Cruise Passenger Numbers Rebound at Port of New Orleans

February 5, 2024

(Photo: Port NOLA)
(Photo: Port NOLA)

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) reports its cruise passenger numbers are back to pre-pandemic levels. The port said Monday that it finished calendar year 2023 with nearly 1.2 million cruise passenger movements and renewed commitments to the New Orleans cruise market from both oceangoing and river cruise lines.

“The cruise business has rebounded in New Orleans and cruise line partners are confident in our Port NOLA cruise market,” said Port NOLA president and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “This is really encouraging as our cruise business drives tourism and contributes significantly to the hospitality industry. We want to thank all our cruise line and hospitality partners as we work together to make cruising out of New Orleans two vacations in one.”

“New Orleans is one of the most popular pre-and post-cruise destinations in the country, which is a tribute to our excellent partners at the Port of New Orleans as well as the work of our team at New Orleans & Company,” said Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “Travel drives our economy, but visitors don’t just show up. In a highly competitive marketplace, travelers have choices, and we have to earn their business through aggressive sales and promotion. We are pleased to work closely with the port, the cruise lines and travel advisors to ensure that extremely loyal cruise passengers are selecting to sail from New Orleans instead of competitor cities.”

Carnival Cruise Line homeports two year-round vessels from Port NOLA. Norwegian Cruise Line will also renew for five more years with additional sailings and a new ship, Norwegian Getaway, to replace the Norwegian Breakaway starting in October 2024. Disney Cruise Line also returned to the Big Easy with the Disney Magic in January, while Royal Caribbean returns with a new vessel, the Brilliance of the Seas in November 2024.

Port NOLA said it is also seeing record growth in river cruises, with nine homeported vessels including America’s first Viking Cruise that began sailing in 2022.

Port NOLA set a passenger record in March 2023 for oceangoing and river cruises, topping pre-pandemic levels with 155,225 passenger movements and 39 cruise vessel calls at the port.

The port’s previous monthly high was set in February 2020 with 154,409 passenger movements and 31 vessel calls just prior to the entire cruise industry coming to a complete halt in March of that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Logistics News

Herculaneum Port Site Cleared for Redevelopment as Intermodal Hub

Herculaneum Port Site Cleared for Redevelopment as Intermodal Hub

Spain's Ports See Goods Traffic Rise as Red Sea Crisis Continues

Spain's Ports See Goods Traffic Rise as Red Sea Crisis Continues

UK Chamber of Shipping names Hatcher Chief Executive

UK Chamber of Shipping names Hatcher Chief Executive

Ukrainian Grain Destroyed in Poland

Ukrainian Grain Destroyed in Poland

Subscribe for Maritime Logistics Professional E‑News