NEW ORLEANS --
Norwegian Cruise Lines Norwegian Sun will be the first cruise ship
to return to the Port of New Orleans on a regular basis.
The ship returns to
the city on Oct. 15 to sail seven-day Western Caribbean cruises,
sailing into the Big Easy two weeks before the return of Carnival
Cruise Lines Sensation and two months before Royal Caribbean
Internationals Grandeur of the Seas.
Prior to the
hurricane, New Orleans was on pace to break the 1 million-passenger
mark, according to Port of New Orleans President and CEO Gary
Four ships -- the
Carnival Conquest, the Sensation, the Norwegian Sun and the
Grandeur of the Seas -- were forced to relocate from the Port of
New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.
NCLs commitment with
the Sun, which it announced during a press conference in Jackson
Square here last week, means that all three major cruise operators
with a New Orleans presence will be back by the end of
LaGrange thanked NCL
for its commitment to the city and emphasized the critical nature
of cruise business to the local economy.
The cruise industry
evolved into a major economic engine for the entire city, LaGrange
We are pleased to
return Norwegian Sun back to her winter home in the Big Easy and in
some small way assist in the recovery process of New Orleans, said
Andy Stuart, executive vice president of sales, marketing and
passenger services for NCL.
We look forward to
continuing our partnership with the Port of New Orleans and
welcoming passengers back onboard.
The Norwegian Suns
seven-day itineraries out of New Orleans run through April 8, 2007,
and call on Costa Maya, Mexico; Santo Tomas De Castilla, Guatemala;
Belize City; and Cozumel, Mexico.
The port of New
Orleans cruise tonnage is still in transition. The 2,974-passenger
Carnival Conquest, which sailed year-round from that port, has
moved to Galveston, Texas, for the 2006 season.
But in December, the
2,600-passenger Golden Princess is scheduled to make its -- and
Princess Cruises -- long-term debut in the Crescent
reporter Kristin OMeara Hillmann, send e-mail to [email protected].