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Louisiana Cruises

As the home state of musically iconic New Orleans, Louisiana is one of the most interesting places to visit in the US. It’s had a difficult and controversial history – with the slave trade, oil empire and the more recent destruction of Hurricane Katrina – but the ‘southern hospitality’ and fun vibes you’d associate with the Creole state are still going strong. 

In the north you’ll find swampland and the old plantations, while in the south New Orleans takes pride of place, acclaimed as the birthplace of jazz. The capital is Baton Rouge, home to the USS Kidd Navy destroyer and the Gothic Revival Old State Capitol building. At 450 feet and with 34 storeys, it’s the tallest state capitol building in the US.

On your cruise to Louisiana you’ll be welcomed into the state by African, French and Caribbean influences, all creating a unique vibrancy it would be hard to imagine anywhere else.  

Top 5 interesting facts

  • The French Quarter of New Orleans is actually influenced by the Spanish. 
  • There are almost half as many alligators as people in Louisiana.
  • The official beverage here is milk. 
  • New Orleans hosted the first Mardi Gras festival in 1837. 
  • Louisiana has more than 600 festivals state-wide each year.
 

Highlights

Home of the blues

Louisiana is filled with music and culture. Locals took music from voodoo rituals and African slave songs and combined it with music they heard in church and bar rooms to create the New Orleans jazz they’re so proud of – the rest is history.

This is also where blues gained in popularity – from the fields of the plantations to the recording studios of more recent years. With the introduction of a more noticeable rhythm, it became ‘rhythm and blues’ or ‘R&B’, a style that’s so prevalent in today’s music. 

Religion & music

Louisiana is also home to gospel music – the ‘Pelican State’ is a deeply religious one. It’s mostly Roman Catholic, but there are also other denominations of Christianity, and the commitment to voodoo here is also significant. Louisiana Voodoo is a religion here, with its own practices and ceremonies.  

Brass bands and orchestras are popular pastimes for schoolchildren. Saxophones are the key instrument, and define the state’s musical approach. Swamp blues and swamp pop are also popular – a unique mix of all the musical influences in the area. 

 

Food

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The Creole food is one of the many reasons people love Louisiana so much. Heavy on the spice and the flavourings, if you’re not careful it would be easy to get addicted to the highly calorific offerings. A cruise to Louisiana is the perfect opportunity to get to know the Creole fare – just make sure to bring your elastic waist trousers!

 

Louisiana Creole cuisine is a blend of traditional American food combined with mostly French, Spanish and West African influences. Barbecuing and deep frying are the two most popular ways to serve Creole fare, and the meats and seafood are served up with rice, peas and even more seasoning. 

Gumbo is the quintessential offering – a tasty meaty stew served in most restaurants. Try jambalaya – like the Creole version of paella, made with rice and then anything else that’s deemed suitable for the mix. Crawfish is also very popular here, and there’s even an entire festival that celebrates it. 

Louisiana-made Tabasco sauce holds the second-oldest food trademark in the US patent office – it’s been made since the 1860s. Expect a spicy kick with most meals! 

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