Sail Away from New Orleans: A Rising Trend in Cruise Travel

In 2023, an increasing number of travelers opted to commence their cruise adventures from the vibrant port city of New Orleans, marking a notable resurgence in the cruise travel industry post-pandemic. As per this article from The Daily Advertiser, statistics revealed that the Port of New Orleans experienced a significant uptick in cruise passenger traffic, almost reverting to pre-pandemic levels, signifying a promising rebound for the sector.

Closing the curtains on 2023, the Port of New Orleans boasted nearly 1.2 million cruise travel passenger movements, a reassuring indicator of the industry’s recovery trajectory. Port NOLA also underscored the reaffirmation of commitments from both oceangoing and river cruise lines, highlighting the enduring appeal of New Orleans as a cruise hub.

Standing tall as the sixth-largest cruise port across the United States, New Orleans continues to attract cruisers seeking diverse itineraries spanning the Caribbean and the Mississippi River. From the sun-kissed shores of Montego Bay, Jamaica, to the cultural richness of Cozumel, Mexico, and the quaint charm of Key West, Florida, cruise enthusiasts find themselves spoiled for choice with a myriad of destinations.

A staggering ninety percent of cruise guests hailed from out-of-state, with a substantial portion—73%—opting to extend their stay in New Orleans for one or two days either before or after their cruise escapades. This influx of visitors translates into over 300,000 hotel room nights booked in New Orleans annually, injecting over $125 million into the local economy—a boon for businesses and tourism alike.

Reflecting on the city’s allure as a pre- and post-cruise destination, Walter J. Leger III, President and CEO of New Orleans and Co., expressed gratitude towards the collaborative efforts driving the city’s tourism industry forward. Leger emphasized the pivotal role played by the Port of New Orleans and the relentless dedication of the New Orleans and Co. team in ensuring the city’s prominence in the competitive travel landscape.

Leger remarked, “New Orleans is one of the most popular pre- and post-cruise destinations in the country, which is a tribute to our excellent partners at the Port of New Orleans as well as the work of our team at New Orleans and Co. Travel drives our economy, but visitors don’t just show up. In a highly competitive marketplace, travelers have choices, and we have to earn their business through aggressive sales and promotion.”

As the cruise industry charts a course towards recovery, New Orleans emerges as a beacon of resilience and revival, beckoning travelers with its captivating blend of history, culture, and hospitality. With each passing year, the city solidifies its status as a premier embarkation point for unforgettable cruise experiences.

Delving into the annals of history, the tradition of passenger cruises out of New Orleans stretches back over a century, intertwining the city’s narrative with the romance of seafaring adventures. The Port of New Orleans has long served as a gateway to the world for travelers, its storied docks witnessing the comings and goings of countless ships.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, steamships laden with passengers embarked from New Orleans, bound for exotic destinations across the globe. These vessels, adorned with opulent décor and offering luxurious amenities, symbolized the epitome of elegance and indulgence. However, it was in the latter half of the 20th century that New Orleans truly emerged as a prominent cruise port. With the advent of modern cruise liners, the city’s port facilities underwent expansions and upgrades to accommodate the burgeoning demand for leisure travel by sea.

Today, as New Orleans continues to evolve as a dynamic cultural hub, its maritime heritage remains an integral part of its identity, underscoring the enduring allure of setting sail from the Crescent City.

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Delicious New Orleans BBQ Shrimp Recipe

Get ready to explore the vibrant flavors of a beloved Southern classic dish with this recipe for NOLA BBQ Shrimp from Louisiana Cookin. This iconic dish encapsulates the essence of Southern cuisine with its bold spices, succulent seafood, and rich, flavorful sauce. Join us as we uncover the secrets to creating a dish that’s sure to delight your senses and transport you to the heart of New Orleans.



  1. In a Dutch oven, melt 1 cup of butter with olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to foam, add the white parts of the green onions, minced garlic, and shallot. Sauté until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Incorporate the rosemary, basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme into the mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the herbs are softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Pour in the lager, Worcestershire sauce, juice of 1 lemon, and hot sauce to your desired level of heat.
  3. Increase the heat to high and allow the liquid to reduce by half, typically taking around 10 to 15 minutes. Taste the mixture and adjust seasoning with Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice if needed.
  4. Add the colossal fresh shrimp, lemon slices, and Creole or Cajun seasoning to the pot. Gently stir to coat the shrimp evenly with the flavorful sauce. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 6 minutes.
  5. After 6 minutes, stir the shrimp and continue cooking until the shrimp tails curl, ensuring not to overcook them. This usually takes another 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and gently fold in the green parts of the green onion and the juice of the remaining lemon.
  6. Serve the succulent BBQ shrimp on a platter, drizzled with its cooking liquid. Use the remaining ½ cup of butter to generously spread on toasted French bread, perfect for soaking up every last bit of the flavorful sauce.

