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Cruiser’s Guide to Port New Orleans

Not all ports are created equal. Avid cruisers know that choosing the right embarkation port can make all the difference for your cruise vacation and that’s why more and more are choosing to cruise from the Big Easy. New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the country with outstanding culture, cuisine and sightseeing and its location on the Gulf of Mexico means you’re close to the perfect Caribbean cruise getaway. Not only is Port NOLA surrounded by the fun and excitement of New Orleans, but it’s also one of the most convenient ports with lots of parking and the Historic French Quarter just a short ride away. 

What are you waiting for? Check out a cruise from Port NOLA today and discover why cruising from New Orleans is like two vacations in one! 

Port New Orleans

A view of Port NOLA | Port of New Orleans / Facebook

Driving to Port NOLA

As the 6th largest cruise port in the United States, Port NOLA offers unparalleled access to the sights, sounds and tastes of The Big Easy. New Orleans is one of the most popular vacation destinations not just during Mardi Gras, but all year round thanks to music festivals, fabulous restaurants in the French Quarter and plenty of history to explore. 

Those driving to Port NOLA are in luck; parking is not a problem. The port offers ample parking for cruisers at both the Erato Street and Julia Street cruise terminals. Parking is located right at the terminal, offering a major convenience. However, that comes at a cost. Cruise parking at the port is $20 to $22 per day, depending on when you sail and the terminal you use. For those at the Erato St. Cruise Terminal (Carnival), rates are:$90 for four days, $110 for five days and $140 for seven days. These are year-round rates. Rates at the Julia St. Cruise Terminal Rates (NCL & Royal Caribbean) are $20 per day year-round.

Port New Orleans

Port NOLA Parking Map | Image: NewOrleans.com

Flying to Port NOLA

Those flying into New Orleans for a cruise vacation are also in luck. Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is just a half hour drive from the banks of the Mississippi River and Port NOLA. It’s always smart to book your flight to arrive a day or two before you cruise or to stay a day or two after so you have enough time to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and tastes of this one of a kind American city. Nothing beats the sound of jazz music while munching on a beignet and sipping coffee in the sunshine!

Port of New Orleans

Stopping by a French Quarter bakery is a must for any cruiser

Several major cruise lines embark from Port NOLA for both river and ocean cruises including: 

  • Carnival Cruise Line
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Royal Caribbean International
  • American Cruise Lines
  • American Steamboat Company

Before or After You Cruise

With the famous French Quarter located less than two miles from Port NOLA, it’s a must see for anyone flying into town for a cruise. The French Market alone is worth hours of your time perusing small boutiques and well-known fashion stores along with art galleries, jewelry stores and all manner of edible gifts. Just two blocks from Bourbon St., historic Jackson Square offers a park setting with incredible architecture. Nearby Washington Artillery Park and Woldenberg Park are situated along the waterfront, and are great places to watch the ships cruising up and down the Mississippi River.

Port of New Orleans

A view of St. Louis Cathedral from Jackson Square

If you work up an appetite exploring the city, there’s no shortage of authentic Creole, Cajun and French-inspired eateries to enjoy. Chow down on everything from gumbo to jambalaya and of course everyone’s favorite, po’boys and crawfish. A word of advice for those visiting New Orleans for the first time, you never want to say no to dessert! You can’t go wrong with bread pudding or a praline after a traditional New Orleans meal. 

Port of New Orleans

No trip to New Orleans is complete without a crawfish boil

More than one million people per year cruise from Port of New Orleans because it’s like getting two vacations in one! Explore one of the most unique cities in the country where there’s something to do no matter what time of year. Port of New Orleans makes it easy to park, fly or take a shuttle to your ship and that’s a lifesaver for cruisers looking for a hassle-free trip. 

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