Carnival Cruise Lines (www.goccl.com) said late Thursday that Carnival Elation’s scheduled four-day cruise from the Port of New Orleans, originally scheduled to depart yesterday, will operate later tonight as a modified three-day voyage departing from New Orleans.
It was previously announced the 2,052-passenger ship would shift to the Port of Mobile, AL, for that disembarkation/embarkation this week. Now that back-up plan has been scapped, however, as Carnival and port officials said the Port of New Orleans will re-open sometime today.
The U.S. Coast Guard is expected to reopen the Mississippi River this morning with only a few restrictions, and the Carnival Elation is expected to arrive this afternoon.
So embarkation for the modified three-day Carnival Elation cruise will take place today between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal in New Orleans.
"This is great news that traffic and commerce is back on the Mississippi River," said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. "Kudos goes to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pilot organizations and the U.S. Coast Guard for working closely with all port stakeholders to expedite surveys and assessments on the river following Hurricane Isaac."
The port said its staff inspected port terminals and facilities and reported no flooding and very minimal wind damage. Some minimal wind and water damage was reported at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal, but no damage was visible at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal, which is used for Carnival's departures.
Also, the port said all passenger vehicles within the cruise parking garage appeared unscathed, which will be a relief to debarking passengers who have been sailing this past week on Carnival Elation and wondering about the impact on their vehicles in the port's garage.
"We were very fortunate during this entire storm event," LaGrange said. "Again we appreciate the overwhelming support from our customers and colleagues around the nation and the world and our staff is working tirelessly to ensure operations are back to normal as soon as possible.
Guests who opt to sail on the modified three-day Carnival Elation voyage that departs today will receive a 50 percent refund of their cruise fare and a 25 percent discount on a future three- to five-day Carnival cruise.