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Westerdam maiden call among transit visits at Port of New Orleans

Westerdam maiden call will be attended by Carnival Corp. & plc ceo Arnold Donald
Westerdam will make its maiden call at the Port of New Orleans on Tuesday, an occasion that will be attended by Arnold Donald, president and ceo of Carnival Corp. & plc.

The visit of the Holland America Line ship to the Julia Street Cruise Terminal also begins a busy period of transit calls for the port through 2016.

Westerdam is visiting New Orleans as part of a custom itinerary created by Worldwide Cruise Associates of Plantation, Florida, for charter client Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. It was the client's 25th charter with Worldwide, according to Steve Bloss, president of sales.

Gary LaGrange, port president and ceo, noted the significance of transit calls to the economy as thousands of passengers, who are often international, explore the city.

Next month AIDA Cruises will return AIDAvita to New Orleans Nov. 27 for the first of 11 overnight calls through December 2016. P&O Cruises will also have a significant presence in New Orleans next year, as Oriana makes three overnight calls and Oceana and Azura each make one overnight call at the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

In addition, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2 will visit Oct. 10-12 and Azamara Club Cruises will have Azamara Quest in port Oct. 25-26.

The transit calls are in addition to New Orleans' busy homeporting roster.

Carnival Elation sails year-round four- and five-day itineraries, while Carnival Dream alternates weekly cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean. In April, Carnival Cruise Line will increase capacity for four- and five-day itineraries by 34% when Carnival Triumph replaces Carnival Elation.

Plus, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Dawn will return Nov. 13 to sail seven-day cruises through May from the Julia Street Cruise Terminal.

New Orleans also serves as the base for an array of coastal and river cruises operated by American Cruise Lines and American Queen Steamboat Co.

Cruise Lines International Association ranks the Port of New Orleans the sixth largest cruise port in the US with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406m, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323m in total income.