June 25, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Isabelle's Makes it Easy in the Big Easy”
We wanted to check out a plantation and swamp tour while in NOLA, but didn't want to bother with renting a car. Isabelle's was mentioned on Fromer's and TA so we chose them to make life easier. Great decision. Courteous and prompt and extremely knowledgeable! Our guide clearly loved Louisiana. It was like a history lesson. We did the plantation/swamp tour trip -- Destrehan and Airboat Swamp Tour -- Gary was a hoot! We fed a 14 ft alligator! It was insane.
June 17, 2013 - via Viator
Joan V, Post Katrina Tour
The most amazing tour I have ever been on. The guide/historian spent 4+ hours with us in a small van and took us everywhere. She went through it herself and was on the front lines rescuing people and animals. Even 8 years later a lot of the houses are still left with the holes in the roof, the debris about and sad stories. She explained what happened in each community to the levees, the storm canals, the houses, the people and the pets. Did you know that it is the law in the United States that BOTH people and their pets MUST be evacuated together. It turns out people died in New Orleans because they would not leave their pets behind. And then, when they were forced to leave, thousands of pets died. But the big story here is that the city has returned much stronger because they had to fight to keep it. You can feel the vitality and sense of renewal that began about 4 years ago. They have started to rebuild the houses in the 9th ward, in Saint Bernard and the other communities where that were flooded to the roof tops. They had to free up a lot of the bylaws and so there are shops, restaurants, bars open at all hours, they exist everywhere for everything and people seem a lot freer somehow. I highly recommend this tour.
May 21, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Tours by Isabelle Exceeds High Expectations”
Had a fabulous morning on the City + Katrina tour with Dylan. I was really impressed with the depth of his knowledge about the city - everything from its unique geography, the people who settled here, the architectural influences, the particulars of local cooking and of language and of neighborhoods and traditions. I was wondering what to make of the Katrina tour - human tragedy as local attraction? - but this was possibly the most moving and truly unexpected part of the experience this morning. Working from maps and building on the simple geographical lessons Dylan started with, we learned about what happened (and what didn't happen) in New Orleans in 2005. We came away with a real physical sense of the destruction, as well as the birth of new political, social and environmental ethics that are now transforming the city. It doesn't sound possible, but Dylan spoke for nearly 4 hours; he was entertaining and clever but never sounded like he was delivering a canned speech, or repeating things mindlessly. He is a native of the area and doing a great job at explaining an incredibly complex and unusual place. So glad I did this!
May 7, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Best decision ever!”
Typically, my husband looks for the "economical" route, so he initially hesitated about booking Tours with Isabelle. I had seen plenty of big groups moving about on large buses and knew that I wanted a more personal experience. Well, I can happily report that we both found our day (two plantations and a swamp tour) to be utterly awesome. Muriel (our guide) was simply delightful. She is incredibly knowledgeable about New Orleans and made sure our time in the van was every bit as entertaining and informative as our plantation/swamp tour. We had been disappointed to not have an airboat option available on the day we selected, but soon discovered the complete joys of traveling the Bayou with a fifth generation Bayou resident.
April 28, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Still talking about it!”
Our tour of the Bayou was both entertaining and educational -- and the scenery was beautiful. I'm no nature girl and I not comfortable with the animal world unless there is a tv screen between us but our guide Mr. Torres drew me right in. Alligators, turtles, and bald eagles oh my! And I learned so much about the culture and history from our very knowledgable guide Niji. Niji said she was so glad we came to visit New Orleans - I'm so glad we had Niji as our guide.
April 8, 2013 - via Facebook
What a fantastic Grand Tour we had. Our tour guide, Dylan, was a fountain of information and very funny too! The three of us really enjoyed the day! The plantation tours were great and the bayou tour on the air boat was something I will remember forever! Fabulous!!!
March 23, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Tours by Isabelle”
We took a Plantation Tour, Swamp Tour (on an air boat), and a City Tour. Diana, our tour guide on the City Tour, was prompt, friendly and very knowledgeable. She knew a lot of the history of New Orleans and told us so many details. She picked us up when she said she would and was most accommodating. Our guide on the Swamp Tour was Gary. Not only was he a blast, but he knew a lot of details about the swamp as well. He made the tour most enjoyable plus we got to see five alligators and other wildlife. It was money well spent on our three tours. If we ever vacation in New Orleans again, we will use Tours by Isabelle for our touring entertainment.
