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Cruising Out to Sea? Hit These NOLA Spots First

Before your cruise, venture to three New Orleans destinations that are just a few minutes from the port on foot.

New Orleans is a major starting point for cruise vacations – just ask the 1 million passengers traveling through Port of New Orleans last year. Most cruises require you to check in about an hour and a half before boarding time, but if you’re one of those who’s perpetually early, you won’t have to sit at the port scrolling through your Instagram feed. Instead, venture to three destinations just a few minutes from the Port on foot. Take your pick of The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, the New Orleans Ferry, or Mardi Gras World (and use our infographic as your guide).

The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk

Shop a little, dine a little – The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk is the place to do it at a discount. With outlet versions of stores like Neiman Marcus, Coach, Gap, and so many others, Riverwalk also entices guests with a panoramic view of the Mississippi River. It’s so close to the port that you’ll likely be able to see your cruise ship, especially if you head out to the balcony just off the food court.

New Orleans Ferry

Prime your sea legs with a quick, preliminary trip on the ferry before your cruise. The New Orleans Canal Street/Algiers Point ferry, in operation since 1827, traverses the Mississippi to connect important points on both sides of the river. You’ll get a fantastic view of the French Quarter, and a complete round trip only takes about a half hour.

Mardi Gras World

Even in summer, it can still feel like Carnival (the season, not the cruise ship) with a trip to Mardi Gras World. The on-site workshop, Blaine Kern Studios, creates breathtaking floats for Mardi Gras and parades all over the world. Plus, each tour participant gets a free slice of king cake. A word of advice: savor each bite, because it’s surprisingly hard to find out of season.

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