Which New Orleans City Pass Is Best?

This is a post that compares the various different New Orleans attraction passes, combos, discounts and coupons.  If you are in New Orleans, chances are you will want to explore the city, but also see some of the famous swamps and bayous. So why not save some time and money, and buy a combo ticket to both?

If you do your research and plan ahead, all of the packages in this list can save your family money, and better yet, most of the companies pick-up and drop-off at Downtown and French Quarter hotels! They do all the work, and you get to see all that New Orleans has to offer.  We made it even easier for you, and listed all the details to help you compare and make the best decision for your experience.

As you look at the variety of options keep in mind your budget, interests, and stamina. Everyone’s tastes are a little different, so not all packages are right for all people. Luckily, there are quite a few options. Happy planning!


Cajun Encounters Combos

Discounts + Coupon Sites

The Power Pass

Gray Line Combos


New Orleans Power Pass

The New Orleans Power Pass packages admission to popularcreolequeenpowerpass attractions, museums and tours in New Orleans into one affordable sightseeing package for tourists. With free admission to over 26 attractions in the city, the Power Pass can save hundreds of dollars and with the ability to skip lines at some attractions, it saves time as well.

In addition to free entrance to some of the city’s top locations, you’ll also receive discounted entrance, meals and coupons for souvenir shopping throughout New Orleans.

1,2,3, or 5 Day

Based on how long you’re visiting New Orleans, or how many sites you want to visit, you can choose the length of your pass. The passes are for consecutive business days – so a 1 Day pass is not 24 hours but rather until the attractions close that day. If you’re stuck on time, however, the 1 day is still a good option as there are some late night options included on the pass. If you have a mutli-day pass, they are consecutive only and will expire at midnight on the last day.  You can visit as many attractions as you want with the pass, but you only visit each attraction once on the same pass.

powerpassPrice: 

As of February 2017, prices were as followed:

Adults (13 years and up), Child (12 years and under)

  • 1 day pass:  Adult   $80.49   Child  $49.49
  • 2 day pass:  Adult  $109.49  Child  $74.99
  • 3 day pass:  Adult  $149.49  Child  $109.49
  • 5 day pass:  Adult  $214.49  Child $153.99

Those under the age of 2 are not charged admission at many locations, so passes are recommended for those 2 and up! Purchase your passes here.

Family/Group Passes?

Each pass is good for only one individual. However, you can purchase multiple passes and have them put on the same card. The Power Pass looks like a chip and pin credit card that you present to the guide or box office at attractions, you can load multiple passes on to one card so not every member of family has to carry their own. Just make sure the name on the card is the person redeeming the passes as they will check your ID.

Attractionsnolacookingpowerpass

The pass includes visits to historical sites, cultural experiences, sports and rides. Top attractions include:

  • National World War 2 Museum
  • City Bus Tour
  • Mississipi River Boat Cruise
  • Swamp Tour
  • Plantation House Tour
  • New Orleans School of Cooking
  • Audubon Zoo
  • Audubon Aquarium
  • Mardi Gras World Museum
  • New Orleans Museum of Art
  • + 18 other attractions and tours

Is it worth it?

There are always pros and cons to these types of city discount passes. It all depends on how you travel, what sites you want to see, and how long you’ll be in NOLA. Are you the type of person who likes to spend just as much time wandering streets, leisurely lunches and people watching as visiting museums, then the benefits might not add up. If you want to see as much as you can and you can fit in a lot of the attractions the pass offers, it might add up to you.

One thing to consider is transportation. The Power Pass is good for admission only but many of the attractions listed are outside of the city. The Swamp tours and Plantation visits are wonderful sites but without your own car to get there, you won’t be able to benefit from them.

 


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CAJUN ENCOUNTERS

A quick view of their swamp tour video- where they feed adult alligators off the boat- will get you excited for these discounts! They offer 3 different combinations, each offering TWO tours, saving you $8 per person. BONUS: most of these combos can be accomplished in one day, but you have the option to split them between two.  Below is their promotional video for their swamp tours.  You could also view their videos for their plantation tours and city bus tours.  All tours include complimentary hotel pick-up and drop-off.

 

 

(Option 1) City, Cemetery AND Swamp Tour

This tour combines a city bus sightseeing tour with a visit to one of New Orleans’ historic cemeteries and a trip our to Cajun Encounters’s own boat landing in the Honey Island Swamp.  Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

You’ll Experience…

  • History of New Orleans
  • French Quarter
  • Garden District
  • Frenchman Street and the Farbourg Marigny
  • Treme
  • Warehouse and Arts District
  • Honey Island Swamp – the only preserved wetlands of Louisiana
  • Wildlife sightings (some thought to be extinct!)
  • Cajun village only accessible by boat
  • History of the seedy dwellers who hid in the swamps

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $100 – Adult
  • $65 – Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets – You will see the discount after adding a swamp tour to your basket.

