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“Nice ride but not welcoming”

Swamp Adventures LLC
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Luling
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Airboat tours offered daily just 25 minutes from downtown New Orleans. Round trip transportation available
Reviewed 9 September 2017

We decided to try this at the last moment on our final day in NOLA. I called a different company which had been recommended but they were full.
Another company was kind enough to pass me on this company phone number. I had an uneasy feeling when I called and the person who answered was unenthusiastic to say the least. It wasn't any better when we arrived and the man behind the desk barely grunted us. When we came back in to ask a question his surly behaviour continued but thankfully a colleague (presumably one of the boat captains) was there and tried to lighten the mood and make us feel a little more welcome.
The ride itself was quite good, our small airboat with only 4 passengers and the guide was able to get into very small areas. We visited some beautiful areas with amazing trees living in these swamp conditions. We didn't see a lot of wildlife, plenty of small gators and then towards the end 2 large ones which were clearly fed regularly and visited on all tours. Still impressive as they were large and one tried to enter the boat which was "interesting". Our guide was reasonable, he wasn't overly enthusiastic but he did try and answer all questions. There were a lot of tales of amazing wildlife viewing but sadly we must have been unlucky, if you believe them.
Reasonably good but customer service was average at best (especially when waiting for the ride to start). I would recommend researching other options.

Thank teamflames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"swamp"
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5 - 9 of 196 reviews

Reviewed 9 August 2017 via mobile

This was a blast, was on our bucket list and we were not disappointed. We had a fun an knowledgeable driver. We saw alligators, eagles, and other birds.

Thank David H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2017 via mobile

This is a great tour
Very kid friendly
Mr Dufrene was a great guide very knowledgeable gave us a bit of history made us laugh our tails off, fed about 12 alligators it was a good time

Thank Robin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2017

I'm from Baton Rouge and have done a swamp tour in the area with another company that was good and I was excited to go again with my family from Virginia down for the first time. The other company was closed this weekend so I booked with Swamp Adventures. It was 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 teenagers, on the small size boat. Hopefully our guide Rodney was just having an off day. At first he seemed pretty congenial and personable and had us feed 2 baby gators before we left the dock. He and his co workers acted like we would see several more on the trip and he brought a bucket of raw chicken with us to feed them. The ride was nice but Rodney seemed to be just going through the motions and once we left the dock he just didn't seem to care if we were enjoying ourselves. He did answer questions when asked and every once in a while he'd give us a little information, such as about the lake we went to for a minute, an old cypress tree, a lotus flower, a pod of snail eggs and some dredging equipment he brought us by and stopped to tell us about. There's not much time for narration when the boat is running because it is very loud (the noise cancelling ear muffs do great job about that) but I thought we'd have a little more interaction from him as our guide. However, the big disappointment is that we didn't stop for any alligators. Once or twice we passed what looked like nice size gators swimming and he slowed down but didn't stop or say anything about them at all. I assumed this was because he was taking us to an area where he knew we'd see more alligators and get to take pictures, etc. But nope, he never said a word about alligators on the whole tour. When I realized we were pulling back to the dock I asked if we were finished and he said yes. (and it had been the allotted amount of time) I said "what about seeing alligators" and he shrugged and said it was too hot for them. Not another word from him except maybe "watch your step" when he pulled up. No "have a nice day" or "sorry I didn't slow down to let you see some of the gators we passed" or anything. It was so strange I have a hard time giving the trip even a "poor" rating as I would steer anyone away from this tour, especially for the $79pp cost. That said, the boat itself was fine, the swampland is beautiful and the bathroom was clean.

Thank pld30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 July 2017

My wife and I were on a local plantation tour (Whitney Plantation, the most amazing tour) and asked a few staff about a swamp tour and they mentioned a place by the side of the road on our way back to New Orleans. Neither person knew the name of the company, simply offering a phone number (googled the # to find out it was Swamp Adventures). I called and was informed that they had space for a 2pm tour.

We arrived as another tour had just come in, and the event at that time seemed promising. We were told the tour would be an 1hour and 40 minutes long (100 mins). That being said, neither captain who was there seemed to want to take us out. After being introduced to our captain, he asked what time it currently was and stated, "Great I've got 8 minutes to relax". First flag went up.

At our scheduled time, we headed out after a quick briefing from the captain. I spotted a gator after about 5 minutes or so on the water. Turns out this is one of their "pet" gators, Goliath, whom they feed regularly and keep around to provide an authentic alligator experience with. The captain then proceeded to add a turkey neck to a small PVC pipe with a wire on the end and feed the gator directly. I was shocked at this and seemed counter to everything I was raised (in FL) to understand about wild gator behavior. Second flag went up and this was before he tried to lure the gator towards the boat for my wife to pet it.

After moving on down the main channel, we then went into a few thicker wooded areas, spotting only 1 single fish. That's it. Simultaneously, the weather was changing (usual afternoon thunderstorm approaching) and the captain received an alert on his phone about lightning in the area and so we headed back to the dock. TOTAL TIME ON THE WATER WAS 30 MINUTES.

We got back to the docks and immediately the woman who booked the tour for us started to turn on the Southern charm. "You guys will have to come back and see us next time you're in town", "You make sure to ask for me and make sure you bring your grandma too"(unclear why she mentions grandparent here). After informing we were flying home the next day and were in the area for a conference, she stated, "Well maybe you'll come back next year for a conference".

This was all a prelude to the inevitable which she knew was coming: we would ask for a refund. After my wife finally asked for a partial refund, we were told "It's our policy, we can't refund after the boat leaves the dock."

It rains everyday in the Southeast (esp LA) from June through October, almost without fail. Swamp Adventures is likely making a killing off of these partial "tours", by luring unsuspecting tourists out for the afternoon, even with inclement weather approaching, and offering a half-*** tour. They then save on their costs (fuel, human capital) by stating it's their policy to not refund and netting the increased profit. The woman was in her truck pulling out almost before we were.

We were not informed of any cancellation policy and it is no where on their website. Beware! This is a terrible shady business, with horrible customer service. We felt like we got played as tourists since we didn't live in the area and likely wouldn't be back.

STAY AWAY!

Thank Isaac B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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