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Monthly Archives: November 2015

New Orleans news from Royal Carriages Tours

Discover the French Quarter through the eyes of our tourism team. Our guides, mule groomers, tour sales reservationists, and everyone in between are a family who takes pride in our culture and giving back to the community. Check back often to get the latest in our New Orleans news!

Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Nancy on November 30, 2015

How much are the carriage tours?  

We offer six different carriages tours of the city, which can be viewed in detail on our website. The most popular 1-hour tours are priced at just $36 per person on our group carriages, which seat no more than 8 people. We also have shorter tours priced at just $18 per person. Advanced tickets can be purchased on our website.

 

Do you have carriages for just two?

Yes. We have small private carriages that hold no more than four passengers. The carriage is priced at $90 for the Classic` Carre Carriage Tour of the French Quarter, which would break down to just $45 per person for 2 passengers OR $22.50 per person for 4 passengers. This ½ hour carriage tour is perfect for your introduction to the elaborate history, the architectural landmarks, and features some of the oldest bars and restaurants in America. Each licensed tour guide customized the tour to suit your interests. We also have 1-hour private carriages tours available. Advanced tickets can be purchased on our website.

 

Which tour should I take?

The most popular tour is the 1-hour History & Haunts Carriage Tour. On this 1-hour carriage tour, our licensed tour guide will bring you to sites of documented hauntings, which have been documented in police records, city archives, and various paranormal investigations through the years. Customers have actually captured ghost-like activity in photographs, so we encourage our guests to bring their cameras along for the ride. This tour is offered nightly.

 

Another best-selling tour is our 1-hour Dixie Bohemia Carriage Tour of the Faubourg Marigny, which was a former plantation. Today, the Marigny is home to the local music district known as Frenchmen Street, where the authentic jazz clubs can be found far away from Bourbon Street. This neighborhood is also filled with tiny shotgun homes and brightly colored Creole cottages, as well as the grand Creole mansions and townhomes of Esplanade Avenue. This tour is only available via carriage, priced at just $36 per person on our group carriages, and we also have private carriages available if you are interested.

 

Do you do cemetery tours?

YES! Royal Carriages is the ONLY carriage company licensed by the Archdiocese to enter the cemetery gates of St. Louis #1, where Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen was laid to rest. This is the oldest above ground cemetery in North America, and it is also where the actor Nicolas Cage chose to build a pyramid tomb for himself. The 1-hour carriage tour of the cemetery also includes a tour of the French Quarter. Our licensed guide will tell you the stories of our elaborate history while bringing you past some of the oldest bars and restaurants in America. The Hallowed Graves St. Louis Cemetery Carriage Tour is priced at just $36 per person on our group carriages, and we also have private carriages available if you are interested.

 

That’s expensive! I’m not sure…

Walking tours offered by other companies are priced at $25 per person will have no less than 27 people in each group. These large groups can only hit a limited amount of locations within 2-hours. In 1-hour, our carriage tour covers more ground, and there are no more than 8 passengers on each of our group carriages. At just $36 per person, carriages tours are not only a better value but also a better experience. We also have private carriages are also available if you are interested. 

 

Are the carriage drivers licensed tour guides?

YES! To become a carriage driver, you must first have a tour guide license, issued by the city of New Orleans, before you apply to obtain your carriage driver license. All Royal Carriage have current tour guide licenses, as well as licenses provided to us by the Archdiocese to enter St. Louis Cemetery #1. Often time, guest will say that they learned more on a 1/2 carriage tour than they did on a 3-hour bus tour.   Carriage drivers are able to customize their tour route to suit your personal requests. 
 

Is there a set route? Is there a script?

NO! The city does not restrict where the carriages are allowed to go, but the city does restrict the route of the tour bus companies. Our carriages have the ability to travel throughout all areas of the city. We offer six different carriages tours throughout the city. Also, there is no script! Each driver has prepared their own research, choosing the stories they feel best represent New Orleans. We encourage our guide to continue their education, and we provided historical reference guides for their use. Each tour is completely different from the next! Returning guests always learn new information!
 

Why mules?  

Royal Carriages began to use mules in 1975. In 1982, it became a city ordinance for all carriage companies to use mules for carriage tours. This decision was made mostly because of the humid heat in the summertime. Being half dessert animal (donkey), mules tolerate the heat far better than horses. Just because they tolerate the heat better doesn't mean that they work in the extreme heat. When the temperature hits just 95 degrees, all carriage tours are suspended until the temperature cools. During this time, all carriage mules are relocated to the stable. Carriage mules work no more than 7 hours per day, 5 days per week, and no more than 9 full months out of each year. Each Royal Carriage mule receives 3-6 months vacation on 100 acres of farmland just north of Lake Pontchartrain. 

