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Carnival Cruise Line Celebrates 30 Years in New Orleans

With trumpets blaring, Carnival Cruise Line celebrated its 30th year sailing from New Orleans on Monday, May 6, 2024. Carnival Liberty sailed into her new homeport where she was welcomed by local leaders and Carnival’s Chief Culinary Officer Emeril Lagasse, world-famous for his New Orleans cuisine.

Carnival’s Chief Communications Officer Chris Chiames as well as former Carnival Corporation CEO and New Orleans native Arnold Donald thanked the community for their support and partnership. As the top cruise operator in New Orleans and the only cruise line to homeport in the Big Easy year round, nearly seven million guests have sailed on a Carnival ship from the city since 1994.

“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.

Carnival Liberty will offer a variety of mostly week-long itineraries visiting destinations in the Bahamas, Mexico and the Caribbean. She will also offer two 14-day Carnival Journeys Panama Canal cruises, and in 2025 she will offer several voyages to Celebration Key. She shares her home with Carnival Valor which offers a variety of 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.”

Additionally, in celebration of 30 years of embarkations from New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Line donated $30,000 to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation in support of New Orleans’ education and culinary programs for youth. Emeril hosted local students on a tour of the ship’s galley before cutting an anniversary cake decorated in Carnival’s signature red, white and blue colors and accented with Mardi Gras masks which had been 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.”