New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana with 400.000 residents. The city is known as The Big Easy and visitors happily agree with that sentiment. Situated along the Mississippi, it is America’s most culturally diverse city. African, English, French, Spanish and other immigrants (as well as slaves) have influenced each other and added their flavor to the melting pot. The ambiance is relaxed and festive with plenty of music, drinks and food to be found everywhere. Above all, New Orleans is the ‘swinging’ city of blues and jazz. The summers are really warm en winters are mild. Best travelling time is between February and May, also because of the many festivals that are taken place.
The most famous event in New Orleans is Mardi Gras; a carnaval that attracts thousands of visitors because of its music, the parade, the exuberant party on the streets and in the bars. For those who cannot attend the event, there is always Mardi Gras World; the studio where Mister Mardi Gras, Blaine Kern, designs and builds the floats for the parade. Visitors can witness the process up close.
Louis Armstrong said: “"Preservation Hall. Now that's where you'll find all of the greats." Located in the heart of the French Quarter, this renowned music venue welcomes visitors from all over the world to enjoy authentic traditional New Orleans Jazz! There are various concerts every night, so it’s fairly easy to add this to your schedule. Don’t skip it!
Voodoo was introduced to New Orleans about 500 years ago by way of Africa and the Caribean. Nowadays about 15% of the population believe in voodoo. During our voodoo tour you will visit Lafayette Cemetary where you can view impressive tombs, crypts and above-ground graves. The guide will enlighten you with colorful stories about voodoo and local customs. Visit the most visited grave in America; the grave of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.
Climb aboard and back in time with a cruise on the historic Natchez. The stately steamboat is one of the six authentic steamboats that sail the Mississippi. Enjoy the sound of live jazz music as you go back to the times of cotton plantations. Enjoy the captain’s tales and take a look in the steam engine room.
Food plays an important role in the life and culture of New Orleans and Cajun food is deservedly world famous. The advantage of taking a cooking class is that not only you learn a lot but you also taste a lot! While you are chopping, marinating and frying, the cook will entertain you with stories about the local cuisine, customs and secret tips and tricks. When you’re all done, it’s time to sit down to enjoy a delicous meal with your fellow students. Bon appetit!