Port Of New Orleans, Norwegian Cruise Line Sign New Multi-Year Berthing Agreement
NEW ORLEANS – Officials with Norwegian Cruise Line and the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans signed a new four-year berthing agreement Tuesday with three one-year options. The agreement will keep at least one Norwegian cruise ship sailing seasonally from New Orleans through 2018 with the ability to extend the agreement through 2021.
“Our partners at Norwegian Cruise Line are a pleasure to work with and we are elated to sign a long-term agreement to retain the Norwegian brand in the Crescent City,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “Norwegian has sailed from New Orleans since 2003 and we look forward to working closely with their team to ensure their success for many years to come.”
“We are pleased to continue our great relationship with the Port of New Orleans and look forward to cruising to the Caribbean from the exciting city of New Orleans for the next several years,” said Drew Madsen, Norwegian Cruise Line’s president and chief operating officer. “Our guests love sailing from the Crescent City and we’re thrilled to have the beautiful Norwegian Dawn beginning her inaugural season here.”
The agreement follows the Norwegian Dawn’s maiden voyage to New Orleans on Nov. 21. The 2,340-passenger ship sails seven-day itineraries to Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Roatan Bay Islands, Honduras; and Costa Maya, Mexico. The Norwegian Dawn was built with freedom in mind, offering a choice of 14 dining options, 12 fun bars and lounges, a fitness center and spa, casino, pools and more, offering a range of suites to accommodate every size family and budget. The ship began sailing seven-day western Caribbean itineraries Nov. 23 from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.
“We are thrilled with the news of the extension of Norwegian Cruise Line’s important role in New Orleans,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “With the vast majority of cruise visitors spending an average of two additional nights in New Orleans and spending additional dollars with our restaurants, hotels, attractions and retailers, the importance of this partnership cannot be overstated. Norwegian Cruise Line is a gold standard for our industry. We are also deeply appreciative of the efforts by the Port of New Orleans to grow this important segment of our economy.”
Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau added, “We are so happy to have a continued relationship with Norwegian Cruise Line for years to come. New Orleans is both a premier port and leisure destination. Sailing out of New Orleans offers the cruise visitor an opportunity to experience the romance and culture of New Orleans paired with an exciting cruise itinerary, two vacations in one.”
Port cruise terminals handled 987,860 embarkations and disembarkations in 2013, which resulted in $399 million in cruise industry spending in Louisiana, supporting 7,548 jobs and $294 million in personal income, according to an economic impact study by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). More than 80 percent of those cruise passengers are from outside of Louisiana and spend an average of two nights in New Orleans hotels either before or after their cruise. Passengers and shipboard crew spend about $78 million per year in New Orleans with lodging ($27.5 million) and food and beverage ($8.3 million) encompassing about half of the overall spending.
CLIA ranks New Orleans as the sixth largest cruise port in the United States.