sightseeing Flight

star-4.5
See New Orleans in a whole new way on an exhilarating sightseeing flight! Choose a 30-, 45- or 60-minute flight time, and delight in lovely aerial views as you glide by small plane over urban New Orleans and the surrounded wetlands. You’ll hear colorful tales of the city from your experienced pilot and glimpse famous sights including the French Quarter, the Mississippi River and sleepy Louisiana bayous.
More
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • Taking safety measures
From
$128.00
From
$128.00
Taking safety measures

The New Orleans Sightseeing Flex Pass: Save Big on 20+ Attractions and Tours

The New Orleans Sightseeing Flex Pass: Save Big on 20+ Attractions and Tours

star-3.5
Experience the best of the Big Easy at a great value with the New Orleans Sightseeing Pass. With immediate activation, the pass gives you access to your choice of three or five of the city’s top attractions and tours, from Mardi Gras World and paddlewheel cruises to plantation, cemetery, and swamp tours. It’s valid for 30 days, so keep your pass handy and customize your visit on the go with a guidebook listing opening hours, directions, and other helpful info.
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  • 30 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$74.00
From
$74.00

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Mississippi River?