More than 500 cruise passengers aboard one of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships enjoyed a few days in New Orleans this week, as Hapag-Lloyd’s Europa 2 made her maiden voyage to the Port of New Orleans Julia Street Cruise Terminal on Monday.Europa 2 is one of 10 cruise ships scheduled to make a port call in New Orleans prior to the end of 2016.A port call is a visit from a ship that doesn’t homeport in a city, but calls on a port as part of its cruise itinerary.“New Orleans consistently ranks atop the world’s top destinations for visitors and cruise lines see the Port of New Orleans as an attractive call on their itineraries,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. “Port-call vessels typically have a wide ranging impact on the local economy, as passengers, who are often international, have the opportunity to spend a few days exploring everything the City and the surrounding region has to offer.”Port officials hosted an onboard ceremonial plaque exchange with the captain of Europa 2 on Monday.The cruise ship, launched in May of 2013, features 251 cabins, two owner suites and seven family apartments with the greatest space per passenger of any cruise ship in the industry. Europa 2 has an art collection of 890 original commissioned works, gourmet dining in seven restaurants, a choice of 600 wines and its six bars offer more than 200 varieties of gin – the largest gin collection at sea.Europa 2 also offers a 15-metre-long pool, a gym, two golf simulators and spa.The ship departed from New Orleans on 12 October and is travelling to Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean before heading to the South Pacific to spend the winter months in Australia and New Zealand.In 2015, the Port’s cruise terminals handled 1,023,700 cruise passengers, ranking New Orleans the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures totalling $406 million, supporting 8129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income. 2016 passenger totals are on pace to break the 2015 mark with the addition of newer and larger homeported cruise ships.Port cruise terminals currently host three homeported cruise ships. Carnival Cruise Lines offers a wide variety of itineraries aboard the 2754-passenger Carnival Triumph sailing year-round four- and five-day itineraries from New Orleans and aboard the 3646-passenger Carnival Dream sailing year-round seven-day itineraries to both eastern and western Caribbean destinations. Norwegian Cruise Lines 2340-passenger Norwegian Dawn will return next month to sail seven-day itineraries through May.