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 Port of New Orleans

 

PORT OF NEW ORLEANS Approximately 397,000 passengers passed through the port in 2001, including 35,000 passengers on inland river cruises. Carnival Cruise Line’s newest and largest ship, the 3,700-passenger Carnival Conquest, sails every Sunday on seven-day Caribbean cruises, replacing the line’s Inspiration. The cruise line’s 1,800-passenger Holiday cruises on popular three- and four-day itineraries. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Grandeur of the Seas makes 25 Saturday calls to New Orleans each year from October to May. American Canadian Caribbean Line operates a variety of itineraries destined for the U.S. inland waterways and the Caribbean. Other cruise lines make frequent calls to New Orleans to take advantage of the city’s special events, annual festivals and conventions.

 

The Julia Street Passenger Terminal Complex boasts two terminals with separate check-in lounges and baggage rooms, and is adjacent to 2,500 linear feet of dock space with a controlling depth of 30 feet (plus river gauge) alongside. The terminal complex offers on-site customs clearance, is wheelchair accessible and is within easy walking distance of the French Quarter (Vieux Carre), famed Canal Street, world-class restaurants, shopping and major hotels. Riverwalk, a Rouse shopping center, is located on the second floor of the building that houses the terminal complex. The terminal is located on the Riverfront Trolley Line, which runs all the way to the French Quarter and Jackson Square. River excursions to various destinations on the Mississippi River System are available via the Port of New Orleans through Delta Queen Steamboat, RiverBarge Excursions and RV Charters. The Port’s cruise terminals are 16 miles from the New Orleans International Airport and 10 minutes from full-service rail and bus terminals.

LOCATION New Orleans lies between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain in Southeast Louisiana. LANGUAGE English CURRENCY U.S. Dollar.

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Mardi Gras (March 4, 2003) The legendary holiday of New Orleans, Mardi Gras is a raucous, colorful, freewheeling and ritualistic extravaganza. Mardi Gras parades begin early and end late. There are street celebrations and formal masquerade balls. French Quarter Festival (April 11-13, 2003): A free community event celebrating the food and music of New Orleans, the festival features local musicians on 13 stages throughout the French Quarter, the World’s Largest Jazz Brunch, tours, fireworks over the river, activities for children and much more.

 

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (April 25-May 4, 2003): One of the world’s largest celebrations of its kind, the festival features over 4,000 talented musicians, cooks and crafts people sharing their unique cultures and heritage. The festival is held at the Fair Grounds and throughout the city. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (May 21-25, 2003): Experience intimate wine and food tastings in a variety of French Quarter art and antiques shops or attend seminars on wine and food preparation and grand wine and food tastings featuring over 150 wines and the fare of over 40 restaurants, presented daily at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

 

TOURS Swamp Tours Visitors can explore the great undamaged wetlands of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous. View the marshes and see nesting groups of alligators, egrets, racoons and nutrias. Many operators offer tours several times a day year-round, ranging from 35 minutes to seven hours, with two-hour boat tours also available. Plantation Tours A step back in time is taken as visitors tour the grand plantations of old New Orleans. Dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, the plantations offer fine displays of period furnishings and lovely gardens. Tours of New Orleans Gray Line Tours (504-587-0709) and New Orleans Tours (504-592-0560) offer daily excursions through the city, including tours of the plantations.

 

THE AMERICAN WATERWAY EXPERIENCE RiverBarge Excursion Lines (888-456-2206, www.riverbarge.com) offers varied itineraries on four- to 10-day European-style barge cruises up and down the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. A unique hotel-on-barge, the River Explorer, consists of two barges, one housing accommodations and the other public areas. Delta Queen Steamboat Co. (504-586-0631; www.deltaqueen.com) operates elegant National Historic Landmark paddlewheel steamboats offering two- to 14-night cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Arkansas and Atchafalaya rivers and the Intercoastal Waterway in Louisiana and Texas. RV River (800-256-6100) is a floating RV park offering exciting cruise itineraries on and beyond the Mississippi River.

 

SIGHTS AND ATTRACTIONS Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (800-774-7394) and the Entergy IMAX Theatre (504-581-IMAX) at Woldenberg Riverfront Park on Canal Street at the River. The aquarium’s exhibits focus on the aquatic and wildlife environments of North and South America. The theater features spectacular film adventures. Seven-mile cruises aboard the Riverboat John James Audubon (504-586-8777) run between the Aquarium and the Audubon Zoo (866-ITS-AZOO), one of the top zoological parks in the nation. Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World (504-361-7821) is where Mardi Gras floats are made, and visitors can tour the carnival dens where artists and sculptors create their magic and see the world’s largest fleet of floats. Confederate Civil War Museum (504-523-4522) contains Civil War artifacts and a collection of the personal effects of Jefferson Davis. Contemporary Art Center (504-528-3805) features exhibitions of experimental painting and sculpture, theater, photography, music, performance art, dance, music and film.

