Signaling New Orleans' continuing recovery, Norwegian Cruise Line (www.ncl.com) and Carnival Cruise Lines (www.bookccl.com) enthusiastically cruised back into the Big Easy last month, with Royal Caribbean International (www.cruisingpower.com) planning to sail back in December. With regular cruise service, tourism revenue is again flowing into the city, and agents have new options for selling Gulf of Mexico cruises.
The first to return was Norwegian Cruise Line in mid-October
with its 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun. That ship operates roundtrip
western Caribbean voyages with calls at Cozumel and Costa Maya (
"New Orleans was a very, very strong port pre-Katrina, and I don't see any reason why it can't come back as strongly," Andy Stuart, CLIA's chairman and NCL's executive vice president of marketing, sales and passenger services, told Travel Agent. "Overall, we're very pleased at the response thus far. We've been keen to get back as quickly as we could."
Pre-Katrina cruises from
One plus for cruise clients is the port's new $37 million,
90,000-square foot Erato Street Cruise Terminal with 1,000 new parking spaces.
While the public may question the rebuilding of tourism infrastructure when
serious devastation still plagues many residential areas, tourism is a superb
economic engine. It can inject millions of badly needed dollars into the
region, money the city, state and local businesses desperately need in order to
Many travelers drive five or six hours to
Carnival Cruise Lines' 2,056-passenger Fantasy began
year-round four- and five-day cruises from
Starting December 2, Royal Caribbean's 1,950-passenger Grandeur
of the Seas will start sailing from
On September 2, 2007, Carnival will become the only cruise
line to operate two ships year-round from
In November 2007, NCL will replace the Norwegian Sun
with the 1,966-passenger Norwegian Spirit, offering seven-day western
New on the Menu
In other cruise news, Travel Agent has learned that agents can expect celebrity chef Charlie Palmer to introduce 40-50 new dishes to Seabourn Cruise Line's menus in 2007. And exclusive to Travel Agent, we've learned from Holland America Line about new Pinnacle Grill menu options. The first is a savory butternut squash soup with caramelized apple and fried sage, grilled diver scallops and frozen soufflé glacé Grand Marnier. The second features smoked salmon tartare, rack of veal with roasted vegetables and chocolate wafer tart with anise crust. The Pinnacle Grill surcharge was raised to $30 per person, but, for many clients, the cuisine and its presentation are worth the price.