NEW ORLEANS – Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled more than one million cruise passengers in 2014 for the first time in its history. For the 12 months, embarkations and disembarkations totaled 1,014,325, an increase of more than 2.6% over 2013, a fourth straight record year for the port.
“This is a great milestone for the Port of New Orleans,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “The total represents a 180% increase in cruise passengers since 2001 – the year the Port began in earnest marketing itself as a premier cruise destination.”
Cruise Lines International Association ranked the port the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income.
“We market cruising from the Port as two vacations in one,” LaGrange said. “New Orleans is a world-class destination city. Cruise passenger on average stay two nights either before or after their cruise – it’s like an additional port of call.”
Port of New Orleans studies determined more than 80% of cruise passengers are from out of state and 60% spend an average of two nights in New Orleans. In addition, those passengers and shipboard crew spend about $75 million in New Orleans. Port cruise terminals currently host four home-ported cruise ships. Carnival Cruise Lines offers a wide variety of itineraries with the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sailing year-round four- and five-day itineraries from New Orleans and the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream sailing year-round sevenday itineraries to both eastern and western Caribbean destinations. In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn sails seasonal seven-day cruises from November through April and Royal Caribbean’s 2,476-passenger Serenade of the Seas sails weekly through April.