For highlights, visit the Tour Highlights page.

The Champlin Park High School Concert Choir and Treble Choir will travel to New Orleans, departing Thursday, March 10, and return Tuesday, March 15.

The following itinerary provides an overview of tour events and timings. It is important to understand that times and activities are subject to change before or during the tour.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2:45 pm Load luggage on to motorcoaches our music hallway door, between E4 and E5.
3:15 pm Depart Champlin Park High School to begin the journey to New Orleans.
Approximate drive time is 18.5 hours without stops, 1,209 miles, but it will take the group 22-24 hours with stops for meals. The group will be traveling through the night to arrive in New Orleans on Friday.

Friday, March 11, 2011

2:15 pm Welcome to New Orleans! Upon arrival, meet your Gateway Tour Manager, Lisa Mokoff.
2:30 pm Begin a 1.5 hour walking tour of the French Quarter and Jackson Square, visiting an above-ground cemetery and the St. Louis Cathedral.
Six tour groups.
  French Quarter and Riverwalk
Enjoy free time in the area for which New Orleans is famous, the French Quarter and the Riverwalk.
5:30 pm Depart for hotel.
  Four Points by Sheraton New Orleans Airport
6401 Veterans Memorial Boulevard
Metairie, Louisiana 70003
Phone: 504-885-5700
Fax: 504-888-5815
7:30 pm Pizza dinner at hotel.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

7:30 am Hot breakfast buffet at hotel.
8:45 am Depart for Mardis Gras World museum.
9:30 am

Mardi Gras World
Take an unforgettable tour looking behind the magic of Mardi Gras. There are thousands of sculpted props and giant figures. Make sure you bring your camera.

10:45 am Depart for Washington Artillery Park.
11:00 am Washington Artillery Park
Arrive and prepare for performance.
11:30 am Champlin Park High School Choir performs at Washington Artillery Park in Jackson Square. One hour performance time.
12:30 pm French Market District
Following the performance, spend free time enjoying the French Market District of the lower French Quarter. Here you will find unique retail shops, restaurants, cafés, a flea market, and a farmers' market.
Lunch On your own in the French Market District.
3:30 pm Meet as a group at a designated location in the French Quarter and walk as a group to Preservation Hall.
4:00 pm Preservation Hall
Enjoy one of New Orleans’ most famous traditional jazz halls and the best local New Orleans music.
5:00 pm Take a short walk as a group to the boarding location of the Natchez Steamboat.
5:30 pm Impromptu performance by the Champlin Park High School Choirs at the boarding location of the Natchez Steamboat.
6:00 pm

Natchez Steamboat
Board the Natchez Steamboat for a dinner cruise along the Mississippi River.

9:00 pm Return to hotel.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

7:00 am Hot breakfast buffet at hotel.
8:15 am Depart for the French Quarter and Riverwalk area.
9:00 am

St. Louis Cathedral
Attend Catholic church service at St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square.

Café Du Monde
A trip to New Orleans wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Café Du Monde. A voucher will be provided for a Beignet and milk/café au lait at Café du Monde.

10:00 am

Options (choose one):

Voo Doo Museum
This museum is believed to be the only one of its kind in the world. Learn about distortions and misconceptions of voo doo and New Orleans history through paintings, maps, photographs, and artifacts. The collection contains items that belonged to the most famous voo doo queen, Marie Laveau. It was believed that her ‘wishing stump’ blessed those who touched it.
30 minute tour with maximum 40 persons per tour

IMAX Theatre
(choose one)

10:00 am – 10:45 am: Deep Sea 3D
Plunge to the depths of the ocean and experience the creatures below in this 3D film.

11:00am – 11:45am: Grand Canyon Adventure 3D
This film takes audiences on a river-rafting adventure down the Colorado River set against the back drop of the Grand Canyon.

12:30 pm

Riverwalk Marketplace
Meet as a group and walk to the Riverwalk Marketplace to have lunch and enjoy some free time shopping.

Optional Activities

Southern Food & Beverage Museum
The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. This is located at the Riverwalk Marketplace.
Admission fee of $5 per student not included.