 

The French Quarter or Vieux Carre occupies the area laid out by the French in the early 1700s as the City of New Orleans. The Quarter is full of atmosphere, from the famed nightlife and music of Bourbon Street, to an astounding variety of restaurants and cafes and excellent shopping. St. Louis Cathedral-Basilica on Chartres Street is the architectural focal point of the Quarter. Built in 1850, it is the official seat for the Archdiosese of New Orleans and offers guided tours. Flanking the cathedral are the Cabildo (the site of the Louisiana Purchase Transfer) and the Presbytere, both now part of the Louisiana State Museum, and offering historical exhibits and an elaborate new Mardi Gras display. The Museum also cares for 1850 House on St. Ann and Madame John’s Legacy on Dumaine, two fine landmark residences, and the Old U.S. Mint.

 

On St. Pete Street, Preservation Hall is the venerable institution where sets of traditional New Orleans jazz can be enjoyed till midnight. And the landmark Cafe du Monde on Decatur Street has served its signature beignets and cafe au lait 24 hours a day since 1860. Experience the true artifacts of Voodooism in the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum. One block from Bourbon Street is Musee Conti Wax Museum of Louisiana Legends, with exhibits featuring 300 years of New Orleans history. Harbor cruises aboard the Steamboat Natchez (504-586-8777) depart the heart of the French Quarter from behind JAX Brewery.

 

Harrah’s New Orleans Casino (504-533-6777) offers 24-hour gaming with 2,500 slots and 10 varieties of table games in a 115,000-square-foot casino in the midst of the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans. National D-Day Museum (504-527-6012) on Magazine Street celebrates the American spirit and sacrifice of the men and women who served in and won World War II. New Orleans Museum of Art (504-488-2631) in City Park features a permanent collection that includes works by Degas, Picasso, Braque, Dufy and Miro as well as an extraordinary collection of Faberge Imperial easter eggs and other pieces by the master jeweler. The museum’s new Besthoff Sculpture Garden, one of the finest installations of its kind in the nation, opened in 2002.

 

City Park is also home to the New Orleans Botanical Garden, one of the few remaining examples of public garden design from the WPA period. St. Charles Avenue Streetcar (504-248-3900) is the world’s oldest continuously operating streetcar line and an excellent way to explore New Orlean’s past. Its route follows a 13-mile arc along St. Charles Street, through the Garden District, and passes dozens of antebellum mansions, historic monuments, Tulane and Loyola Universities and the Audubon Zoological Gardens.

 

SHOPPING Canal Street, in the central business district, offers a mix of department stores and specialty shops. Riverwalk, located at the foot of Canal Street, is a jambalaya of more than 140 retail stores, restaurants and food and craft vendors. Canal Place extends all the way to the river. New Orleans Centre, near the Superdome, includes a shopping mall. Riverfront shopping also features the Jackson Brewery, a turn-of-the-century brewhouse converted to an exciting shopping, food and entertainment destination.

 

French Quarter shoppers will find exquisite antiques and art, museum shops, fashion boutiques and handicraft shops. The historic French Market on Decatur Street has a 200-year history as a public market, with blocks of specialty shops plus an outdoor Community Flea Market for unique clothing, handcrafts and gifts. Magazine Street stretches from Canal Street to Audubon Park and is a mecca for international visitors indulging in New Orleans’ duty-free shopping. Louisiana Tax-free Shopping (504-568-5323) International visitors can receive a tax refund for purchases made at more than 1,000 retailers statewide. A LTFS sticker is prominently displayed at participating locations. Other areas include Uptown for a selection of specialty shops from jewelry stores to fashion boutiques; St. Charles Avenue with shops for men, women and children; Royal Street, and suburban Metairie. .

 

For port information, contact the Port of New Orleans, P.O. Box 60046, New Orleans, LA 70160; phone 504-522-2551, fax 504-524-4156, cruise@portno.com, www.portno.com.

 

For city information, contct the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1520 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA 70112; phone 504-566-5011 or 800-672-6124, www.neworleanscvb.com.