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Category Archives: Travel Tips

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!

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

Posted by Nancy 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 Nancy 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! 

Save BIG this Summer with the French Quarter Passport to Savings

Posted by Nancy on June 09, 2017

Will you be visiting the French Quarter in New Orleans this summer? If so, save BIG with the French Quarter Passport to Savings presented by the French Quarter Business Association! 

Discover an affordable adventure in New Orleans’s oldest neighborhood. Throughout the summer, dozens of French Quarter businesses—from hotels, bars, and restaurants to retail shops and cultural attractions—are offering discounts on meals, beverages, shopping, tours, and more.

Visit www.FrenchQuarterPassport.com for full details!

Please keep in mind that all discounts, including the one for Royal Carriages, cannot be applied after you purchase a tour. If you have any questions, give us a call ay 504.943.8820 and we'll help book your tour for you over the phone! 

French Quarter Carriage Ride in New Orleans

Posted by Nancy on April 14, 2017

The French Quarter has always been a unique destination for travelers and our mule-drawn carriage rides allow visitors to discover the old world charm in the most authentic way. While walking tours and bus tours dominate the modern day market in New Orleans and in most other major destinations, our mule-drawn adventures provide an unparalleled experience that allows visitors to ride through the historic neighborhoods while interacting with a local and professional guide offering his or her own unique, personal presentation of each historically accurate tour, all while comfortably seated on a mule-drawn carriage ride. Each carriage holds no more than eight passengers, ensuring an intimate small group tour experience each and every time. I assure you that our carriage ride provides a very different perspective compared to other previous horse-drawn tour experiences you may have had in other cities.

Many visitors to New Orleans are shocked at the relaxed neighborhood feel of the French Quarter, the abundance of gingerbread architecture, and the "looseness" of the pretty much everything. I guess that's one of the main draws to our city besides the historic importance. As someone who drove carriages for two years, from my experience I have learned that one of the best aspects of a tour experience for visitors is having a meaningful connection with someone like a warm and hospitable tour guide. It's like making a new friend in a new city. I have many fond memories of all of the wonderful people that have positively impacted me during my time as a driver, like the one time I let an 80-year-old Swedish former horse-drawn buggy racer take the reigns. "Oh what a joy it is to drive a carriage in old New Orleans," he said to me.

Our mules are one of the primary reasons that the carriage industry is so unique and different from other carriage industries in America. Instead of horses, we use the original hybrid, an animal created by man that is known to be one of the hardiest animals on Earth. Mules are considered to be smarter, stronger, and more sure-footed than horses. Mules are also extremely well adapted for desert travel (think Grand Canyon mules) meaning they are more resistant to extreme temperatures like the humid subtropical climate of New Orleans. You may have heard rumors that mules are stubborn, but we assure you that is actually a sign of their superior intelligence. 

Our carriage driving tour guides are another differentiating aspect for our industry. Instead of monotone fact-tellers that you may have encountered with your own previous tour experiences, our carriage driving tour guides are passionate storytellers who focus primarily on historical entertainment, weaving the stories of the former glory of the old French Quarter with modern day life in New Orleans. If you don't believe us, check out our excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. Who said history has to be boring? A mule-drawn carriage ride is so much more than a historical introduction to the French Quarter. A carriage ride with Royal Carriages is an immersive experience where visitors time-travel to an era that they did not know existed, hearing stories of New Orleans most influential characters, be it a voodoo priestess, womanizing politician, millionaire toddler, or well-known celebrity. In addition to historical stories, discover other fascinating news such as real estate prices, movie filming, and recommendations for restaurants and attractions. 

So next time you visit the French Quarter in New Orleans and you are searching for a fun way to sight-see, consider taking a mule-drawn carriage ride with Royal Carriages. We promise that you'll fall in love with the experience, the mules, and the carriage driving tour guides. 

