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Royal Carriages Awarded Louisiana Attraction of the Year

Posted by on January 24, 2018

During the Louisiana Travel Association’s Annual Meeting held in Lafayette on January 23rd, Lieutenant Governor William Nungesser presented the Crescent City’s oldest local tour company, Royal Carriages, with the prestigious Louey Award for 2018 Louisiana Attraction of the Year.

Royal Carriages French Quarter Tours named Louisiana Attraction of the Year by the Louisiana Travel Association

Says James Lauga Jr, third generation owner, “I’m so proud of our team at Royal Carriages! Each day and night our dedicated drivers and wonderful mules go out and are true New Orleans Ambassadors! We’ve been doing this for over 76 years. I want to thank each and every person who made this award possible. Without you this wouldn’t have been possible. The Louisiana Attraction of the Year, I’m so proud!”

As the state’s of Louisiana’s economy thrives on tourism, agriculture, and industry, Royal Carriages, its animals, and its team members, bring mule-drawn joy to over 150,000 visitors each year. Royal Carriages is thankful to be recognized for being so much more than a tour company or an attraction, but one of the vital parts of our daily culture that make New Orleans and Louisiana an authentic, unique, and exciting place to live and visit.

If you are considering touring New Orleans, roll with the best and choose Royal Carriages for an authentic and award-winning tour of the famous French Quarter, Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, and more. Royal Carriages specializes in top-rated French Quarter History Tours, Cemetery Tours, Private Carriage Tours and Spooky Nighttime Ghost Tours. 

Late Night Ghost Tours in New Orleans

Posted by on December 09, 2017

The French Quarter in New Orleans is known for such captivating history and since it’s one of the oldest European settlements in the United States, this historic district is also quite known for many well known spirits of the past.

Ghost Tours in New Orleans have become a main attraction, and hundreds of visitors set out on tour each night, some with hopes that they’ll encounter something supernatural.

Walking Tours are the most affordable way to dive into the paranormal history of the French Quarter. With a licensed guide, a large group of 28 tourists are herded through the narrow streets, overhearing the spooky tales of long ago. The popular haunted locations are surrounded by hundreds of participants, but when the bell tolls 10:00 pm, city law states the all of these walking groups must end.

Late Night Ghost Tours in New Orleans

The only option remaining for Late Night Ghost Tours in New Orleans is to set forth on your paranormal adventure via carriage with one of the many expert guides at Royal Carriages. These haunted carriage tours are allowed to operate late into the night after the large walking tour groups have cleared the streets. With carriages that seat up to 8 passengers in each, its easy to hear your guide and the small group experience adds to the fright factor, so does the dark empty streets. Departing each night at 10:00 pm with limited availability, it's highly recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your seat on the carriage for this tour. 

Late Night Ghost Tours in New Orleans Royal Carriages' History & Haunts Spooky Late Night Ghost Tour will highlight countless stories of death and tragedy that have unearth the restless ghosts of the French Quarter. Here's a sneak peak of what to expect:

Madame Delphine LaLaurie

Most know of this Creole woman from America Horror Story: Season 3, Coven, filmed in New Orleans just a few years ago. While the FX TV Show was horrifying, what actually happened inside this private residence on Royal Street was truly sadistic and terrifying. It's no wonder that this gorgeous 1830's home has sat unoccupied for over 100 years. The current owner, whom we've taken on a carriage ride on several occasions, seems to be in love with mystery of his haunted property, and only visits his French Quarter home a few times each year. Knowing that countless people underwent such odd medical experiments and torture, would you rest easy at night?

Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau

Another famous woman in New Orleans history deserving of her story being told is Marie Laveau, the famed Voodoo Queen who lived on Saint Anne Street in the French Quarter. Voodoo, a primitive ancestry type worship originating in Africa, was banned in the Catholic colony of New Orleans, but this didn't stop the enslaved people from continuing their culture and traditions. Marie Laveau is credited with bringing voodoo to the mainstream, attracting the wealthy men and women to her doorstep requesting various spells and rituals to be casts. Her tomb, located in Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, attracts more than 150,000 visitors each year. 

Pirate Jean Lafitte 

Fact and folklore intertwine with most of New Orleans most prominent people, which serves Jean Lafitte well. No one truly knew who he was, where he was from, or where he went, but we do know that he impacted New Orleans greatly in the early 1800s. This pirate was a businessman who smuggled any and everything into New Orleans to be sold. He was always on the run and was admired by many women and men for his charm, wit, and behavior. Lafitte actually encountered British Troops prior to their arrival in New Orleans and worked with Andrew Jackson to defend the city, which provided him and his many men with pardons, allowing them to escape into the swamps free of past crimes. 

Vampire Jacque St. Germaine

Womanizing, cultured, and refined, Jacque St. Germaine was a wealthy resident known for his extravagant parties of which the Creole people of the French Quarter truly loved more than anything. What was discovered in his home after one woman reported him for improper behavior was more than alarming, and brings us to believe that St. Germaine was one of the many vampires to live in New Orleans. There were many reportings of blood-sucking fiends before and after him, and the vampiric bloodlust community still exists today in the city, much like it does overseas. 

