New Orleans is a major USA cruise port located in Louisiana. The Gulf of Mexico is approx 180 km (110 ml) from the port. NOLA port itself is between Lake Pontchartrain and Mississippi River. New Orleans City is Louisiana's largest, with population over 390,000 (metro 1,3 million).
NOLA cruise port attracts many US and international tourists with its architecture, cultural heritage, cuisine and the Mardi Grass festival.
- Cruising industry in New Orleans has a significant impact on the state's economy, accounting for over 8,000 local jobs and over USD 400 million in direct purchases annually. Port's statistics show that cruise passengers spent 2 nights (on average) pre- or post-cruise. According to NOLA, between 2001 and 2015, cruising had grown around 180%.
- In 2017, Celebrity Equinox became one of the biggest luxury cruise ships ever docked in port NOLA. On Feb 26, the ship berthed at Julia Street Cruise Terminal, just in time for the 2017 Mardi Gras carnival's finale. Celebrity Cruises Equinox ship (LOA length 317 m / 1041 ft) also made its first ever call at NOLA port, remaining in port for 2 overnights (through the Mardi Gras Day - Feb 28).
- New Orleans Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest in 2017 were scheduled as “Signature Event Sailings” in the Celebrity Cruises itinerary program. Key global events in that program were also "The French Open" (Roland Garros) in Paris France, "New Year’s Eve in Dubai", "Carnival in Brazil" (Rio de janeiro), "Pingxi Lantern Festival" (Taipei City Taiwan). Each of these signature itineraries offered as optional unique shore excursions and themed onboard events and shows.
- NOLA cruise port's industry continues to grow. For season 2016, the port reported a 4,5% passenger increase over 2015, with a total number of handled cruise passengers 1,070695 million.
- In 2015, Carnival announced a record year with over 400,000 passengers booking cruise out of NOLA. In 2016, Carnival welcomed its 3 millionth cruise passenger at Port New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina (2005). Carnival pioneered year-round departures from NOLA in 1994. The company operates year-round roundtrips with cruise vessels and around over 125 departures annually on 4- to 7-night itineraries.
- CLIA's 2016 statistics showed the NOLA cruise port ranked USA's 6th-largest. Cruise industry expenditures totaled USD 406 million. The port's cruising business supported over 8100 local jobs and provided USD 324 million in personal income. Port studies showed 80% of all cruise ship tourists are from Louisiana, and 60% spend an average of 2 nights in New Orleans (before and after the cruise).
- In 2017, NOLA's Louis Armstrong International Airport launched 2 new direct international flights to Germany and the UK. The new direct flights are operated by the airlines Copa, Condor and British Airways.
- In early May 2017, RCI Royal Caribbean announced that for season 2018-2019 winter, Vision of the Seas will be home-ported in NOLA. Beginning December 15, 2018, the ship will offer 7-night itineraries to Western Caribbean (Yucatan Mexico) and Bahamas.
- For other New Orleans port related news see at the "News" section above (located to the right of the "Schedule" button).
The New Orleans cruise ship schedule includes mainly 4-, 5-, 7-day itineraries to ports in the Eastern or Western Caribbean that depart through all the year. Most visited ports of call on these round-trip itineraries are in Mexico (Cozumel, Progresso, Costa Maya) and Belize.
Highlights: French Quarter, St. Louis Cathedral, Louisiana State Museum
New Orleans cruise terminal
New Orleans cruise port is 5 hours and a half from Houston, direction East. Baton Rouge is two hours away and Jackson, MS – three hours. New Orleans International Airport is 16 miles from the terminal.
The New Orleans cruise terminal facility was built for the World’s Fair. The building was renovated several times since then. Two terminals serve New Orleans cruise port – Julia Street Cruise Terminal and Erato Cruise Terminal. The two berths are 792 m long.
Julia Street Cruise Terminal
The first New Orleans cruise port terminal building is in operation since 1991. There are facilities like baggage area, refreshment stand, check-in desks, elevated loading ramp for passengers, an ATM and souvenir kiosk. The parking area is off Convention Center Blvd – Whale parking lot.
New Orleans cruise port terminal Julia Street serves Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean.
Erato Cruise Terminal
The second New Orleans cruise port terminal dates from 2006. It can accommodate two large cruise vessels simultaneously.
There are facilities like waiting areas, baggage handling, elevated loading ramp for passengers,customs clearance, souvenir shop and check-in desks. The parking area is for over 1,000 vehicles located at the top 4 stories of the building.
Erato New Orleans cruise port terminal serves Carnival Cruise Lines.
Parking: $14.00 per day (Port Authority subject to change).
(NEW) Poland Avenue Cruise Terminal?
In May 2017, NOLA port commented about converting Poland Avenue wharf into a new cruise terminal facility. In 2016, port officials met with Bywater residents in a movement on the idea.
The nNews in 2017 that Royal Caribbean will operate New Orleans departures again (after a 3-year hiatus) rekindled the project. However, not much is going on with the new terminal concept.
Poland Avenue is the best area for a cruise terminal, but there is still room for vessels to dock at the existing terminals Erato Street and Julia Street. Royal Caribbean will dock on Saturdays at Julia wharf when the company launch its 2018 NOLA cruise program.
The Poland Avenue terminal is expected to cost over USD 50 million. The project has no official timeline or funding. It would also need an environmental review - a process which could take months, if not years.
New Orleans tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Jackson Square: located at the French Quarter neighborhood center. This area is with Spanish and French atmosphere. Near the square are sights including the Cabildo, the Presbytére (Hurricane Katrina museum) and the St Louis Cathedral.
- Artillery park: few steps after Café Du Monde, you will see amazing view of the river Mississippi.
- Bourbon Street: the busiest French Quarter street. Popular places to visit are Pat O’Brien’s bar, Galatoire’s Restaurant, the Old Absinthe House and Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.
- Moonwalk: the famous walk runs along Mississippi river, its west side. It will take you from Jackson Square to Canal street. It is named after mayor Maurice Moon Landrieu.
- St Louis Cemetery #1: the rest place of Ernest Dutch Morial, Marie Laveau, Homer Plessey, Etienne de Bore and more famous New Orleans citizens. Be aware of weird sounds, inexplicable happenings and unreal apparitions.
- St Charles St Streetcar: it will take you from the French Quarter through the St. Charles Avenue, a great way to enjoy the beautiful architecture of the city.
The New Orleans cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near New Orleans, Louisiana.
If you lose the New Orleans location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.
Port New Orleans cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from New Orleans, Louisiana. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
4 May, 2017
7 May, 2017
8 May, 2017
13 May, 2017
14 May, 2017
18 May, 2017
21 May, 2017
22 May, 2017
27 May, 2017
28 May, 2017
The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the paddlewheelrs American Empress and American Queen, will launch the new American...May 16, 2017
Port NOLA New Orleans has commented about converting Poland Avenue wharf into a brand new cruise ship terminal for a long time. In 2016, port...May 14, 2017
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 25, 2017
For the very first time, Fred Olsen is offering passengers the chance to experience the famous Mardi Gras on an epic adventure of the Caribbean...December 30, 2016
With cruises on America’s waterways rising in popularity, the owner and operator of American Queen and American Empress, American Queen...September 14, 2016
A pair of unusually lengthy voyages from American Queen Steamboat Company are going to be the year's hottest river sailing. The new...May 15, 2016
The world's largest and most unusual Carnival cruise ship is ready to depart from the heart of New Orleans. It's been created from 17, 848...December 22, 2015
American Cruise Lines new paddlewheeler, the American Eagle (later to be renamed Queen of the Mississippi), was christened April 25 in a...April 28, 2015
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