(Option 2) Plantation AND Swamp Tour

This tour combines 2 historic Mississippi River plantations and historic homes with a swamp tour.  Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

You’ll Experience…

  • Old River Road’s Historic Homes
  • Oak Alley Plantation (with a quarter mile tunnel of oak trees)
  • Walk through of Laura: a Creole Plantation, including historic quarters
  • Honey Island Swamp- the only preserved wetlands of Louisiana
  • Wildlife sightings (some thought to be extinct!)
  • Cajun village only accessible by boat
  • History of the seedy dwellers who hid in the swamps

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $140 – Adult
  • $98 – Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets – You will see the discount after adding a swamp tour to your basket.

(Option 3) Plantation AND City, Cemetery Tour

This tour combines the two plantation visits with the city bus and historic cemetery tour.  Includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

You’ll Experience…

  • Old River Road’s Historic Homes
  • Oak Alley Plantation (with a quarter mile tunnel of oak trees)
  • Walk through of Laura: a Creole Plantation, including historic quarters
  • History of New Orleans
  • French Quarter
  • Garden District
  • Marigny
  • Treme
  • Warehouse and Arts District

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $136 – Adult
  • $98 Child (under 12)
  • $8 less than buying each separately
  • Purchase tickets – You will see the discount after adding a swamp tour to your basket.

Before you buy…

Cajun Encounters lives up to its name. For the swamp tour, they use 22 passenger boats (not air boats) that give you a close encounter with plants and animals. For city and plantation tours, you are able to disembark for a closer look at several spots. While the combo’s $8 savings (5%)  may not be a huge discount, what you’re getting is a guaranteed quality tour from a local company that has nearly 20 years of experience.

Pro tip: All three of the Cajun Encounters combo tours can be taken on the same day or different days. Depending on your schedule and stamina, you may want to do it all at once, or grab some grub and come back later.

 


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GRAY LINE NEW ORLEANS

Gray Line is a national brand offering guided tours, mostly by bus, of New Orleans and the surrounding areas.  Gray Line offers 3 combination packages, a swamp and plantation tour combo, a plantation and city bus tour combo and city bus tour and river boat cruise.  Grayline offers 10% the price of each product when purchased as a package. Unfortunately, they do not offer a swamp and city tour like Cajun Encounters, and their packages also don’t include their Hurricane Katrina Tour or their Night Bus Tour.  Gray Line does not offer hotel pick-up.

 

 

Swamp and Plantation Combo

Spend two days exploring with Gray Line’s option to save money by purchasing both the Swamp & Bayou Tour with the Oak Alley Plantation or Laura Plantation Tour (both top attractions of Louisiana).  BONUS: You save 10% by combining!  Get more information and purchase tickets.

You’ll Experience…

  • The Mississippi River on a custom swamp boat.
  • Learn about wildlife and the vanishing wetlands
  • Travel past several lakes and plantations on a guided route

Plus one of plantations below

Price (as of July 2017)

  • $88 – Adult 
  • $45 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old
  • Saves you $11/adult and $8/child off of the retail price if you were to purchase separately.

Before you buy… The 10% savings is a great deal, but make sure you have two days to spend on these tours. Cajun Encounters tour combos that offer both of these experiences in one day.  

Get more information and purchase tickets.

 


Paddle and Wheel Combo

This tour is a great buy, and with a total of about 4 hours, you can see the city and take a cruise full of historical information. You save $7/adult with the combo ticket.  Check out their paddle boat video.  The lead video is of the Super City Bus Tour.  

You’ll Experience…

  • French Quarter
  • Jackson Square
  • Cabildo and Presbytere Museum
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Bayou St. John
  • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • Tulane and Loyola University
  • Audubon Zoo
  • 2 hour cruise with guided history of the region

Price (as of July 2017)

  • $68 – Adult 
  • $28 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old
  • You save $7/adult by purchasing together.  You don’t appear to save anything for a child (6-12).

Get more information and purchase tickets.

 


Plantation and Super City Combo

This tour can be done in one OR two days, and covers a lot of ground! See all of the city on the Super City Bus Tour, before visiting your choice of either Oak Alley or Laura Plantation.  The discount for this combo is $14, a GREAT deal!

You’ll Experience….

  • French Quarter
  • Jackson Square
  • Cabildo and Presbytere Museum
  • Historic Cemeteries
  • Bayou St. John
  • Besthoff Sculpture Garden
  • Tulane and Loyola University
  • Audubon Zoo

and one of either plantation

  • Guided tour of Oak Alley Plantation, offering a quarter mile of oak tree path.
  • Guided tour of Laura Plantation, a Creole home with unique history.

Price (as of March 2016)

  • $96.50 – Adult 
  • $46 – Child (ages 6-12) 
  • Free – Child up to 5 years old.
  • Saves you $14/Adult and $1/Child.

Get more information and purchase tickets.

 


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COUPONS AND DISCOUNT SITES

There are several places where you are likely to find discounts on hotels, tours, restaurants and shopping.  Some may be familiar to you already.

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