Aquarium of the Americas
During your free time you may visit the Aquarium of Americas. The aquarium allows visitors to experience underwater nature first hand. Immerse yourself in the major marine and submarine habitats of North and South America, including the Caribbean and the Amazon Rainforest. This is within walking distance from Riverwalk Marketplace.
Admission fee of $19.95 per person not included.

The National World War II Museum
Interactive exhibits intermix oral histories from veterans worldwide, artifacts, documents and photographs with hands-on activities and never before seen film footage. You will experience the weeks leading up to World War II. This unique, educational museum celebrates the American spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who won World War II. Renowned historian, author and educator, Dr. Stephen Ambrose founded The National World War II Museum Foundation in New Orleans in 1991. The Museum, which opened on June 6, 2000, is the only museum in the United States that addresses all of the amphibious invasions or "D-Days" of World War II, honoring the more than 16 million Americans who took part in this global conflict. This is located about 10 minutes from the Riverwalk Marketplace by motorcoach.
Admission fee of $9 per student not included.

Garden District Walking Tour
The Garden District is situated on what was once a large sugar plantation upriver from the French Quarter. The land boom which produced this elegant nineteenth century suburb began in the late 1830s and continued until the Civil War.

5:45 pm Meet as a group and depart for Michaul's Live Cajun Music Restaurant for dinner.
6:00 pm Michaul's Live Cajun Music Restaurant
Dinner at Michaul's Live Cajun Music Restaurant
8:00 pm Return to hotel.

Monday, March 14, 2011

6:30 am Hot breakfast buffet at hotel.
7:00 am Depart for volunteer project.
7:30 am Volunteer project in the 7th Ward community of New Orleans.
9:30 am Depart for hotel.
10:00 am Return to hotel, freshen up, and check out.
11:15 am Check out of your hotel and depart for Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company.
12:00 pm Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company
Lunch at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company
  An impromptu performance may be arranged for a small jazz choir on the balcony of Bubba Gump.
1:00 pm Depart for Lusher Charter School.
1:15 pm Arrive at the school and prepare for the music exchange.
2:00 pm Lusher Charter School Choir
Share music and participate as an audience during an exchange concert with Lusher Charter School.
3:45 pm Depart for Cajun Encounter Swamp Tour.
5:00 pm Cajun Encounters Tour Co.
Take a 2-hour guided tour on a flat bottom boat and see swamp life up close and personal.
7:00 pm Board the motorcoaches and travel back to Minnesota, stopping for dinner on your own along the way.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Late afternoon or early evening Arrive back at Champlin Park High School.

Preliminary trip details published when the trip was announced are below. Note that these have been updated above.


  • Round-trip deluxe motor coach transportation between Champlin and New Orleans

Accommodations & Meals

  • 3 Nights - Accommodations in a three-star hotel in the greater New Orleans area
  • 3 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
    • Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
  • 3 Dinners
    • Michaul's with jazz music
    • Pizza party
    • Steamboat dinner cruise


  • School Exchange Concert
  • Public Performances

Sightseeing & Activities

  • Swamp Tour
  • Mardi Gras World
  • French Quarter Walking Tour
  • Preservation Hall
  • Café Du Monde
  • Volunteer Project
  • Voo Doo Museum Tour or IMAX Theatre
  • Free time at the French Quarter and Riverwalk area

Additional Costs

  • Any food or meals not listed above.


Price per person, based on four students per room:

  • $ 750 Total Tour Price
The price is subject to the guidelines in the “Terms and Conditions.” The prices are based on vendor rates available on 10/12/10 and are subject to increases imposed by vendors. The prices and events in this proposal can only be confirmed upon receipt of a tour application and booking of activities. The price is subject to change according to the number of passengers.

Payment Schedule & Student Accounts

Friday, Nov. 5

Participation Contract signed and turned in
Friday, Nov. 5 $ 150
Confirmation Deposit due ($150)
Friday, Nov. 19
$ 200
Activity Account Balance Minimum (+$50)
Friday, Dec. 3
$ 300
Activity Account Balance Minimum (+$100)
Friday, Jan. 7
$ 400
Activity Account Balance Minimum (+$100)
Friday, Jan. 21
$ 500
Activity Account Balance Minimum (+$100)
Friday, Feb. 18
$ 750
Activity Account Balance Minimum (+$250)

Cancellation Policy

Policy specifics to be announced.

