|Photo by Freeimages.com/Christian Sommer|
Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it expects to carry a record 400,000 passengers from New Orleans this year. Additionally, the cruise line said it estimates that next year it will welcome its three millionth passenger at the Port of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
Carnival began year-round cruising from New Orleans in 1994 and over the past two-plus decades has become the port’s largest cruise operator, with two ships offering more than 125 four- to seven-day departures on an annual basis.
Following Hurricane Katrina, the cruise line resumed service in New Orleans in October 2006, 14 months after the storm, with one year-round ship, Carnival Fantasy, carrying less than 16,000 passengers that year. The company gradually increased its capacity, deploying newer and larger ships, and next year expects to carry a record 450,000 passengers from New Orleans.
Currently, Carnival’s two New Orleans-based ships include the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream, offering seven-day Caribbean cruises, and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sailing four- and five-day cruises to Mexico. Carnival will increase capacity on short cruises from New Orleans by 34 percent when the 2,758-passenger Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation next spring.