Holland America cruise ship to mark start of busy year for New Orleans as a port-of-call for international visitors

Posted on: October 26 2015


Holland America Line’s Westerdam will call on the Port of New Orleans’ Julia Street Cruise Terminal Tuesday, marking what officials said will be the first of 19 port calls in New Orleans by seven cruise ships through 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.

“New Orleans is an international destination and cruise lines see it as an attractive call on their itineraries to market to potential passengers,” said Gary LaGrange, port president and CEO. “Unique cruise ship calls have a big impact on the local economy, as thousands of passengers at a time, who are often international, have the opportunity to explore everything New Orleans and the surrounding area has to offer.”

Port officials will mark the 936-foot ship’s maiden voyage to New Orleans with a plaque exchange aboard the Westerdam, which will be attended by Carnival Corp. President and CEO Arnold W. Donald. Holland America Lines is part of Carnival Corp.

Next month, AIDA Cruises will return the AIDAvita to New Orleans on Nov. 27 for the first of 11 overnight calls through December 2016.

P&O Cruises also will have a significant presence in New Orleans next year. Its Oriana will make three overnight calls and the Oceana and Azura will each make one overnight call, all at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

In addition, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2 will call on the port Oct. 10-12, and Azamara Club Cruises will bring its Azamara Quest for a two-day call Oct. 25-26, 2016.

Cruise Lines International Association ranks the Port of New Orleans the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income.

There are three home-ported cruise ships in New Orleans. The 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation sails year-round four- and five-day itineraries from New Orleans, and the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream sails year-round seven-day itineraries to eastern and western Caribbean destinations. In April, Carnival Cruise Lines will increase its capacity for four- and five-day itineraries by 34 percent with the Carnival Triumph replacing the Carnival Elation.

In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn will return Nov. 13 to sail seasonal seven-day cruises from November through May from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

New Orleans also features coastal and Mississippi River cruises throughout the year. American Cruise Lines homeports its sternwheelers Queen of the Mississippi and American Eagle in New Orleans, while American Queen Steamboat Co. sails the American Queen from New Orleans.