Docked Cruise Ships Cruising to paradise. The holiday season is here and winter is on its way. That means millions of American will flock to U.S. port cities in California, Texas and Florida to take a cruise to warm climates.

The holiday season is here and winter is on its way. That means millions of American will flock to U.S. port cities in California, Texas and Florida to take a cruise to warm climates along the Equator or in the Southern Hemisphere.

While it used to be that winter was the most expensive time of year to cruise, that is no longer the case. An increase in the number of cruise ships over the past decade has led to to lower costs and expanded destinations, and Americans are setting sail to warmer weather in record numbers. As a port that is increasingly popular, New Orleans wants to take you on a sea cruise.

The Port of New Orleans offers vacationers a variety of cruise liners from which to choose — Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. And as more and bigger ships are slated to transport passengers from “NOLA” to sunny destinations in Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean, New Orleans is preparing to set a third consecutive record for cruise ship passengers this year. According to Port CEO Gary LaGrange, 977,703 passengers departed from the Big Easy in 2012 , a 32 percent increase from 2011. And more than 1 million are expected to pass through the port in 2013.

LaGrange believes the port’s recent success can be attributed to the fact that travelers get two vacations in one — they get to enjoy the charm and culture of New Orleans before departing to their tropical destination. With its world-famous cuisine and rich history, New Orleans has always been a favorite travel destination.

So what do you say? Grab a couple trendy tankini tops, a beignet before your board and set sail to paradise!

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