March 7, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Great tours and great guides”
My husband and I and another couple took the Isabelle Tour to the Laura Plantation and Oak Alley Plantation. Our driver was Dylan. Dylan was exceptionally pleasant and informative. The tour at Laura Plantation was very nice. Our tour guide there, Jennifer, was also very knowledgeable. If you are able to get Dylan for your driver, consider yourself very lucky! Great time for our first trip to New Orleans.
February 26, 2013 - via Facebook
What a great day we had on the Grand Tour today. Many thanks to Stan! So Happy we went. It was like a day with a good friend showing you his neighborhood. The three tours we all interesting. Lunch was better then we expected . The swamp tour was alot of fun. Thanks Isabelle.
February 16, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Ginnie the fantastic tour guide”
Our New Year's Day 2013 tour of the city was absolutely amazing . From my mother who's 70 to my youngest whos 8 yrs old , Ginnie provided information to keep everyone interested . She is an extremely knowledgeable person and I would highly recommend you ask for her . Thank you Isabelle and thank you Ginnie. Wendy T (Ontario, Canada)
February 5, 2013 - via e-mail
Hi Isabelle, Forgive me for taking so long to let you know how much our Family enjoyed the tour you planned for us when we were in New Orleans in December. It was wonderful. It was the highlight of our sentimental journey to the city of my birth, and my parent's birth. There were 15 of us, and we were joined by my cousin and his wife. Your driver and tour guide couldn't have been more accommodating. They were determined to see to it that we made every stop on our list. We were able to go in more churches than I ever dreamed possible. It was great! We appreciated, and took advantage of the opportunity to extend our tour by one hour. The bus was very nice and we had plenty room to spread out. Thank you also for working so effectively with my son Harris. He was such a great help to me on the whole trip. Also I must add that New Orleans presented itself well. I know I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out. City Park is such a pleasant memory for me, and I knew it had been hit hard by Katrina. I mentioned that to you. You told me I would not be disappointed in City Park. You were right. I was not disappointed in it or anything else. The houses my family lived in all looked good, and not run down. That is one thing I admire about New Orleans. You all respect the city's past. Thank you again so very much, Mary Jo Adams, and the whole Adams Family
January 24, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“3 happy generations with Tours by Isabelle!”
3 happy generations. My parents (80), our sons (20) and us (50). We booked the Bayous and Plantation tour and it was almost perfect. It could have been a half hour to an hour shorter as we waited quite some time for the Airboat and also at the Plantation but our guide was very knowledgeable. She even helped with our restaurant reservation at night. Our captain was most funny and we all enjoyed the ride and his information. The tour at the Plantation was also very well organized. On time.
January 4, 2013 - via TripAdvisor
“Tours by Isabelle - Post Katrina”
We took this small group 3 1/2 hour tour on Friday, January 4, 2013, with Diane as our guide. The tour was tremendously interesting and informative. Diane was extremely knowledgeable both about the city and the hurricane, and she fielded all questions with candor and humor. An outstanding experience!
December 29, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Highlight of our trip...Joseph is an excellent guide”
We loved this tour! Joseph was our guide for a four-hour combination tour of New Orleans/Katrina. Joseph not only knows this city well, but he is also very proud of its history and traditions. Since we had never been to New Orleans before, we wanted a tour that was more personal than a big coach. We purposely sought out a tour with only 6 people maximum. He could drive us where the big buses could not. We are grateful for the excellent attention to detail, and we highly recommend this company. By the way, pre-trip reservations were handled very well with this company. We communicated with the company via emails initially (several weeks in advance), then they made phone contact with us one week prior to our trip to confirm the reservation. We highly recommend Tours by Isabelle.
December 12, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Great tour even for those who don't like tours!”
My husband and I do not like tour buses or organized tours, but as we were without a vehicle and wanted to see the Laura and Oak Alley Plantations, we took a chance on this one. We were very pleasantly surprised! The van only holds 11 people and our guide, Ginny, was prompt in picking us up at our hotel. She was very knowledgeable and entertaining. The sites were well worth a visit. I would definitely use Isabella again if in New Orleans.
November 25, 2012 - via Facebook
Did the Destrehan/Airboat tour on November 20th. Ginnie is a great guide, she knows so much about the area, very informative, very warm and friendly. Timing was great getting to the plantation and the airboat tour, no waiting. Capt Gary was great too. Highly recommmend this tour, wish we had time to do more!
November 13, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
Having been to New Orleans many times, and doing different tours over the years our tour with Tours by Isabelle was by far the BEST! Ginnie, our guide was so great! We had a van for our group, which was very nice. Ginnie took the opportunity to research what our group was interested in and pointed out specific things along the way. I learned many new things, about a town I thought I knew, which was awesome. I would HIGHLY recommend Tours by Isabelle to everyone!