There you have it – a tantalizing journey through the flavors of New Orleans with this NOLA BBQ Shrimp recipe. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply craving a taste of the South, this dish is sure to impress. With its bold spices, succulent shrimp, and rich sauce, it’s a true celebration of Louisiana’s culinary heritage. So, gather your ingredients, fire up the stove, and get ready to experience a taste sensation like no other. Enjoy!

This recipe is a testament to the richness and diversity of Southern cuisine. From the bustling streets of New Orleansto the comfort of your own kitchen, it’s a dish that brings people together and leaves a lasting impression. So, the next time you’re craving a culinary adventure, why not give our NOLA BBQ Shrimp recipe a try? Your taste buds will thank you!

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Immerse Yourself in Louisiana’s Story: A Day at the State Museum

Nestled in the heart of the captivating state of Louisiana lies a treasure trove of history, culture, and art waiting to be explored—the Louisiana State Museum. Situated within the enchanting city of New Orleans, this museum stands as a testament to the vibrant heritage of the Bayou State, offering an immersive experience that beckons visitors to delve into its captivating exhibits. In this blog post, which is inspired by this webpage, you are invited to embark on a journey through the Louisiana State Museum, showcasing why it’s a must-visit destination for all.

Immersive Exhibits

One of the most compelling reasons to visit the Louisiana State Museum is the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Louisiana’s history. The museum boasts a diverse collection of exhibits that span centuries, each telling a unique story of the state’s past. From the early Native American tribes that called Louisiana home to the colonial era, the Civil War, and the Jazz Age, the museum offers an extensive timeline of the state’s evolution. Through carefully curated artifacts, documents, and interactive displays, visitors can gain a profound understanding of Louisiana’s complex and fascinating history.

A Cultural Odyssey

For those with a passion for culture, the Louisiana State Museum is a true haven. It celebrates the state’s distinctive cultural heritage, which is deeply rooted in the blend of French, Spanish, African, and Creole influences. Whether you’re intrigued by Mardi Gras traditions, Cajun and Creole cuisine, or the vibrant music scene, you’ll find it all beautifully showcased here.

The Cabildo: A Historic Gem

One of the crown jewels of the Louisiana State Museum is the Cabildo, a historic building that played a pivotal role in the state’s history. This architectural marvel was the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and later served as the seat of the New Orleans city government. A visit to the Cabildo allows you to step back in time and witness firsthand the events that shaped Louisiana and the nation.

A Glimpse into the Voodoo Culture

Delve into the mystique of Louisiana’s Voodoo culture at the museum’s exhibit dedicated to this unique spiritual tradition. Learn about the rituals, practices, and the influential priestess Marie Laveau, who is an enduring figure in New Orleans folklore. This exhibit provides a fascinating insight into the spiritual fabric of the state.

Awe-Inspiring Art and Sculpture

Art enthusiasts will find the Louisiana State Museum’s art collection to be a true revelation. From classic Southern art to contemporary masterpieces, the museum houses a wide array of works that celebrate the talent and creativity of Louisiana artists. You can explore paintings, sculptures, and crafts that capture the essence of the state’s beauty and diversity.

Interactive Learning for All Ages

The Louisiana State Museum is not just a place of passive observation; it’s an interactive learning experience suitable for visitors of all ages. Young explorers can engage with hands-on activities, while adults can delve into in-depth narratives and historical accounts. This ensures that every visitor can tailor their experience to their interests and preferences.

A Culinary Adventure

Louisiana is renowned for its delectable cuisine, and the museum takes you on a culinary adventure through its dedicated exhibits. Learn about the history of Creole and Cajun cooking, explore the flavors and aromas of the bayou, and gain a deeper appreciation for the gastronomic delights that define Louisiana’s culinary landscape.

In conclusion, the Louisiana State Museum offers a multifaceted experience that encapsulates the essence of the Bayou State. It’s a place where history comes alive, where culture is celebrated, and where art and artifacts weave together a compelling narrative. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, an art lover, or simply someone curious about the diverse heritage of Louisiana, this museum has something to offer everyone.

