Carnival Celebrates 30 Years of Cruise Departures from New Orleans

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Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating 30 years of fun cruise getaways from New Orleans, with Carnival Liberty kicking off the festivities on her very first departure from her new year-round homeport.

Local leaders and Carnival VIPs were on hand for the occasion and welcomed Carnival Liberty in style to celebrate the milestone, including a live jazz band and a traditional plaque exchange to mark the ship’s maiden voyage.

Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer Chris Chiames, along with New Orleans native and former Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, thanked the community for their support of Carnival Cruise Line through the years. Carnival first began year-round sailings from the Big Easy in 1994.

Emeril Lagasse Cuts Anniversary Cake
Emeril Lagasse Cuts Anniversary Cake

“It’s an honor to share this great milestone and build on our successful partnership with the city and the port of New Orleans,” said Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line. “We sail more than 400,000 guests from Port NOLA annually and for every one of them, our goal is the same: providing a fun and memorable vacation.”

In the 30 years of partnership between the city and the cruise line, nearly 7 million passengers have set sail aboard a Carnival cruise from New Orleans.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this monumental milestone with our valued partner, Carnival Cruise Line,” said Brandy D. Christian, President & CEO, Port of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Belt Railroad.

“For 30 years, Carnival has shown an unwavering commitment to the New Orleans cruise market, and we are most grateful. Our cruise industry is thriving – and on track to exceed pre-pandemic numbers with the support of Carnival’s two year-round homeported vessels. We look forward to many more years of partnership and successes.”

Now with the arrival of Carnival Liberty, travelers will now have a new option from the popular Louisiana city, joining her sister ship Carnival Valor. The first sailing for the newly homeported vessel is a 6-night Western Caribbean cruise to visit Costa Maya, Belize, and Cozumel.

The 110,000-gross-ton, Conquest-class ship will be offering a variety of sailings, including 7-night Eastern Caribbean and Western Caribbean itineraries, with select departure dates featuring 6- or 8-night cruises. Carnival Liberty will be visiting ports of call such as Roatan, Key West, Nassau, and Jamaica, depending on the exact sailing date.

On December 1, 2024 and November 30, 2025, the ship is offering longer 14-night Carnival Journeys cruises to the Panama Canal, with visits to Aruba, Curacao, Colombia, and Costa Rica, as well as other ports along the way.

Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship
Carnival Liberty Cruise Ship (Photo Credit: Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons)

On every sailing, Carnival Liberty can welcome 2,974 guests at double occupancy, or up to 3,966 passengers if fully booked with all berths filled.

Of special note is that once the cruise line’s new private destination on Grand Bahama Island, Celebration Key, opens in July 2025, Carnival Liberty will be offering visits there on select itineraries as well.

Connections to the Community

Carnival Cruise Line’s influence goes far beyond just the cruise terminal in New Orleans, however. To celebrate 30 years of departures from the city, the cruise line donated $30,000 to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support New Orleans’ education and culinary programs for youth.

Lagasse himself – Carnival Cruise Line’s Chief Culinary Officer – was on hand and led a tour of Carnival Liberty‘s galley for local students, helping inspire them for where culinary careers could lead.

“Even before joining the team, I knew well that Carnival has been a great partner to our incredible city,” said Lagasse. “We’ve all seen and enjoyed the growing popularity of cruising from our port over the years, which continues to bring more people here to enjoy all the rich culture our city has to offer.”

Read Also: 30 Best Things to Do in New Orleans for Cruise Visitors

Lagasse further celebrated the cruise line’s partnership with the city by cutting a special anniversary cake, decorated in Carnival’s signature red, white, and blue colors and featuring Mardi Gras masks as accents.

Carnival Liberty is an especially appropriate ship to homeport from New Orleans, as the ship’s romantic decor is reminiscent of the architecture of the famous French Quarter. Furthermore, Carnival’s laid back, fun vibe is perfect for the city, offering great getaways with true southern hospitality and distinction.

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