The Maroon

Disney announces cruises to base out of New Orleans in 2020

Photo credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo credit: The Walt Disney Company

John Casey

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The tourist experience in New Orleans just became a little more magical. Disney Cruise Lines announced on Sept. 27 that the company will begin operating cruises out of the Port of New Orleans starting in the spring of 2020.

The Disney Wonder, a 2,700-passenger ship, will make the Erato Street Cruise Terminal its homeport. Disney will become the fourth cruise line to base ships out of New Orleans, joining Norwegian, Royal Caribbean International and Carnival cruise lines.

The Port of New Orleans expects that the arrival of Disney will likely contribute to the steady growth the port has experienced over the past few years. A record of 1.15 million passenger movements was set by the port in 2017, marking the fourth straight year over one million. The port expects that number to rise to 1.16 million in 2018, 1.2 million in 2019 and even further with the arrival of Disney in 2020.

“Port of New Orleans is thrilled Disney Cruise Line has chosen us as a homeport for their distinctive cruise experience. With Port NOLA’s commitment to high-level service and the Crescent City’s many attractions, we are confident that Disney travelers will enjoy the excitement and convenience of launching their vacation from our unique city,” said Donnell Jackson, media relations manager for the Port of New Orleans.

For families in the New Orleans area, the arrival of Disney cruises to the city is exciting and convenient. Bridgette Duplantis, a local mother and cruise aficionado, was thrilled to hear the news about Disney’s arrival.

“Disney is full of surprises so I am not sure what to expect, but true to the Disney name, I know it will be magical. I expect the level of service to be stellar and for my family and I to make memories to last a lifetime,” said Duplantis. “My family loves to cruise out of the Port of New Orleans because as soon as you board the ship, you are on vacation. There is no 10 hour car ride or three hour plane trip between you and the fun.”

The arrival of Disney Cruise Lines is expected to significantly aid the tourism industry in New Orleans. According to Kim Priez, senior vice president of tourism at New Orleans & Company, cruise attendees significantly contribute to the tourism industry in the city.

“It is anticipated that more than 550,000 cruise passengers will embark from New Orleans in 2018, and approximately 73 percent of those passengers will stay one or more nights in New Orleans before or after their cruise resulting,” said Priez. “New Orleans is seen as an extension of the cruise vacation, and passengers often come early to experience New Orleans’ amazing restaurants and attractions contributing to the overall tourism economy.”

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Disney announces cruises to base out of New Orleans in 2020