More than 500 passengers aboard one of the most luxurious cruise ships in the world will enjoy a few days in New Orleans, as ms Europa 2 makes a maiden voyage to Port of New Orleans Julia Street Cruise Terminal today. 

The 516-passenger cruise ship, owned and operated by German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, garnered top honors recently in the “Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017” guide. The Europa 2 is one of 10 cruise ships scheduled to make a port call in New Orleans prior to the end of 2016.

A port call is a visit from a ship that doesn’t homeport in a city, but calls on a port as part of its cruise itinerary. Port officials will host an onboard ceremonial plaque exchange with the captain of Europa 2.

The cruise ship, launched in May of 2013, features 251 cabins, two owner suites and seven family apartments with the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the industry.

The ship will depart New Orleans Oct. 12 and travel to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean before heading to the South Pacific to spend the winter months in Australia and New Zealand.

Europa 2

In 2015, the Port’s cruise terminals handled 1,023,700 cruise passengers, ranking New Orleans the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income. 2016 passenger totals are on pace to break the 2015 mark with the addition of newer and larger homeported cruise ships.

Cruise Critic, a leading cruise reviews and information web site, named the Port of New Orleans the “Best North American Homeport” and Porthole Cruise Magazine named New Orleans its “Friendliest Homeport.”