New Orleans negotiating deal with Norwegian Cruise Line

By Tom Stieghorst
The Port of New Orleans is closing in on a second multi-year commitment with a big cruise line, having just secured one with Carnival Cruise Lines for the next five years.

The port is in the final stages of negotiating a new agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line, port director Gary LaGrange said.

LaGrange said he hopes to have an announcement on a four-year deal in the next 30 to 60 days. “We’re right at the goal line,” he said.

If LaGrange can strike a four-year deal, it would likely give New Orleans a compliment of three big ships doing turnarounds in the Big Easy through at least 2018.

Carnival is the busiest cruise carrier out of New Orleans, which has two terminals in the heart of the city and is working on a third. Currently, it sails the 3,652-passenger Carnival Dream and 2,052-passenger Elation on mostly western Caribbean itineraries.

A new agreement provides that Carnival will keep at least the capacity it already operates in New Orleans through 2019, namely a Dream-class and Fantasy-class vessel.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly. 
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