Passenger Ships Leave New Orleans Itineraries

Monday, September 12, 2005
By the time Hurricane Katrina hit, cruise lines had already shifted ships out of ports in New Orleans and Mobile, Ala., according to a published report on the NY Times news service. According to the story, Carnival moved its two ships that sail out of New Orleans to Galveston, Texas. The Carnival Sensation ran four- and five-day trips out of Galveston to Mexico early this month, and the second ship, the Conquest, began sailing out of Galveston last Wednesday. Delta Queen Steamboat Co. runs three paddlewheel boats on multiday trips on rivers in the South and Midwest, including the Mississippi River. Employees were moved to Buffalo, N.Y., and Memphis, Tenn., ahead of the hurricane, and no cruises have been canceled, although New Orleans has been removed from itineraries through this month. In Mobile, the 66,000-sq. ft. Alabama Cruise Terminal held up to the storm, and the Carnival Holiday sailed from there within a week. Because of the hurricane, the ship was diverted to Tampa, and Carnival canceled a late August cruise out of Mobile to Mexico and offered refunds. Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean operate seven-day winter-season cruises to the western Caribbean out of New Orleans, but in the first few days after Katrina they were taking a wait-and-see approach to itineraries. The 2,000-passenger Norwegian Sun is scheduled to begin trips on Oct. 16, and Royal Caribbean has trips to the Caymans and Mexico starting in December. Any moves by Norwegian will be relayed to travel agents, said a Norwegian Line spokeswoman.

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