Approaching the Port of New Orleans, USA

Entering New Orleans

Approaching New Orleans

The Delta of the Mississippi River extends many miles into the Gulf of Mexico, in a generally SE direction. The river has a least width of 550 m and a clear unobstructed channel, with a few shoals close alongside the river banks. From its total length of 2145 miles, the part up to the port of New Orleans is ~ 95 miles in length.

The port of New Orleans – located on both sides of the Mississippi where the river loops around the city – is a port of entry and one of the largest ports in the USA.

During the maneuver up River, three pilots will board the vessel: the first one from the pilot station situated at the mouth of the river (one mile before the waters of the River mix with those of the Gulf), the second one boarding at Venice Pilot Station and the docking pilot boarding only one hour before vessel is getting alongside.

Running with an average speed of 14-15 knots, the vessel will follow the navigational channel up river, passing by some anchored vessels on its way, turning and changing the heading many times in order to complete its route up to the limit of the port.

Up Mississippi River - New Orleans (1)

Under way to New Orleans - Mississippi River

Up Mississippi River - New Orleans (2)

Depending on the current and on the traffic, the maneuver up river can last between 7 and 9 hours, while the docking maneuver is very fast – as the vessel is always getting starboard side alongside, with its ‘nose’ up river. The departure maneuver will include the complete swing to portside and sailing down river may last 7-8 hours.

On both sides of the river, the landscape is very interesting and green, especially after rain. Because the running river is bringing mud and sand, new islands and floating formation are built continuously forming large shoals along the river banks. This area – covered with grass,small shrubs and trees – is the perfect habitat for numerous species of birds and animals and a very important tourist attraction for people passionate about nature.

Mississippi Delta (2)

Mississippi Delta New Orleans

Mississippi Delta

Towards the end of the passage, the skyline of New Orleans is slowly coming into sight on the right side. The star board side wing of the vessel is offering an amazing bird-eye view over the city and the binoculars will help you have even a close up of the most important landmarks of the town – Jackson Square, St. Louis Cathedral, the Aquarium, the French Quarter.

Approaching New Orleans

Approaching New Orleans (2)

New Orleans St. Louis Cathedral

The vessel is passing under Crescent Connection Bridge and it is coming starboard side alongside in one of the container terminals – Nashville Wharf or Napoleon Wharf.

Crescent Connection Bridge New Orleans (1)

Crescent Connection Bridge New Orleans (2)

Approaching the port of New Orleans (1)

Approaching the port of New Orleans (2)

The departure maneuver includes a total swing to portside and the vessel is following the same route down river towards the Gulf of Mexico.


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