Norwegian Cruise Line announced at a press conference today in New Orleans that it will be the first cruise line to homeport a ship there since Hurricane Katrina. The 78,309-ton, 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sun will return to the Big Easy full-time on October 15, 2006.|
In a statement issued by the cruise line, Andy Stuart, executive vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services, is quoted as saying, "We are pleased to return Norwegian Sun back to her winter home in the Big Easy and in some small way assist in the recovery process in New Orleans." Also on hand for the announcement was Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.
Other cruise lines that had planned to homeport ships in New Orleans this year are also arranging their post-Katrina returns. Royal Caribbean has announced that Grandeur of the Seas will resume regularly scheduled service from New Orleans on December 2, and Carnival's Sensation is expected back sometime in the fall.
Norwegian Sun, the first ship built expressly for "Freestyle Cruising," will operate seven-day Western Caribbean cruises from New Orleans through April 8, 2007, calling at Costa Maya, Santo Tomas de Castilla, Belize City and Cozumel.