Celebrating 30 Years: Carnival Cruise Line’s Milestone of Sailing from New Orleans

Carnival Cruise Line celebrated its 30th year sailing from New Orleans today with an event on the Carnival Liberty.

Community leaders and the cruise line’s Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, world-famous for his New Orleans cuisine, were onboard to mark the important milestone just after the ship arrived in its new home of Port NOLA for the first time, according to a press release.

Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer Chris Chiames and former Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, a New Orleans native, thanked local leaders for their longstanding partnership.

Carnival is the top cruise operator in New Orleans and the only ocean cruise line to homeport in the city year-round.

Nearly seven million guests have cruised from Port NOLA on a Carnival ship since the cruise line began the port’s first year-round service from the city in 1994, according to Carnival.

“It’s an honor to share this great milestone and build on our successful partnership with the city and the port of New Orleans. 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. That’s certainly a shared objective with the City of New Orleans, for all its visitors, which drives our partnership’s continued success,” said Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy.

In the spirit of marking the special 30-year milestone, Carnival donated $30,000 to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support New Orleans’ education and culinary programs for youth. Lagasse led a tour of the ship’s main galley for a group of kids from the Belle Chasse Academy, a local school partner of Emeril’s Culinary Garden & Teaching Kitchen, shortly after making the first cut of a special anniversary cake created by Carnival Liberty’s culinary team.

“Even before joining the team, I knew well that Carnival has been a great partner to our incredible city. 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,” said Lagasse. “My restaurants, Emeril’s and Meril, are just a few blocks from the pier, and it’s also special getting to welcome a ship docking here for the first time. We’re proud Carnival Liberty and her great team are now calling New Orleans home.”

The Carnival Liberty’s arrival maintains Carnival’s two-ship, year-round deployment strategy in New Orleans. The ship offers a variety of sailing options, with mostly week-long cruises visiting popular destinations in the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean. Two unique 14-day Panama Canal cruises are also open for sale and next year, the Carnival Liberty will sail several voyages visiting Celebration Key, Carnival’s all-new, exclusive destination on the island of Grand Bahama. The ship shares its new home with the Carnival Valor, which also offers four- to seven-day cruises.

“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.”

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