The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) set a passenger record in March 2023 with 155,225 passenger movements and 39 cruise ship calls for the month, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to a press release.
“These record numbers highlight how demand for cruising from New Orleans never went away, as people from all over the world returned to our vibrant city to launch their cruise vacations as soon as they were able,” said Port NOLA President and CEO Brandy D. Christian. “As a result, our cruise line partners continue to commit to the New Orleans market, and that’s good news for Louisiana tourism and hospitality.”
The previous record was set in February 2020 with 154,409 passenger movements and 31 ship calls before the industry came to a halt in March of that year. This year, the Port is set to welcome a record number of cruise passengers.
In addition, river cruises from the Port, which resumed in March 2021, are also at record levels with nine river ships cruising from New Orleans.
Carnival Cruise Line was the first cruise company to resume oceangoing cruises in New Orleans following Covid in September 2021. Norwegian Cruise Line returned with the Norwegian Breakaway while Royal Caribbean returned for the 2022-2023 season in November.