Going Big in the Big Easy
When Norwegian Breakaway arrives in 2018 it will be the largest cruise vessel ever to sail out of New Orleans
Norwegian Breakaway offers a wide variety of accomodations, dining and entertainment. Photo: Courtesy Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line announced it will deploy the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to the Port of New Orleans in November 2018. The 1,068-foot vessel will be the largest cruise ship in both length and passenger occupancy to ever sail from Port NOLA. Its arrival will nearly double Norwegian’s guest occupancy from New Orleans.
“The Port of New Orleans values our close partnership with Norwegian Cruise Line and appreciates the addition of Norwegian Breakaway to the 2018 cruise schedule. The passengers who begin and end their Norwegian Breakaway cruise from our historical city will experience Port NOLA’s commitment to high-level service and the Crescent City’s vibrant energy,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “Our cruise business contributes significantly to the hospitality industry’s regional economic impact and we are pleased to welcome the largest ship we have ever accommodated.”
Set to arrive Nov. 11, 2018, Norwegian Breakaway will accommodate nearly twice as many guests as the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Pearl, which will homeport at Port NOLA November 2017 through April 2018. Norwegian Breakaway will replace Norwegian Pearl.
Norwegian Breakaway will sail seven-, 10- and 11-day seasonal cruises to the Caribbean, visiting ports of call including Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras; and Norwegian’s beautiful island destination, Harvest Caye, Belize.
“Norwegian Breakaway will be the largest and newest ship from Norwegian to sail from New Orleans, and we are thrilled to bring our signature Breakaway-class ship to this important homeport,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We want to provide more opportunities for our guests across the country to explore beautiful destinations and enjoy all the spectacular features of our newest ships, along with the freedom and flexibility that only a Norwegian cruise can offer.”
In 2016, Port NOLA’s cruise terminals handled a record 1,070,685 passenger movements, breaking the one million passenger mark for the third consecutive year. Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) ranks Port NOLA as the sixth-largest cruise port in the U.S. with two state-of-the-art cruise terminals located in the heart of the city near the historic French Quarter, family attractions, shopping, dining and hotels. Norwegian Breakaway will homeport in New Orleans as the city celebrates its tricentennial.
“We are so excited to welcome Norwegian Breakaway next year as we celebrate our 300th birthday,” commented Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the city’s leisure travel promotion agency. “The introduction of this magnificent cruise ship to New Orleans will give discerning cruise enthusiasts another wonderful opportunity to experience a vacation on the seas as well as in New Orleans. We are especially appreciative of Norwegian Cruise Line’s investment in the Port of New Orleans and our city, and look forward to helping provide the passengers with memorable and exciting stories that will last a lifetime.”
Norwegian Breakaway will delight cruisers of all ages, featuring a wide variety of accommodations, from Studios for the solo cruiser to the exclusive, all-suite luxurious enclave, The Haven by Norwegian®; more than 25 different dining options; an exhilarating aqua park with five slides and a thrilling ropes course with zip lines and The Plank; signature Broadway entertainment including Rock of Ages and more.
The ship will undergo a two-week dry dock in Spring 2018, and will receive a full refresh in public spaces, including new flooring, updated furniture, new décor and new carpeting in staterooms.
Norwegian Breakaway is one of many ships to homeport in New Orleans. In 2016, Carnival Cruise Line expanded capacity on its year-round, four- and five- day itineraries by 34 percent when the 2,754-passenger Carnival Triumph replaced the Carnival Elation. The 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream sails year-round, seven-day itineraries to both eastern and western Caribbean destinations.
Royal Caribbean International will return to the Port of New Orleans in late 2018 with a seasonal Port NOLA-based cruise ship, the 2,514-passenger Vision of the Seas, offering seven-night itineraries to the Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula.
BY Donnell Jackson