October 27, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Satisfied with my choice...”
When I was planning our trip to New Orleans, I was overwhelmed by the amount of tour company choices to pick from. I read a lot of good things about Tours by Isabelle so I went with them for two tours; the Laura and Oak Alley Plantation Tour, and the Hurricane Katrina Tour. Both were great! I will say that the Plantation tour was a real standout though. I just enjoyed all the history. What I liked most about Tours by Isabelle though, was that they picked us up from our hotel, the size of the tour groups were very small, and they weren't parading around in ridiculous vans - exploiting NOLA. That means you might pay a little bit more, but for me, it was totally worth it. Both guides were extremely knowledgeable (John did our Plantation Tour; Joe did our Katrina tour) and both were obviously invested in making sure we had a good time and that all our questions were answered. I would say that this tour company is the way to go!
October 5, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Katrina Tour was sooooo informative!”
This was a 4 hour tour that seemed like it only lasted for an hour. They picked us up from our hotel in a comfortable cargo type van. This was probably one of the most informative tours I have ever taken. The guide talked the whole time. The knowledge she had of everything New Orleans and Katrina was AMAZING! It was a great experience.
September 18, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“What an amazing tour, best tour I've been on”
We decided to go on the plantation tour with Tours by Isabelle, and I'm glad we did. Our tour guide Joseph was such a lovely Southern gentleman, and so knowledgeable about New Orleans, he drove us to the Bayou where we went on a one hour boat cruise with a genuine bayou resident of 50 years who gave us a fantastic insight into swamp life and survival, also got to see alot of alligators. We were so impressed with our bayou tour, I mean who knew that gators loved marshmallows? After that it was a delicious lunch at Oak Alley, what can I say, Oak alley was amazingly beautiful and everything you imagine a plantation home to look like. After we went to Laura plantation where we were given a fantastic tour on plantation life history. Our tour group was very small, we only had 4 people and it was such a lovely intimate tour. After Joseph gave us recommendations to head to the Praline Connection on Frenchmen St for some soul food, and it was fantastic! We ended up hanging out with our tour mates for the rest of the night. I would highly recommend taking this tour, my husband and I fell in love with New Orleans having visited for the first time, and this tour was one of the reasons why. Its not just the amazing history you see, but the people and their hospitality which make the experience so memorable. Thanks Joseph and Isabelle.
August 24, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“City and Estate Tour”
We visited New Orleans in early August and had booked the City and Estate tour in advance with Tours by Isabelle based primarily on the web reviews...we were not disappointed! Our tour guide Diane picked us up promptly at our hotel door and proceeded to guide us through New Orleans and the outlying areas for a very full four hours. As a native of New Orleans her knowledge of the city and its history was impressive and you felt more like you were touring with an old friend than a tour guide you had just met. The tour of the Long Vue estate provided by Chuck was very informative and interesting and a great complement to the overall city tour. The van was comfortable and the other couple we traveled with were equally pleased. I would highly recommend this company as their individual attention is well worth the cost of the tour!
August 16, 2012
This was an very worthwhile tour. We especially appreciated Stanley, who was extremely knowledgeable and informative. He described the conditions that led to the devastation in a way that we could all understand. I can't say enough good about Stanley as a guide. He made this the valuable experience that it was.
August 10, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Great New Orleans City and Katrina Tour”
I took the New Orleans City and Katrina Tour, with tour guide Diane. Diane appeared to be personable and knowledgeable about the history of New Orleans. I truly enjoyed the four hour tour. New Orleans is such a beautiful city, with so much to see. I wish that the tour was longer. I could have spent all day touring the city with Diane.
July 12, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“The Personal Side”
This tour company may be a little more expensive than others but the reason is the personal service and small size of the tour group. Isabelle uses vans that hold 4 to 8 and no more. On our trip we had 6. They pick you up wherever you are so no trekking to some departure point. We were first to be picked up and for us, the tour started right there as Diane, our driver and guide knows something of value about everywhere in New Orleans. It was supposed to be a 3 1/2 hour tour but well after 4 hours, we were still touring (with our permission). Because you are in a small van, you can go places that busses don't. Diane told the New Orleans story with passion and knowledge. The City and the Katrina story are really interesting. This is a tour company that I'd use again (and again). Ask for Diane although I'm sure that they are all good.
July 9, 2012 - Linda, via Facebook
Just enjoyed a fantastic day with our guide Ginnie visiting the Laura Plantation and the Oak Alley Plantation! Thank you so much. Next time we will go on the all day tour of 3 different plantations.
