News from the Bayou

Articles and customer reviews from Ragin Cajun and Swamp Adventures

Ragin Cajun Blog Posts and ReviewS

Browse the articles by clicking on a category on the right under Content Categories. The reviews you see here are real customer reviews (good and bad!) that come from Google reviews.

Browse the articles below. The reviews you see here are real customer reviews (good and bad!) that come from Google reviews.

What is Mardis Gras?

Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, is a celebration that marks the culmination of the Carnival season, starting on or after the Christian feast of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and ending on the day before Ash Wednesday, which initiates the Lenten season. Lent is a period of 40 days of fasting and repentance leading up to Easter. The celebration is most famously associated with New Orleans, Louisiana, in the United States, but people around the world in countries with significant Roman Catholic populations also celebrate it.

Origins

Medieval Europe saw the beginnings of Mardi Gras, with the traditions passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. The tradition of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, then followed the French to their colonies.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

The Le Moyne brothers, Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville and Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, introduced Mardi Gras to North America as a French Catholic tradition when King Louis XIV sent them to defend France’s claim on the territory of Louisiana. They celebrated the first recorded Mardi Gras in Louisiana in 1699, shortly after arriving, when Iberville camped about 60 miles downriver from what is now New Orleans and named the site Point du Mardi Gras.

Over centuries, Mardi Gras in New Orleans transformed from a simple French Catholic celebration into a massive city-wide event. The city held its first modern Mardi Gras parade in 1837, and the traditions of masked balls and elaborate floats quickly became established.

Evolution and Traditions

The celebrations of Mardi Gras include several weeks of masquerade balls, parades, and social gatherings leading up to Fat Tuesday. Music, costumes, and the use of masks characterize the festivities. Various krewes (social organizations) spend the entire year working on parade floats, which are a central part of the celebration.

A unique aspect of the New Orleans celebration is the practice of throwing beads and other trinkets from the floats to the parade watchers, known as “throws.” The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple (representing justice), green (faith), and gold (power).

Global Mardis Gras Celebrations

Mardi Gras is celebrated in many countries outside the United States, where Catholic populations are significant, such as Brazil’s Carnival, Italy’s Carnevale, and the traditional Fasnacht in Switzerland and Germany. Each country and culture contribute their own traditions and flavors to the celebration, making Mardi Gras a diverse and widely celebrated event worldwide.

Mardi Gras continues to be a time for festive excess and joy before the reflective season of Lent, merging religious tradition, local culture, and community celebration into a vibrant tapestry of history and festivity.

Visiting During Mardis Gras

You can expect a party atmosphere all across New Orleans during (what locals call) parade season. Although Mardis Gras itself is just one day, parade season, or carnival season, last 30 days culminating on Fat Tuesday.

In the uptown and Matairie areas, the parades are family friendly, becoming more adult oriented towards the French Quarter.

It’s a lot of fun and can be quite intense. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, an airboat ride, or airboat / plantation combo tour can be a great day out!

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Airboat tours, popular with both locals and tourists in the New Orleans area, generally offer a safe and unique way to explore the local swamps and bayous. Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours provides an exciting and family-friendly experience, giving guests the opportunity to see various wildlife like alligators, snakes, turtles, egrets, herons, and more. Our authentic, local, and knowledgeable captains share insights into the local flora and fauna.

Key points about our tours:

Variety of Options

We offer various tour options, including large, regular, and small group tours. Our large airboat tours can accommodate more people, while smaller boats provide a more intimate and personalized experience.

Safety and Accessibility

We consider these tours generally safe, with professional guides and necessary safety measures. However, we do not recommend them for travelers with certain medical conditions, like spinal injuries or poor cardiovascular health, and they are typically not wheelchair accessible.

Tour Duration and Pickup Services

The airboat tours last 1 hour and 45 minutes, excluding transportation to and from our facility. We provide hotel pickups from all across the New Orleans area and a self-driving option available at booking.

Wildlife Sightings

Guests can expect to see a range of wildlife depending on the season. Alligators are common, especially in warmer months. Our captains navigate tours through areas rich in bird-life and other animals like raccoons, otters, and sometimes wild boars.

Weather Considerations

Our tours operate in various weather conditions, and we advise dressing appropriately. We offer refunds or rescheduling for poor weather that makes it unsafe to operate.

Additional Experiences

Beyond the airboat adventure, we offer combo tours that include swamp exploration and visits to historical plantations for a broader cultural experience.

Age and Health Restrictions

For safety, we have some age and health restrictions. For instance, we do not allow children under 5, pregnant women, and discourage individuals with serious medical conditions from taking the tours.

All About Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours, New Orleans #1 Airboat Tour Operator with over 1,000 5-star reviews, offers a popular and exciting way to experience the unique ecosystems around New Orleans.

However, always check the specific details and reviews of the tour you’re considering to ensure it meets your expectations and needs. As always, we’re here to help, so please contact us if you have any questions.

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Bekah Campbell rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

Our large group had an excellent experience at Ragin Cajun! Our captain Cory was extremely knowledgeable of the terrain and wildlife, and gave us some up close and personal encounters with animals out on the tour. We also really appreciated the capability of the company to pick us up at our hotel in New Orleans and drop us back off. We all traveled from the Northeast down to Louisiana and everyone’s favorite part of the entire trip was the tour. If you’re looking for a great experience on the water close to the city, look no further than Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours. We will absolutely be back for another visit!

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Big Mike rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

Wow!! What a great experience, that’s what I have to say. Knowledge guide, also, had the opportunity to hold a 2yr old live alligator. Chance of a lifetime. Awesome… thanks for a wonderful experience.

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Content Categories

Customer Reviews

Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Review by: Inga Rozite Escalera

Inga Rozite Escalera rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

What a great experience!! Our captain was amazing and very informative. Highly recommended!! We saw all sorts of alligators.

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Review by: Renee Roberts

Renee Roberts rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

Little E was a great tour guide!! He took his time, answered all our questions and fave us a great ride on the snot rocket!!! I highly recommend this tour.

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Review by: Ram Karnati

Ram Karnati rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

Great experience overall, everything is clean. Boats are well maintained, trips start on time, so reach 30 mins before. They have vending machines for soda and snacks. Take cash for tips. Unlike in Florida, here captains give treats to the gators, make them do tricks and sometimes get them on boats if everyone is okay.

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Review by: Doug Perryman

Doug Perryman rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

We had a great time skipping and sliding over the water and mud in the “swamp”. While it was kind of cold and there were only rumors of gators in the area (due to the cold) we still had fun looking for other critters of the swamp. We saw a few good looking pigs 100-150# size and lots of birds. The driver/guide did a great job of relaying stories of each area we passed through and he did so in his own true-to-self manner instead of a rehearsed monolog. I would do it again the next time I was in the New Orleans area.

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Real Swamp Tour Reviews - Ragin Cajun Airboat Tours

Review by: Connie Flowers

Connie Flowers rated us: 5 out of 5 stars.

Our airboat guide was knowledgeable and answered many questions. The ride was entertaining as we maneuvered our way through the swamp at varying speeds. Stops were made to seek out gators of all sizes.

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