If you’re at the Port of New Orleans, you’re most like beginning or ending your cruise, so get there a day early or stick around afterward for a chance to explore the Big Easy.
The French Quarter is, of course, the main attraction, but if you’ve been there, done that, take a shore excursion into the countryside to see some of Louisiana’s grand plantation homes, or experience the swampy waterways on an airboat tour.
How to Get to New Orleans
You’ll dock downtown at either the Julia Street or Erato Street terminal. Both terminals are on the Riverfront Trolley Line, which will take you a mile up the Mississippi River to the French Quarter.
One Day in New Orleans
Before diving right into the liveliness (or downright madness, depending on when you’re there) of the French Quarter, start your day in New Orleans’ peaceful Audubon Park, 6 miles (10 km) west of the city center and home to the Audubon Zoo. Explore the park from the river up to St Charles Avenue, where you’ll begin heading east, back toward the city.
Go back to the 19th century as you walk along St Charles Avenue, known for its mansions and towering oak trees. When you get tired, hop on the St Charles Streetcar, which will take you all the way back to Canal Street on the edge of the French Quarter.
Spend the rest of your afternoon and evening in the French Quarter, snapping photos of the iconic wrought-iron architecture, admiring St Louis Cathedral, listening to jazz, drinking Hurricanes at establishments along Bourbon Street, and indulging in coffee and beignets at Café du Monde on Jackson Square.
The currency is the US dollar; there is one ATM at the port and several
around the French Quarter. There is a baggage transfer service at the
port that can take your bags to the airport if your cruise ends in New
Orleans and you want to see the city before boarding your plane.