Jun 25, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Fascinating Educational Tours”
We took the City tour with Isabella and the Plantation Tour with Isabella. We we're so happy we did! I'm tired of tours where the guide tells more jokes than information. My husband and I are educators and we love to learn as much as possible. Diane and Stanley did not disappoint. They knew so much and answered any questions we could possibly come up with. I was in heaven Both guides had an easy relaxed manner and conveyed information easily so our 16 year old stayed tuned in and interested for the entire tours. I will only take Isabella's tours in the future! My only wish is that her business was stationed in New York City, as well, as that seems to be our next trip. Elle Caesar
June 4, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Grand Tour: Plantations Laura and Oak Alley, and Swamp Tour”
Stanley was our very knowledgeable guide. I enjoyed the small group of people in the van and Stanley was very informative. He kept the group on time without feeling rushed. Laura is a beautiful plantation and we were given the tour by the owner, who had many wonderful stories to tell. It was easy to see he loved the plantation and its history. Oak Alley is magical. The tour guide also showed a love for the living history of the plantation. I loved walking the grounds of Oak Alley. Our 1.5 hour swamp tour was relaxing. We learned a brief history of the place, and saw wild life including several alligators. Would would have known they liked marshmallows. Lunch at Oak Alley was delicious. We arrive back at the hotel right on time. Thank you for a wonderful trip.
May 29, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
We took the 1/2 day swamp & plantation tour. Our guide, Ginnie, arrived promptly and began a wonderful narration of our surroundings along the way to the swamp. It was in a very interesting and conversational way, not as if from a script. We felt like a family member was showing us the sights. Our favorite was the swamp tour where we were able to take photos of our group mascot Bobo, a stuffed monkey, astride a baby alligator. That was a very special presentation when the teacher in our group was able to share with her 3rd graders. We would most certainly go with Isabelle again!! Thank you, Ginnie!
May 14, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“This is the plantation tour to take”
After checking reviews on plantation tours -- decided on Tours by Isabelle. Bit more expensive but during the ride to the planations - our tour guide educated us as to the history behind each plantation and history of cajun people. Also pointed out points of interest enroute. Only 8 people in our van so we were able to learn a bit about each tourist. Also - the guides at the plantation were excellent. It does take ~ 6 hours to complete the tours (including the travel time) but well worth it. Van was on time at our hotel. If you are going to take a plantation tour -- I highly recommend Isabelle's ... trust me - it's worth a little extra money!
I went on my second trip to the quarter and HAD to do a plantation tour this time around because I didn't have the money last time. I have always dreamt of the OAP and wanted to see it. I was not let down. First, the van was a little early and called to let us know beforehand. Our driver, Muriel was AMAZING. She spoke french as well and was not hard to understand. We had a full bus and had a lovely time. She was so intellectual about the city and the history and told us lots of information - hell she even warned us about every big bump that was coming so we could prepare as we sat in the back - she was very happy and enthusiastic and a great guide. The two plantation tours were very fun, I just wish we had more time to look around at Oak Alley as we pretty much got on the van ten minutes after the tour was over and I figured people might want to walk around and take pictures. Felt like we were holding up the other passengers. But the ride and guide were so lovely, please tell Muriel she is wonderful. Keep her around ;)
April 8, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Laura and Oak Alley Plantations...Excellent day!”
