Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA)
The Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) is one of the biggest, most important, and busiest cargo and cruise ports in the world, which both welcomes and waves off international cruise liners on a near daily basis. As such, this deepwater port is the ideal jumping-off point for an exploration of the Big Easy and wider Louisiana.
One Day in New Orleans
While many travelers head to the nearby French Quarter to try beignets, ride the historic streetcars, stroll Bourbon Street, or admire the St. Louis Cathedral, shore excursions can be a convenient way for first-time visitors to take in the region. Visit the Bayou for an airboat tour or learn the dark history of the Whitney, Laura, or St. Joseph plantations, before returning to the city and making the most of NOLA’s culinary and cultural appeal.
If you’ve got time to spare before or after a cruise, take a guided city tour or opt for multi-day options that cover many of the region’s main attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There are two passenger terminals at the Port of New Orleans: Julia Street Cruise Terminal and Erato Cruise Terminal.
- Both terminals offer ATMs, gift shops, and dedicated on-site parking.
- As a key embarkation port, many cruises depart from the Port New Orleans—build in time to explore the vibrant city before your cruise.
- The Port of New Orleans is located within walking distance of the French Quarter and the Riverwalk shopping complex.
- Guided city tours are ideal for learning more about the Louisiana capital, while shore excursions are time-efficient ways to explore farther afield.
How to Get to New Orleans From the Port of New Orleans
Cruise liners dock at one of two Port of New Orleans cruise terminals, Julia Street or Erato, from which the French Quarter is a short walk. However, taxis are also plentiful and the Riverfront Trolley Line also passes by the port. Shuttles and taxis connect the Port of New Orleans with the airport—rides are charged at a flat fee.
The currency is the US dollar; there's one ATM at the port and several around the French Quarter. English is the most widely spoken language in the city, although it's not uncommon to hear French Creole. There's also a baggage transfer service at the port that can take your bags to the airport if your cruise ends in New Orleans and you want to see the city before boarding your plane.
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- Mardi Gras World
- National WWII Museum
- Ogden Museum of Southern Art
- Confederate Memorial Hall Museum
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
- Lafayette Square
- Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
- Steamboat Natchez
- Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
- Hotel Monteleone
- Historic New Orleans Collection (HNOC)
- New Orleans School of Cooking
- Storyville District
- Garden District
- Hard Rock Cafe New Orleans