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Carnival Cruise Lines to Base Two Ships in New Orleans

August 18, 2006

Carnival Cruise Lines to Base Two Ships in New Orleans
August 18, 2006 – Carnival Cruise Lines announced that it will deploy two year-round ships to New Orleans, making it the only cruise line to operate year-round from the city. With the Fantasy and Carnival Triumph, Carnival expects to carry 320,000 passengers annually from New Orleans.

Carnival Triumph’s deployment reaffirms the strong relationship that Carnival and the Port of New Orleans have enjoyed dating back to 1994. Since that time, New Orleans has become one of Carnival’s fastest growing departure points, experiencing a 10-fold increase in passenger counts in just over a decade.

"This is huge," said Gary LaGrange, president and chief executive officer of the Port. "This makes us whole again. It brings us back to the levels we had prior to Katrina.

Scott Knutson, Carnival’s vice president of regional sales, said, "We are thrilled to return. "We were here right after Katrina when two of our ships hosted first responders. That was a profoundly rewarding and meaningful experience.

"With the addition of the Triumph, we’re reaffirming our commitment to New Orleans."

LaGrange said the cruise industry generated about 2,800 jobs before the hurricane struck and he anticipates that figure will continue to grow with the cruise industry’s return this fall. He said he expects employment to return to those levels and to grow.

"What’s significant with Carnival’s announcement is that we’re now at the same passenger capacity as we had before Hurricane Katrina," said Chris Bonura, a spokesman for the Port. "Once the cruises are back up and running, we’ll be back at those numbers."

LaGrange added that the boost in cruises will likely have a domino effect on the city’s hotel-motel and airline industries.

Carnival Triumph’s new year-round seven-day program from New Orleans will begin Sept. 2, 2007, and offer two different western Caribbean itineraries. Prior to the start-up of this program, Carnival Triumph will offer a special one-time five-day cruise from New Orleans to Costa Maya and Cozumel departing Aug. 28, 2007. Guests can extend their stay in New Orleans with a variety of pre- and post-cruise land packages providing an opportunity to explore the city’s many restaurants, shops and historical landmarks.

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