One of the most premium and the longest cruise ship ever to dock in New Orleans will sail into Port’s Julia Street Cruise Terminal on Sunday, February 26, just in time for the Mardi Gras festivities' finale.
Celebrity Equinox, a 1,041 ft cruise ship christened in 2009, will make her first visit to Port of New Orleans, remaining in Port through February 28 – Mardi Gras Day. The ship’s length is equal to 3.47 football fields.
Celebrity Equinox holds 2,850 passengers and is the longest cruise ship to berth in New Orleans to date.
New Orleans Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest are part of Celebrity Cruises “Signature Event Sailings” that include key global events such as The French Open in Paris, New Year’s Eve in Dubai, Carnival in Brazil, and the Pingxi Lantern Festival in Taipei among others. Each signature sailing offers a cruise plus optional unique shore excursions that highlight the world event by putting guests in the middle of the action. On board, guests are entertained, educated and engaged with unique shows, speakers and activities inspired by the itinerary’s event.
Founded in 1989, Celebrity merged with Royal Caribbean International in 1997 and currently has a fleet of 11 cruise ships in the fleet.
The Port’s cruise industry continues to grow – up 4.5% overall in 2016 – continuing its record pace for the sixth consecutive year. The Port welcomed 1,070,695 cruise passengers in 2016, the third year in a row to top 1 million cruise passengers.
New Orleans tourism officials predict a brighter future for international travelers, as Louis Armstrong International Airport launches two new direct international flights in 2017 to Germany and Great Britain.
Currently, the Port of New Orleans ranks as the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States, with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling USD 406 million, supporting 8102 jobs and providing USD 324 million in personal income, according to research conducted by Cruise Lines International Association. Port studies found 80 percent of cruise passengers are from out of the State of Louisiana and 60 percent spend an average of two nights in New Orleans either before or after their cruise.