Cancellation prior to Nov. 11
$150 Deposit Forfeiture
Cancellation Nov. 11 through Nov. 24
$150 Deposit + $37.50 Cancellation Fee = $187.50 Forfeiture
Cancellation Nov. 25 through Jan. 8
$150 Deposit + $225.00 Cancellation Fee = $375.00 Forfeiture
Cancellation Jan. 9 through Feb. 22
$150 Deposit + $412.50 Cancellation Fee = $562.50 Forfeiture
Cancellation Feb. 23 through Mar. 10
$150 Deposit + $650.00 Cancellation Fee = $750.00 Forfeiture

Fundraising Opportunities

There will be a number of fundraising opportunities available throughout the year.

Frozen Food Sales (Greater Midwest Fundraising)

Sales of frozen meats, cheesecakes, and pre-portioned cookie dough.

Fresh Fruit and Pine River Candy Sales (John Groethe Fundraising)

Sales of fresh fruit and candy products.

Frozen Food Sales (Club's Choice Fundraising)

Sales of frozen pizzas, garlic bread, cookie dough, desserts, soups, and other.

Poinsettia Sales (Malmborg's Nursery)

Sales of poinsettia plants arriving for early December delivery.

Grocery Bagging (Local Stores)

Still to be set up, bagging opportunities for students to collect tips for service.

Candy Sales

Sales of candy bars.

Tour Company Terms and Conditions
Gateway Music Festivals & Tours

This contract is that which is agreed upon between Champlin Park High School and Gateway Music Festivals & Tours. This contract guides, but does not dictate, the contract between the Champlin Park Vocal Music Department and students participating in the tour.

1. Application Fee: A non-refundable fee of $500.00 must accompany this application. Of this amount, $400.00 will be credited to the payment of the tour before the final group payment.

2. Continental U. S. Air Deposit
$50.00 per person air deposit due 11-12 months prior to departure

Hawaii/International Air Deposit
$100.00 per person minimum air deposit due 11-12 months prior to departure May vary according to specific air contracts.

3. Continental U. S. Land Deposit
$50.00 per person land deposit due 11-12 months prior to departure

Hawaii/International Land Deposit
$100.00 per person land deposit due 11-12 months prior to departure

4. Payment Schedule: After the air and land deposits, the remaining balance is divided into four equal installments, to be paid 135/105/75/45 days prior to departure. Services are subject to cancellation by Gateway Music Festivals & Tours, Inc. (“Gateway”) if payments are not received by their due dates. If Gateway has not received payment in full 45 days prior to departure, Gateway reserves the right to cancel all arrangements and withhold all payments made. All payments must be made in United States currency. Checks should be made payable to “Gateway Music Festivals and Tours, Inc.”

5. Air Price: Airfares quoted in proposals are estimated and cannot be confirmed until a deposit is paid and group seats are reserved. After group seats are reserved, additional seats on the group itinerary may be unavailable or available at a higher fare.

Air taxes and fuel surcharges are subject to change until tickets are issued, approximately 60 days prior to departure.

6. Land Price: Per person land prices are based on a specific number of passengers. If the number of passengers changes, the land price may change. International land prices are based on foreign exchange rates in effect on the date the proposal is sent. Land prices will be finalized 60 days prior to departure, based on the final number of passengers and the foreign exchange rate at which Gateway made payments for the group’s services and/or fees.

7. Air Cancellation Fees: Air cancellation schedules vary according to specific air contracts. When base airfare is confirmed, Gateway will submit the air cancellation and terms to the group. Up until 120 days prior to departure, if the entire group cancels, a flat air cancellation fee of $1,000.00 will be assessed, plus any additional vendors’ fees. Individual air deposits may be refundable until 120 days prior to departure, or may become immediately non-refundable upon receipt, according to specific air contracts. Tickets are normally issued 60 days prior to departure. Once tickets are issued, tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

A ticket cancelled within 60 days is forfeited and the value may not be applied toward future travel. Name changes may or may not be possible for an additional fee, depending on your air contract.

