More than a million cruise passengers grabbed their feather masks and loaded up on beignets for a cruise out of New Orleans in 2018, up 2.3% from the previous year. It’s the fifth straight year the Big Easy has topped a million cruise passengers and its estimated the yearly cruisers bring nearly $130 million to the local economy. That’s a lot of beads and Cajun food!
Port NOLA’s Success
Much of the success of the cruise port can be attributed to deals with major cruise lines like Disney, but there was also a 23% increase in Mississippi River cruise passengers in 2018, which was an unexpected surprise. Port of New Orleans is the 6th largest cruise port in the United States by passenger count.
“Port NOLA’s success is due in large part to the hard work of the stevedores, labor, cruise terminal staff and the support of local businesses and tourism partners,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port NOLA President and CEO. “The popularity of New Orleans as a cruise port and our commitment to customer service proves again why Port NOLA is a catalyst for local businesses. With an increase in passengers, we see those increased benefits – from florists and food wholesalers to hotel and restaurant staff. Our homeport status is important for the local economy and helps us fulfill our role as an economic engine for Louisiana.”
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The city saw 235 passenger ships cruise into port in 2018, up from 229 in 2017. Both Carnival Cruise Line and Disney Cruise Line are major tenants at Port NOLA and account for a large number of the total cruise passengers.
Explore Port of New Orleans
According to Brandy Christian, 73% of those who cruise from New Orleans spend a day or two in the city prior to or after the cruise. That’s a great boost for hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses who rely on tourism to stay profitable.
Have you ever cruise from Port of New Orleans? Let us know what you thought of the port or the city in the comments below!