I'm not sure if this is the correct area to write this but I really would like to comment on how WONDERFUL my experience was with your company last month. I'm from outside of Toronto, Canada and was visiting New Orleans with one of my girlfriends. We booked the Laura and Oak Alley tour with you and I must say that we both had an amazing day. Our driver/guide was Ginnie. SHE IS INCREDIBLE!!! Her passion for New Orleans and Louisiana comes across so strongly in her storytelling. The amount of knowledge she holds and her ability to bring the remarkable history of the region to life made the time fly by (I could have listened to her all day!). She answered questions with ease and truly ensured that we left that tour with a complete understanding of the culture and history we needed. She was incredibly friendly and professional as well. The tours themselves were an incredible experience and more than we had expected. Laura was my personal favourite. Our guide (whose name is escaping me) was another wonderful storyteller. The professionalism that she brought to her stories, especially to the topic of slavery, truly brought us back to what life was like on that plantation 160 years ago. Oak Alley... was stunning. Our tour was okay, full of information, but seemed a little rushed and the group was a little big to all "gather" around the guide as he spoke. Despite that, the grounds are incredible. I could have just stared at the "alley" all day. Anyways, I just wanted to share my thoughts. Again... incredible day. Thank you. And please thank Ginnie, too! Sincerely, Sarah
March 15, 2012 - via Yelp
The four of us took the combo city tour today and it was a rich and rewarding experience. Our guide was Joseph and there were 8 of us in an 11 passenger van. We stopped briefly at one of the cemeteries and at City Park. Alan and I weren't particularly impressed by the cemetery because the one we'd seen in Buenos Aires was so much more ornate and gothicly wonderful. The park was beautiful. We drove around the city, seeing the levees, the Mississippi and Lake Pontchartrain. Joseph told us about his 4+ months as a refugee in a Baton Rouge church and about neighbors and friends who spent 3 or 4 days on their roofs. We saw some of the remaining devastation and the rebuilding that's taking place. We have no illusion that we saw the full extent of the devastation, as we didn't see the Lower 9th Ward or any of the places that were almost completely destroyed, but we saw a bit. We stopped longer at Longue Vue House and Gardens, where a docent gave us a tour. Both house and gardens were beautiful and the docent was knowledgeable. It was a very interesting part of the tour for me,not as huge and ostentatious as Versailles or some of the "cottages" in Newport, but still large and grand. We saw how the St Charles streetcar line stops short of where it had when we were here last, another Katrina byproduct. We drove through the Garden District and the Irish Channel, which was crowded w/ people joining a pre- St. Patrick's Day block party. We were able to see different parts of the city than we had the last time and we appreciated the information we were given.
February 6, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“take this tour!”
all our guides were very knowledgeable and friendly.they had great enthusiasm and pride for their city and their particular area of expertise. the bayou-plantation tour was the highlight of our vacation. ask for stanley by name!
January 28, 2012 - via TripAdvisor
“Excellent Grand Tour”
I went on this tour as part of a work/leisure trip so our tours were pre-organised. We did the Grand Tour - airboat tour and 2 plantations (Oak and Laura). My favourite part of the day was the Laura plantation. The young lady that took us around the plantation was absolutely amazing. She was extremely passionate about history and it made for a very fun afternoon. The Oak Planation was visually very beauiful, with the Oak alley at the front a stand-out. The guide for this part of the trip was ok, but her whole speech was very rehearsed and lacked passion. We had lunch included at the Oak Plantation. The lunch was a little mediocre, I think because we had the set tour group lunch rather than al la carte. We also did the Airboat tour. Tip: Take warm clothes!!!! I dress completely inappropriately and really did not enjoy this part of the tour. We went in November so there were not many alligators to see, so I'm sure it would be amazing during the alligator season. Our boat driver was lots of fun on this trip! Overall it was a great day!
December 2011 - Jim, via Google+
Phenomenal service. Did the downtown/katrina tour w/ Joseph. He was great, the van was great, I will see you guys again next year. Thank you!
December 1, 2011 - via Yelp
My friend and I were visiting New Orleans for the first time and had no idea where to start, so we went on a tour booking spree. This tour was the most expensive one we booked and it was pricier than similar tours, but it was definitely worth it. Our tour guide, Stanley, picked us up for the grand tour (2 plantation tours and a swamp tour) around 8am. We then headed out for the first plantation, which was about an hour away. He kept us entertained the entire way so it felt like we got there pretty quickly. My favorite story was about how Lake Pontchartrain is so shallow that he and his dad would walk miles and miles through it while looking for crawfish.
First, we went to the Laura Plantation, which is a Creole plantation. The plantation and grounds are beautiful. The history of the plantation is really interesting and unique. It's a fascinating family story and I think someone should turn it into a movie. Also, I bought a hot sauce that they make there which turned out to be really delicious. After that, we went to the Oak Alley Plantation, where we began with our delicious lunch that comes with the tour. The plantation is breathtaking, but definitely not as interesting as the Laura Plantation. They make a great mint julep, though.
Our last stop was the swamp boat tour with Torres Swamp Tours. It was a little chilly the day we went, but the tour was amazing. We saw a few alligators, a bald eagle, egrets, and turtles. On our tour, we had a lady who spoke mostly French and our tour guide, Roland, was kind enough to translate for her. He owns the swamp we toured and his family has worked on it for generations, so he really knows what he's talking about. He was by far my favorite tour guide. We were finally dropped off at our hotel around 5:30pm.
Even though the tour is pricier, it's well worth it. It also really nice to not have to worry about all the hassle of doing this on your own. I would recommend reserving at least a few days ahead of time to make sure there's enough people on your tour on the day you want. We had plenty of breaks throughout the day to use the restroom and go into the gift shops. I would also recommend trying to get the very backseat of the van. It's the largest seat and the other ones can get cramped.