The Gardette-LaPrette House

A wealthy Turkish man, claiming to be royalty, rents this property from a plantation owner upon his ship's arrival to New Orleans in the 1830's. Immediately, the servants reinforce the locks on the property and add heavy drapery to all of the interior windows. After l

 

 

KJ's Story: How I Became a French Quarter Carriage Driver

Posted by on October 30, 2017

I had the pleasure of meeting Robert French and Nancy Landry in January 2016 at the Delgado Community College, Sidney Collier Campus, which was hosting a hospitality job fair. Coincidentally, I was already enrolled in the barbering program there. But, I think it may have been destiny that I be employed at Royal Carriages! 

While we were talking, Robert and Nancy had me fill out an application. At the time, I could not envision myself driving a mule and sharing all the wonderful history of the French Quarter has to offer, but I was eager to work. 

French Quarter Carriage Driver & Tour Guide at Royal Carriages

Nancy called a few weeks later, asking that I come in for an interview with Royal Carriages General Manager James Lauga. The interview went well, and James conditionally hired me on the spot.  

I went through the screening process and took the necessary tests. I became a bona fide Royal Carriages employee in March and learned how to groom, harness, hitch up and drive a mule.

Royal Carriages French Quarter History Carriage Tours of New Orleans

It’s been a rewarding year and a half at Royal Carriages – I’ve been both a driver and supervisor. While working in both capacities, dealing with national and international tourists has been the best experience. Every time I share with them our city’s history, it reminds me all over again what makes New Orleans such a great place.

I’m still having a blast educating, entertaining and enjoying what I do.

- Kevin Joseph, Licensed Tour Guide and Carriage Driver 

According to TripAdvisor, what are passengers sayings about KJ?

 

"My best friend and I went on the Haunted Carriage ride. Our tour guide Kj was so informative and friendly! It was a very cool and different experience and definitely a must do when visiting the city. Kj treated Cloudy so good the entire time and was super careful and made sure of the surroundings. We would definitely do it again!!!!!"

 

"KJ and Dr. John were a mighty and dynamic duo. You can't do better than this for touring the French Quarter. KJ is an incredible narrator and gives excellent advice about things to do in NOLA. This carriage ride was easily the highlight of my adult life. I am forever changed."

 

"We had a great time on the tour! There were only three couples so it wasn't too crowded. My other half was hesitant at first but I pushed the idea and he was very happy I did because we had a blast! Our driver, KJ, is knowledgeable about the city and our mule, Pretty Boy, was quite entertaining. We would love to do the other tour, French Quarter History, the next time we visit to learn even more about the city."

 

"We took a ride on a whim, and so glad we did! Our host, KJ, was amazing! He was so knowledgeable and patient with all of our questions! He truly is proud of his hometown and wants to show it off! Our mule, Footloose even let us pet him when we were done! I recommend you seriously check this out!"

 

Carriage Transportation for Corporate Meetings, Events & Conferences in New Orleans

Posted by on July 26, 2017

When planning a corporate meeting, event and/or conference in New Orleans, there is so much to consider, but don’t forget about transportation! Most events are held in the French Quarter and Central Business District and while these areas are very walkable we should keep in mind that these corporate meetings, events, and conferences are also a way for business professionals to enjoy their time visiting and exploring our great city. There are many different modes of transportation available for various budgets, but when you want to make a statement to your attendees, nothing will be more iconically New Orleans than a mule-drawn carriage.

Royal Carriages has serviced the French Quarter of New Orleans and surrounding areas for over 75 years. This veteran-owned company has a fleet of over 13 mule-drawn carriages with the ability to transport up to 75 guests at once. Royal Carriages is first and foremost a tour company, not a transportation company, so the transportation services we provide include licensed, professional, licensed tour guides as your carriage drivers, providing transfer from location to location while entertaining all passengers on board with the stories of New Orleans. It’s a fun way to travel through our city and the most authentic way to be introduced to our warm Southern hospitality. Everyone will remember their mule-drawn transportation in New Orleans for your event, and your corporate meeting, event and/or conference will not be forgotten either!

 

So instead of the standard mega-bus, consider the impact that carriage transportation will have on your corporate meeting, event, or conference!

 

Royal Carriages can provide mule-drawn carriage tours and transportation for the following:

  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Business Dinners
  • Client Meetings
  • Recognition
  • Holiday Parties
  • Charity Functions
  • Sponsorship
  • Client Appreciation
  • Workshops & Seminars
  • Happy Hours
  • Team Building
  • Press Conferences
  • VIP Events
  • Shareholders Meetings
  • Incentive Events
  • Executive Retreats

If you would like to discuss carriage transportation options for your corporate meeting, event, or conference, call Nancy at 504-943-8820! 

5 Reasons Why A Carriage Tour is the Best Way to Discover New Orleans

Posted by on July 08, 2017

New Orleans is a city unlike any other. We are lovingly referred to as "The Northernmost Part of the Carribean" due to our sub-tropical vibes, and sometimes people even compare New Orleans to The Disneyland (for adults)! With so much to see and do, it can be pretty overwhelming as a first-time visitor but have no fear, Royal Carriages is here to discuss 5 Reasons Why A Carriage Tour is the Best Way to See New Orleans! 

