To celebrate the launch of two year-round cruise ships from New Orleans, Carnival Cruise Lines held a special VIP ceremony earlier today aboard the Carnival Elation at the Port of New Orleans.  

During the event, the line made a $25,000 donation to Reconcile New Orleans, which operates Café Reconcile as part of a job-training program that prepares adolescents for hospitality industry careers through training and work experience.

Both the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation and the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest were recently repositioned to the Port of New Orleans to operate year-round departures, returning Carnival’s presence in the city to pre-Katrina capacity levels. The line expects to carry nearly 340,000 passengers annually from New Orleans — more than any other cruise operator.

“Carnival is New Orleans’ number one cruise line and we are thrilled to now have two ships dedicated year-round to what is one of America’s truly great cities,” said Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president and CEO. “Carnival Cruise Lines strives to be a good citizen in our homeport communities, and this donation to Reconcile New Orleans is a reflection of our commitment to continue supporting the revitalization of this city.”

To date, Reconcile New Orleans’ Workforce Development Program has graduated more than 700 youths ages 16 to 22. Students leave the 12-week program with work skills, along with basic life and interpersonal skills, enabling and empowering them to successfully enter the workforce.

"We are thrilled Carnival has returned to its pre-Katrina service level in New Orleans. We have worked diligently with our partners at Carnival to ensure the cruising public knows New Orleans is better than ever," said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. "Carnival's new cruising itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean give potential passengers more choices than ever when sailing from New Orleans."    

Carnival Conquest and Carnival Elation will operate more than 125 voyages annually from the Port of New Orleans, offering an unprecedented array of cruise lengths, departure days and itineraries.