Carnival Cruise Lines has extended its berthing agreement with the Port of New Orleans for three years.

Under the contract, two Carnival ships will sail year-round from New Orleans through February 2016.

Those two ships are currently Carnival Elation and Conquest. In November, Carnival Sunshine, now being renovated, will make New Orleans its home port.

Carnival President Gerry Cahill said 340,000 Carnival passengers sail from the city annually.

A 2011 study for the city's visitors bureau found cruise passengers stayed an average of 1.8 nights in area hotels and spent $27.9 million on meals, lodging and incidentals.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

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