Port of New Orleans
Chris Bonura
Matt Gresham

New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau
Erica Papillion

Cruise Magazine Names New Orleans 'Comeback' Port of the Year
Bi-Monthly Cruise Magazine Cites Service and Commitment to Excellence

New Orleans—March 5, 2007—Porthole Cruise Magazine, a Fort Lauderdale-based bi-monthly cruise publication, recently named New Orleans its 2007 recipient of the publication's "Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Comeback Port."

The prestigious award is bestowed upon those in the cruise and travel industry who have gone "above and beyond in terms of service, quality and excellence," said Bill Panoff, Porthole Cruise Magazine's publisher.

“The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau was pleased to learn that the city had received this very special award,” said Kim Priez, vice president of tourism sales for the NOMCVB. “Porthole Cruise Magazine is reinforcing what thousands of cruise passengers to New Orleans have learned—that the New Orleans visitor experience is alive and well.”

New Orleans is back in business, having successfully hosted large sporting events, meetings and conventions and a hugely successful 2007 Mardi Gras, with an estimated 800,000 people in attendance.

"It is always a great feeling when hard work and commitment is recognized by others in the industry," said Gary LaGrange, President and CEO of the Port of New Orleans. "The entire tourism community in New Orleans has worked tirelessly to restore the infrastructure that supports what generations of visitors have grown to know and love—our world-famous restaurants, historic neighborhoods and French Quarter, and thriving nightlife and music scene. We're back and we'll be better than ever."

The Port of New Orleans is one of America's fastest growing cruise ports. Prior to the events of 2005, passenger embarkations and disembarkations topped 750,000. The Port was poised to break the 1 million-passenger with four-home-ported cruise ships and numerous port calls utilizing its facilities. The cruise industry rebound is well underway at the Port, with passenger embarkations and disembarkations projected to top 475,000 in 2007.

In October, the Port opened its $37 million Erato Street Cruise Terminal and Parking Garage, a state-of-the-industry facility featuring a 90,000 square-foot-terminal and 1,000-vehicle parking garage. It has also welcomed back three of its four home-ported cruise ships and numerous other cruise ships have made port calls, including the Queen Elizabeth 2 in November of 2006. In December, the Port logged its busiest cruise month in its history, hosting 23 cruise ship calls by seven cruise ships and bringing approximately 95,000 passengers through the Crescent City.

Currently, Carnival Cruise Line's Fantasy sails four- and five-day Western Caribbean itineraries from New Orleans and Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sun and Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas sail seven-day cruises to Western Caribbean destinations.

The Port is positioning itself for future growth with the addition of a new cruise terminal at its Poland Avenue facility. The project is currently in the design and engineering phase. When completed, the Port will have the ability to host three of the industry's largest cruise ships simultaneously.

"The Port of New Orleans is one of America's fastest growing cruise ports," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. "The Port of New Orleans is an economic engine for our region and our state, and Louisiana's cruise industry is a critical piece of our economy."

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau ( is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism, which generates $5 billion in visitor spending and creates 85,000 jobs. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street and Garden District - not only remains intact, both physically and spiritually, but is thriving. The New Orleans CVB is proudly welcoming visitors and business travelers every day.

The Port of New Orleans is at the center of the world’s busiest port complex – Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Its proximity to the American Midwest via a 14,500-mile inland waterway system, six Class One railroads and the interstate highway system makes New Orleans the port of choice for the movement of cargoes such as steel, rubber, coffee, containers and manufactured goods. According to a recent economic study, activity within the Port is responsible for 160,500 jobs, $8 billion in earnings, $17 billion in spending and $800 million in taxes statewide. The Port’s cruise sector contributes about $226 million annually to the regional economy and supports more than 2,800 jobs.