November 18, 2011 - Lystra, via Facebook
November 11, 2011 - via TripAdvisor
“Great informative tour of New Orleans.”
I booked the city tour the night before and was really pleased with the friendly service. This continued when Diane picked us up for the tour. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the city and answered all our questions. A bit pricier than the cattle call tours but I was willing to pay more for a smaller group and more personalized experience. I wanted to do another Isabelle tour the next day but you know how it is when you travel with family! Definitely would recommend Isabelle and do it again.
November 9, 2011 - via TripAdvisor
“A great view of the tragedy in New Orleans”
While in New Orleans for only a few days, we wanted to see the city and understand what happened during and after Hurricane Katrina. It was a small group, 8, led by our driver Joel. He was well informed without getting into the politics. We saw the lake, the levee breaks, what hasn't been fixed or rebuilt, and what has been rebuilt including Brad Pitt and Harry Connick Jr's projects. Definitely a must see while in NOLA. There was a snack and rest stop in the middle of the tour.
November 4, 2011 - via TripAdvisor
"You get what you pay for and "Isabelle" delivers!"
I highly recommend "Tours by Isabelle". The tour guides are extremely knowledgeable, gracious, and professional. If you are interested in Louisiana culture and history you will be in for a real treat. I marvelled at their skill for continuous commentary while driving. Ginnie is bilingual (English/French). It was amazing the ease with which she could automatically switch from English to French and French to English when she needed to. There were two couples from Montreal on my tour and although they too were bilingual, Ginnie showed respect for them by speaking French an equal amount of the time. New Orleans is my favorite travel destination and I hope to be able to take every tour offered by Isabelle. Tours by Isabelle is a class act all the way! MERVEILLEUX!!!
November 4, 2011 - via TripAdvisor
"Perfect. Perfect service, vehicle, tour guide, subject matter...great time."
If you want a nice tour of New Orleans and/or the areas affected by Katrina, these are your people. They pick you up and drop you off where ever you want. They are fun, professional, knowledgeable, and really well priced. I just cant see how you could beat this service. Joseph was our tourguide, and he was awesome!
November 2, 2011 - via Trip Advisor
Our tour guide was Stanley and he was wonderful. He picked us up for the grand tour (2 plantation tours and a swamp tour) around 8am. We then headed out for the first plantation tour, which was about an hour drive away. He had a lot of great stories to tell on the way to the plantation about New Orleans and the areas around as well as some of his own personal stories.
We first went to the Laura Plantation, which is a Creole plantation. The plantation and grounds are beautiful, lush and colorful. The history of the plantation is really interesting and very different from the usual stories you hear about plantations. Our tour guide, Rose, was friendly and informative. Our next stop was the Oak Alley Plantation, where we began with our lunch that comes with the tour. I had a salad, etouffe, and bread pudding, which were all delicious. The plantation is beautiful and more what you expect when you think of plantation. The tour was little shorter than our last one. Our tour guide was awesome, but this plantation was not as interesting as the Laura Plantation.
Our last stop was the swamp tour with Torres Swamp Tours. We opted for boat tour instead of the airboat, which I'm really glad we did. It was a little chilly the day we went, but the tour was amazing. We saw a few alligators, a bald eagle, egrets, and turtles. On our tour, we had lady who spoke mostly French and our tour guide, Roland, was kind enough to translate for her. He had some great stories and jokes.
The grand tour lasted until 5:30pm. It picks up and drops off at your hotel. I would recommend reserving at least a few days ahead of time to make sure there's enough people on your tour on the day you want. We had plenty of breaks throughout the day to use the restroom or go into the gift shops. I highly recommend this tour.
October 29, 2011 - Solange E.
Hope my English will translate exactly my feelings about this exciting excursion...
From the start, Isabelle and John were very prompt in giving explanations and very accommodating to find a date for me as I was travelling in Louisiana before settling in N-O for a week. To the last minute, they tried to find a suitable slot for one of the two tours I wanted to make.
Diane was our driver/guide for the ride to the airboat tour. She picked us up at the hotel, with a very welcoming smile, dealt with the payment, picking up other guests in a very efficient and sympathetic way. She gave very good explanations and answered all of our questions while driving, with a smile and with a lot of patience. Once to the airboat launch, checked with her about our request to sit in the front of the airboat; she showed me the document with our request in red, bold letters and underlined twice. Then I heard her talk to our captain to remind him of the seating arrangement. She did everything in a most gracious way. Very good representative for you.
