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Published: Sunday, 9/23/2012

Double-decker tours start in New Orleans

Red open-top double-decker tour bus service launches in New Orleans


NEW ORLEANS  — The bright red open-top dou­ble-decker tour buses seen all over New York, Lon­don, and Paris are com­ing to New Or­le­ans.

City Sight­see­ing New Or­le­ans launched the new ser­vice Wed­nes­day with an in­au­gu­ral tour of down­town with Lou­i­si­ana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, New Or­le­ans Mayor Mitch Lan­drieu, and tour­ism and hos­pi­tal­ity of­fi­cials. The ser­vice, which opened to the gen­eral pub­lic Thurs­day, will op­er­ate daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Emily Val­entino, the com­pany's gen­eral man­ager, said the buses will of­fer a new con­ve­nient, en­ter­tain­ing, and in­for­ma­tive way to ex­pe­ri­ence the city with a hop-on and hop-off model that al­lows vis­i­tors to tour sites at their own pace.

Stops in­clude the Au­dubon Aquar­ium of the Amer­i­cas, the Na­tional World War II Mu­seum, Har­rah's Ca­sino, Mardi Gras World, the Su­per­dome and Ba­sin Street Sta­tion, a for­mer train de­pot that's been turned into a vis­i­tors’ cen­ter.

“It's go­ing to be a full ex­pe­ri­ence un­like any­thing else cur­rently of­fered in New Or­le­ans,” said Mi­chael Val­entino, a co-owner of the fran­chise. “It's a fun trans­por­ta­tion mode that we're go­ing to layer with the per­son­al­ity of lo­cal tour guides.”

Bus tours will be nar­rated live in English by cer­ti­fied tour hosts, but re­cord­ings will also be avail­able in Spa­nish, French, Por­tu­guese, Ger­man, Ital­ian, Jap­a­nese, and Chi­nese. 

Emily Val­entino said the tour bus ser­vice is ex­pected to gen­er­ate 36 new full-time jobs and in­creased vis­i­tor ac­cess to at­trac­tions and busi­nesses in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

City Sight­see­ing al­ready pro­vides ser­vice in Lon­don, Paris, Ber­lin, San Fran­cisco, New York, and Seville, Spain.

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