New Orleans Airboat Tours
What Is An Airboat?
An airboat is a flat-bottomed watercraft that is propelled by a caged aircraft-type propeller and powered by an automotive engine. Airboats can operate in water as shallow as a few inches, as there are no parts under the water level.
Alexander Graham Bell invented the first airboat in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1905. The British Army used airboats in World War 1 in the Mesopotamian Campaign, but besides that airboats didn’t become widely used by civilians until the 1930s.
Nowadays, airboats are typically used for fishing, hunting, and ecotourism. Ecotourism is tourism directed towards natural environments to observe wildlife and to support conservation efforts.
Airboats are propelled by a large caged in fan that propels air about 200 mph from the back of the boat. The captain of the airboat can steer the boat left or right by adjusting a stick on his left side that is connected to a rudder which changes the direction of the airflow behind the boat. Airboats have no working parts under the water level which allows them to glide along the shallow water. These swamp boats were designed to go where you couldn’t otherwise get to by car or foot.
At Bayou Swamp Tours, we have different sized airboats to accommodate different sized groups. Our smaller airboats can hold between 6 and 10 passengers, while the larger airboats hold between 13 and 30 passengers.
What To Expect On An Airboat Tour in New Orleans
During an airboat tour in New Orleans, Louisiana, you could expect the captain to show off his airboat skills by gliding through the shallow marshes and swamps. When the airboat is travelling at high speeds we do recommend wearing ear protection which will be provided by Bayou Swamp Tours as the sound of the propeller is very loud. You will not need to wear the ear protection the whole time though, as throughout the airboat tour your captain will slow down and make stops to point out different flora and fauna, wildlife, and give you and your group some history lessons about the swamp and bayou. During the tour you will go through the swamps, marsh, and through trees covered with Spanish moss. You will see a number of different animals including hawks, herons, egrets, and occasionally bald eagles. Don’t worry about where you are seated on the boat, as the seats are typically set up as stadium seating, so you have full visibility no matter where you are seated.
During your airboat tour, you can expect the captain to bring you to areas on the bayou where the alligators are known to live. Don’t worry, the alligators are not looking to hurt you, they are accustomed to people and are looking to be fed! Our captains will usually have marshmallows and chicken on the boat to feed the alligators and give you a chance to snap some pictures. During some of our tours you might have the chance to hold a baby alligator.
We hope you enjoy your airboat tour and make sure you visit us again for another airboat tour next time you’re in New Orleans!