A Cajun Christmas in Louisiana – Nov. 27th – Dec. 3rd 2018

New Orleans… imagine balconies with elaborate ironwork throughout the Quarter strung up with wreaths, garlands, and lights… the Victorian & Colonial mansions adorned in holiday décor. Lafayette, LA is the heart of Louisiana’s Cajun & Creole Country where you can feel the pulse of the food, music, and culture that Louisiana is famous for. This cultural oasis blends contemporary sophistication of a cosmopolitan city with a unique heritage and culture hard to find anywhere this side of Europe.

Click here for a flyer – A Cajun Christmas in Louisiana

Day 1 – Tuesday November 27th – Home to Lafayette
Welcome to Louisiana. A rich blend of settlers, among whom were the French, Spanish, English, German, Acadians, West Indians, Africans, Irish, and Italians and now include almost every nationality on earth. We’ll make our way northeast this afternoon with a few stops along the way including a delicious dinner at Lagniappe Restaurant in Baton Rouge. Our home for the next two nights is the Homewood Suites in Lafayette. Did you know Lafayette is considered the happiest city in America? Homewood Suites, Lafayette LA (D)

Day 2 – Wednesday November 28th – Lafayette – Local Touring
After breakfast we’ll head to Vermilionville. It’s a living history museum and folklife park that promotes and propagates the cultural resources of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole people – from 1765 to 1890. The park sits on 23-acres on the banks of the Bayou Vermilion and includes seven restored original homes with more than 13 local artisans that provide demonstrations on a variety of essential crafts performed by the early settlers. You’ll have some time to explore the historic downtown before we tour another “must see” the Martin Accordions… Enjoy music with a live band (Joel Martin and the Family Band) and a discussion on making accordions, the history of Cajun music, and much more. You’ll have some time to rest up and enjoy happy hour at the hotel. Tonight you’re in for a real treat as we head to Pont Breaux’s Restaurant where we’ll enjoy dinner and some great music… We’ll be joined by two local dance guides that will teach us some dance steps… Fun! Homewood Suites, Lafayette LA (B, D)

Day 3 – Thursday November 29th – Lafayette to New Orleans
After breakfast we’ll head to Avery Island home of the world-famous McIlhenny Tabasco… It was here that he developed the recipe for TABASCO® Original Red Pepper Sauce that has been passed down from generation to generation. To this day, the company is still family-owned and operated on that very same island. We’ll continue south to Houma where a delicious lunch at Cristiano Ristorante awaits. Next, we’ll head to Greenwood Gator Farm where we’ll learn the history of the Louisiana swamps. Find out how alligators are part of life in the bayou. You’ll have the chance to hold and meet a live alligator face to face! We’ll continue to our home for the next 4 nights… the Wyndham Hotel situated at the bustling crossroads of Royal and Canal Streets, in New Orleans’s renowned French Quarter. Your evening is free to explore… check out the beautiful French Quarter balconies decorated with Christmas lights, wreathes, and more! Wyndham French Quarter (B, L)

Day 4 – Friday November 30th – New Orleans – Local Touring
Good Morning… meet our local step on guide who will enlighten us on this magical city. See the Garden District where they built the large, elegant mansions, exemplifying the styles of Greek Revival, Italianate, and Queen Anne Victorians. Travel down stately St. Charles Avenue, along the streetcar line where two of the most prestigious colleges in New Orleans are located; Tulane University and Loyola University. Pass by Audubon Park, a 400-acre park located in uptown New Orleans, between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River. We’ll also stop at one of the many cemeteries that New Orleans is famous for with a spooky history, unique, ornate tombs, some of them dating back to the late 1700s. You’ll have some free time for lunch near the quarter. Next, it’s Mardi Gras World… You know this is going to be a fun tour as soon as you arrive. Colorful Mardi Gras props, like a gigantic jovial jester, fiercely realistic alligators, and a gorgeously exciting Marilyn Monroe with skirt flying, greet one and all to this amazing fantasy factory. You will view the most awesome floats ever built for carnival – the Orpheus 140-foot triple-tandem sea monster “Leviathan”, and the 240-foot quintuple-tandem “Captain Eddie’s S.S. Endymion,” with tens of thousands of fiber optic lights. Next, we’ll make an original Mardi Gras mask at our fun and rewarding Mask Making Workshop. Each workshop starts with a brief history of masking in New Orleans. From there, you’ll make your own, one-of-a-kind creation. Let your creativity run wild or follow along with sample masks that we can help you recreate. You’ll have some time to rest up before we head to dinner at the historic Court of Two Sisters… this lovely three-story building sits on “Governor’s Row,” the 600 block of Royal Street that was once home to five governors, two state Supreme Court justices, a future justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and a future President of the United States. Queen Isabella of Spain had the gates of the property blessed so that their charm would pass on to anyone who touched them! Wyndham French Quarter (B, D)

Day 5 – Saturday December 1st – New Orleans – Local Touring
Today starts with a French Quarter walking tour. Our guide will take us on a tour of the historical New Orleans French Quarter. Explore the storied streets of the Vieux Carre, where legend and documented history converge. From the dynamic Mississippi River to the serene courtyards, discover everything from the outrageous colonial history to Creole culture, from piracy to architectural masterpieces. Lunch will be prepared and served at the New Orleans School of Cooking. You will learn how to make some of the most famous Creole and Cajun dishes, and the best part? You get to sample everything upon conclusion of the class! When you return home, you’ll be able to prepare an authentic Cajun or Creole meal and impress your family and friends with your world-cuisine savvy. Your afternoon is free to explore… You are in for a real treat tonight as we head to the Oak Alley Plantation… Celebrate the Christmas Season in one of the southland’s most beautiful settings. The mansion will be dressed in fresh fruit, greenery, and seasonal floral arrangements, reminiscent of Creole Christmases past. Delicious Cajun/Creole buffet, open bar, lively dance band, and plenty of good cheer combine to heighten the holiday spirit throughout the famous alley of oaks and the lovely antebellum mansion… Cheers! Wyndham French Quarter (B, D)

Day 6 – Sunday December 2nd – New Orleans – Local Touring
After breakfast we’ll head to the New Orleans Jazz Museum… It celebrates jazz in the city where it was born. Through dynamic interactive exhibits, multigenerational educational programming, research facilities and engaging musical performances, the music New Orleans made famous is explored in all its forms. Housed in the historic Old U.S. Mint building. Our farewell dinner will be one to remember as we cruise on the Riverboat City of New Orleans… Savor the age-old power and majesty of the river in a new spirit of adventure. Absorb the sights and sounds of the city by night, as you watch the French Quarter come to life to the soundtrack of Dixieland Jazz. Dine on some New Orleans classics, but don’t forget the cocktail! Wyndham French Quarter (B, D)

Day 7 – Monday December 3rd – New Orleans to Home
We’ll head home today with fantastic memories and some new understanding about this wonderful part of the world… Come to the Deep South for a Christmas Party you won’t soon forget, y’all! (B)

$2,708 Double  $3,154 Single

A $100 deposit will hold space; balance is due by September 26th, 2018