Day 1: En Route
Cajun Country Jubilee tour members will meet the Tour Director upon arrival into Chicago’s Union Station. The Willis Tower, one of the world’s tallest buildings, is close by. Other Chicago attractions are a brief cab ride away.
At approximately 7:30 p.m., we’ll board the Amtrak train made famous in the Arlo Guthrie song, The City of New Orleans. Departure is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. It features double-decker Superliner equipment. Relax in your comfortable reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. All dining car meals are included beginning with dinner this evening. After settling in, you’ll want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car for spectacular viewing.
Day 2: Lafayette
We’ll be rolling through the Mississippi Delta area this morning. We’re scheduled to arrive in Hammond, Louisiana, at 1:28 p.m. We’ll board a deluxe motorcoach and continue on to Lafayette, the largest city in the Louisiana Cajun Country.
The Cajuns are descendants of nearly 4,000 French-Canadians who settled in South Louisiana in the late 1700’s after refusing to swear allegiance to the British Crown. The term “Cajun” resulted from the corruption of the pronunciation of “Acadian.”
Today we’ll begin to discover the unique Cajun lifestyle and the fascinating lush greenery and unique terrain of the Louisiana bayou country.
We’ll check in to the Hilton Garden Inn Lafayette/Cajundome, our home for the next two nights. We will enjoy dinner at Don’s Seafood Restaurant.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 3: Cajun Country
Today, February 13, is Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras day in Louisiana. Following a hot breakfast in our hotel we will board our motorcoach and head downtown for the King Gabriel Parade. You’ll enjoy King Cake and a specialty drink.
You’ll see the uniquely decorated floats as they go by and catch beads, doubloons and other trinkets as they are thrown to the spectators.
After lunch (included) we’ll travel on to Avery Island where we’ll visit the Jungle Gardens and the Tabasco Pepper Sauce factory. The Gardens encompass 200 acres of tropical flora, aged live oaks, sunken gardens and a bird sanctuary. Camellias, Azaleas and Irises are in bloom this time of year. Bright red Tabasco pepper sauce is processed from the capsicum pepper plants that grow on Avery Island. You’ll view a brief film showing the production of the sauce and actually see the filling, bottling and labeling of the famous Cajun product.
On our return to Lafayette, we’ll tour through the heart of Evangeline Country to St. Martinsville.
This area was immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s tragic love story, Evangeline.
We’ll have a night of great Cajun dining and entertainment. Dinner will be at Pont Breaux’s Cajun Restaurant. We’ll be entertained by a genuine Cajun band. Following dinner, you can roll up your sleeves, put on your dancing shoes and move across the floor. We’ll return to our hotel for another night.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 4: Cajun Country / New Orleans
Following breakfast we’ll strike out on a day of discovery. First on our list is the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center. We’ll see exhibits detailing the various aspects of Cajun Culture and a film illustrating the history of the Acadian people.
We’ll head east to Henderson where we’ll embark on a cruise out onto the vast Atchafalaya River Basin. You’ll pass by gnarled cypress trees with moss hanging like gray beards. As we progress deeper into the swamp, thin streams of sunlight penetrate the thick tangle of vines and foliage to illuminate ponds full of water hyacinth and lilies. Wildlife you’re likely to see include alligators, mink, gray foxes, bobcats and a variety of waterfowl. We’ll have lunch at a Café McGees Atchafalaya Café overlooking the swamp (included).
Following our swamp adventure, we’ll continue on to the world-famous city nicknamed, “The Big Easy.” Our home in New Orleans is the Hampton Inn Downtown French Quarter. You’re in one of the most attractive cities in the world. Take full advantage of all there is to see, do and taste over the next two days.
Meal(s): B & L
Day 5: New Orleans
Following a Continental breakfast we’ll embark on a two-and-a-half-hour sightseeing tour of the Greater New Orleans area. The tour will include the St. Louis Cemetery III where the above ground burial system will be explained, beautiful City Park, the Lakefront area, the uptown section with its antebellum and new homes, Tulane University, Audubon Park, the French Market and the Old Mint.
This afternoon you’re free to rest or pursue those activities that are of particular interest to you. The nearby D-Day Museum and the Aquarium are highly recommended. Enjoy coffee and beignets (a special doughnut-like pastry) at the famous Café du Monde. Wander through the exquisite shops and galleries along Royale Street.
Tonight we’ll spend our second night at the Hampton Inn.
Meal(s): CB & D
Day 6: New Orleans
Continue to enjoy all that this great city has to offer this morning. Early this afternoon we’ll transfer to Union Station prior to the 1:45 p.m. departure of the northbound City of New Orleans. Relax in your comfortable reclining coach seat or optional private room, available for an additional cost. You’ll want to spend some time in the Sightseer Lounge reminiscing with your fellow tour members about the great experiences you shared the past week.
Meal(s): CB & D
Day 7: En Route
After a delicious dining car breakfast, we’ll arrive in Chicago’s Union Station at 9:00 a.m. Tour members will depart for home destinations throughout the day.
Sun., Feb. 11 to Sat., Feb. 17, 2018
Download a full color printable version of this itinerary.
- New Orleans
- Avery Island
- Lafayette Mardi Gras Parade
- Louisiana . . . even the name has a certain festive ring to it. You’ll discover the heart of this flamboyant state in the Cajun Country Jubilee. Our group will travel to Lafayette, the center of the traditional Cajun culture and to the state’s largest and most important metropolis, New Orleans.
- We’ll attend Lafayette’s family friendly Mardi Gras parade and discover all kinds of wildlife and unusual vegetation as we cruise through the Atchafalaya swampland.
- Avery Island features beautiful gardens and is the home of the famous Tabasco sauce. You’ll tour the factory. Sample a variety of Cajun foods and enjoy the spectacular live music at Mulates.
- In colorful and fun-filled New Orleans you’ll stay two nights in a French Quarter hotel, tour the major attractions and have time to explore the famous French Quarter on your own. Discover great shops and galleries, exquisite dining and Dixieland jazz spots.
- Travel 1800 miles on the train made famous in the song The City of New Orleans.
- Round-trip transportation by Amtrak rail and deluxe motorcoach.
- Reclining coach seats with leg rest on the train for two nights.
- First-class hotel accommodations for four nights.
- 14 meals.
- Sightseeing tours and admissions to all included attractions.
- Baggage handling, taxes & tips.
- Services of a professional America by Rail Tour Director.
$2,095 - 7 Days
Upgrades: Roomette + $345
Bedroom + $495
Upgrade: Roomette + $690
FLY OPTION - Fly to Lafayette and return from New Orleans. 5 Days
America by Rail will be happy to arrange your flights. Air is not included in above price.
All prices are per person/double occupancy unless otherwise noted.
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