Airboat Rides in New Orleans

This post compares the top New Orleans airboat tours, including ticket prices, hotel pickups, discounts, as well as comparing the different types of boats.

 

 


OVERVIEW 

Airboat tours are different from your typical swamp boat tour. These vessels are usually smaller and can move very quickly, with fans blowing air to push the airboat forward at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph).

Customers typically enjoy both the adrenaline rush from the speed and the opportunity to see more of the swamps.

 

 

The following section will take a look at the differences/similarities between New Orleans airboat tours. You might also be interested in learning about the more common swamp boat tours.

In addition to comparing and contrasting different types of tours, we will also provide price ranges and suggestions of how much time you might want to set aside for this activity. 

NOTE: Pregnant women, those with neck or back issues, and children 5 and under are not permitted to ride on airboats.


Hotel Pick-up or Drive Yourself?

If you want to take an airboat tour, there are two different ways to reach the departure point. Many companies will provide transportation to these locations via bus, with convenient pick-ups throughout New Orleans.

But, if you have your own car, then you can save a few bucks by driving down yourself.


How Much Time Will It Take?

Most airboat tours last for between 1 – 2 hours. That being said, it’s important to note that you can expect another 30 – 45 minutes of travel both to and from New Orleans.

Most operators that include transportation will quote an average length of about 3 ½ – 4 hours per trip.

Many airboat tours take place during the middle of the day, so you may want to plan out other activities in New Orleans for either the morning or the evening


How Much Does an Airboat Tour Cost?

Each airboat tour service has a different price, but you can usually expect to spend $55 – $75 per person (depending on boat size) if you drive yourself and $75 – $110 per person if you choose hotel pick-up.

There are also combo packages which include tickets for plantations and other attractions and tours that could save you money. Read our discounts section for additional information. 


Small or Large Airboat?

Large airboat tours are usually a lot more affordable than trips on small airboats. The smaller the airboat, the more personalized and expensive your tour will be.

Some of the large airboats usually can seat a max of 27 people, but the first company below maxes out at 16 passengers.

A smaller airboat ensures that you’ll receive more attention from your tour guide and fewer disruptions from other customers. If you’d rather join a group of 6-12 people, it may be worth paying the extra $20 s for the experience.

 


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TOP 3 AIRBOAT TOURS

This section will provide information about three of the most popular airboat tours that you can take in New Orleans. We will cover details such as ticket prices, tour lengths, availability, and reviews.

If you’d rather take a slower (and cheaper) swamp boat tour, check our post about New Orleans swamp tours.

 


 


Louisiana Tour Company

Unlike their competitors, this company offers services both with or without transportation to the departure point. If you’re looking to save money on travel expenses, this might be your best bet. 

We like that they offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before tour time. Some of their airboat tours include hotel pick-up as well.

This is easily one of the most affordable and popular airboat tours on our list, and they operate only 35-40 miles outside of downtown New Orleans.

Duration w/ Transport: 3 ½ – 4 hours.


Large Airboats (up to 16 passengers)

Tour times: 9:40 am, 12:10 pm, 2:10 pm, 4:15 pm

Both options offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour. 


Small Airboats (6-9 passengers)

Tour times: 9:40 am, 12:10 pm, 2:10 pm, 4:15 pm

Both options offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour. 


NOTE: This company also offers a selection of combo packages which include tickets to plantations and tours of New Orleans. 

With a rating of between 4 ½ – 5 out of 5 stars on both Get Your Guide and TripAdvisor, it’s pretty clear that most people really enjoy the service provided by this company (read reviews here).

Guests indicate that their tour guides are very friendly and informative, providing a lot of details about the swamps and bayous in the area and giving customers a great look at the wildlife.

Visitors also appreciate the thrill of traveling through the swamps at incredibly fast speeds.

 


Airboat Adventures

This outfit offers airboat tours for self drive-up as well as provides round-trip transportation from the French Quarter.

We also like that they offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before tour time.

Airboat Adventures offers trips in the swamps around Jean Lafitte on large airboats. Their boats are larger than the previously mentioned company, have fewer times, and are slightly cheaper for adults. 


Large Airboats (up to 27 passengers)

Tour times: 9:45 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm

Both options offer free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour. 

This company has an overall rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read the reviews). Many customers have indicated that this is a fun and informative tour which often includes at least a few wildlife sightings.

Guests also appreciate all of the details included by their tour guides and the adrenaline rush from speeding around the swamps in a fast airboat.

 


Tours By Isabelle

Rather than focusing on large tour groups, this company only offers small airboat tours with a max of between 6-13 passengers. Each tour option includes transportation and there is no option to drive down on your own.

Prices are higher, but that’s probably because they are so well-reviewed.

Ticket Details

Thanks to their excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, this company has received a full 5 out of 5-star rating (read the reviews).

Reviews are incredibly positive, with many guests suggesting that their tour guides were very helpful and provided a lot of information. Several customers appreciated the opportunity to stop during the tour and get a closer look at wildlife.

NOTE: Tours By Isabelle also offers a combo tour which includes tickets to a nearby plantation. For additional details, make sure to read our discounts section.

 


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Airboat Tour Discounts

If you’re interested in saving a little money on an airboat tour or other excursions in New Orleans, there are a few different combo packages that you might want to consider.

Combination discounts include either tickets to popular plantations or additional tours in and around the city. If you’re planning on activities such as these in the first place, this could be an excellent way to save some money.

Be sure to check out Groupon as they usually have airboat and swamp boat tour discounts.

 


 


Louisiana Tour Company

This company provides two different combo packages. In addition to plantation tickets, you can also enjoy an extensive tour of New Orleans including stops related to Hurricane Katrina. 

Oak Alley Plantation & Airboat Tour

  • Price: $142/Adults | $111/Children
  • Availability: Daily at 8:30 am
  • Duration: 8 ½ hours
  • Includes transportation & admission to:
    • Oak Alley Plantation
    • Airboat Tour
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

Free cancellation up to 24 hours before the tour. 


Airboat Tour & New Orleans City Tour

  • Price: $116/Large Airboat | $141/Small Airboat
  • Availability: Daily at 9:30 am
  • Duration: 7 ½ hours
  • Includes transportation and tickets for:
    • New Orleans City Tour
    • Airboat Tour
  • Purchase tickets or learn more

Tours By Isabelle

If you’re interested in seeing a plantation but you don’t want to visit Oak Alley, this opportunity is definitely worth a look. Tours By Isabelle combine their small group airboat tours with a tour of the Destrehan Plantation.

Airboat & Plantation Tour

  • Price: $150 per person
  • Availability: Daily at 9 am & 11 am
  • Duration: 5 ½ hours
  • Includes transportation and admission to:
    • Destrehan Plantation
    • Airboat Tour
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

 


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SWAMP BOAT VS. AIRBOAT

There are a lot of swamp tours in New Orleans, but not all of them are done via airboat. Some tours take place on what is called a swamp boat, which is, in general, a less expensive option for most people.

 

Large Swamp Boats New Orleans

 

Swamp boats are typically slow in comparison to airboat tours, so they travel shorter distances and usually reveal less of the swampland in the area. 

If you’re looking for a calm and quiet trip on the bayou, the swamp boat may be a better option.

However, if you’re looking for a bit more excitement and you want to see as much of the area as possible, an airboat tour is definitely in order.

Whether you want to take a walking tour, a swamp boat tour, or even a kayak tour, chances are you’ll find something fun and interesting (and even free) to do in the bayou.

For more details, read our post about swamp tours in New Orleans.

 


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