Port Tops 1M Passenger Mark Second Straight Year
NEW ORLEANS – Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled more than 1 million passengers in 2015, totaling 1,023,700, up 1 percent compared to 2014. The total marks the fifth consecutive record year and with new and larger ships on tap for 2016, Port officials expect another robust cruise season.
“Year-end numbers illustrate how popular the Port and the City of New Orleans are with cruise passengers throughout the nation,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “The fact our cruise partners are investing in new and larger ships here bodes well for the industry for years to come.”
Miami, FL-based Carnival Cruise Line is increasing capacity on its year-round four- and five-day itineraries by 34 percent in April when the Carnival Triumph replaces the Carnival Elation in New Orleans. Also, Guilford, CT-based American Cruise Line will add a third riverboat named America to its home-ported fleet in New Orleans. The 185-passenger riverboat was launched in August and will begin sailing Mississippi River itineraries this spring.
“Our cruise partners, which include Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, American Cruise Line and American Queen Steamboat Company, are committed to New Orleans and represent one of the most diversified home ports in the world,” LaGrange said. “Cruise passengers embarking from New Orleans can explore the length of the Mississippi River or visit the best beaches in the world from the Bahamas to Belize on a wide variety of itineraries.”
The Port of New Orleans ranks the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States, with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406 million, supporting 8,120 jobs and providing $324 million in personal income, according to research conducted by Cruise Lines International Association. Port studies determined 80 percent of cruise passengers are from out of state and 60 percent spend an average of two nights in New Orleans either before or after their cruise.
The Port’s Erato Street Cruise Terminal and Parking Garage currently hosts the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, which sails year-round seven-day eastern and western Caribbean itineraries and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sailing year-round four- and five-day itineraries to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico. The Port’s Julia Street Cruise Terminal hosts Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn, which sails seven-day western Caribbean cruises seasonally from November to May and a host of unique cruise ship calls from cruise lines, such as Holland America Line, P&O Cruises, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, AIDA Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises. In addition, American Cruise Line currently sails the Queen of the Mississippi and American Eagle sternwheelers from New Orleans and American Queen Steamboat Co. sails the sternwheeler American Queen from New Orleans.
The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, the Port is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising.
An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo. To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.