By Tiffany Wong, Fox 8 Reporter and Jeff Marshall, Louisiana Weekend
Disney Cruise Line announced it will set sail from the Port of New Orleans in 2020.
Port officials say this is part of a growing number of cruises in New Orleans.
“We’ve long celebrated the rich culture of the City of New Orleans, and it really is kind of woven into the fabric of Disney if you think about the many films that were inspired by this great city,” Disney Signature Experiences Spokesperson Yolanda Cade said.
Starting in February 2020, cruises will travel to a variety of Caribbean and Bahamian destinations, and even Hawaii.
“After a five year hiatus, we’re also returning to the beautiful islands of Hawaii. So that’s another destination where people can sail to aboard the Disney Wonder,” Cade said.
The addition of Disney is part of the growing cruise industry in New Orleans.
“The Port of New Orleans has really worked hard to grow the cruise business. If you look back into 2003, we had about 76 cruise ship calls a year with both ocean going and river cruises. This year we’ll have 240,” New Orleans Port President and CEO Brandy Christian said.
Christian said they’ve grown to become the sixth busiest cruise port in the U.S.
“It supports 8,000 jobs within the state, and about $129 million in spending,” Christian said.
She said the money doesn’t only come from passengers.
“When you have a home port, that cruise ship has to take on its fuel, its maintenance, its linens, get new food and beverage, supports businesses throughout the state,” Christian said.
While Christian believes the Cruise Line will bring many visitors to the city, she said this will also be popular for locals.
“The timing of these cruises will be during the Mardi Gras season, when many of us have our children off of school, so many of us actually go to Disney World in Florida, so now we have the opportunity to bring Disney to New Orleans,” Christian said.
“This marks the first time Disney Cruise Line will have a home port in Louisiana. Not only will this provide families from the region with the magic of having a Disney cruise ship in their own backyard, but it will also draw families from farther away to discover this incredible city before they set sail,” Disney Cruise said in a statement.
Bookings are set to open in October. For more information check out the Disney Cruise Lines website.
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