Carnival Expects Record Year From New Orleans
PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line's Dream and Elation are based in New Orleans. (Courtesy of the Port of New Orleans)
The No. 1 cruise line from New Orleans, Carnival expects to carry a record 400,000 passengers from the city this year, and next year will welcome its 3 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 now operates 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 and next year expects to carry 450,000 passengers from New Orleans.
Currently, the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream offers seven-day Caribbean cruises, and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sails four- and five-day cruises to Mexico.
Short cruise capacity will increase by 34 percent next spring when the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation.
“Carnival Cruise Line is a valuable partner not only to the port, but to the City of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana,” Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary LaGrange said.
Carnival and other cruise operators account for more than 8,000 jobs and in excess of $400 million in direct purchases each year, according to a study commissioned by the Cruise Lines International Association. Additionally, data collected by the Port of New Orleans indicates that cruise guests on average spend two nights pre- or post-cruise.
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