4 2010, 2:42:am US/Eastern Cruise Industry News
Royal Caribbean International announced that in 2011 it will make New Orleans a homeport for the Voyager of the Seas, the largest cruise ship ever to call New Orleans home. The announcement is expected to generate an additional 165,000 cruise guests per year for New Orleans.
The Voyager of the Seas is a 1,020 foot long ship that has capacity for 3,114 guests based on an occupancy rate of two guests per state room, but the ship can cater to as many as 3,838 guests. It will offer seven-night Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans departing on Saturdays.
Royal Caribbean will make 24 calls from New Orleans during the winter cruise season between November 2011 and April 2012. The cruise line has committed to New Orleans for the 2012-2013 winter cruise season as well, and it will have three one-year options to continue calling New Orleans into the future.
The decision marks the return of Royal Caribbean to New Orleans after an absence of 3 years. The cruise line positioned a cruise ship in New Orleans from 2002 until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. Following the storm, Royal Caribbean completed one winter cruise season in New Orleans from Dec. 2006 to April 2007, but then decided to deploy some of its resources to other parts of the world.
When Royal Caribbean returns to New Orleans, it will base its operations at a newly renovated Julia Street Cruise Terminal. A $12 million project to convert two smaller terminals at Julia Street into one large terminal is under design.
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