Carnival Marks 30 Years of Cruising from New Orleans

On Monday, Carnival Cruise Line celebrated 30 years of sailing from New Orleans with a special event aboard the Carnival Liberty, its most recent Fun Ship to homeport in the Big Easy.

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Former CCL CEO Arnold Donald, Chef Emeril Lagasse, and Port CEO Brandy D. Christian (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Chief Culinary Officer and chef Emeril Lagasse, whose restaurant is about a mile from the cruise port, spoke with community leaders to acknowledge the milestone as the ship docked at New Orleans.

Chris Chiames, Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer, and former Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, a New Orleans native, thanked the city and port for their longstanding partnership with Carnival Cruise Line since 1994.

New Orleans Has Served Over 6 Million Carnival Cruisers

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Carnival Liberty (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Since introducing the port’s inaugural year-round service in the mid-90s, Carnival has hosted almost seven million guests on its ships.

“It’s an honor to share this great milestone and build on our successful partnership with the city and the port of New Orleans. We sail more than 400,000 guests from Port NOLA annually and for every one of them, our goal is the same: providing a fun and memorable vacation. That’s certainly a shared objective with the City of New Orleans, for all its visitors, which drives our partnership’s continued success,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy. 

In recognition of the 30th anniversary, Carnival donated $30,000 to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support educational and culinary programs for youths in New Orleans.

During the event, Lagasse guided a group of students from the Belle Chasse Academy on a tour of the ship’s main galley to give them a behind-the-scenes look at how the line cooks 1000s of meals daily.

Chef emeril cuts cake on carnival liberty
(Courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The festivities included a special cake-cutting ceremony led by Lagasse and the culinary team of the Carnival Liberty.

Carnival Ships in New Orleans

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Carnival Valor (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

The arrival of the Carnival Liberty shows the line’s confidence in operating two ships year-round in New Orleans. The ships will sail to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

In 2025, select sailings will call to Carnival’s new destination on Grand Bahamas Island, Celebration Cay.

Carnival Liberty, which replaced Carnival Glory, will sail year-round from New Orleans alongside sister ship Carnival Valor. Glory has repositioned to Port Canaveral following a dry dock in Cadiz, Spain.

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