Captain Steve (if I'm not mistaken) was very nice, very interactive with us, joked a lot, and made sure this was a very exciting experience for us. Please thank him for us.
Thank you and I recommend you company for all the tours you offer.
October 29, 2011 - via Trip Advisor
"Awesome Airboat Tour!"
Our family of 4 enjoyed the airboat tour with Isabelle's on a Friday afternoon. We chose this tour company, from prior experiences. Once again, we received the exact type of tour we had hoped for. Isabelle's offers a premium tour experience in a smaller setting.
We are picked up directly in front of our hotel and driven in a newer, air conditioned van. There were 10 guests in total in our van. Diana our initial tour guide was terrific. While driving us to the swamp, she told story after story recounting the history of New Orleans. Diana was friendly and very informed. She easily answered any and all questions about the city and state.
Upon arrival at the swamp, we were taken into a building with drink/restroom facilities. Next we were separated into smaller groups of 4. Our airboat captain "Monkey" was hilarious. He combined the speed and fun of the airboat with humorous stories. The time literally flew by.
Isabelle's tours is THE tour company in New Orleans.
November 2, 2010 - Judith C.
Because my time in New Orleans was limited and my physical limitations put a crimp in my ability to be as highly mobile as I like, I decided to take both the Post Katrina and the City Combo tours. This was the BEST decision I have ever made. I think I saw more of New Orleans that I would have even if I'd been a 100%. Diane was my tour guide on both tours and I could not have asked for anyone better, she has a vast knowledge of her city, what's happened before and what is going on now. Her speaking voice is terrific and she's just so darn cheerful even with a van full of people (granted, we had a good group that didn't seem to mind being a little tightly packed). Wow, I can't thank you enough for organizing such great tours. I know when I come back to New Orleans, yes I have decided to return at tome point, I want to take the swamp tour and the plantation tour, from Diane I know when the good time to come is: March and October! See you next Halloween! Judith W.
March 31, 2010 - via Trip Advisor
My wife and I took the Katrina tour at a a cost of $65/per. It was worth every penny. Our guide, Jenny, was extremely well informed on all of the details about this devastating disaster that never have been reported. She was also very passionate about her city and was able to convey that well during the nearly four hours we were together. If, like us, you are not terribly familiar with New Orleans, and know about Katrina only what was reported on national tv five years ago, this is a do not miss event.
March 23, 2010 - via Trip Advisor
"Solid performance as a tour provider"
We took the combined Oak Alley / Laura Plantation tour on our first day in NOLA and the Air Boat Tour on our second day.
On both days with different tour guides and different destinations, the service was excellent and the tour guides were extremely well versed on their city's history and facts.
The costs of the tours were on the pricey end of the scale, but keep in mind that you are getting a very small group tour. The small groups means much more personal service and interaction with fellow tourists.
On the first tour there was 8 of us and on the second only 3. Our experience with Tours By Isabelle was fantastic on both occaisons.
I would concede that you may need to wait until the day before a tour to know if it is going ahead, particularly in the cold months, but the communication from Isabelle was excellent and managed this issue superbly.
If you are just focusing on tour costs, go with a large bus. But if you want a high quality tour with personal, knowledgable and friendly service go with Tours By Isabelle. It's a holiday after all, spend a little extra and go for quality... it will make ALL the difference.
March 8, 2010 - via Trip Advisor
"Katrina and Swamp Boat Tours"
Tours By Isabelle... OMG... great tours! We are 3 women who had the pleasure of meeting 2 great tour guides on our recent trip to N.O. We just got back and can still appreciate Rosie, who was super on our Katrina tour. She took us all over the city and gave us many historical facts about Katrina but also about the many cultures and history of N.O. for a present day memory. By also adding personal touches about her own life and experiences growing up in N.O. and living through the devastation of Katrina we were given new insight regarding the recovery of this vibrant city. As a retired school teacher Rosie was most articulate and entertaining in presenting the facts and adding her "special humor."
We were amazed by the vastness of the devastation since we had only seen what millions saw on T.V. This was truly an eye opening experience.
The swamp tour was much lighter as you can guess. Our guide on the airboat, Kevin was absolutely one of the funniest guides we ever met. Very knowledgeable and entertaining at the same time... a great wit and yet a very down to earth kind of guy. Wildlife, alligators and Spanish Moss hanging from the trees... just like in the movies! We got to see it all... live and up front!
We would recommend both of these tours to anyone. Their service was great, they picked us up at the hotel and were very punctual and professional all the way through. Then they return you to your hotel after the tour. Doesn't get better than that! On our next visit we will look forward to the Plantation tour.