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Entrepreneur Week Celebrates NOLA’s Workforce and Culture

The 2023 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week was recently held in the Crescent City to celebrate the city’s focus on entrepreneurship, technology, innovation, and culture. According to this article from, the panel titled “Third Wave Industries and Climate Leadership,” highlighted just how New Orleans culture helps to draw in startups and clean energy.

The week-long series of workshops, speeches, panels, discussions, and live music that made up the 2023 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week drew in nearly 1,400 attendees, according to event organizers. One of the ways this year’s NOEW was different from previous years was that the event’s final three days included ticketed items such as concerts and entertainment offerings.

Producer Liz Maxwell of Idea Village, the small business accelerator program that created NOEW said, “NOEW has become a really important event for this community. It shows what is possible here in New Orleans and Louisiana and that we can create and innovate together.”

This year’s theme for NOEW was innovation and culture, which included speeches and sessions built around eight subthemes. These subthemes included: Climate tech, Culture tech, EATrepreneurs, Future of local business, Health innovation, Investing in innovation, Software as service engineers, and Startups for impact. In terms of guest speakers for the weeklong event, dozens of local and national speakers made it out to New Orleans, including keynoter Mary Landrieu, the former U.S. senator from Louisiana, and AOL founder Steve Case.

One of the talks for the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week focused on the fact that the Louisiana government’s climate policies were responsible for creating several economic development opportunities. This talk from the Louisiana Governor took place in Gallier Hall, where he announced that a key update will be coming to Louisiana’s renewable energy sector. This update is expected to offer a boost to those local companies that are racing to develop new types of carbon-capture technologies.

This update will come as a result of new federal regulations that are set to arrive later this spring, and it’s expected that these regulations from the federal government will give the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources the primary authority over wells needed to inject carbon underground, instead of this authority going to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If this update is finalized later this year, the new rules that will be in place will essentially speed up the permitting process and as a result make carbon capture and sequestration a reality in Louisiana ahead of the next gubernatorial election.

The speaker was quoted as saying, “we have to embrace things like carbon capture and sequestration because we cannot be successful and the world cannot be successful if we keep just emitting it the way we have. The science is there. The safety is there. I know we have to demonstrate that, but carbon capture is going to be very important moving forward.”

The Louisiana Government’s Climate Action Plan focuses heavily on carbon capture as one of its key planks, as it seeks to reduce the state of Louisiana’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. In addition to this goal, the plan also calls for developing purely renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar power, and cleaner fuels like hydrogen.

One of the key takeaways from the presentation was that Louisiana has several economic development strengths that are aided by New Orleans attracting more startup companies and talent to the state of Louisiana. The Governor spoke about how this attraction of businesses could continue by saying that the state continues to “have more of these kinds of events.

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18th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off Crowns Queen of American Seafood

The 18th annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off was held in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in early August. The event was a humongous success, as it attracted 14 culinary master chefs from across the United States who competed to earn a royal title, as per this feature article from

The Great American Seafood Cook-Off served as the primary attraction of the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s 18th annual showcase for dozens upon dozens of vendors displaying and distributing their products and services for the general public to enjoy. Hundreds of people attended the event and made up the crowd at the main event where each competing chef was given only 30 minutes to produce a seafood dish that would be judged by a team of judges against the 13 other contenders.

The executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Samantha Carroll, commented on the 14 chefs who participated in the cook-off, calling them among the most “competitive and qualified” in the history of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off.

After the judges of the event had sampled all 14 entries, Erin Miller of Cambridge, Massachusetts was crowned the “Queen of American Seafood.” Miller won the cookoff by preparing a dish, the Cape Ann Tide Pool, which was complemented by a consommé of lobster tails as well as dune rose pits. As reported, “the winning creation included a scallop custard with corn and a sauté of sweet margarine, corn, mussels, and scallops, finished with a butter-poached lobster tail and scallops with sea beans.”

Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser commented on the event and crowning, saying, “what an outstanding competition we had today with one of the best lineups of competing chefs in the history of the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. It went great, the dishes are incredible. The personalities of each chef from each state from each state. This was definitely a tough decision for our judges.”

This year’s judges of the event included Louisiana Celebrity Chef John Folse, California Chef Shirley Chung, Two-time Chopped Champion and Florida Chef James Briscione, and Kentucky-based Sri Lankan-American Chef Sam Fore.

