If you are looking for something uncommonly romantic to do in New Orleans, consider a leisurely excursion through the City Park lagoons, in a gondola seemingly made for just this setting.
Robert Dula has chosen this lovely urban park as the scene for his authentic hand-made Venetian gondola, named the Bella Mae. Dula learned the art of the gondolier in Venice, and in his tours he wears the traditional attire of a red-and-white striped shirt and straw hat. This is not a ride through the canals of a city, although City Park is in an urban area. Surrounded by 800 year-old oak trees, you glide through the lagoon, amidst the swans and ducks who make their home in the park, and the sights, sounds, and fragrances of nature are peaceful buffers from the blare and noise of town.
Romantic And Other Times
The Bella Mae is fast becoming one of the most popular places to make a marriage proposal. It must be impossible to refuse when you have been wined and dined, serenaded, and genuinely enchanted by the quiet and picturesque scene. If you are not feeling especially romantic, the ride can be a serene retreat with a friend or two (the Bella Mae seats six), where you can enjoy a picnic lunch and a bottle of wine. The gondola is located behind the New Orleans Museum of Art and Sculpture Garden and next to the yellow Casino building, where free parking is available.
The rides begin at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, until dusk. It costs $15.00 per person for a 20 minute tour and $59.00 for the 40 minute Romanza Tour for two. The "Gondamore Pour Deux" is a 60 minute private cruise for two, with live music. Complimentary baskets of cheese and crackers are provided, along with warm blankets ice, ice buckets,and wine glasses. You must provide your own beverages, and reservations are recommended.