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Norwegian Breakaway Debut Highlights Port NOLA’s Cruise Business’ Economic Impact

Norwegian Breakaway at Julia Street

The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) welcomed the largest cruise ship in both length and passenger occupancy to ever sail from the Crescent City when the Norwegian Breakaway homeported at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal for its inaugural cruise Nov. 11, 2018. The ship placement contributes to Port NOLA’s cruise business momentum and contributes to tourism’s economic impact across the New Orleans-region.

“This cruise sector milestone validates Port NOLA as an in-demand cruise port and an important catalyst that contributes to our city’s excellent tourism and hospitality industries,” said Brandy D. Christian, Port of New Orleans President and CEO. “Norwegian Cruise Line is a valued cruise line partner and we are thrilled to welcome the Norwegian Breakaway.”

The 1,068-foot vessel will sail from New Orleans through April 12, 2019, offering five, seven, 10- and 11-day Western Caribbean cruises with calls to some of the top Caribbean destinations, including Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico; Roatan, Honduras; and Belize City and Harvest Caye, Belize.

“We are excited to introduce Norwegian Breakaway to New Orleans, providing our guests with another premium destination to cruise from when sailing to the Caribbean,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “New Orleans is well known for its lively music, culinary scene and entertainment, a perfect complement to the high-caliber experiences guests will discover on Norwegian Breakaway.”

Port NOLA is on target to surpass 1 million cruise passenger movements for the fifth consecutive year in 2018, thanks in part to ocean and river cruise lines homeporting newer and larger ships in the Big Easy. Port NOLA’s growing cruise business reinforces the tourism and hospitality industries, and local small and medium businesses in the city, according to data collected by Business Research and Economic Advisors.

Homeports are 98 percent of cruise calls at Port NOLA and generate greater economic impacts beyond passenger spending by taking on provisions such as fuel, maintenance, and other services from local businesses.

“Ninety percent of cruise passengers travel from out-of-state, 73 percent spend a day or two in New Orleans either before or after their cruise, and 75 percent report making a purchase in the Crescent City,” Christian said. “These passengers generate over 306,000 rooms a night in New Orleans-area hotels.”

Many cruise lines have direct partnerships with top hotel chains. Additionally, approximately 32 percent of cruise passengers fly through Louis Armstrong International Airport helping to drive demand for new direct air services.

Norwegian Cruise Line will offer guests a new cruise experience again next year when sister ship Norwegian Getaway repositions to the Crescent City replacing Norwegian Breakaway in November 2019.