Travel Tips: Christmas in New Orleans

Posted by Nancy on November 10, 2015

We are so excited that you'll be joining us for one of the most happiest times of the year! The City of New Orleans is beautiful throughout the holiday season. These are a few things to consider for your trip.

Weather! Our winters are typically warmer than most, but nonetheless, our drivers are always prepared with blankets on hand to keep you warm on your ride. Please check the weather conditions in advance and dress appropriately. You won't regret bringing the extra layer. Trust us when we say you can leave the shorts and sandals at home. Think about bringing a comfortable pair of waterproof shoes with you on your travels. 

Hot Toddy! Warm cocktails heat up the evening! Visitors love taking advantage of walking through the streets with their cocktails. You can always have it "to-go", as long as you aren't walking the streets with glass containers. Hot Buttered Rum is a delicious treat, but so are Hot Toddies, Irish Coffees, or ...Barengjager Honey Liqueur with hot water and extra lemons to help soothe your throat. Think about bringing a canister with you to keep your cocktails hot!! Drinking Hot Buttered Rum out of styrofoam isn't classy, but most of all...it's not the best for the environment. 

Gumbo! Mmm....the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter night. Try a cup (or bowl) of gumbo at each restaurant you visit so you can taste the difference. Don't let me be the one to tell you who has the best tasting gumbo in town, I want you to decide for yourself. Remember, just like cocktails...you can get a bowl of gumbo to go, which helps warm your belly as your walk to your destinations. My favorite is always the Chicken & Sausage Gumbo when offered! 

Carriage! Throughout the holiday seasons, the doorways and the balconies will be dressed in their holiday splendor and twinkling lights add to the ambiance of your nighttime carriage ride. Royal Carriages have helped many families create a fantastic holiday memories year after year with nighttime carriages rides throughout the French Quarter enjoying the holiday adornment. The neighborhood begins to hang decorations towards the end of the Thanksgiving holiday, and they tend to hang with pride until January 1st. If you will be traveling to New Orleans during this time, please keep in mind that is extremely important to reserve your carriage in advance! 

Royal Carriages presents Christmas Carre`: The New Orleans Christmas Carriage Tour

Create a mule-drawn memory this holiday season with Royal Carriages. Let our Christmas carriages bring your family on a mule-drawn adventure, complete with a fully narrated introduction to the elaborate history, architectural landmarks, and also features the magical holiday displays throughout the historic French Quarter. Each licensed tour guide customizes the tour to suit your family’s interests. 

...and Free! Sometimes the best things on vacation are FREE! For family-friendly events are sure to please, visit the Convention Visitor Bureau's website, Follow Your Joy. There are lots of wonderful concerts and holiday events for families to enjoy!

Veterans Ride Free Program

Posted by Nancy on November 02, 2015

Ronald Reagan once said, "Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but our active military and our veterans don't have that problem." Many of us often take our American freedom for granted, forgetting those things that most deserve our gratitude. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Royal Carriages would like to announce our new American Veterans Ride Free Program. 

Jimmy Lauga, the owner of Royal Carriages, is a Vietnam War Air Force Veteran. As a Combat F-4 Phantom Fighter Pilot, Mr. Lauga flew over 140 wartime missions. We are extremely proud of his contributions, as well as the contributions and sacrifices of all American Military. Our new Veterans Ride Free Program is a small effort to give back to our heroes. 

Starting Veterans Day 2015, any American Veteran can take our "Classic Carre`" French Quarter Group Carriage Tour for free. To take advantage of our program, all American Veterans will have to produce proof in the form of a military ID or VA card, which is then approved by our on-site Supervisor. This program applies to each individual veteran, and not the entire group. When combined with another tour, the French Quarter Tour is free, but not the additional time. Example: When a Veteran chooses to take an hour group tour, the Veteran pays just $18, instead of $36, at this point 50% off. This is an ongoing company program. 

Get out of the crowd and off your feet while taking in the French Quarter on a carriage ride. New Orleans offer many tours, but what sets the Royal Carriage tours apart is the small groups and the ability to relax while taking in the sights and history of the French Quarter. On the tour, you can cover a large area of the French Quarter, learn some of the interesting histories of the area, and get off of your feet and relax. The driver/guide is well-informed and with such a small group can answer individual questions. I especially enjoyed touring the French Quarter in a carriage by night. Lots of fun.

Joseph D, California, USA

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