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by Matt Alderton | March 03, 2015
New Orleans already has much to offer groups, including copious amounts of interesting food, lodging and entertainment. It also offers cruises, however -- and it's about to offer even more of them thanks to Carnival Cruise Line, which announced yesterday that it will expand capacity on its four- and five-day short cruise program from New Orleans by 34 percent next spring.

The expansion is the product of several strategic moves of Carnival ships: Carnival Triumph, currently based in Galveston, TX, will replace Carnival Elation in New Orleans; Carnival Elation will replace Carnival Fascination in Jacksonville, FL; Carnival Fascination will replace Carnival Liberty in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Carnival Liberty will replace Triumph in Galveston.

"Repositioning these ships to New Orleans, Jacksonville, and San Juan provides our guests and valued travel agent partners with fresh and exciting new 'Fun Ship' choices in three important and highly attractive cruise markets," Carnival's new president, Christine Duffy, said in a statement.

Carnival Triumph will launch year-round four- and five-day cruises to Mexico beginning April 4, 2016.  On this route, four-day "long weekend" cruises will depart Thursdays and call at Cozumel while five-day cruises will depart Mondays and Saturdays and visit Cozumel and Progreso. Triumph also will offer a special three-day cruise round-trip from New Orleans April 8-11, 2016.

Triumph will join Carnival Dream, which operates year-round seven-day cruises from New Orleans. Together these two ships are expected to carry 450,000 guests annually from New Orleans, which is more than any other cruise operator, according to Carnival, the only cruise line to operate two year-round ships from the Big Easy.