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A record number of people boarded cruise ships in the Port of New Orleans last year – a whopping 1.15 million. The 2017 record marks the fourth year in a row that cruise terminal traffic at the city’s port reached or surpassed 1 million travelers.
The port’s cruise facilities include the Erato Street and Julia Street cruise terminals on the riverfront. Several major cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival will be relocating ships to New Orleans in 2018 and 2019.
After a three-year hiatus from the city, Royal Caribbean is returning this December with Vision of the Seas. The vessel will sail week-long cruises to the Bahamas and Mexico. The city will also receive their largest cruise ship ever when Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway heads to town this coming November. Breakaway will operate 7, 10, and 11-day cruises to the Caribbean. Lastly, Carnival Cruise Line will swap out its local ships in 2019, bringing in Carnival Valor to replace Carnival Triumph, and Carnival Glory to replace Carnival Dream. Valor will bring in more passengers than before, though Glory is smaller than Dream.
In addition, American Cruise Lines – a riverboat line – will launch cruises from New Orleans aboard the 190-passenger American Song.
Roughly 80 percent of guests sailing from the port aren’t from Louisiana, and over half of cruise travelers spend an average of two days in New Orleans either before or after their cruise. New Orleans ranks as the United States’ sixth busiest cruise port, behind Miami, Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Galveston, and New York City.