Carnival Cruise Line expects to carry a record 400,000 passengers from New Orleans, also known as the Crescent City, this year.
Additionally, the cruise line estimates that next year it will welcome its three millionth passenger at the Port of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
Carnival pioneered year-round cruising from New Orleans in 1994 and over the past two-plus decades has become the port’s largest cruise operator with two ships offering more than 125 four- to seven-day departures on an annual basis.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the cruise line resumed service in New Orleans in October 2006 – just 14 months after the storm – with one year-round ship, Carnival Fantasy, carrying less than 16,000 passengers that year. The company gradually increased its capacity from the Big Easy deploying newer and larger ships and next year expects to carry a record 450,000 passengers from New Orleans.
Currently, Carnival’s two New Orleans-based ships include the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, offering seven-day Caribbean cruises, and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sailing four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. Carnival will increase capacity on short cruises from New Orleans by 34 percent when the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation next spring.
“Carnival has a long and deep history with the city of New Orleans,” said Carlos Torres de Navarra, Carnival’s vice president of commercial port operations. “We not only enjoy a very successful New Orleans-based cruise program but strive to be valuable community partners providing strong economic impact and supporting a variety of philanthropic initiatives.”
” Cruising has grown 180 percent since 2001, the year the port began in earnest marketing itself as a premier cruise destination and we could not have realized such growth without Carnival’s investment in New Orleans,” commented Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange.