Carnival Cruise Line Celebrates 30 Years of Sailing From New Orleans

Carnival Cruise Line is celebrating 30 years of sailing year-round from Port NOLA in New Orleans, Louisiana.

carnival cruise line 30 years in new orleans

Carnival Cruise Line celebrated its 30th year sailing from New Orleans today aboard Carnival Liberty. The line’s Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, famous for his New Orleans cuisine, was on board along with community leaders just after the ship arrived at Port NOLA, its new homeport, for the first time.

Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer Chris Chiames and former Carnival Corp. 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 line began year-round service from the city in 1994.

carnival cruise line 30 years in new orleans
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

In the spirit of marking the 30-year milestone, Carnival donated $30,000 to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support New Orleans’ education and culinary programs for kids. 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, Lagasse made the first cut of a special anniversary cake created by 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.”

carnival cruise line emeril lagasse cutting cake
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Liberty‘s arrival maintains Carnival’s two-ship, year-round deployment strategy in New Orleans. The ship offers 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 ship will sail several voyages visiting Carnival’s new Bahamian destination Celebration Key.

Liberty shares her new home with Carnival Valor, which sails four to seven-day cruises 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.”


Have you ever taken a Carnival cruise from New Orleans? If so, would you do it again? Drop us an anchor below and let us know!

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Sarah has been writing about the cruise industry since 2015, and in that time has taken a dozen cruises and counting. Her favorite onboard activities include trying the casual dining options, spending time in the spa’s thermal suite, and attending the love & marriage show. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @IAmSarahJaneB.
Sarah Bretz, Contributor
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