NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Carnival Cruise Lines has signed a three-year extension of its current berthing agreement with the Port of New Orleans, port officials said Thursday in a news release.

The extension means there will be two Carnival cruise ships sailing year round from New Orleans through at least Feb. 12, 2016, the port said.

"This agreement continues to demonstrate Carnival's commitment to the New Orleans market as a top homeport for its customers," Gary LaGrange, the port's president and CEO, said in the release.

Carnival has two ships home-ported in New Orleans year round: The Carnival Conquest, which carries up to 2,974 passengers on seven-day cruises to the eastern and western Caribbean; and the Carnival Elation, which can carry 2,052 on its four- and five-day cruises to Cozumel and Progreso, Mexico.

The port's news release says that a recent study by Cruise Lines International Association found the cruise industry generated 5,512 jobs and $211 million in income in Louisiana.

A study commissioned by the Port in 2011 found cruise passengers in New Orleans stay an average of 1.8 nights in area hotels either before or after their cruise and spent another $27.9 million on lodging, food, beverage and incidental spending.

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