New Orleans cruise ship passenger numbers break pre-pandemic level. Out-of-state passengers spend at local hotels, restaurants, shops

Carnival Sunshine, formerly known as the Carnival Destiny at New Orleans (Old livery)Three years ago this month, New Orleans’ cruise ship sector, like much of the hospitality industry, was docked by the COVID-19 pandemic and left with an uncertain future.

But recent numbers suggest the business has not only rebounded but is stronger than ever.

Passengers flocked to oceangoing and river cruise vessels at the Port of New Orleans in March, with 155,225 passenger movements and 39 vessel calls, the port said.

The previous monthly record was 154,409 passenger movements and 31 vessel calls in February 2020, the month before the pandemic hit.

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