Who says you have to cruise the Caribbean to enjoy exotic flavors and spectacular surroundings? Cruising the Mississippi on a New Orleans cruise can be just as delightful and downright entertaining if you know which steamboats to climb aboard or cruises to choose. Think you know all about New Orleans cruises? Think again!
New Orleans Cruise Facts
Believe it or not, the New Orleans cruise industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past decade. In fact, the number of passengers embarking or making Noâ€™leans a port of call has grown from 80,000 in 1993 to 734,643 in 2004 and more than 11 Million people visited the city of New Orleans in 2004. What does this mean for cruisers? While cruising the Big Easy, youâ€™ll experience the beautiful Mississippi, the scenic landscape and view historic homes, but when you dock, prepare for a festive French Quarter, world class cuisine, shopping galore and an arts districtâ€”all within walking distance of the portâ€™s cruise terminal complex.
Cruising From New Orleans
If youâ€™re interested in a New Orleans cruise itinerary that begins and ends in New Orleans, the major vessels cruising from New Orleans include: Carnival (year around), Norwegian (Nov.-March) and Royal (Nov.-May). Carnival Inspiration has New Orleans as its home port, and the Sensation arrives every Friday morning, while Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas depart New Orleans every Saturday.
Carnival offers 4 and 5 day cruises from the Port of New Orleans to destinations such as Cozumel, Mexico and the Western Caribbean. Royal Caribbeanâ€™s cruises will carry you from New Orleans to destinations such as Costa Maya, Puerto Rico and Aruba.
By opting for a Carnival, Norwegian or Royal Caribbean cruise to and from New Orleans, passengers can enjoy two vacation experiences in one trip! For Carnival reservations log onto: www.carnival.com, for Norwegian log onto www.ncl.com and for Royal Caribbean Reservations, log onto www.royalcaribbean.com.
Local New Orleans Cruises
If you donâ€™t have 4-5 days to spare or your goal is to spend your days (or nights) cruising the Mississippi, New Orleans has a local cruise for every taste, style and budget. Visitors can choose from a variety of cruises such as the popular Dinner Jazz Cruise, the Harbor Cruise or the Aquarium Zoo Cruiseâ€”great for families.
During the Dinner Jazz Cruise, passengers can gaze at the gorgeous New Orleans skyline aboard New Orleans only authentic steamboatâ€”the NATCHEZ. The Harbor Cruise features a two-hour cruise by day from the heart of the French Quarterâ€”also aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ.
Families can enjoy a fun-filled day of cruising between the Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo aboard the Riverboat John James Audubon. The cruise features seven miles of sightseeing and highlights along with stops at the Zoo and Aquarium. For information about New Orleans cruises or to make reservations, contact the New Orleans Steamboat Company at 504-586-8777.
The port of New Orleans also offers New Orleans cruises aboard the Delta Queen Steamboat which runs year around through the Mississippi and Ohio River systems as well as the Riverbarge Excursion also year around cruising through the Mississippi and Ohio River systems.
New Orleans Cruise Terminal Info.
New Orleansâ€™ Julia Street Cruise Terminal Complex is located within the same building as the RiverWalk Shopping Mall, featuring everything from a delicious food court to the Gap, Limited and Victoriaâ€™s Secret. Passengers can shop until it’s time to board their ship or steamboat.
For $1.25 per ride passengers may also take a ten-minute trip to the Aquarium of the Americas, IMAX Theater, Harrahâ€™s Casino or the French Quarter for a few hours of entertainment before or after a cruise. New Orleans Cruise terminals are all on the RiverFront streetcar (trolley) line, with two stops adjacent to the cruise terminals.