More than 500 cruise passengers aboard one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships will enjoy a few days in New Orleans next week, as the Europa 2 makes her maiden voyage to the Port of New Orleans Julia Street Cruise Terminal Monday.
The 516-passenger cruise ship, owned and operated by German-based Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, garnered top honors recently in the “Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017” guide. The Europa 2 is one of 10 cruise ships scheduled to make a port call in New Orleans prior to the end of 2016.
A port call is a visit from a ship that doesn’t homeport in a city, but calls on a port as part of its cruise itinerary.
Port officials will host an onboard ceremonial plaque exchange with the captain of Europa 2 on Monday.
The cruise ship, launched in May of 2013, features 251 cabins, two owner suites and seven family apartments with the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the industry.
The ship will depart New Orleans Oct. 12 and travel to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean before heading to the South Pacific to spend the winter months in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2015, the Port’s cruise terminals handled 1,023,700 cruise passengers, ranking New Orleans the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income. 2016 passenger totals are on pace to break the 2015 mark with the addition of newer and larger homeported cruise ships.
Port cruise terminals currently host three home-ported cruise ships. Carnival Cruise Lines offers a wide variety of itineraries aboard the 2,754-passenger Carnival Triumph sailing year-round four- and five-day itineraries from New Orleans and aboard the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream sailing year-round seven-day itineraries to both eastern and western Caribbean destinations. Norwegian Cruise Lines 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn will return next month to sail seven-day itineraries through May.
Cruise Critic, a leading cruise reviews and information web site, named the Port of New Orleans the “Best North American Homeport” and Porthole Cruise Magazine named New Orleans its “Friendliest Homeport.”
In addition to the Europa 2, Azamara Club Cruises will call on the Port Oct. 25-26 with the Azamara Quest, AIDA Cruises will return the AIDAvita to New Orleans for four overnight calls beginning Nov. 5. P&O Cruises will call New Orleans with the Oriana Nov. 8-9 and the Azura Dec. 22-24. Crystal Cruises will also bring the Crystal Serenity to New Orleans Dec. 6-7.
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