Thanks again to Isabelle and especially Rosie. You gave us some great memories and a "taste of southern hospitality."
The New Hampshire Girls
February 28, 2010 - via Trip Advisor
"Tours by Isabelle"
I visited New Orleans for the first time this past week and while there took two of the Tours by Isabelle - the City tour and the Post-Katrina tour. I cannot recommend them highly enough. Tour guides, Diane and Rose, both New Orleans natives, were delightful company and extremely knowledgeable. The city tour provided all sorts of information about the history of the city, its architecture, culture, music scene, neighbourhoods and outlying areas. The Post-Katrina tour was also very informative and gave me a good understanding of the mechanics of what occurred and also the extent of the personal costs. We were also able to see the efforts of reconstruction in the devastated areas. I am so glad that these tours are available. Customer service is evidently important to this company as well as a gracious and informed presentation. Top marks.
February 1, 2010 - via Trip Advisor
"Memorable tour, with a good customer service twist!"
My parents and I signed up for the post-Katrina tour. At $65 per person (plus tip) it was a bit on the steep side, but the tour did live up to its billing in quality and customer service. Our driver, Stanley, was a local who was clearly proud of the community he was born and raised in. Personable and accommodating, I would generally rate him favorably. (Side note: the neighbors in the Katrina-affected areas reacted favorably to Stanley's tour - one woman flagged our van down and handed us some photos of the flood damage to her house! Apparently they like that the outside world is seeing how this situation has affected them... and hope that we'll work to make the situation better)
The customer service twist came when I realized I had left my iPhone on the van. I called in the missing phone within 10-15 minutes of having been dropped off. Unfortunately, the dispatcher said that Stanley was already crossing the Mississippi River and wouldn't be able to return to drop off the phone right away and that we'd have to wait and see if the cleaning service found the phone.
Fortunately, I got a call from Isabelle herself that night, who confirmed that they had indeed found the phone and that they would arrange to return it to me the next day (the last day of my trip). Even though they didn't have any tours scheduled that Monday, Isabelle herself drove downtown in her personal vehicle and delivered my phone to me! She probably spent an hour of her own time just to make sure I left my tour a satisfied customer, and I have to say that I appreciated the effort. Very impressive, and so happy to have my phone back too! When it comes to this tour company, you obviously get what you pay for: an interesting, personalized, first-rate tour, and top-notch customer service that goes above and beyond what you'd expect!
September 15, 2009 - via Trip Advisor
Tours by Isabelle provided the most personal service I have ever had the pleasure to experience on a group tour. Our guide was not just a fountain of memorized information but obviously had a passion for the subject matter and embellished it with wonderful human interest stories and conveyed to us her love for New Orleans. My friend and I took the Creole plantation tour over this past Labor Day and we thoroughly enjoyed it even in the pouring rain! Oak Alley is just at thrilling in a down pour as it is in bright sun shine. Our group was small and we were a family by the end of the afternoon. Isabelle was prompt in responding to messages left on a voice mail and everything was arranged with ease. Isabelle, we will be sure to contact you on our next trip to New Orleans. I am glad to know that the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking is tomatoes. Thank you for making a wonderful trip to New Orleans even better. Ann B. Washington DC
September 10, 2009 - via Trip Advisor
"Post Katrina Tour"
We took the Post Katrina tour yesterday. I had reservations about taking a tour - not wanting to "gawk" at the people still having such a hard time. Then I read an article that most people still living in the affected areas didn't mind the tours because it brought more awareness to their situation. I must say I was shocked. I had no idea of the devastation that still exists four years after the storm. It was very, very sobering but very enlightening. Our tour guide was Joseph, who evacuated during the storm, lived in a FEMA trailer, and had a lot of first hand knowledge about the situation. The tour is not really something you would take for enjoyment, but as a definite learning experience. I really felt like we came away from it with a much better understanding of how it happened and what still needs to happen. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who comes to New Orleans and thinks everything is back to normal. The van picked us up at our hotel promptly at 8:30 and it was a very pleasant and comfortable trip - with only 3 other passengers besides my husband and I. Thanks Joseph for telling us about Mulate's - just ate and danced there tonight!!!!
July 18, 2009 - via Trip Advisor
We had the Katrina tour with Isabelle tours. Our tour master was Ginny. She was FANTASTIC!!!!! She has a wealth of knowledge and very pleasant. I would never use anyone else for tours in New Orleans. It was intimate and very personal. She came to our hotel and picked us up in front..service...lol Mid-point through the tour, we stopped at a very nice cafe. We used the bathroom and got some coffee...