Port NOLA Estimates 285 Cruise Ship Calls in 2022
NEW ORLEANS – Over the last three months, the Norwegian Breakaway, the Carnival Glory and the Carnival Valor have all resumed ocean-going cruises from the Port of New Orleans. They are the first to do so since March 2020, when cruises nationwide were shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. River cruises resumed in March 2021. Looking ahead, Port NOLA is forecasting 285 sailings during the 2022 calendar year and expecting nearly one million passenger movements. All cruise lines operating from the port currently have COVID-19 protocols in place.
“We are pleased ocean-going cruises are resuming and joining the successful restart of river cruises nine months ago,” said Brandy D. Christian, president and CEO Port NOLA in a press release. “Cruises from the Port of New Orleans are critical to the state and regional economy. Our cruise passengers make up more than 300,000 hotel room nights alone in our city and they spend more than $125 million locally.”
The port said New Orleans is the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States, and demand for cruising from the Big Easy continues to grow for both Caribbean and Mississippi River itineraries. At Port NOLA, 90% of cruise guests travel from out-of-state, with 73% spending a day or two days in New Orleans either before or after their cruise.
Port NOLA offers sailings to a variety of Caribbean destinations weekly on the 2,980-passenger Carnival Glory and four or five-night sailings on the similarly sized Carnival Valor. The 3,963-passenger Norwegian Breakaway is sailing seven-day seasonal cruises to the Caribbean from November to April. In February and March, the Disney Wonder will offer sailings of various lengths.
Viking Cruise Lines will begin offering river cruises from New Orleans in 2022.
Port NOLA had been on trend to hit 1.4 million passenger movements in 2020 before the pandemic changed the equation. In 2019, Port NOLA recorded 1.2 million cruise passenger movements.