Carnival Cruise Line has pushed back the launch of what is to be its largest-ever ship, the Mardi Gras Carnival due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Carnival has also announced revisions to the delivery of the amplified Carnival Radiance and new itineraries for Carnival Breeze and Carnival Magic.
Mardi Gras Carnival 11/2020-01/2021 Intinaerary Canceled
Mardi Gras, the first LNG-powered ship to operate in the Western Hemisphere and featuring the first roller coaster at sea, will now enter into service from Port Canaveral, February 6, 2021. Itineraries out of Port Canaveral for departures from November 14, 2020 to January 30, 2021 have been cancelled.
Carnival Radiance’s $200 million dry dock at the Cadiz, Spain shipyard was suspended this spring when the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a nationwide lockdown. Carnival now says the ship will most likely not be completed until the spring.
As a result of the delayed arrival of Carnival Radiance, Carnival Breeze will be redeployed from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral and will assume the itineraries for Carnival Radiance from November 8, 2020 to April. 24, 2021. Consequently, guests on 18 Carnival Breeze sailings from Fort Lauderdale scheduled to operate from November 7, 2020 to March 7, 2021 are being notified that their cruises have been cancelled.
Carnival Magic’s transatlantic and European itineraries from March 13, 2021 to May 3, 2021 have been cancelled. Seven sailings previously scheduled for Carnival Breeze from Fort. Lauderdale from March 13 to April 24, 2021 will move to Miami and those guests will sail on the same itinerary, but on Carnival Magic operating from Port Miami.
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“We continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global commerce, public health and our cruise operations. In addition to our current pause in service, there have been many other unintended consequences, including shipyard, dry dock and ship delivery delays, and related changes to our deployment plans for our fleet,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “While we had hoped to make up construction time on Mardi Gras over the summer, it’s clear we will need extra time to complete this magnificent ship. We share our guests’ disappointment and appreciate their patience as we work through this unprecedented time in our business and the lives of so many people. We remain committed to working with government, public health and industry officials to support the response to the pandemic and to return to operations when the time is right.”
The XL-class Mardi Gras is named after the first Carnival Cruise ship that entered service in 1972. It will be the largest Carnival Cruise ship ever constructed and the first in North America to be powered by Liquefied Natural Gas. At 180,000 tons, the new Mardi Gras will be more than six times the size of its namesake. The original 27,000-ton TSS Mardi Gras was a converted trans-Atlantic ocean liner purchased by entrepreneur and Carnival founder Ted Arison.
The Mardi Gras Carnival is currently under construction at the Meyer Turku shipyard in Finland.
Mardi Gras Carnival fact sheet
- Gross tonnage: 180,000
- Length: 1130
- Beam: 137 feet
- Maximum Draft: 28 feet
- Cruising Speed: 17 knots
- Full guest occupancy: 6630
- Normal occupancy: 5282 (based on 2 per cabin)
- Passenger decks: 17
- Total officers and crew: 1745