November 24 2014 | Latest NewsBy: Natalie Chandler, Managing Editor, CityBusiness
The Port of New Orleans and Norwegian Cruise Line have approved an agreement that will keep the company’s ships in the city for at least four more years, port president and CEO Gary LaGrange said today.
The agreement includes three one-year options, which means the cruise line could choose to stay at the port for seven more years. The agreement will keep at least one Norwegian cruise ship sailing seasonally from New Orleans through 2018 with the ability to extend the agreement through 2021.
Norwegian’s previous three-year agreement, which allowed it to homeport the 2,018-passenger Norwegian Spirit in New Orleans since 2010, expired Oct. 31.
The 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn is scheduled to arrive at the port to begin its cruise season Friday. The season ends in April.
NCL has homeported cruise ships in New Orleans annually since 2003, offering western Caribbean cruises seasonally to destinations including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala; and Belize City, Belize.
Industry analysts say that although Royal Caribbean decided earlier this year to pull out from New Orleans to enter the Asian market, the city remains popular with cruise lines.