Given its location in the Gulf South, it’s no secret that New Orleans is a major port city with a high concentration of maritime companies offering employment in virtually every aspect of the industry. It follows that New Orleans’ port activity makes it a great training ground for new maritime cadets.
This summer, for the first time, the Texas Maritime Academy’s training ship made New Orleans part of its training voyage, following visits to Mobile, Alabama and Fort Lauderdale; Key West; Pensacola; and Tampa, Florida.
Packed with 50 cadets, the 224-foot-long ship, “General Rudder”, docked for two days in the Port of New Orleans. During their stay, the cadets conducted training exercises like maintenance and standing watches, and they also had the opportunity to do a little sightseeing, including the World War II Museum.
Part of Texas A&M at Galveston, the Academy is one of six state academies where cadets are taught seamanship, engineering, and navigation. Said Port President and CEO, Gary LaGrange, “The Port of New Orleans is thrilled to welcome the Texas Maritime Academy. I want to offer all of the support and hospitality to this class of cadets who represent the bright future of the maritime industry.”
Built in 1983, the General Rudder’s original purpose was anti-submarine surveillance. It later became the training vessel of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Named for WWII General, Earl Rudder, a one-time president of the University, the ship is now used exclusively as a training vessel for the Academy.
Bob Wright, a spokesperson for the University, expressed, “Although the cadets have enjoyed other cities during their training, they are the most excited to get to New Orleans. The Port of New Orleans is a great liberty port due to the Julia Street Cruise Terminal’s proximity to the historic French Quarter and other attractions.”
This may be the first time the University has sent its cadets to New Orleans during training, but it will likely not be the last. The Port of New Orleans provides not only a valuable training ground, but also a cultural and historic richness not found in every port city.
Formal universities and academies are not the only places to get first-class marine training. Not only that, but there are ways to receive the training you need for a price you can afford.
Want to find out more about the Marine Award Program? Visit our Overview page for more details. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us directly at 855-783-2385.