Travel Tips: How to Celebrate the First Day of Mardi Gras Carnival in New Orleans

Posted by Website Admin on January 06, 2017

2016 was such a wonderful year for Royal Carriages. Together, the entire team at Royal Carriages really accomplished a lot of wonderful firsts throughout the year. We like to thank you for your contributions throughout the year and we look forward to a wonderful New Year!

Today, even though it’s raining in New Orleans, we are happy to celebrate the beginning of our Mardi Gras Carnival season by parading and eating king cake. Mardi Gras season always begins on January 6th of each year and ends on Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent. The first parades are supposed to roll tonight, but rain has interfered, and a few are postponed. The first parades of the season are always that of Phorty Phunny Phellows and Joan of Arc.

Phorty Phunny Phellows Streetcar Parade


Phorty Phunny Phellows, a streetcar filled with costumed revelers, has paraded down St. Charles Avenue since 1878. At this time, the Krewe of Rex was only six years old, making Phorty Phunny Phellows one of the oldest carnival traditions in New Orleans. If you are visiting our city and love hijinks and satirical mockery, then you should make plans to attend the nonsense on January 6. Click here to learn more about Phorty Phunny Phellows and see the parade route.

Joan of Arc French Quarter Parade

The gilded bronze statue of Saint Jeanne d’Arc, a symbol of our French cultural heritage, was a gift from France in 1972. The statue is an exact replica of the famous 1880 Emmanuel Fremiet equestrian statue of Joan located at Place des Pyramides, Paris. For nine years, the Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc honors and celebrates the story of the “Maid of Orleans” and our French heritage with a whimsical and artistic walking parade throughout the French Quarter. This medieval-styled parade is set in the 1400s and features elaborate costumes, traditional music, horses, jugglers, knights, stilt walkers, giant puppets, king cake, and unique handmade throws. Our favorite location to view the parade is in front of St. Louis Cathedral. The parade is concluded with a King Cake Party at the Statue! Click here to learn more about the parade or see the parade route. 

King Cake

 

One of the wonderful traditions of Mardi Gras, and probably the most delicious, is the King Cake.  King Cake parties are held throughout the Mardi Gras season in offices, classrooms, and homes throughout the city. Like the Biblical story, the "search for the baby" adds excitement to the tradition, as each person waits to see in which slice of cake the baby will be discovered. While custom holds that the person who "finds" the baby will be rewarded with "good luck" and crowned King of the party, that person is also responsible for bringing the King Cake to the next party or gathering. The cake itself is made from twisted strands of cinnamon dough, frosted and sprinkled with purple, green and gold colored sugar. Most people throughout Louisiana like King Cakes that have the added fillings in various flavors such as cream cheese, strawberry, bavarian cream, raspberry, cherry, or praline. One of the unique flavor combinations is that of the Zulu King Cake, which has chocolate frosting and coconut filling and honors the legendary Zulu parade on Mardi Gras day.

A Message from Royal Carriages

We look forward to celebrating Mardi Gras with you in addition to providing you with the most authentic New Orleans experience. Throughout the Carnival Season in New Orleans, expect to learn added history of our Mardi Gras parades, costumes, traditions, and more on your mule-drawn carriage tour.  

Throughout the carnival season, our mule-drawn carriages will continue to provide visitors the most authentic way to tour the city, but we will be closed for business beginning February 23, 2017 and won't reopen for business on March 1, 2017. Furthermore, mule-drawn carriage tours of the Garden District will be suspended from February 12, 2017 until March 2, 2017. 

Happy New Year and Happy King's Day from everyone at Royal Carriages!

 

Daddy's Place PC : Mumma ๐Ÿ’‹ Epic Strt of 2k17 ๐ŸŽ€

A photo posted by ๐Ÿ’–Harshita Panchbhai ..! ๐ŸŽ€ (@______harshi_____) on

We hired the carriage to drive that Father of the Bride and the Bride to the wedding venue. What an arrival! The guest were all taking photos. It was a nice way for the two of them to chill before the big event. The driver took them on a nice little tour of NOLA before the wedding. It was worth every dime. Thanks, Royal Carriages.

Tina J. of Maryland, USA

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