8. Land Cancellations Fees: Up until 120 days prior to departure, individual land deposits are refundable with the exception of a flat land cancellation fee of $1,000.00 if the entire group cancels, plus any additional vendors’ fees. Vendors may assess fees in addition to Gateway’s cancellation fees. In the case of an individual cancellation, if a replacement of the same gender is found and the room block is not affected, cancellation fees may be reduced.

Land cancellation fees from 120 days until departure are as follows:

119 – 106 days: 25% of land cost

105 – 61 days: 50% of land cost

60 – 16 days: 75% of land cost

15 days – departure: 100% of land cost

9. New Passenger Fee: Each new passenger added to the group within 60 days of departure will be assessed a $200.00 surcharge in addition to any vendor fees or rate increases incurred by Gateway. To confirm an additional passenger, Gateway must receive an updated rooming list and flight manifest.

10. Travel Insurance: Gateway encourages an individual travel insurance policy to protect against cancellation, baggage loss, and medical expenses. The cost is not included in the proposal, unless otherwise noted, and may be purchased from Gateway.

11. Partial Land Packages: Gateway will not arrange partial land packages for individuals. All group passengers must purchase a full land package through Gateway. While on tour, individuals who have not purchased the full land package are not permitted to travel on the group motorcoach or to attend group activities or meals as part of your group’s reservation. They may book their own arrangements that shadow your group but cannot be considered part of your group’s reservation in any way. Passengers who have not purchased a land package through Gateway are not covered by Gateway’s or our vendors’ liability insurance.

12. Land Only Passengers: Land only passengers booked on a different flight schedule than their group will be physically and financially responsible for arranging their own transportation to meet up with the group, wherever the group may be in their itinerary.

13. Airline Obligations: The services of any ARC or IATA member airline may be used in connection with this tour. The responsibilities of the designated carrier in the operation of this tour are limited to the air transportation involved. Your airline ticket constitutes a contract between yourself and the airline (and not Gateway) even if purchased through Gateway. Gateway is not liable for, and does not assume responsibility or accept claims with regard to, seat assignments, schedule changes, flight delays, name changes, flight changes, cancellation claims for a refund or reimbursement of airline ticket fees, loss or damage to baggage or death or injury to person or property, or any other loss or expense incurred by you for any reason whatsoever (including, without limitation to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization of a carrier or similar result from creditors) when purchasing or using the carriers services. You are subject to and limited by the terms of applicable tariffs imposed by the carrier or any applicable governmental agency, from time to time, in connection with your air travel. In the event that a flight is oversold and insufficient passengers volunteer to travel on another flight, air carriers reserve the right to rebook customers on another flight involuntarily. The airline will attempt to rebook passengers on the first available flight to the ticketed destination. If flights on that airline are unavailable, the airline will strive to provide comparable accommodations on another airline with which it has a ticketing agreement. Gateway is not liable or responsible for any such cancellations or the airline’s failure to find an alternative flight.

Seat assignments cannot be requested through Gateway and will be assigned randomly by the airline. We cannot submit requests to the airlines as our requests are never guaranteed and rarely honored. You can request to have your seat changed through the airline at airport check-in and they will assist you, if possible.

14. Air Deviations: A limited number of air deviations may or may not be allowed, depending on specific air contracts. Gateway charges a non-refundable deviation handling fee in addition to possible airline handling fees and airfare supplements.

15. Luggage: This proposal includes the cost of transporting one personal suitcase and one carry-on item per person via motorcoach. Regarding airline transportation, the cost of checked luggage and instruments are not included in your proposal unless you request an estimated total amount to be included in your package. Each airline also places restrictions on the linear inches and weight of checked and carry-on items. Group members are responsible to pay applicable oversized or overweight fees to the airline upon check-in as these are not included in your proposal. Group members are responsible for any lost personal property. Gateway and/or its staff are not responsible for locating or forwarding lost items.

