Posted by: cruise2 | 15 November, 2011

US Gulf Ports Celebrate New Ships

Both New Orleans and Galveston celebrated the arrival of new ships this past weekend as New Orleans greeted Royal Caribbean International’s 137,280-ton 3,114-berth (3,838 with upper berths) Voyager of the Seas on Saturday and Galveston welcomed Carnival Cruise Lines’ 128,251-ton 3,646-berth (4,631 with uppers) Carnival Magic on Sunday.

This ship’s US debut was marked with a concert by three-time Grammy Award-winning band Maroon 5. What’s more, the replacement for Voyager of the Seas, sister ship Mariner of the Seas, arrived in Galveston on Friday, making it a combined three-ship arrival this weekend.

The brand-new Carnival Magic arrived at Galveston after a 16-night Transatlantic run from Barcelona, where she had spent the summer, and berthed at the newly improved ($12 million worth) Texas Cruise Ship Terminal on Pier 25. The Magic is due to run weekly 7-night cruises from Galveston year-round and joins the 101,509-ton 2,758-berth (3,473 with uppers) Carnival Triumph, which arrived about a month ago to start a series of 4- and 5-night Western Caribbean cruises.

Galveston is undergoing a bit of a cruise boom, as not only has Royal Caribbean moved its Mariner of the Seas to Galveston to free Voyager of the Seas to go to New Orleans, but from September 2012, Disney Cruise Line will base its 83,338-ton 1,750-lower berth (3,325 when all berths are full) Disney Magic at Galveston for the first time.

And Princess Cruises will resume cruising out of Galveston after a five-year absence when it moves its 116,000-ton 3,114-berth (3,782 with uppers) Crown Princess to the port in December 2012.

The arrival of Voyager of the Seas marked the return to New Orleans of Royal Caribbean International, which had last cruised from there in 2007. Her arrival for a season of winter cruises brings the New Orleans-based cruise ship fleet back to the level it was at before Hurricane Katrina.

With New Orleans greeting Voyager of the Seas a day before Galveston welcomed Carnival Magic, New Orleans is actually taking on part of the previous Galveston fleet. Not only did Voyager of the Seas arrive from Galveston, but so will the 110,239-ton 2,974-berth (3,700 with uppers) Carnival Conquest, which will join the 70,367-ton 2,054-berth (2,634 with uppers) Carnival Elation to operate year-round schedules. Carnival Conquest will look after the 7-night market while Elation operates 4- and 5-night cruises to Cozumel.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Spirit – 75,338-ton 1,976-berth (2,475 with uppers) is also based in New Orleans. The Spirit will be replaced next autumn by the 91,740-ton 2,244-berth (2,846 with uppers) Norwegian Star.

The Cruise People, Ltd.; Canada’s first cruise-only agency; can provide additional information and reservations on all these cruises. 1-800-961-5536


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