Scientific evidence shows that recent changes in temperature, warming oceans, glacial retreat, rising sea levels and extreme weather events are likely to be the result of human activity and are proceeding at an alarming rate. These impacts can be observed firsthand in New Orleans, where coastal storm surge has assaulted the city and its citizens. Yet, like its waters, New Orleans rises – with energy and pride restored. Affectionately nicknamed, “The City that Care Forgot,” you’ll meet those in New Orleans who care deeply about the city’s future. Visit the site of a notorious levee break during Hurricane Katrina and learn about efforts to protect against future flooding. Explore the bayou on a swamp boat in the heart of the delta. And find your rhythm on an exclusive walking tour with Kevin Ray Clark, a Grammy-nominated jazz musician through the French Quarter. A case study in resiliency, adaptation and heart, Chautauqua Institution invites you to explore the challenges and consequences of a changing climate on this five-day journey to “The Big Easy.”
- Visit the site of a catastrophic levee break that left New Orleans under water for weeks – and learn about the flood control mechanisms that helped the city emerge stronger and more resilient.
- Witness the jaw-dropping wildlife diversity of the bayou on a boat tour through cypress swamps.
- Learn the life cycle of the oysters in your etouffee alongside an oyster fisherman whose family has made its living for five generations in the brackish waters surrounding New Orleans before gathering for a Gulf-to-Table seafood lunch.
- Stroll through the French Quarter on an exclusive musical tour with a Grammy-nominated jazz musician (and former Chautauqua performer) Kevin Ray Clark – and enjoy front-row seats as he joins the band onstage.
- Toast your journey at a historic farm on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi – and learn about how the river has shaped the city and its inhabitants.
The activity level of this trip is Moderately Active. To participate in the full itinerary, travelers should be able to do the following:
- Walk leisurely without assistance two to three miles, at times over uneven terrain.
- Climb sets of stairs without handrails, without assistance.
- Climb in and out of a motorboat with assistance.
- Walk and stand for up to two hours at sites listening to a guide.
- Keep pace with an active group of travelers.
Travelers can always opt out of activities if they’re feeling tired or uneasy about the experience. Please let us know of any physical limitations beforehand so we can plan ahead.
- Accommodations and meals with drinks as outlined in the itinerary; non-alcoholic beverages provided at all meals and wine and beer included with dinners and receptions.
- Ground transportation within the itinerary unless otherwise indicated
- Sightseeing as specified in the itinerary
- Comprehensive educational program by professional on-site guides
- Entrance fees
- Gratuities to porters, guides, drivers, wait staff in restaurants during group meals, housekeeping at group hotels
- The assistance of an ATA tour manager
- Quietvox listening devices to facilitate audibility and social distancing while touring
- The assistance of an ATA professional travel team to assist with pre-trip questions, travel arrangements, including flights, extra hotel nights and other services
- Comprehensive pre-departure mailings and materials with information about the destination and what to expect on tour, including a suggested reading list.
- Emergency evacuation insurance
- Fully vetted program that meets COVID-19 health and safety protocols