• The New Orleans Museum of Art has announced the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion.
-The expansion will include an additional six acres of land in New Orleans City Park, with sites for additional sculptures, as well as an amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a new gallery, and an outdoor learning environment.
-Like the existing garden, it will be free and open to the public seven days a week.
• New Orleans has been recognized as a top destination to visit in 2018 by several prestigious travel publications including, Condé Nast Traveler, Fodor’s Travel, Frommer’s Travel Guides, Rough Guides and Travel + Leisure.
• New Orleans is celebrating its 300th anniversary throughout 2018.
-As one of the world’s most unique and diverse cities, New Orleans will celebrate with its citizens and open its doors to the world to share the city’s rich history and culture.
-During the Tricentennial, New Orleans will celebrate its past accomplishments, the resilience of its people and set the course for the future.
• The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC)
has announced a year of special programming commemorating New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018.
-THNOC will open a special bilingual tricentennial exhibit New Orleans, the Founding Era, a multifaceted exploration of the city’s first few decades.
-As part of the tricentennial exhibit, THNOC will join the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee to present Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium, March 8-11, 2018.
-The four-day event will explore how the 300-year history of how New Orleans came to be inhabited by diverse, vibrant people and how, in turn, the concept of home has been central to the life and culture of the city.
• The National World War II Museum
has been recognized as a winner in the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards for museums, ranking No.2 in the world and No.2 in the nation – up from No.11 in the world and No.4 in the nation last year.
• The Jung Hotel and Residences
, a New Orleans Hotel Collection Property has opened its doors.
-Located at 1500 Canal St, adjacent to the city’s medical corridor, the Jung features 207 luxury guest rooms, 113 one and two-bedroom apartments, more than 15 meeting rooms and a 12,000-square foot exhibit hall.
-The Jung is a $140 million re-imagination and rebirth of the historic Jung Hotel, incorporating residences, retail, hotel, parking and other amenities.
• The National World War II Museum
has officially broken ground on The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center. The hotel is scheduled for completion in 2019.
• The Cambria Hotel New Orleans
has appointed Chef Vidak Sparr to lead the property’s food and beverage program.
-Chef Sparr has extensive culinary experience and is the former Executive Chef of Dick and Jenny’s.
• Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it will bring new ships to New Orleans in May 2019 to expand capacity on short cruise offerings from New Orleans.
-The Carnival Valor, currently based in Galveston, TX, will shift to New Orleans to begin year-round four- and five-day cruises, replacing the Carnival Triumph.
-The Carnival Glory will takeover the Carnival Dream’s year-round schedule.
-Both new additions are expected to carry nearly 400,000 passengers from New Orleans.
• Norwegian Cruise Line announced it will deploy the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to the Port of New Orleans beginning November 2018.
-The 1,068-foot vessel will be the largest cruise ship in both length and passenger occupancy to ever sail from Port NOLA, and its arrival will nearly double Norwegian’s guest occupancy from New Orleans.
• City Hall announced the historic riverfront redevelopment projects that will open access to the city’s riverfront with 3.2 miles of contiguous space from Spanish Plaza to Crescent Park. The development has an estimated completion date of early 2020. The projects include:
-Spanish Plaza - $7.5 million plaza renovation
-Four Seasons - $400 million Renovation of the World Trade Center
-Canal Street Ferry Terminal - $37 million state-of-the-art terminal
-Ferry Pedestrian Bridge - $7.3 million new pedestrian bridge
-Woldenberg Riverfront Park - $6 million park improvements
-Moonwalk Park - $3 million park renovation
-Esplanade and Governor Nicholls Street Wharves - $15 million conversion
-Crescent Park - $31.2 million
• The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airpor
t has announced an expansion to the plans for the new terminal, currently under construction, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35. The plans include a 2,200-car parking garage, a central utility plan and a ground transportation area.
-The new terminal is now set to open February 2019.
-The five-gate expansion and new opening date comes as the airport has exceeded all passenger enplanement targets and added new international airlift to Europe and South America.
More information: www.neworleans.com