October 28, 2004

New Orleans to get more cruise ship capacity

MARAD is to shift two RRF fleet ships to clear the way for more cruise ships to come into downtown New Orleans.

Maritime Administrator Captain William G. Schubert and New Orleans Port President Gary LaGrange yesterday signed a preliminary agreement to switch berths along the Poland Avenue Wharf.

New Orleans is rapidly gaining popularity as a departure point for cruises. According to MARAD statistics, cruise departures from New Orleans in the second quarter of 2004 were up 107 percent over the second quarter of 2003. There were 143 cruise ship departures from New Orleans in 2003, nearly a three-fold increase over the 54 that departed in 2001.

MARAD acquired the the Poland Avenue Wharf facility, which covers more than 18 acres and includes five wharves, from the Department of the Army in 1994.

The Port of New Orleans now plans to take over use of three berths previously used to moor the Cape Kennedy and Cape Knox. These RRF will be moved to another location along the Poland Avenue Wharf.

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