Gray Line Katrina Tour
Lonely Planet review for Gray Line Katrina Tour
Bus tours all too often represent the cheesiest way for tourists to experience a city, which is why we wouldn't ordinarily recommend any for New Orleans. The idea of a Gray Line bus tour of neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina might sound too similar to rubbernecking at a wreck on the highway, but if you feel it's important to witness the destruction and lack a friend to drive you around the vast area that was flooded, then you should hop aboard and do so guilt-free.
Most of the people of New Orleans would prefer that visitors to the city see the devastated areas rather than pretend nothing happened here in the summer of 2005. While it's true that Gray Line hopes to profit from the tours, the company's approach has been tasteful and sensitive, rather than sensational. In fact, at this writing, if the tour has a weakness it's that it does not include the most shocking wreckage of the Lower 9th Ward. The bus passes throughout the vast lakeside neighborhoods, and some of the tour guides actually hail from the ruins. Be advised that, while it is guaranteed to take years for New Orleans to clean up the Katrina mess, the devastation is likely to be less visible as time goes by. You might want to ask locals if this tour is still worth taking before dropping around US$35.