Port NOLA Tops 1.1M Cruise Passengers in 2017, Sets New Record

Mississippi River

Newer and Larger Ships Homeporting in New Orleans Later This Year

NEW ORLEANS—January 30, 2018The Port of New Orleans set a new record with 1,150,172 passenger movements at its Erato Street and Julia Street Cruise Terminals in 2017, marking the fourth consecutive year of more than one million cruise passenger movements and reinforcing its importance as a key driver of the hospitality industry’s economic impact in the region.

“These year-end results validate the continued appeal of cruising from the Crescent City and reflect our commitment to excellence,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “We expect additional growth in 2018 and will continue to provide high-level service that complements New Orleans’ natural hospitality and vibrant energy. We hold ourselves to high standards and work to exceed expectations.”

With two state-of-the-art cruise terminals located close to the historic French Quarter and other local attractions, a majority of passengers choose to stay in New Orleans for a night or two before or after their trips, making a cruise from New Orleans “two vacations in one.”

As demand for cruises from Port NOLA continues to grow, our cruise line partners are responding by deploying newer ships with more capacity to homeport in New Orleans.

Royal Caribbean International returns to New Orleans and will homeport the Vision of the Seas, a 2,500-passenger ship that will sail seasonal seven-night itineraries in December 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line will replace the Norwegian Pearl by deploying the largest cruise vessel to ever sail out of New Orleans with the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway in November 2018.

Carnival Cruise Line will increase its capacity on its short cruise program in 2019 by replacing the Carnival Triumph with the Carnival Valor, a 3,000-passenger ship. Carnival will also replace the Carnival Dream with the Carnival Glory that same year. Norwegian Cruise Line will also offer guests a new cruise experience in 2019 when the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway repositions in New Orleans replacing the Norwegian Breakaway.

In September 2018, American Cruise Lines will increase its New Orleans-homeported inland river cruise vessels with the launch of the 190-passenger American Song, the first in a new modern riverboat series.

“Homeporting newer and larger cruise ships in 2018 adds to our city’s excitement as we celebrate our 300th birthday,” said Christian. “This is great news for tourists, residents and the region’s hospitality industry.”

Port NOLA ranks as the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States, with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $432 million, supporting 8,321 jobs and providing $347 million in personal income with an average salary of $42,000 per year, according to research conducted by Cruise Lines International Association. Additionally, 80 percent of cruise guests travel from out-of-state and 60 percent spend an average of two days in New Orleans either before or after their cruise. These passengers generate over 112,000 room nights in New Orleans-area hotels which generate over $15,000,000 in hotel revenue annually.

The Erato Street Cruise Terminal and Parking Garage features more than 1,000 covered and secured parking spaces located on top of the terminal with Seacap luggage assistance. The Julia Street Cruise Terminal Complex features a climate-controlled and ADA-compliant passenger gangway, as well as designated port parking with Seacap luggage assistance.

Cruise passengers embarking from New Orleans can visit the best beaches in the world from the Bahamas to Belize on a wide variety of itineraries as Port NOLA currently offers three ocean cruises: Carnival Dream, a 3,600-passenger ship sailing year-round, 7-night itineraries; Carnival Triumph, a 2,700-passenger ship, sailing year-round 4- and 5-night itineraries; and Norwegian Pearl, a 2,400-passenger ship sailing seasonal 7-, 10- & 11-night itineraries.

The American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines both homeport two paddle wheelers at Port NOLA and offer inland river cruises. The American Queen Steamboat Company launched a new service in Aug. 2017 on its American Duchess, a 166-passenger, all- suit paddle wheeler that offers 9-night cruises. The American Queen Steamboat Company also operates the American Queen, a 436-passenger vessel that’s the largest riverboat in the world and offers 5- and 9-night cruises. American Cruise Lines offers 7-night cruises on the 150- passenger Queen of the Mississippi and the 185-passenger America.

To learn more about cruising from the Port of New Orleans, visit

The Port of New Orleans is the sixth-largest cruise port in the U.S. with two state-of-the-art cruise terminals in the heart of the city near the historic French Quarter. Port NOLA handled more than one million cruise passenger movements in 2017, breaking the one million passenger milestone for the fourth consecutive year. A tourist destination in itself, cruising from the unique city of New Orleans is like taking two vacations in one. Port NOLA 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 I railroads and the interstate highway system, Port NOLA is the ideal gateway for containers and breakbulk cargo, as well as passenger cruises.