New Orleans’ tourism industry successfully emerged from Hurricane Isaac and is welcoming cruise passengers today.

“New Orleans is open for business and there are no impediments to reach our cruise terminals,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “Most of the French Quarter and Central Business District never lost power and received no significant damage.”

The Coast Guard reopened the Mississippi River this morning with only a few restrictions, allowing the Carnival Elation to return to New Orleans following a one-day delay. The cruise ship will arrive at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal this afternoon to disembark guests and will bring aboard new guests for a three-day “Fun Cruise @ Sea” between 6 and 9 p.m. today. The Elation will sail tonight and return as scheduled to New Orleans Monday morning to resume normal itineraries.

The Carnival Conquest, which sails year-round seven-day cruises from New Orleans, will return to New Orleans Sunday as scheduled to sail its regular itinerary.

The following is Carnival’s message to its Carnival Elation guests:

FUNtastic news! The Port of New Orleans reopened early Friday morning.

Due to the time required to transit the Mississippi River, the ship will be alongside in the afternoon.  We’ll be busy saying good bye to our disembarking guests, so check in for your 3-day Fun Cruise @ Sea will now take place between 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Friday, August 31, 2012 at the Erato Street Cruise Terminal.

So join us for three days of unforgettable fun and receive:

- 50% refund of your cruise fare (refunded within the next 2 weeks)

- 25% future cruise discount on a 3-5 day Carnival cruise (restrictions apply)

- Gratuities will be adjusted to reflect the shortened voyage

- Shore excursions purchased for Cozumel, as well as, an 8.16 USD credit per person for the government fees and taxes, will be automatically refunded to your Sail & Sign account

-Refunds will not be provided for flight changes, hotel accommodations, meals, transfers, or other incidental costs.  However, guests who purchased Carnival’s Vacation Protection Plan should check their plan for reimbursement considerations.

Guests who purchased flights with Carnival's FlyAweigh program will automatically have their flights adjusted to the new day and time. You will be notified of your new flights by our Travel Services department. Guests with independent flight arrangements, please adjust your travel plans accordingly.

We certainly hope you’ll sail with us but if you elect to cancel, please contact 1-800-CARNIVAL to request your future cruise credit.

To stay up to date, if you have not done so already, please sign up for text updates by texting CCL1 to CRUISE (278473).

Once again, we are sorry the weather has caused a delay in getting your fun started. Rest assured, once you step on board, we'll waste no time in getting it going!