Cruise Line Executives To Convene In New Orleans For FCAA Meeting

NEW ORLEANS —More than 150 leaders in the cruise industry from around the world will meet in New Orleans this week as the Port of New Orleans hosts the 2016 Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council Conference of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA).

         The conference’s business meetings will kick off Thursday, June 23, 2016, at Harrah’s Hotel (Second Floor) at 8:30 a.m.

         Local elected officials and tourism leaders will meet with cruise executives from FCCA’s 19 Member Lines, along with key cruise tourism stakeholders, to update them on New Orleans' tourism economy, infrastructure and attractions. Presenters include Gary LaGrange, Port of New Orleans President and CEO; New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Iftikhar Ahmad, Director of Aviation, Louis Armstrong International Airport; Stephen Perry, President and CEO of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kyle Edmiston, Assistant Secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism; and Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corp.

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         “We are excited to host this prestigious meeting and welcome our cruise partners to New Orleans,” LaGrange said. “As the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States, we hope to highlight the attractions and advantages of cruising from New Orleans as we continue to grow the cruise the industry in Louisiana.”

         A wide array of topics will be covered in the meetings by cruise executives. Andy Stuart, President of Norwegian Cruise Line, will discuss cruise line destination development. Christine Duffy, President of Carnival Cruise Line, will present “Carnival and New Orleans: Beyond Business.” Giora Israel, Senior Vice President of Carnival Corp., will present “The opening of Cuba, an opportunity or a challenge?” Donnie Brown, Environmental and Health Director of Cruise Lines International Association, will discuss health and safety policies and procedures.

         In addition, FCCA’s membership will present a $20,000 charitable donation to the Tipitina’s Foundation for new instruments for New Orleans youth.

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         Port of New Orleans cruise terminals recently completed a second consecutive year of cruise operations topping the 1-million-passenger mark. Cruise embarkations and disembarkations totaled 1,023,700 in 2015 and larger and newer cruise ships positioned in New Orleans in 2016 look to attract additional passengers this year.

         The Port of New Orleans is a deep-draft multipurpose port at the center of the world’s busiest port system — Louisiana’s Lower Mississippi River. Connected to major inland markets and Canada via 14,500 miles of waterways, six class-1 railroads and the interstate highway system, Port reps said the Port of New Orleans is the ideal gateway for steel, project cargo, containers, coffee, natural rubber, chemicals, forest products, manufactured goods and cruising. An extensive network of ocean carrier services, along with added-value services like transloading of bulk into containers, make the Port of New Orleans the superior logistics solution for many types of cargo, Port reps said.

         To stay ahead of market demand, the Port has invested more than $100 million in capital-improvement projects since 2012 and has a Master Plan to expand the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal to an annual capacity of 1.5 million TEUs.

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