16. Itinerary Changes: Participation in the program constitutes approval of the itinerary and program costs. Gateway shall have the right to alter, amend, or cancel programs and to make any adjustments to the program cost prior to departure in order to meet unanticipated contingencies, as Gateway shall determine in its sole discretion. Such changes shall not be grounds for cancellation without penalty. Should conditions beyond the control of Gateway require that changes be made to the itinerary, Gateway will endeavor to provide, but shall not guarantee, alternate activities of an equal or higher value. Once the tour begins any changes in itinerary must be approved by a Director of Gateway. If any additional services are requested, Gateway must handle booking and must receive payment for said services within two weeks of the group’s return date.

17. Gateway Tour Manager: Your Gateway Tour Manager will be responsible for the overall operation of the tour, ensuring that you receive all services listed on your Inclusions to Date document. Tour Managers are not responsible for behavioral issues, chaperone duties, individual health issues, or anything else that distracts them from the entire group. Your Gateway Tour Manager may or may not be a licensed guide in your tour destination.

18. Behavioral Standards: Gateway shall have the right to enforce whatever rules and standards it deems reasonable with respect to the behavior of the participants traveling with Gateway. Such rules may include, without limitation, attendance at scheduled activities, curfew, dress standards, vulgar language, smoking, illegal drugs, and underage alcohol consumption. If a participant fails to comply with any such rules, Gateway shall have the right to send the participant home by the first available transportation at the expense of the participant or his/her responsible party. The organization/participant recognizes that Gateway is not responsible for the conduct of any participant on the tour and the organization/participant hereby agrees to indemnify and hold Gateway harmless from and against any and all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees, arising out of or in any way related to, the actions or omission of any participant on the tour with Gateway.

19. Special Needs: Gateway must be notified of any children traveling under 2 years of age and any physically handicapped passengers as soon as they are recorded as a passenger on your manifests so that we may attempt to make the appropriate arrangements.

20. Dietary Needs: If you have any passengers with dietary restrictions or allergies Gateway must be notified immediately. Gateway will notify the vendors of these needs but can not guarantee that all needs can be met by the vendors. Ultimately, it is the passenger’s responsibility to always check to make sure that their restrictions are known at each restaurant and that they are eating something that follows their dietary needs. If the vendor is not able to provide an alternative, it is the passenger’s responsibility to find and pay for a replacement.

21. Festival Participation: If your proposal includes participation in a music festival, we will advise the status of that festival 45-90 days prior to departure. Should there be an insufficient number of groups to operate a festival, Gateway reserves the right to convert your package to a performance tour.

22. Photography: The organization and each participant, hereby consents to Gateway taking, processing, publishing or otherwise using photographs of the advisor or the participants, either alone or with others, in any way deemed desirable by Gateway, in its sole discretion, and the undersigned organization and each participant hereby waives all rights in and to any such photographs and agrees not to bring any action or cause of action in connection with any such photographs, or Gateway’s use of the same.

23. Events beyond Gateway’s Control: Gateway shall not be responsible for, and Gateway and its officers, directors, employees and agents are hereby released from all claims arising out of, events beyond its control, including, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, or governmental restrictions, or for acts of omissions of persons or companies not controlled by Gateway, including, without limitations, air carriers, bus companies, railways, and hotels.

24. Health and Safety Measures: Gateway shall have the right, but not the duty, to take whatever actions it deems necessary in regard to the health and safety of any or all participants including, without limitation, obtaining medical treatment on their behalf and transporting them home for medical or other emergency reasons, at the expense of the participant or their responsible party. For student groups: a minor may not be left unattended at any time, and the school or organization is responsible to assign someone to be present at all times. In any case, the Gateway Tour Manager must remain with the group at all times.

25. Release and Indemnification: The organization and each participant of a Gateway tour hereby agrees to release and fully discharge, and indemnify and hold harmless, Gateway, and its officers, directors, employees and agents, from and against any and all claims, actions, causes of action, demands, liabilities, damages, costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, attorneys’ fees, arising out of or in any way related to events occurring on the tour, except for such claims and actions resulting from the gross negligence or intentional misconduct of Gateway, or its employees.

26. Governing Law. This agreement/document shall be deemed executed in the State of Minnesota and construed according to the laws of the State of Minnesota.