Carnival inks 5-year deal with Port of New Orleans

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At least two Carnival Cruise Lines ships will continue sailing out of the Port of New Orleans year-round through 2019, according to its new five-year contract extension.

The new deal, which went into effect July 1, supersedes a three-year extension negotiated in 2013. NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1tnRJXO ) in addition to the five-year guarantee, the pact comes with three, one-year options that could keep Carnival operating out of the port through 2022.

"We greatly value the professionalism of our partners at the port, the ease of operating from New Orleans and the tremendous support we receive from the local community," Gerry Cahill, president and CEO of Carnival, said in a statement.

New Orleans currently serves as the home port for two Carnival ships — the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation.

Together, the two ships carry more than 400,000 passengers each year from New Orleans.

"This is a clear demonstration of Carnival's belief in New Orleans as one of its top home ports,"port president and CEO Gary LaGrange said.

The new deal comes a month after Royal Caribbean International announced it was ending its cruise ship service from the port next year. In April, Royal Caribbean's 2,360-passenger Serenade of the Seas, which now docks at the Julia Street Terminal, will relocate to Europe and offer cruises to Russia and Scandinavia.

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Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

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