Competition winner, Chef Erin Miller had trained at the French Culinary Institute of New York, and she is reportedly proud to count her restaurant, Urban Hearth, “among the small number of acclaimed woman-owned and led restaurants in the Boston area.” Coming in second place was Floridian Chef Al Massa from Brotula’s Seafood House & Steamer in Destin, Florida, and Ohioan Chef Christian Gill from Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey in Cincinnati, Ohiowas awarded third place.

Chef Erin Miller, who was crowned as the first-ever Queen of American Seafood, commented on her winning dish by saying, “we wanted to really focus-in on the breadth of seafood available in Massachusetts, not only the fish and shellfish we know really well but also the things that grow along the shore. So the dish is built around multiple layers of seafood and multiple layers of textures integrated with the sea beans and the garnishes that grow in the rocky shoals in Massachusetts. I’m in probably my favorite city in the world right now. It just means so much to represent my state and be here with these extraordinarily creative chefs. It just makes this mean so much more.”

The Great American Seafood Cook-Off, which just finished its 18th year of competitions and crownings, was initially started by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board in 2004. The Cook-Off was purposeful in its origins, as it aimed to promote domestic, sustainable seafood.

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Footage of the 1898 Rex Parade is Believed to be Oldest Existing Footage

Recently, a two-minute film clip of the 1898 Rex parade was discovered and screened in New Orleans, and according to this article from, it’s believed to be the oldest existing movie footage shot in New Orleans.

The film clip, which was discovered in a Dutch museum in March, was also screened at the Presbytère overlooking Jackson Square in June 2022 and followed by a lively discussion. After the event, the film was incorporated into the Presbytère museum’s show that celebrates the Rex organization’s 150th birthday, an exhibit that will be able to be viewed through December 11th. Wayne Phillips, the Louisiana State Museum’s curator of Carnival collections, revealed that the film might become part of the Presbytère’s permanent Mardi Gras exhibit. Wayne Phillips said, “it’s just too important to lay aside and not share with our visitors.”

The film footage of the 1898 Rex parade included 6 total floats, including one with a live ox, and the reported theme was “Harvest Queens.” The film itself was a project of American Mutoscope Co., an entity that sent crews across America to make movies about working-class people. For the film, Frank Armitage, one of the best cameramen for American Mutoscope, was sent to New Orleans to document the Rex parade, two Navy ships that were docked at the port, a crew loading a steamboat, a project called “Way Down South,” and archival footage of the New Orleans City Hall, then Gallier Hall. Armitage and his film crew left New Orleans to document the aftermath of the sinking of the USS Maine, which had blown up in the harbor of Havana, Cuba on February 15, 1898, a week before that year’s Mardi Gras.

According to Will French, the Rex organization’s historian and archivist, Frank Armitage was located at Gallier Hall during the filming. He had looked down St. Charles Avenue toward Poydras Street for the footage. The Dutch Museum exported the film into a crisp, digitized, high-definition version, which (according to French) is so rich with detail that it’s like an active hunt for “100 little Easter eggs,” as each new viewing reveals a new aspect of not only the city of New Orleans but Mardi Gras traditions.

Some of these details include that all the attendants and bystanders of the Rex parade are standing still, which is much different from the jubilant, chaotic crowds of present-day Mardi Gras parades. Additionally, there is no visible police presence in the clip as well as no beads, objects, or anything else being thrown from the floats. According to Wayne Phillips, “we think that Rex started throwing in 1920, in the first parade after World War I. We know there were occasional opportunities during parades when trinkets might be tossed from one person to another, but it wasn’t anything that people expected.”

The rumor of the film’s existence had long-plagued Mardi Gras fans and specifically the Rex organization and its historian and archivist Will French. French was the person who formally requested the film’s footage be found by Mackenzie Roberts Beasley, an audiovisual researcher. French is a corporate lawyer who is involved in financing film production, and he revealed that wanted to find the footage so that he could build the krewe’s video holdings. Mackenzie Roberts Beasley was able to track down the film, which was located at the Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam.

Charles A. Farwell had reigned 124 years ago as Rex, the king of Carnival, and he is present in Armitage’s footage of the 1898 parade. Because of the retrieval and screening of the footage, Farwell’s granddaughter, Lynne Farwell White was able to see one-of-a-kind footage of her grandfather, who had passed away 26 years before she was born, in 1917. After donating a sword that had been a part of Farwell’s Rex costume to the krewe’s archive, White commented on the discovery by saying, “I got a chance for the first time in my life to see my grandfather alive and as a real person. That is very special!”

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