Learning the lay of the land is important when visiting New Orleans. It's a pretty big...but also a pretty small city. It's an extremely walkable place to visit but you should always look where you step since there are lots of uneven sidewalks and of puddles (that's what you get for putting a 300-year-old city in the swamp). Most of your time will be spent exploring the French Quarter, which is the main historic district and original part of this old city. The French Quarter, approximately 1-mile wide and 1/2-mile deep, has endless bars, restaurants, and boutiques. There is also quite a few free museums and hidden gems that are extremely easy to miss, especially if all of your time is spent bellied up at one of the local bars on Bourbon Street.

Local businesses in New Orleans offer more than enough ways to explore the French Quarter and surrounding areas, but by far the most common tours are 1) Bus Tours, 2) Walking Tours, and 3) Carriage Tours. Now, bus tours and walking tours are available in most every city! There isn’t anything unique or special about that! Few cities across America have carriages, but most provide just rides and transportation. Only a few carriage companies combine the ride with a fantastic tour, and this is something that we do extremely well in New Orleans. Keep reading to see just why!

Large Tour Buses are actually only allowed on certain streets in the French Quarter, and basically only provide hotel-pick-up services. Once seated inside the tour bus, it’s pretty hard to look out of the window and embrace that beautiful architecture, the sounds of the street performers, and the smell of roasted garlic rolling out of the restaurants. Plus, what if you get a guide who talks over the intercom like Ben Stein, the teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. “Anyone, anyone, Bueller, Bueller?!”

Walking Tours of the area give you the opportunity to experience just that, however, imagine what it’s like to walk on narrow sidewalks with a group of 28 various travelers for two hours. It can get pretty crowded and distracting, not to mention the fact that you’re going to go crazy just standing around certain areas for so long. Some people in the group walk fast, some walk slow, and you are stuck in the middle of it all. Walking Tours are really challenging for tour guides and typically refer to the experience as to “herding cats!”

So, why are carriage tours the best way to see New Orleans?

  1. Carriage Tours with Royal Carriages combine authentic mule-drawn carriage rides of the historic French Quarter District with professional tour guides who are energetic and passionate about sharing the story of New Orleans with its many visitors! These guides are top-rated by thousands of TripAdvisor Members!
  2. Unlike tour buses, our carriages can roll wherever they please, and frequently visit areas outside of the French Quarter that just aren’t obtainable with a walking or bus tour. Our carriage passengers usually feel like we are giving them a little lagniappe (that means something extra in Creole) when we tour them the various Creole Neighborhoods outside of the Quarter like the Faubourg Marigny or Treme, home of jazz music! You’ll get to see “where the locals go” for live music and see so many more colorful Creole cottages and shotgun homes! It’s truly incredible how much you can see in just 1-hour with Royal Carriages.
  3. Our larger mule-drawn carriages seat between 6-8 passengers in each, ensuring that you won’t get lost in the crowd since it’s more of an intimate small-group experience. No microphones are needed since all carriage passengers are within 6 feet of the carriage driver who speaks loud enough for everyone to hear. Passengers have the opportunity to have conversations with the tour guide, asking various questions that may help him or her better understand the topic of discussion. At the end of the ride, most carriage passengers feel as if their tour guide is now their New Orleans’ friend! You are always welcomed to come back and find us, and we can continue answering questions and give you fantastic tips and suggestions! Royal Carriages is always eager to please!
  4. In just 30-minutes, our carriages cover more ground and more information than a 2-hour walking tour! It’s true! Our 1-hour specialty carriage tours are basically combining 4-hours of walking tours into a 1-hour mule-drawn adventure of the historic downtown, without having to walk! Let’s face it when on vacation, time and money are precious! It’s best to spend both wisely. 
  5. Lastly, you’re not walking or standing around in one single area for an extended period of time!  You know how it feels to be standing in a large group with someone speaking at your for a long time…your feet and legs get tired, your mind gets’s distracted, and you start playing on your PHONE! The carriage helps solve all of those problems! As the carriage slowly rolls past all of these amazing historic restaurants and businesses, you’ll be learning exactly why they are so important to the city of New Orleans and its history, all while seated comfortably on a carriage and supporting a 75-year-old family-owned business that employs and cares for over 68 precious carriage mules! You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take great photos and videos. You may have so much fun that you forget to pull out your phone all together! Our goal at Royal Carriages is to help you time-travel back to the good old days! 

We hope you that you've enjoyed reading our 5 Reasons Why A Carriage Tour is the Best Way to Discover New Orleans!  We hope this has made you so excited to book with us!! If you have any questions, don't be afraid to give us a call at 504-943-8820! 

We had the most marvelous time with Blanche and Marie Laveau. The information that Blanche provided was amazing. She handled the entire group with courtesy and professionalism. We could not have asked for a better way to spend our Christmas Eve morning. Would highly recommend to everyone that you take one of these tours.

TripAdvisor Member: Melinda H

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