NOLA 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 over 1,3 million).
Note: Our digital map shows the location of Julia Street Cruise Terminal.
Port NOLA New Orleans
NOLA cruise port attracts many US and international tourists with its architecture, cultural heritage, cuisine and the Mardi Grass festival.
- NOLA port's cruising business has a significant impact on Louisiana 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 Port 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 winter 2018-2019, Vision of the Seas will be homeported in NOLA. Beginning December 15, 2018, the ship offers 7-night itineraries to Western Caribbean (Yucatan Mexico) and Bahamas.
- In 2017, Port NOLA targets to surpass 1 million cruise ship tourist threshold (4th consecutive year) hitting a record pax volumes 7th year in a row.
- Year-round homeported here liners include Carnival Dream and Carnival Triumph (both since 2017), Norwegian Breakaway (port's largest ever cruise ship) and Vision of the Seas - both since 2018, as well as American Queen Steamboat Company's new paddlewheel riverboat American Duchess (launched 2017).
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.
In 2017, Port NOLA also reported a record year for its cruise business - with handled 1,15 million passengers at both terminals (Erato Str, and Julia Str).
- In 2018-2019 (December 15 through March 2), Royal Caribbean homeported here Vision of the Seas (max capacity 2443 pax plus 765 crew). The ship had regularly scheduled 7-night roundtrip itineraries to Florida-Bahamas (Coco Cay, Nassau, Key West FL) and Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Costa Maya, Grand Cayman). The ship was only seasonally deployed, relocated for the winter from Galveston TX.
- In November 2018, NCL Norwegian Cruise Line replaced Norwegian Pearl (max 2873 pax) with the ever largest cruise ship leaving from New Orleans - Norwegian Breakaway (max 4819 pax, 1595 crew). In 2019, Breakaway will be replaced by the sistership Norwegian Getaway.
- In 2019, Carnival Cruise Line scheduled to increase company's capacity, replacing Carnival Triumph (max 3310 pax) with Carnival Valor (max 3581 pax).
- In September 2018, ACL American Cruise Lines added to the company's NOLA homeported fleet the new riverboat American Song.
- In 2018, Port NOLA celebrated its 300th anniversary.
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 ship terminal facility. In 2016, port officials met with Bywater residents in a movement on the idea.
In 2017 the port announced that RCI Royal Caribbean starts turnaround operations (New Orleans roundtrip departures) after a 3-year hiatus. The news rekindled the new passenger terminal project.
Poland Ave is the port's best area for a cruise terminal, but there is still room for vessels to dock at the existing terminals Erato Street and Julia Street. RCI ships dock on Saturdays at Julia Wharf as scheduled in the company's 2018 NOLA cruise program based on the ship Vision of the Seas.
The new passenger terminal's building cost is expected to be 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.
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.
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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.
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