Known as the "Big Easy," New Orleans is a great starting point for a cruise. From the bars of Bourbon Street and shuffling cards at Harrah’s New Orleans to the historical French Quarter and St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans has something to offer everyone. The most commonly offered ocean cruise destination from New Orleans is the Caribbean, but there are many Mississippi River cruises available as well.
Cruises from New Orleans are available all year long. Among the cruise lines offering cruises from New Orleans are Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, American Cruise Lines, American Queen Steamboat Company, and Viking River Cruises. Several cruise lines also offer cruises that include New Orleans as a destination port, rather than as a departure port.
When taking a roundtrip cruise from New Orleans, you might consider spending a few nights in the city, either before and/or after your cruise, to take in all of the history and fun places of Louisiana.
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise from New Orleans, LA. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines feature cruises leaving from New Orleans, LA. Select a cruise line to view upcoming cruises that they're offering from New Orleans, LA:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
Value is a key feature of these popular cruise lines, as they offer lots of activities, entertainment and dining options, along with a variety of stateroom types. Some of the cruise lines in this category have ships with unique innovations like water slides, rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, surfing simulators, bowling alleys, and boardwalks.
Their ships are usually anywhere from mid-sized to very large "mega" ships, accommodating thousands of guests. These ships give the feel of being in a large resort.
Mainstream cruise lines are a great option for just about everyone (including multi-generation families, and first-time cruisers), and typically have great youth programs.
During the cruise, entertainment may include Broadway productions, Vegas-style shows, comedians, and music. Some of these lines have select formal nights during the cruise. Specialty restaurants are becoming more and more common (some which have a cover charge for this type enhanced dining experience). Buffets are usually available throughout the day, besides room service, and the main dining room(s).
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in New Orleans, along with a brief description:
♦ Mardi Gras
You can't talk about things to do in New Orleans without mentioning Mardi Gras. For a true culturally-immersive experience, you can opt to schedule your cruise during this exciting festival. You can celebrate before and/or after your cruise. Many cruisers opt to schedule their cruise during this exciting festival, so they can celebrate before and/or after their cruise. This event, also known as Carnival, officially begins on the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the "Twelfth Night," and ends on Mardi Gras (the grandest day of the festivities; the last Tuesday before Lent). Mardi Gras World, the largest float designing and building facility in the world, offers tours so visitors can can get the feel of Mardi Gras year round.
♦ French Quarter
This is the oldest and most famous neighborhood in all of New Orleans. The French Quarter is a National Historic Landmark, and among its many attractions are Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, as well as many hotels and restaurants. Jackson Square is a historic park that is home to St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the United States. Bourbon Street is the most famous street in the French Quarter, particularly well known for its many bars and nightclubs.
♦ Audubon Zoo
Managed by the same company as the Aquarium of the Americas (another great place to consider visiting in New Orleans), the Audubon Zoo is located in uptown New Orleans. At this zoo, you will discover wildlife from all over the world (including white tigers, monkeys and unique white alligators). There is also a wide range of exhibits, including their Louisiana Swamp Exhibit and World of Primates.
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