Royal Caribbean Set to Return to New Orleans

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It was announced this week that Royal Caribbean will resume cruises to and from New Orleans in 2011. New Orleans will once again become a homeport for one of their most spectacular ships, the Voyager of the Seas. It is expected that this will generate up to 165,000 extra cruise guests each year for New Orleans. This will no doubt be appreciated by New Orleans, following the destruction that Hurricane Katrina left behind in 2005.

It was shortly after the hurricane that Royal Caribbean decided to deploy it’s ships elsewhere, however the cruise line has now comitted not only to a 2011 season, but also 2012 and 2013.

When the Voyager of the Seas returns to New Orleans, the operations will be based at the newly renovated Julia Street Cruise Terminal. There has been a huge project underway, aiming to modernise the terminal, converting the two smaller terminals at Julia Street, into one large, refurbished terminal. There will also be a brand new, climate controlled gangway. The project is expected to cost around $12 million and will be a huge boost to the cruise industry in New Orleans. The improvements should be completed by summer 2011.

The announcement from Royal Caribbean Cruises has come at a brilliant time, following a series of announcements from other cruise lines about New Orleans. Norwegian Cruise Line also recently announcec that they would be starting to offer year-round cruises to and from New Orleans at the back end of 2011. Carnival Cruises have also replaced the Carnival Fantasy ship with the far bigger Carnival Triumph, allowing more guests to visit New Orleans.

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Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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